Meet Valeska and follow her freelance journey on twago…
Oh, freelancing! Being professionally independent has been a dream of mine for years. And it is very recently that I took the first step into becoming a freelancer.
It all started right after college when I was hired by a big corporation as an IT consultant. Gosh was I happy! But, what first sounded like the “perfect” job quickly bored me. I felt stuck in corporate structures and processes and I was almost never able to work the way I wanted to. After a while I felt like I slowly resigned and started to become a pale robot fulfilling brainless tasks that did not matter to me. Back then I felt so stuck, I decided to quit my job to go backpacking around the world. Freedom!
To freelance or not to freelance
But when I returned from my backpacking adventures most of my questions remained unanswered. How can I create a professional lifestyle for myself that supports my needs for a work-life balance, locating independent tasks as well as new exciting projects to work on? At that time freelancing crossed my mind. I pushed my inner voice about freelancing to the side and started a full-time fixed payroll job in the Berlin Start-up scene. Working in a much more exciting environment I still felt stuck in routine. I told myself this routine is necessary and equals security.
After all, freelancing is not just about bringing your laptop to the coffee shop around the corner and working on creative passion projects. We also have bills to pay, a lifestyle to live and a family (or at least ourselves) to feed.
The hidden costs of freelancers like social security, insurance, travel costs, equipment, education… just to name a few, can be overwhelming once we start thinking about them. And all these questions started circling in my head: Will I be able to build up a client base? Where will new projects come from? How will financial planning look without having a regular income?
All the “buts” can be overwhelming at times. Nevertheless, I told myself “hold on – What is it you really want?”
Do what you love
The reply was clearer than ever. I love three things: Traveling, Writing and Photography… and building businesses! And I would love to combine all three in a unique way. When I had a conversation with a life-coach I quickly realised that none of the “off-the shelf” jobs would be able to give me what I was looking for. I knew I had to build my own lifestyle and I could not keep on waiting for others to offer me the kind of job I was looking for.
First off, I decided I wanted to work on my skills. That´s why I enrolled in photography class as well as some professional blogging and freelance writing classes.
“From the moment I made the decision to work independently it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
Yes, freelancing is about leaving your comfort zone. It´s a jump into the uncertain. An exciting rollercoaster ride. But you can still have a safety net. I decided not to put all bets on one horse. I found a side job that secures a base income. And from there on I will work on different projects building up my skills as well as my portfolio.
I took the first step about one month ago when I went to the German tax office to get a tax number for freelancers. It did not hurt. And it did not cost anything.
So ask yourself: What is it you would like to be doing?
You can follow me and my first steps into freelancing on this blog. For now I would like to hear from you. How did transitioning into becoming a freelancer go for you and did you ever regret taking this step?
- Read Part 2 of Valeska’s Freelance Journey: Picking a Price Tag For Your First Job
- Read Part 3 of Valeska’s Freelance Journey: Working Together on twago
- Invite Valeska to your project
Looking to find work online as a freelancer? You’re just one click away….