Designing A Sustainable Freelance Career

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Would you like to pursue your passions and have more control over your career? Would you like schedule and location flexibility and project variety? Would you like the stability of working full-time and getting paid consistently? Thousands of companies have embraced remote work and realize that they have access to a global talent pool. This is advantageous for anyone who has considered or is currently considering freelance work.

Freelancing is no longer an unstable career choice. This workshop will help you design a sustainable and profitable full-time (or part-time) freelancing career. We will give you tools, tips, best practices, and help you avoid common pitfalls.

>> Submit your interest on becoming a freelance engineer with Toptal and get a call with Talent Acquisition specialist <<

Table of contents:

Module 1: Dispelling common myths about freelancing
Module 2: What does freelancing look like in 2021 and beyond
Module 3: Freelancing choices and what to look for (and what to avoid)
Module 4: Benefits of freelancing from a freelancer + case study
Module 6: How to get started freelancing (experience, resume, preparation)
Module 7: Common paths to full-time freelancing
Module 8: Essentials: setting your rate and getting work
Module 9: Next steps: networking with peers, upskilling, changing the world
Module 10: Freelancer AMA

110 min
16 Nov, 2021


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AI Generated Video Summary

This workshop covers the essentials of building a sustainable freelance career, including transitioning from a full-time job, the challenges and benefits of freelancing, payment processes for non-US freelancers, insurance considerations, and the importance of building a personal brand. It also emphasizes the flexibility and freedom that freelancing offers, the importance of being part of a supportive network, and the opportunity to choose meaningful projects and clients. Additionally, it highlights the need for continuous upskilling and market research to stay competitive in the industry.

1. Introduction to Freelancing

Short description:

This workshop is about how to design a sustainable freelance career. We'll discuss transitioning from a full-time job to a flexible career in freelancing and explore the different types of freelancing.

So it's top of the hour. So I'll just get started. This is a workshop about how to design a sustainable freelance career. And I want to point out two words here for everybody. One is sustainable and the second is career. So in a second, I'm going to ask all of you a question you can type in. But the one thing I want to point out is we're going to be talking about how you can go from a full-time job to a flexible career, which is in freelancing. And what we're going to do is try to help everybody today understand that there's a type of freelancing, I think, that is out there, which everybody thinks about and then there's another type. And we're going to try to help you understand that the other type is really, really growing and taking shape.

2. Introduction to Speakers and Videos

Short description:

We have two people here, Alex and Rodrigo, who will share their successful paths. We'll also watch some brand new videos, and I hope the sound works.

And we've got two people here with us today, Alex and Rodrigo, who are going to share with you their own path and and how they've been successful. So it's pretty exciting.

So the first thing I want to do is I want to show you guys a couple of videos. And they're, they're 30 seconds, and we produced them. And these are brand new. Not many people have seen them yet. So you guys here on this workshop are pretty much some of the first to actually see these. So it's kind of cool. And I'm gonna put it in present mode, and I'll play them and hopefully, hopefully, the sound comes through.

Nothing changed. I think you need to do something on the zoom configuration in order to share your audio. Let me see really quick. Could everybody hear that? Nope. I think no. Okay. Yeah. You might need to set your audio to share… Okay, sorry about that. Let me do that real quick. I think that is… Okay, okay, okay. Let me see. It is in… I love it when… Here we go. Okay. I will share it. Okay. Let's see here. Boy, it gets confusing. Yeah, I do not see that. I'll wait. I think it's under the sharing screen options. Yeah. I think so, yeah. No. Let me actually stop sharing, and then I'll go in here to share. That way, I can. No, that's strange. It's not in there. That's okay. Yeah, that's really strange. It definitely, I think, for a video, it's because it's definitely audio setting, so okay. Okay, well, if I'm able to find it, I'm just looking here, and I do see, yeah, I don't see that option that used to be there where it's just share the, yeah, okay, that's okay. All right, I will go back, share my screen. Let's go back. Oh there it is. Got it. All right, I think I got it. Let me know, Rodrigo, if you can hear this. Just raise your hand. No? Nothing. Okay. Yeah.

3. Introduction to Alex Weeks

Short description:

Alex Weeks, a project manager at Top Tail, has been working as a freelancer for three and a half years. He has experience in integrating systems into organizations and primarily works with startups in various industries. Alex collaborates with clients and freelancers from around the world, except Antarctica. He enjoys the flexibility and challenges of freelancing, often working long hours to meet the demand for his services.

Oh well, that's okay. Oh I see, somebody put in chat. Okay. Thanks, Jose. Yeah, yeah, for some reason it's just not. It's okay. It's okay. I'll share these out, and then people can see them. Because yeah now I can't hear them either. So definitely they're not coming through. But I'll figure it out, and then I'll – yeah, I see share screen, and then yeah. Something with my preferences too is probably blocking it, and that's okay. Suffice it to say everyone – Shane, would you like me to try on my end maybe? Yeah, that'd be great. That'd be great. If you can. I can do that. Okay. So while Rodrigo does that, I'm going to introduce Alex and Rodrigo to everybody. They are two freelancers who have been doing this full-time.

Alex, why don't you say just a little bit about yourself? Sure. Thanks, Shane. Hi, everyone. Yeah. My name is Alex Weeks. I'm based in the U.K. in Bristol. I've been with Top Tail for coming on three and a half years now as a project manager, and as previous to that, I worked in startups. So I worked with integrating systems into organizations such as Birmingham University. I'm working with United Students on income optimization and projects like that. But now I primarily work with startups, again, in the technology sector with Top Tail. And that ranges from med tech to fintech to working on blockchain projects. And some, I guess, basic ones as well. All basic things, established industries, mobile, Peer2Peer marketplaces. But I work with clients from all over the world, literally from Australia to Alaska, and talent from the same places as well. So I think I work with talent in every continent apart from Antarctica. So it's been a wild ride with Top Tail. I've been enjoying it so far.

And when you say talent, Alex, explain, that's fellow freelancers, correct? Yes, yes. So developers who are freelancers, designers who are freelancers, QAs, finance professionals, product managers, other product managers as well, yeah. OK, fantastic. About how many hours do you work a week? So I get at the moment, I'm doing 75 hours a week at the moment. 75 hours a week at the moment. I guess that varies, doesn't vary up much, but sometimes it's less. But the work is always there, I guess, though. I end up turning away work. I'm not very good at turning away work, hence why I'm working 75 hours a week. But yeah, I guess anything from, I guess the lowest I've done has been 20 hours a week, I think during the summer holiday. I can spend some more time with the family, so I'll work down to 20 hours a week. But most of the time is kind of 60 plus. Well, I guess that's a great answer.

4. Introduction to Rodrigo Danini and the Gig Economy

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Rodrigo Danini worked as a freelancer for over 5 years at TopTown, primarily focusing on WordPress projects. He has worked on various projects, from learning management systems to multi-site environments. Rodrigo is also a global speaker and enjoys speaking at WordCamps around the world. He used to work long hours but has found a comfortable spot working around 40-45 hours per week. Now, let's discuss the difference between the gig economy and the talent economy.

Rodrigo, introduce yourself. What do you do? Alright, so my name of course is Rodrigo Danini. I worked with TopTown for more than 5 years on the engineering team, as a freelancer first. I work exclusively with Word Press projects these days. For those that don't know, the Word Press has a few of JS codes inside of it. We are using React a lot these days. So it's really fun to learn. I would say I hang all my baby steps in terms of JS, React, and other New JS frameworks. I used to be a back-end and a heavy PHP developer, which is a different understanding in terms of coding. So yeah, I have worked on various projects in the past. Like, very similar to Alex, from Australia to US. Almost every continent... I used to work with plaintform in almost every single continent in the world. I also have worked in very different kinds of projects. From, for example, learning management systems to huge multi-site environments with more than 50 websites attached to that umbrella. Even in e-mails, medical portals and this kind of stuff. Most of my work is for the web. Yeah, I think mostly that's it. I am also a global speaker. I like to speak as many word camps we have around the world due to the COVID pandemic, unfortunately. We have only remote, but I hope that in 2022 we have some IRL events again. But yeah, I think basically that's it. And I don't work too much hour as Alex. I think in the past years, I used to work a lot in the past, probably a year ago or so, I used to work 60 hours per week. But then I found like a comfortable spot and currently I am working for more than a year like something around 40, 42, maybe 45 hours per week, which is comfortable for me because I can bring, I can give my family some attention as well. Otherwise, I will stay here in my office working, working, working. Yeah, so that's hard. But I think now I am in a better spot. Awesome, thank you, Rodrigo.

Yeah, okay, so you put in a little less analogs, but it's a... But I mean, I think the key is interesting is you have that choice to do that. So that's, but we'll get to that. And I think we get to that next. So what I wanna share for everybody is this chart. And I think that this is an interesting chart for you to see. We created this. And so there's a difference between the talent economy and the gig economy. And the only way I can explain this the best way for everybody is the gig economy. Think of Upwork and Fiverr and, what there's others, Think of those as the gig economy. And then there's something now emerging called the talent economy. And I'll just explain the difference. So in the gig economy, which is really how freelancing began, you have like, let's say you have a platform like Upwork. You can go and sign up, put all your skills, and basically you exist there and people reach out to you and you're kind of just there. And then, so the work in the gig economy is commoditized. And I'm sure if anybody on this workshop has seen this before or has experienced one of these platforms, you know how it works. Somebody will come on there and say, I want this project. And you'll say, okay, well, I could do it for this. And then they say to you, well, somebody else can do it cheaper. And what ends up happening is there's this like race to the bottom.

5. Challenges and Myths of Freelancing

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Freelancing can be a race to the bottom, with downward wage pressures and limited growth on certain platforms. However, in the talent economy, freelancers are valued for their skills and become integral parts of clients' work. There is a big difference between gig work and building a career in freelancing. Now, let's address some of the myths about freelancing.

And so you end up basically competing with everybody there. And you don't end up making as much because of course, everybody wants to pay less. So, that's what they mean by commoditized is it just really is a race to the bottom. Downward wage pressures are high, meaning it keeps pushing your wages lower and lower. And that's unfortunate, but it happens. And then really, so when you think about it, those platforms control your experience. You don't have a lot of control. You don't have a lot of say over what happens. So, really what that means is, you don't have a lot of growth. Many people start on these platforms and it's not a bad way to start, but keep in mind what it is. So what's the differentiator for that? Well, it's something we call the talent economy. And I think Alex referred to fellow freelancers as talent. That's what we refer to them as. They are talented. Everyone on this workshop is talented. And so that's where it changes. So in the talent economy, the platform that you join is actually the enabler of your work and your career. So it helps you instead of harms you. The work is vastly differentiated. Like Rodrigo was saying, he's been able to do so many different projects in so many different technologies. And Alex the same way. And that's what we find. So some people would call that upskilling. That's another word for it. The talent is the central viewpoint or value point meaning you're valued for your skill and that you're valued for what you bring to the table. So as opposed to just being viewed as somebody working on a project, you're actually an integral part of that client's work. So in that sense, you control your experience and there's not a race to the bottom. So what that means is you're not competing for wages with everybody else. Nobody else is racing to the bottom with the lowest wages. There is a bottom floor and the clients expect to pay a certain amount. They're willing to pay a certain amount. And I'll get into that in a second when I talk about the differences, but I just wanted to point this out. There is a big difference here between like gigging, I guess people call it and doing like gig work and actually doing a career out of freelancing. And if anybody has questions about that, by the way.

So what I wanted to ask everybody on this call and you can put this in chat, by the way. Everybody can just put this in chat. I wanted to, there's a lot of myths out there about freelancing. Everybody's seen them. And I think people have their own personal thoughts about freelancing, what it is, what it means. And in particular, why you would or wouldn't choose it. So I have this blank screen. It's very blank. And what I'm gonna do is I just want to type down some things that you guys have in your minds in the workshop of some of the myths about freelancing. And feel free, you can add them to chat or you can come on live and say it if you want. That's totally fine. But you can add them to chat if you'd like and I'll type them up here. Let me pull up my chat window so I can see. So, yeah, just take a few seconds, everybody, and just type into chat some of your myths about freelancing. What you've heard or what you think it is. Okay, great, thank you, Lillia, thank you.

6. Freelancing Challenges

Short description:

Freelancing challenges: no vacation days, no social security, uncertain payment, potential fraud employers.

I'm gonna type that one in. That's a good one. That's fantastic. Hmm. This one's really good. Yes, definitely. That's, Saeed is very correct. 100% correct. Ha ha ha. Jose, no vacation days. Interesting. Okay. Ah, no social security. Okay. Like insurance, yeah. Benefits, correct. Ah. That's an interesting one. You do the job but might not get paid. Or get your money. That's a better way to say it. I like that. Okay. Okay. Your employer could sometimes be a fraud. Yeah. Excellent. And very true. Okay. Thanks, everybody. These are good. These are fantastic. So, thank you. If anything else comes to mind, feel free.

7. Challenges and Benefits of Freelancing

Short description:

Freelancing is not stable or for everyone. It can involve challenges such as lower wages, uncertain payment, and potential fraud. However, the gig economy and freelancing are not the same. Freelancing requires treating it as running your own business, but it offers the potential for higher earnings.

So, not stable, always someone that can do it cheaper. It's not for everyone. No vacation, no social security, no corporate perks. You do the job, it might not get your money, and your employer could sometimes be a fraud. Fantastic.

Okay, so, all of these, every single one of them can be true. I don't think any one of these is untrue, but all of these, and I would say actually, other than this one, because it's not for everyone, kind of applies generally. That's absolutely true, it is not for everyone. All of these other ones, stability, somebody doing it cheaper, not getting your money. Those are true of what I was saying before, the gig economy. That is very true. This depends on who you're freelancing with, the platform you're using, and where you choose to do your work.

Now, benefits. We're gonna get into that just a little bit because there's some ideas on benefits that might help. But, generally speaking, if you're freelancing, you've gotta think of it as running your own business. That is absolutely true. However, because you can make so much more money, you can often pay for those, and there's other ways around. But we'll get into that, because Alex and Rodrigo can explain their own perspective on that as well.

8. Benefits of Freelancing

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Freelancing offers a flexible workload and the ability to work from anywhere. You can choose projects that are meaningful to you and focus on your main skills. It allows you to have control over your time and spend it on your own interests. You can work on projects that make you happy and contribute to open source projects.

Okay. So, I just wanna share this slide with you guys because you might find it interesting that everything you just said is absolutely, these were already pre-typed. Not stable, no real career path, struggle to find new projects, some people see it as a temporary stopgap, and there's no benefit. So, I think everybody hit on a lot of these.

And so, with that said, I wanna just give everybody a view of what freelancing looks like. And actually it started in 2020, the pandemic really fueled it, but what does it look like beyond all of those myths? Well, it looks like this. You have a career, you have stable work, you have projects that are coming to you, you have a huge community and peers, i.e. coworkers, and you're not having to sell yourself to clients. There's no bottom floor. So think of it as the ultimate flexible way to work with many different companies and not have to worry about always looking for work and selling yourself. It is growing, I think it's no secret that right now is what we're seeing is, a shift in the workplace like never before. There are now clients saying, hey, I realized now I can do this, I realize now that I can use freelancers, I.e. talent, to come in and do work with my teams. So you integrate as a part of their team and they're finding great success. There's reasons for that.

I believe what we have now is Rodrigo, and he's going to get into some of the benefits of freelancing from his perspective. Feel free, Rodrigo, to touch on any of those myths if you'd like to. Feel free from your own personal perspective. And just, you know, yeah. All right. Thank you. Thank you for that. We have a lot of myths behind the freelancer career, and Shane, Alex, and I are here to kind of, not only un-myth stuff, but also give you our kind of experience, our own experience, which is real.

So, when it comes to benefits of freelancing, we know that we have some pros and some cons, of course. Everything in life has these, but, in terms of benefits, I think one of the greatest things is to have a flexible workload, because, for example, you can work as much as you can whenever you want at any place, right? As Alex told us in the beginning of this talk, he used to work a lot, but if you prefer to not work a lot, like work just a few hours, maybe 10, 20, 40 hours per week, you can do that as well, because you have the power, you have the control of that, right? Also, you can work anywhere, but you must have a solid internet connection. That's the only thing you might need to do, like a good computer and a solid internet connection, right? Normally, we don't work in fixed hours. So you can work in your morning, you can work in your afternoon or late at night. Whenever works best for you. This is another kind of possible benefit. We are mostly engineers and we have our own personal moment where we create better things, right? So we can work on that. Because if you go to like a usual job, you'll have to work from nine to five, doesn't matter. But you have to follow that rule normally. So that way, if you can organize and have this kind of flexible workload. You can spend your free time to do your own stuff. Maybe if you like to ride your bike, you can maybe fly your drone or play some video game or spend more time with your family and with the ones you care about, right? So it's up to you to decide what you can do with your time or not. It can be on your work time or when you are on your free time. Another thing that I believe that is really cool is because working as a freelancer, you can choose projects that aren't meaningful for you, like the ones that you feel comfortable to work. Again, you are under the control, so you can choose on what you want to work. So you can choose to work in a comfortable job, jobs that you like or that you truly mean to be a part of it because of course, there is a lot of that. For example, during your freelancer career, during your freelancer life, you're gonna probably swipe from one project to another, and that thing gives you the opportunity to understand what makes you happy in your daily routine. Maybe you don't know but you're gonna find that sometime. Then you can choose to work on something that you liked the most, as I just mentioned. It can be any specific technology like JS frameworks or any specific project that has a cool purpose or even maybe a combination of both, right? The knowledge and the cool project. So this is for me is another cool benefit. I chose to work with WordPress a long time ago and I saw an opportunity for my kind of expertise, my kind of knowledge that can be used in a way that the whole community can help each other. I can help, I can speak in some events, I can bring my ideas and I can learn with that as well. But this is something that is valid for any kind of technology or job you want to do. Another cool thing is, I was still telling you, you can focus on your main skills, right? The ones that you are most passionate about it, you feel that you're skilled in. This helps you to engage with your calls, right? If you choose to work on something that you like, you feel comfortable, you're gonna deliver something better. We can, for example, understand the open source projects, for example.

9. Advantages of a Freelancer Career

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Freelancing allows you to do your best, provide ideas to clients, and offers independence. However, independence doesn't always mean complete control. It's important to find your independence and be careful of external factors. Freelancing also provides the opportunity to learn exponentially from the best professionals and platforms often offer academies to learn new skills.

Maybe they can provide you enough, how can I say, enough things for you to feel complete as a professional, maybe. Another important thing that normally under the freelancer career you can do is do your best, and you can do your best always. The better work you do, like the better future projects and recognition you get in the near future. You can imagine that what you do today is something like a plant. If you plant a seed, you're gonna reap that in the future. So basic, if you do something really good today, it will be recognized probably real soon. I can tell you again by my own experience, if we work hard and we work serious. Because freelancing is not something to play. It's a real job. Like we have real engagements, right? And again, under the freelancer, you might have the opportunity to do your best. And maybe if you're working in a usual company from nine to five, you can't. Because you have to, normally your boss will delegate some specific task for you and you have to work on that task. And maybe you will not have the opportunity to bring your opinion, your ideas, in order to improve that thing. That's another weird stuff. And under the freelancer career, you are your own boss, but at the same time, you can provide ideas for the clients. And normally they are very open, normally they are very open to listen to you and listen to your knowledge and to your ideas and try that. Another cool and very important benefit from the freelancer career is independence. So, normally the freelancer career gives you independence, but it's very important to say that at the same time, and I always say this for all of my friends that ask me about how it is work as a freelancer. And they normally say, power is nothing without control. So, independence not always means taking control of your life because always you're gonna have some external factors that can push you down. But, with that being said, be careful and try to find your independence. If not, there is something wrong and you need to find what is wrong and try to fix that. And again, maybe you have to pursue your independence on that way. But, freelancing will give you independence, but not even always. It's everything you are looking for. I think from that, another thing that I normally say for all my friends is that you can learn exponentially. Because working as a freelancer in a freelancer platform, such as TopTel for example, you have the opportunity to learn with the best professionals, with the best techniques and improve yourself as a professional. And this is very true. Like there is various kinds of ways that you can learn something. For example, normally in some of these kind of freelancer networks, as I just mentioned, we have the best professionals in the world. And some of them are the ones that create a technology, technology that we use in our day. And it's really cool to stay in contact with this kind of person. Some platforms, some freelancer platforms also offer academies. So if you're open to learn something new, maybe Python, I don't know, maybe any other kind of JS technology, you can do that. So that's the main thing you can learn exponentially with a lot of people, a lot of great professionals and et cetera.


Working as a Freelancer and Benefits

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Working as a freelancer allows you to work anywhere, even remotely. You can set up your own home office with all the necessary equipment to be productive. Having your own space helps you focus better without distractions. You can also work from different locations, like a beach house or even another country, as long as you have your laptop and a good internet connection. Receiving payments in strong currencies like dollars or euros can be a significant benefit, especially in countries with weaker currencies. Working as a freelancer has brought me a life change in many aspects, including better income and the ability to pay for security and other perks.

At the beginning of my talk, I mentioned that we can work anywhere, right? So, I think it's important to talk about this topic because working as a freelancer, like having this kind of freelancer career, this brings you a different perspective of the physical work and also the basic needs in terms of working because like working remotely transcends the boundaries of a normal office. Definitely, you can have your home office, like in space, with all of your things that you like, that you need to be productive in your work base.

For example, I on my current office, I have my stuff here and yeah, it's really cool. And when you are working in this kind of space, you can put your focus on something better, right? Again, maybe I am bringing my point of view, but I'm truly, I think this is true. So if you have your own space, you can deliver something better, right? You are here, just called with no background noises, no one is speaking to you or speaking to anyone else in the room. So this might be a co-benefit. So just go ahead and try to find your gadgets in general, like your work, stuff related like a coffee chair, maybe a very big wide screen and other stuff that you prefer to keep your work going. And if you want, you can always go and spend some time in another place. Maybe if you want to go to the beach, you can stay there for a while and work there and then just go back. So it's very simple. For example, I normally spend a few days of the week on my beach house. It's one hour far from my hometown. And I stayed there for a few days with my family. I just went this morning back to my hometown. I was there for the past four days. So you can do that. And also you can maybe book a flight and go to another country or another place that you don't know. I don't know, you only must have your laptop and a solid internet connection, right? So this is another cool thing. And lastly, we talk about money in some point. And again, I can bring you my point of view because receive your incomings in a global crisis might be something good. So normally, the companies pay with dollars or euros and they are kind of strong currencies. For example, I live in Brazil. I live in the deepest South of Brazil, close to Argentina and Uruguay. And like our currency here is, it loses a lot of its value. So receiving dollars for us, for the people that live in another country, it's really, really cool because it's worth more. So that might be a really cool benefit at the end of your working cycle, right? Yeah, so I think we can move to the next slide unless someone has something to add or ask. I was not looking through the chat. I'm not sure if you have something there.

Okay, no, no questions. Rodrigo, I have a question for you that people might wonder. What did you do before freelancing?

Oh, okay, just a second. Yeah, because I'm curious like a lot of people and I just was curious about that. What did you do before you freelanced? I mean, what? Did you work for a company? I can talk about my last two jobs. But the one before freelancing, I have a small digital agents and I used to develop mostly web stuff for local digital agencies. That thing didn't work well. It worked for two years and a half. The biggest point is that we have a lot to cover when you have a business. So I have to find the clients, I have to work on the technical stuff like develop, I need to, like, invoice the clients, I need to make them happy and a lot of stuff. And this is hard to be honest. To be a like an entrepreneur in most of the parts of the world but especially in Brazil it's very hard because I have a lot of duties to care and it's hard. And also it's not only that, I'm not complaining. The clients are hard as well so they want to pay a lot less than usual and they want to receive stuff as quickly as possible. So it's hard that. Then even before that I used to work in a usual company. I worked for I think more than four years on that company as a kind of technical lead and I also, I used to cope as well, I'm some. That thing creates me this kind of necessity to look for something new. And then after a while I discovered a freelancer career as a possibility. Then I choose to try and apply and then finally I'd start working as a freelancer. Top-down is my first freelancer career and mostly the main one for the past five years in my life. I would say that if you don't mind, Chiny, I can say one last word regarding that, which is working as a freelancer brings me a life change, totally, in various many aspects from the incomings, of course, which they are a lot better than used to be before, and even if they don't have all of those perks, security and stuff like that, because I can pay for that with my incomings, right? And there is no problem.

Fulfilling Dreams through Work-Life Balance

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Working as a freelancer allows me to have more time for my family and travel the world. It's a dream come true after working in development for over 20 years.

It's something normal. It's not too much compared to the incomings like to the money we receive. So it's totally fine. But it's not only that, because working as a freelancer, I have more time for my family, for my son, for my wife. I have the chance to travel around the world. I think I have been in all the continents to speak normally. Normally, I like to go to speak in some conference and then I bring my family with me so they can met new places as I, so it's not something isolated that I will go and they will stay here. No, I can bring the same opportunity for them as well. So basically that's it. Yeah, I have a dream from the beginning of my career that is travel, work whenever I want. And this is crazy because I worked with development for more than 20 years. And since the beginning, I set this as a goal and now I am leaving the dream I would say.

Payment Process for Non-US Freelancers

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In Brazil, freelancers can receive payments as a business or as an individual. Each type has different taxes attached to it. Typically, freelancers keep the money in their TopTo account for a certain time and then send it to Brazil via wire transfer. Upon reaching Brazil, local taxes are paid, and the money is received in the freelancer's local Brazilian account. Many Brazilian professionals choose the business engagement option as it involves lower taxes. They establish a small company to comply with legal requirements and follow the rules.

Rodrigo, we did have a question from Jose who said, he said, it's in the chat. He goes, I wanted to ask how does the payment process work if you're not in the US? So yeah, how does that work? Yeah, so in Brazil, we can receive as a business or as a person. For each kind of type, we have different taxes attached to it. So normally, I keep the money for a certain time in my top to account and send by wire transfer to Brazil. So when these amount of money reach here, I have to pay my local taxes, of course. And then I receive the money on my local Brazil account. So on my local Brazilian account. Normally I choose and most of our Brazilian professionals choose to go with a business kind of engagement instead of our personal because going with business, we pay a lot less. So I have a small company in Brazil just to make the things legal, to make the things correct as it is like, I follow the rules by the book. So that's one way we got the money, yeah.

Insurance and Entering the Freelancing Industry

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In terms of insurance, I pay for life and medical insurance. Working as a freelancer allows you to choose the perks you prefer and have control over your vacation time. To enter the freelancing industry, evaluate your skills and search for opportunities that fit your knowledge. Apply to freelancer networks and be prepared for the screening process. TopTel is known for its rigorous screening process. Starting freelancing may vary depending on the platform, and TopTel offers a unique experience.

Okay, and what about just out of curiosity people might be wondering, how do you deal with benefits like insurance and all of the perks that come? Yeah. In terms of insurance, I pay for that. I have a plan like in a specific Brazilian plan for me and for my family. I pay that. This is life insurance. Also, apart from that, I pay for medical insurance as well. In terms of perks in general, I would say that working as a freelancer is better than working maybe for a company, like a usual company, a normal job, having a normal job. Because you can choose the perks you prefer, right? If you want to take a week of traveling to some place, maybe 15 days, doesn't matter. If you want to travel, you can do that. You can take your own vacation. I am going into my vacation next week to be honest. So I'm very excited for that because I didn't take vacation for more than, like this big vacations for more than three years, I think so, mainly to the COVID pandemic of course. So yeah, but again, you can choose whatever perks you prefer. So you are your own boss in these kind of specific subject. Did I answer your question? I'm not sure. I think, yeah, I was asking for the benefit of everyone who's probably wondering about that. Now we do have a couple of great questions too. Guyan says, so how do we enter to the freelancing industry? Oh, as being new to the freelancing industry. Okay. Because there's a lot of experienced freelancers, huge competition, always looking experience. Yeah, I think Guyan, and I do get your question. I think what you're saying is, how do you and Rodrigo, you had to do this too? And Alex, you probably had to do it too. How do you enter into this freelancing world as a new person? Maybe. Now, I think Guyan, what you're saying is, you have experience with work. But what you're saying is, how do you become a new freelancer and compete for work? And prove to clients that you have value. Like, how do you come into this and actually get something? I'll try to summarize to be as quickly as possible with answers. But for example, as I mentioned, in some point of my life, I set a goal, which is basic, work with something I like, whenever I want, and also travel. Then when I was working with my own digital agents, I choose to put in the balance some stuff of my life. What are my main skills, my technical skills, my language skills, and stuff like that? And then I realize that I have something to offer. Then I went to Google, and start to look for possible opportunities that fit with my kind of knowledge, my kind of skills. I applied for a lot of companies, and I normally say they have hard screening process as we have on TopTel, and I failed for most of them, and then I applied to TopTel, which is a company that is known by having a heavy screening process. I figured out that I pass, including with a good score, then I was trying to understand why did I fail on the past ones, and I pass on TopTel, which is supposed to be the hardest one. And I discovered that the past tries, the ones that I fail, brings me the intelligence, makes me smart and brings me a kind of understanding about this kind of interviews, these remote interviews that I was not aware. So that's why when I apply for TopTel, I was prepared for that. I had like better understanding and what I should expect from those steps on the screening process. If you are new, I normally say, you have to put on the balance and try to understand what you can offer to these kinds of clients, right? Put on the balance and try to understand. If you feel comfortable, you can start applying for any freelancer network as you want. Thanks, Rodrigo. And I do know that Alex will be talking about this in his, after we come back from the break and do the speed coding challenge. So Alex will be getting into that too. So I don't want to take his time. It was a question for you. And I think, thanks, guy. And yeah, it is. And I would add one thing. I will preface all of this with, it really depends where you start freelancing. I mean, obviously Rodrigo and Alex work at TopTel, so they can speak to TopTel. And keep in mind, one thing I wanna say everybody is, TopTel is a vastly different freelancing experience than anywhere else. It is, I'm trying to think of a comparison. So for one, it's not as easy to get into TopTel.

TopTel Clients and Freelancing Experience

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TopTel works with top companies in the world, and the clients demand a high level of skills. Freelancers in the network have their skills driving the demand. JavaScript, React, and Testing skills are currently in high demand. Alex will provide more insights into personal branding and improving technical skills. Rodrigo shares his experience working with TopDown, where he has continuous projects, meets great clients, and enjoys the freedom to choose projects he prefers. He has never faced a bad situation with a client.

There's a very high bar of... How do I put it? Of entry. And there's a reason for that. The reason is because the clients that TopTel works with are some of the top companies in the world. Places you've all heard about. And the clients demand that level. And so when Alex was... Or not Alex, but Rodrigo was talking about getting work, the work actually comes to him and gets presented to him. He doesn't have to present himself to people constantly. And so I think that goes a little bit to your point, Dianne, of if you're in that type of a network, your skills are gonna drive the demand. So yes, you're right, there might be a lot of other freelancers, but think of them as coworkers, not competition. That's the best way I can say it is these are your coworkers, not necessarily your competition, because I'll give a real example. Right now, JavaScript and React and TestNet and React and Testing. Those are three high in high demand skills where people really are not having to look for any work. In fact, they turn work down because there's so much work. So, yeah, it's just a vastly different world.

And then Mohammed, you had some really good questions too. How do you promote yourself as freelance personal branding? So, I think it depends on the network. And I know you asked some questions to Mohammed about improving technical skills and LinkedIn and GitHub. So I think, yeah, I think Alex is going to get into that a little bit and he's going to talk about that Mohammed a lot more. So I'll let him dive into that and it will probably answer a lot of your questions. So, that'll be great.

So let me advance here to the next. Okay, so Rodrigo, go ahead and let's go through these because I think this is gonna answer some questions out there too. And everybody, thank you for the questions. Keep them coming, because we love to answer these and these are like why we're here to help you guys understand how to do this the right way. So go ahead and take it away with this one, Rodrigo. All right, yeah, I think I already started this slide or kind of. So let me try to remember the things I told you about my experience, but basic, I can explain you that two important things, I think. The first one, I started working with TopTile like a few years ago, more than five years. And since then, I never stopped working. I have projects to do, always, and this is not only something for my kind of skill. I think, as Alex mentioned at the beginning of this talk, you probably noticed, he used to work 60, 65 hours plus per week, which is a lot, which means that we have a lot of things to do. A lot for JS technologies, including React, of course. A lot for management, project management, product management, and other kind of stuff. In my experience working with TopDown, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people, not only my fellow colleagues, which means like other developers, but great clients. At some point Shane mentioned that we work with top clients around the world, which means that they kind of pass through a process. And we understand if they are good clients and stuff like that, stuff like that. So when you start working something, you don't need to kind of find the clients because we have the work for you. And the only thing you might need to do, depending on the situation, you have to go to the platform, take a look on the list of projects that you are eligible to apply and apply. But you might be invited to work in the job as well. So there is a kind of different ways to start working something on the company. And again, I have the opportunity to work with a lot of great clients. Some of them, I met them in person when I was traveling to their place. But the projects are cool as well. Again, since you can choose if you want to work on something or not, you normally choose to work on something that you like, that you prefer. So that's another cool thing. And I can talk by my own experience. I think in all of this, like in all of my top top career, I never faced a situation, like a bad situation with a client because the clients are normally cool as well. So they listen to you, they understand the situation.

Getting Started and Essential Considerations

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Friends are a good starting point for getting into freelancing. Define your goals and consider starting with a freelancer network like TopPal. Building your personal brand and having a website are important. Understand your workload and capabilities to avoid burnout. Be committed to your deliverables and prioritize time organization and focus. Look for communities to stay connected and learn. English proficiency is essential, as remote work often requires it.

They are normally very open to these kind of chances or opportunities, ideas that you can bring to the project. And I think in terms of getting started with your career, if you have friends that are already working as a freelancer you should talk with them, ask questions and solve all of your doubts. So friends are always a good point of start, talk with them.

You can, for example make retrospective of your proudest achievements in your career, try to list them and use as your own benefit. For example, let's suppose you've working a cool project that you are proud of, use them to build your own brand, right. You have to define your goals. Like the, like the most important is that, is to understand if you're ready to start this new adventure, because freelancing is not for everyone, right? And you need to understand if you are ready to, to work in that way.

There's a lot of things that might go against your freelancer career, your freelancer work. So you need to understand if you are ready or not to start. And you are the only one that can understand that. So, another thing that you don't need, but I highly recommend you is to start with a freelancer network, such as TopPal, for example. Like a freelancer network will always help you to find clients and great projects to work on. You can manage your career by your own, but in some cases, at some point, you're going to notice that it's very hard to do everything. So for example, again, inside TopPal, you can focus only on your main skills. So let's suppose you are like a React developer, you will only work developing React stuff, for example. You don't need to care about finding clients, inviting the clients, keeping this kind of commercial conversation with clients and stuff like that, because you have a huge team on the background that will help you with all of that. So this is why a freelancer network such as TopPal is good to start.

Another thing that is directly connected to the things I'm saying is to build your personal brand, which means that it's important for you to create a personal website, for example, and place your ideas, talk about yourself or have a small bio or resume of you of your professional life, right? So you can do that having a website is another good point to start. And also don't wait to start applying for these kind of freelancer platforms or any other kind of possible jobs. The ones that haven't had the experience, it's hard sometimes. So this is why you should to understand if you're capable or not to work in this kind of life. Some days your work will flow beautifully, but in some other will not. You will face some interruptions or unexpected situations. And I think the the biggest takeaway is that you can learn with that and avoid what makes you stressed, for example. I'm not gonna lie. If you don't understand your workload, your capabilities, yourself, you might be locked out or have like a burnout situation. So, you need to be careful with that.

Also, you need to find your best pace to be productive and most important, committed to the job. I mean, not only on how many hours you will spend but you need to be committed with your deliverables. That's the main thing. So, it doesn't matter if you work too much or too less but if you are committed with something, you need to deliver that. Also, you need to understand the importance of time organization and focus. Plan your day in advance. Maybe in the night before, you can like always use something like a tool or a technique that you prefer but most important, you have to put this like this into practice, right. I normally check my schedule for the next day and during my nights, that way I will not face any kind of surprise during the day. Always, this is something I would say this is something critical and maybe this is why we are right here in this kind of talk, community. You can always look for communities. Communities is always the best choice. Stay in touch and met new people, exchange your knowledge and stay aware and don't be shy because again, the community is something that can empower you, that can bring you up in your career. So always try to look for a community.

Of course, one important thing is language, right? In terms of preparation, you need to speak English, at least English. This is basic. You need to know how to communicate yourself and I mean, not only English in technical terms because again, you need to understand how to express yourself. And probably you all already know but English is a global language. So this is something that you should to be at least profit on it. At some point of our career, your career, you will work remote, will work more because you discover that you can do more. Like you can do more hours than usual. It happens but always again, be careful with that. That thing can create other kinds of issues with your health and et cetera. Sometimes you're gonna feel empty or exhausted.

Preparing for a Freelance Career

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To have a successful freelance career, it's important to prioritize mental health, find discipline, motivation, and a good work environment. In the United States, freelancers set up their own businesses and often purchase their own insurance. Freelancers can set their own rates based on their experience and skills. Understanding your personal survival budget is crucial to setting your rate and managing your workload. The amount of hours you work multiplied by your hourly rate determines your income.

I'm not lying, yeah. The burn out syndrome, it can reach you. So just to stay aware that you should to try and have pleasant days. This is supposed to be something good and not something bad. So you need to work in a kind of rhythm or in the kind of work that you feels comfortable. If something that happens, make a quick pause between one accomplishment and another and try to take some time off. Like maybe you should have a small vacation as Tim Ferry say on his book, the four-hour work week. Because remember your mental health it's what worth the most than anything.

And in order to summarize all of these kind of preparation, I would say that three-year freelancer career, if you're starting, you need to understand that you need to have discipline, motivation and a good place to work. This is like the basic stuff. If you find discipline, work hard, deliver something good. If you have motivation enough to deliver something good and learn new stuff, and if you have like a good place to work, like I mentioned a comfy chair, a good desk and a good computer, a solid internet connection, you're gonna feel better. Again, I can tell you by my experience. If you have the perfect environment, you're gonna feel a lot, a lot better.

I'm not sure, Shane, I think you should to go under the regitered business, find a health insurance in Texas, right? Yeah, I just, you know, to dovetail off that, Rodrigo, I will mention to everyone that, you know, when you're freelancing, and it works different in every country, but think of it as, you know, your own business. And I don't know how that works in every other country, but, you know, in the United States, you would set up a business for yourself. It's a, and, you know, these days that can be done online. So when it comes to, you know, insurance, and benefits, I think a lot of people, they take different paths. Some people just purchase their own, because going back to Rodrigo's point, when you're freelancing, you know, your rate of pay is a lot higher because you have to accommodate for these various things. So, you know, at a corporate job or working for a business, you might make $50 an hour. I'm just saying that. Freelancing, you might make 95 an hour because you're accommodating for these extra things that you pay for. And same with taxes. And again, this is so drastically different in every country, but in the United States, what people do is they will save, I think, a certain percent of every paycheck they put away in an account to help pay for taxes. But again, that's just here in the US. So I just wanted to, like, cover those things because there are barriers in some people's mind, but they're not very high barriers anymore because all of these things, and in fact, I think there's actually, there are new platforms and startups who are specifically geared towards helping freelancers manage all of this. So you can go on an app and it can tell you, put this much money here, put this here, you know, it's really, there's a lot of fuel going on right now in the freelance world because so many people are doing it. Lulea, you had a question and I just wanted to make sure we got to it first real quick. How long does it take to be able to estimate a fair price for work done? That depends on the platform you're using. So at TopTel, you just set your own rate. So let's say your rate is $70 an hour. I'm just saying that, that's US dollars by the way. $70 an hour, then that's your rate. So that's what you're going to be paid. So the way you calculate that rate by the way, the way you come up with that is we have a lot of calculators you can use to say, here's your experience, here's the languages you know, here's the frameworks and then there's like a calculator that helps you calculate your rate, what you should be charging. And obviously, there's a way high-end and a low-end, but you can set your rate. And once you set your rate, then that's what you're paying. So, yeah, and we have what they're called, gosh, I can't remember the name of them. They're just calculators. And they're based on different skill sets. So.

So I've approached this slightly differently rather than talk about many different common pathways. I've kind of outlined, from my experience, the pathway that I used, which I believe is a common pathway into getting into a freelance career. So for me, the very first thing that I did, and I think it's important to do, is to understand your personal survival budget. What does that mean? Personal survival budget is, ultimately, the amount of money that you need to earn to live or to maintain your lifestyle or whatever parameter you set. Understand how much money you need to have net of taxes in your bank account each month or each week, depending on how you organize your life, to be able to... to be able to maintain the lifestyle that you have or the lifestyle that you are willing to live on while you're starting this new career. This is really important because it helps you set your rate, as well. It also allows you to understand the kind of hours you're working. I guess, the amount of hours that you work times your hourly rate is how much money you'll make.

Tax, Market Research, Portfolio, and Platforms

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Work out your taxes and personal survival budget. Understand the market for your skill set and conduct a skills audit. Build a portfolio showcasing your projects and outcomes. Register on freelance platforms and agencies to explore opportunities. TopTal offers higher rates and quality clients. Platforms like TopTal address common freelancing pitfalls and ensure timely payment.

Then you work out your taxes for whatever jurisdiction you're in. And that's the amount of money that you'll be making. So work out your personal survival budget. Look at everything. And some people ask questions about pension and benefits. If that's included in your survival budget, then fine, include that. Look how much money you'd need to be saving for that, as well, to include in that earning. So that's a really important first step.

The second step is to really do your homework. Understand the market for your skill set. So it's good to have an understanding of what, and if you have been doing this as a salaried employee already, then you will know what the going rate is. You should know what the going rate is as a salaried employee for the skill set that you have. But that's only just the job that you have. One of the good things about being a freelancer is you're not just selling yourself for one particular role. You're not labeled as tightly as you would be in a job. You have a skill set that may not equal your current job title and it would likely be broader than that from other experiences that you've had both in and outside of work. So have a look at and understand what your skill set is and start having a look around. Searching freelance sites, employment sites as well, just in the job ads and understand what the market is like for your skill set. If there's lots of adverts up and the rates are higher than they usually are than they were previously, you can look at historic data on that as well then you know that something is trending and that's kind of where you want to market yourself first as a freelancer in that particular area of skills. It's also worth conducting, if you're not entirely sure what your skill set is, it's worth conducting a skills audit for yourself. You can find things online, how to do that and it's really a good way of understanding what your skills are, what is desirable about what you're able to do in the current market and who you're kind of looking for that kind of work. So once you do that, of course it includes your things you're qualified for but also anything you're capable of demonstrating that you've done. So it may be that you've worked on a particular project or you've had to do something outside of your job role. If you've done that and you delivered that project well, then that is part of your skillset. Don't limit yourself to things that you've done in your job title or you're qualified for.

The next piece on that is then, I guess off the back of that, is start looking at your, start building a portfolio. Not just a resume because you're not just looking at the jobs that you've done but you're actually looking at things that you've delivered as well. One of the things about freelance work, by nature it's very project based. So it's very, what was the brief, what was the outcome and how did you help deliver that outcome? If you're able to demonstrate that for various things but that's part of your portfolio. In a job role that you've been at for five years for instance, don't just say what your main responsibilities were, talk about individual projects you would have done over those five years. If it's possible, you could have done kind of 5, 10 projects during that time and include the key ones and what the deliverables were and how you personally contributed to delivering those deliverables. Great thing with being online as well is if these things are, if these projects are still live, you can include links to sites for things that you've built as well so people can actually see what you've built in there as well. The next thing is go to different market places and agencies. I mean, these agencies,, Upwork, Fiverr. On the kind of gig economy side, it's worth putting your portfolio on there and registering with those people just so you have access to be able to see what's around. They will kind of offer you things if you get into those platforms. Interestingly, with what Rego said about not being accepted into something except that into some of these platforms, I was rejected for Upwork probably about a week before I was accepted into TopTal. It's interesting because I guess the rates that I earn at TopTal and the quality of clients that work with the TopTal are much far superior to the stuff I would have got at Upwork. So, it varies from person to person, but it's worth kind of being on those platforms, one to start getting work but two also just to see what's around there and allow having those conversations with the specialists who are there looking to find you work. Let them do their job and find you work and find your products. I mentioned Freelancer, Upwork and Fiver. Of course, that's on the gig side. TopTal and there was a couple of others that escaped me at the moment, but a couple others on the talent side which is a bit more professional for the type of work you'd get. Also kind of register with those as well and see if you can get onto those platforms because the work that they'll find you is better than anything you can do yourself. And before I kind of go on to the next point, just want to touch on that a little bit as well. The part of being a Freelancer, part of the things that you guys mentioned as the pitfalls or problems with freelancing. A lot of those things are dealt with really well by platforms like TopTal. You never have to worry about getting paid as long as you do the work to the standard that you say you can do it at. TopTal, for example, will have you back. Oops, was about to mute you there.

Building Reputation and Scaling Up

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TopTal will have you back, and you don't have to spend loads of time chasing invoices and that type of thing. Building your personal brand is important. Set a competitive rate and work your way up. Use your projects to demonstrate your capabilities. Spread risk and scale up by starting with fewer hours and gradually increasing.

TopTal will have you back, and you don't have to spend loads of time chasing invoices and that type of thing, which is a big part of the old world of freelancing.

Everyone's down. Milad, did you have a question? You should keep coming on mute. No? Okay. So yeah, that's a good way of being able to see what market is out there and get the people who do find the work, get them to find the work for you. The next point on that is kind of building your personal brand. I know Rodrigo touched on this, but it's really making yourself irresistible. And this goes to how you market yourself. So having a personal website and making sure your LinkedIn is up to date and all those kind of things really do add to it as well.

But once you do start getting work come through, go above and beyond. Do whatever it takes to make the client happy, to show that you're willing to be helpful, to outwork people, work outside of the job description, communicate as well as you can with people, feedback to the client, let them know any issues as soon as they come up as well, make sure you have really open communication with them and just show that you stand out, so that you stand out as someone who's special in this space. I know from my experience, the first working with TopTowel, the first projects I took on were projects that people didn't wanna work or projects that were going badly. And I volunteered and said, oh, I'm happy to take it on even though the client's currently unhappy and the team's a mess and the processes are a mess. And I think the first three or four projects I worked on was entirely just spent fighting fires and fixing things that had gone wrong. Not ideal, not enjoyable in the slightest. Definitely worked more hours than I was willing for, but I know that I built a good reputation with some of the senior people at TopTowel, which meant that when projects came up going forward, they thought of me first and I was able to then work projects that were easier, more fun and more within kind of what I was wanting to work on. So doing things like that really do help you build your reputation and your personal brand as well.

I guess along with that, it's kind of setting your rate as well. And I'll talk a little bit more about the rate slightly later, but one of the things that kind of helps you get your foot in the door, this is quite obvious, but you want to set your rate to be really competitive. You want a rate that people feel overwhelmed that they're getting such good quality for the rate that they're getting. Again, this ties into your personal survival budget. Of course, don't set a rate that you can't live on, but if really kind of start at the bottom and you can quite quickly increase the rate. As I said, I've been a top towel. We're working through top towel for three and a half years. My rate is 80% higher than it was when I first started currently. And that's because I was able to get my foot in the door, maybe not earn the kind of money that I wanted to, but I did get my foot in the door with the rate that I was at. And it's almost too good to turn down, build a reputation of delivering projects, and then you can start to work your way up towards the rate that you actually deserve. So that would be a piece of advice on that as well. And I'll talk a bit about setting the rate that you want to meet later on.

And yeah, you really want to present the best version of your capabilities as well. You want to be able to, as you do work, you wanna be able to, again, add to that portfolio, keep building that portfolio, and talk about the key things that you delivered within those projects that you worked on. Even if they weren't at the rate that you wanted, you can still use those projects for, A, getting your foot in the door, as I spoke about already, but also, B, to be able to reference that work going forward and say that you have done these particular things. The first product I worked on was a marketplace, a real estate marketplace app, and in Australia, and after that, I got other projects in Australia, and other projects in real estate, and other projects and marketplace-based applications. Because I had done that, I demonstrated that I was able to work on that. So use that work to be able to further demonstrate your capabilities in a wider spectrum of areas.

The next thing that comes to mind is spreading risk and scaling up. Now this is something that I still do to this day. So even after working on over 20 projects with Topchtow, I still employ this strategy, and it's, don't necessarily try to work a 40-hour-a-week project, especially if you're starting out. If you're in a full-time job, for instance. As I was when I first started, the first project I took on was, I think, 10 hours a week. And you are able to set how many hours you want to do. So I will do, I think, 10 hours a week on, as that project progressed, I then moved up to 20 hours a week. And then I was able to make a decision. I was able to make the decision, do I want to continue working my full-time job and 20 hours a week, or do I want to give up my full-time job, work 20 hours a week and see if I can get 20 more hours? And I'll stop at that and go from there. Part of setting your rate as well and you're working with your survival budget is to work out how many hours, what you think the risk is for working a low amount of hours and being able to get a high return on that. I guess fortunately for me, I think I was earning 10 or 15% more working 20 hours a week as a freelancer than I was full-time in my employee job. So for me, it was quite an easy decision. Now I work 20 hours a week, I'm able to stop that full-time job and focus on the part-time work as well as getting more work. The other part, the only reason why I continue to do it now is to spread the risk.

Spreading Risk and Setting Rates

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To spread the risk, it's important to take on multiple projects and avoid relying on a single source of income. As you build your reputation, you can increase your rates and work towards transitioning from full-time employment to freelancing. Start by setting a competitive rate and gradually increase it over time. Research the going rates for different roles, leverage networks like TopTal, and be flexible in the types of projects you consider. Speak to other freelancers to gain insights into rates and opportunities in different locations.

The other part, the only reason why I continue to do it now is to spread the risk. So if a project runs out of funding or as projects do end abruptly, working at the moment, I'm working four projects. If one of those stops suddenly, even the one that has the most hours or pays the most, I will still have three more projects that I'm working on that are not going to leave me without any work. I can spend some time looking for new projects. If I was working, I don't know if there are any, but if I was working at one 75-hour project and it suddenly ended, then I would be going from the income I have now to zero immediately. So it's always good to take on within whatever you're comfortable with and your capabilities, multiple projects and spread the risk so that you are never left really without any work.

I think there's only one period of time. So twice, I've worked 20 hours a week. One of them was because I chose to because of summer holidays. And the other time was, I think a couple projects finished at the same time and I ended up working 20 hours a week for a couple of weeks. But if that had been, I was working one project, then I would have been working without work for that time. So it's always good to try and spread the risk over multiple projects.

I mentioned already, it's kind of phasing out full-time work. So as you build up your projects and you build up your reputation, you start to increase your rates, start to work more hours. And I guess there will be a point where you can stop working your full-time work because you feel like you're more established as a freelancer now, you've got a better reputation, some income behind you, hopefully some buffer as well in terms of income. So if you were to stop working a freelance project, you'd have some stop gap between the last time you worked and the next time you work, if it was a couple of weeks or a couple of months, and then start, then I guess move away from the full-time employed work.

The final point on this was just to start to move your rate up. So you're now established, you've got your foot in the door, you've got the reputation, you've got a portfolio of work. You're working at a rate that maybe doesn't represent the quality of your work or the value that you offer to a client, but you're in, you're committed as a freelancer. Now is the time to start increasing your rate. As I said, I'm earning about 80% more now than I was per hour, than I was when I first started. And that happened incrementally. So some projects I was on my initial rate then a project would end, and then I start the next project at a slightly higher rate, then that other project would end, and I start another project at a slightly higher rate again. So there was crossover, but you build yourself up to the point where you still remain competitive. But what is competitive has increased now because you now have a reputation, you now are, I guess better at what you do as well because you've done more of it. So as you do that, you're able to work towards the higher end of the scale and ultimately earn more money.

Shane, do we wanna do questions here or do we wanna go right to the end and do questions? Let's go to the end and then do questions. And if anybody has any that they wanna ask in between, go for it. I think, yeah, let's do that. That's the best way to do it. Okay, cool. So let's go to the next piece, which is setting your rate. I think I had it. Yep, great, thank you. So setting your rate and getting work, again, goes back to doing the research, understand the roles or various roles that you're looking for. And you could just put your whole yourself into the one job that you currently have, but look at the various different roles that you could do as a freelancer and have a look on the sites I mentioned, plus others, or simply just Google it and see what the rate, the going rate is for some of those jobs. Have a look on LinkedIn. I think if you do, if you have the paid LinkedIn and you do some of the tests on that, it gives you an idea of what the average rate is in your area for salaried work. I think you can do it for freelance work as well, hourly pay. Have a look at what those are, and as I said, get your foot in the door with a rate that's gonna be able to allow people to see you as a bargain and get going at that rate and start building your reputation.

You also wanna be able to go and be part of networks as well. Top Towel is great for that because the networks massive and there's, you have access ultimately to speak to everyone who does the same kind of work as you. There's a lot of different channels for that. So you wanna speak to other people who have similar roles and get feedback on where they're located because their rate will vary based on, I guess, cost of living. Generally, North American freelancers are slightly more expensive than some periphery countries. So have a look at where you are and speak to some other freelancers in those locations as well. Get an understanding of what they are charging and the kind of work that they're getting and also be flexible. It is important to be flexible for the types of roles that you're looking at, first of all. If something's only 50% of what you do, then be honest with them. But say, well, this is what I'm 100% confident with so these are the bits that I would need to maybe learn a bit to be perfect on.

Setting and Adjusting Rates

Short description:

Be flexible with your rate and consider trial and error. Testimonials from satisfied clients can help justify your rate. Increase your rate in small increments to test the waters. Find a balance and use the survival budget as a foundation.

But also be flexible with your rate as well. So with TopTile, I let matchers know, people who find the work, I might let them know what my rate is. They can see that on the platform. But if it's a particular, a product I'm particularly interested in, or I particularly need to take on a new project, then I will let them know what my bottom rate would be and I'm flexible to work for anything in between those. It's a bit of trial and error. There isn't an exact science to setting your rate. Of course, the higher the rate, the less clients are gonna be, or the harder it's gonna be, should I say, to be able to match you for a job. And the lower it is, obviously, the more hours you have to work to make the kind of money you want. So there has to be some playing around with this. It's a bit trial and error, but some of these techniques will help you get that. Also, testimonials from clients are really useful. Every client that I've worked with that has had a positive outcome, I go back to them at the end and ask them to write a testimonial for me. So that's part of my portfolio. So not just showing the work that I've done, but also the client has explicitly expressed their satisfaction with the work that I've done, which goes a long way with new clients because people do look for social proof when using freelancers as well. So that helps you justify your rate. The more that you have and the higher quality clients you have that have given you that, then you're able to increase your rate a little bit easier. And again, when you go to increase your rate, it's helpful to do it in small increments because you can then test the waters a little bit. If you go from a $50 an hour to $100 an hour, you may find a steep drop-off in the amount of work that you're available to get. So it works maybe to do it in $10, $15 increments to help you kind of see what kind of work is available for you. And of course, as a freelancer, you don't have to take any of the work on. If you realize that you're getting a flood of inquiries at a certain rate, maybe your rate's too low, so you can turn some of those down or put your rate up and see how you get on. But it's finding that balance is important. And all the things I mentioned before, like the survival budget and the other examples I gave are good foundations we have to allow you to play around with your rate.

Next Steps and Network Support

Short description:

To be successful as a freelancer, it's crucial to be part of a supportive network like TopTel. The network provides flexibility, diverse project opportunities, and eliminates the need to chase invoices or search for clients. Being part of a network also helps in understanding industry trends and staying updated through publications and podcasts. It positions freelancers as experts and allows them to provide valuable advice to clients. Additionally, continuous upskilling is important to expand knowledge and explore new opportunities within the network.

Okay, Alex, we will move on to your next steps. Cool. So the next steps, I would say, if you are interested in working as a freelancer, it's important to be part of a network that supports you. That's not just the other talent within the network, also the network itself. And this is going to sound like a plug for Toktel. And I guess in some ways it is. I'm not being paid to speak with you about this. I'm speaking about this because I passionately believe in how good the network is and how well they supported me.

As Rodrigo said for himself, this has completely changed my life. I travel whenever I want. Yeah, I guess the only restriction to travel is the children's school. Otherwise I'd be traveling all the time. Like I have no restrictions. I bought a little dongle that has the internet with me. So I have wifi all the time. So when I'm in my car, a couple of years ago, my partner and I drove from London to Italy and I worked the whole time because I'm able to do that. I didn't need to take time off, but then if I wanted to take time off, I can. The flexibility is incredible. And the opportunity to work on various different types of technologies. As I said, I've worked in med tech with augmented reality. I've worked in blockchain, I've worked Australia. I've worked in Nigeria, I've worked in the US, Sweden, all over Europe, Russia, China, Brazil. So all of these different cultures, different technologies, different types of platforms, different products, different industries, as varied as your imagination can capture, I've been able to work with. And that has been because TopTel has facilitated all of those things. I don't spend time wasting, chasing invoices. I don't spend time really looking for clients, going back and forth, doing unpaid work. Everything I do with TopTel, even discovery work on projects is paid by the client. It's apart from, I guess, sick pay, holiday pay, pension. I live in the UK, so I get medical free. But apart from those things, it's the best of having an employed job, as well as the best of being a freelancer as well. So being in the right kind of network that supports your career is crucially important to having success as a freelancer. And I think, yeah, I can't stress that enough.

The other side of having a network as well, which is really important, is understanding trends. From speaking with other professionals within TopTel network, I understand more about, as I said, some of the technologies that I've worked on, understand more about the world of MedTech, understand more about the world of blockchain and NFTs, because I've spoken to and worked with people who are further along in that journey than I am, being part of that network. So that's a crucial part of kind of becoming a freelancer and being successful as a freelancer. Along with the point about trends, definitely, I would say, start the publications. Understand what's happening in the industry that you're working in, understand the world of work. So what's happening with remote work, freelance work, but also specific to the technologies that you already know and technologies that you can foresee happening and being useful in your industry. Looking at industries that you might be interested in, geographical locations that you're interested in working in as well. Publications and podcasts and any kind of information that you can get, stay up to date with those things because again, speaking to new clients, that will put you a cut above everyone else knowing a little bit about their industry before they tell you. There's always help when it makes you an expert. And I guess that's what we are at Top Tile. The talent at Top Tile are put forward as experts in their field. So when clients have a conversation with me and I'm sure it's the same with Rodrigo, they are looking for advice. They're taking our advice and listening to our opinions because they expect us to know more than them about the thing that they're working on in some ways. So being able to have that knowledge and understand those processes, understand the trends will really put you as a cut above and allow you to get your foot in the door and get a lot further forward as a freelancer.

And then the final thing is just to continue to upskill. So I'm sure you know a lot of these already, but companies like Pluralsight, offer training courses, as well as things like Udemy and Coursera, edX. I would say continue to upskill within your area expertise, but also things that are periphery to that as well because there are so many channels and verticals within TopTel, for instance, where you get your foot in the door in one way and then you're able to expand your knowledge, expand your base to work in other areas. And obviously that gives you more opportunity to work on more projects is obviously a better opportunity for income, but also more interesting things as well.

Flexibility and Freedom in Freelancing

Short description:

As an established freelancer, I have the freedom to choose the projects and clients I work with. I can turn away work that doesn't interest me and focus on projects where I can make a difference. This flexibility is a major benefit of freelancing, allowing me to have control over my work and pursue projects that align with my interests and goals.

I think Rodrigo said earlier, but if you didn't, I'm pretty sure at this point now, I'm the same as me. I only really work on things that I want to work on. I don't know, is that accurate, Rodrigo? You pretty much work on what you wanna work on? Yeah. So now I only work on things I want to work on, things that interest me, things that I feel like I can make a difference on. I'm able to turn away work, which is something you don't really get in salaried employment as well. That's another benefit of being an established freelancer is that you get to pick and choose what you work on, who you work with. I've had clients that I didn't particularly get on with, shall we say, and I've requested to come up with a project because I didn't want to work on it anymore and I was taken off and I then work on projects I didn't want to work on. So having the ability to know the trends, be within the network and have an ever increasing skillset allows you to have that flexibility to a greater degree as well. Thanks Alex. No worries.

Check out more articles and videos

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React Summit 2022React Summit 2022
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Becoming a web engineer is not easy, but there are tons of resources out there to help you on your journey. But where do you go from there? What do you do to keep growing, and to keep expanding the value you bring to your company? In this talk we’ll look at the different kinds of impact you can have as a web engineer. We’ll walk through what it means to take on bigger, more complex projects, and how to scale yourself, and grow the community around you. By driving our own development we can all grow our impact, and in this talk, we’ll discuss how to go about this.
TechLead Conference 2023TechLead Conference 2023
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On Becoming a Tech Lead
Tech lead sounds like a lot of work. And not the fun coding kind either. Why would you ever want that? What does it feel like when you get it?In this talk Swizec explains why he took the step towards technical leadership, how his priorities changed, and why it means he’s doing more engineering than ever. A whole new world where writing code is the easy part.
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Emma Bostian: I landed my dream job by sharing my blogs on Twitter
Featured Article
Software engineer, lecturer, podcast host, author — is there something Emma Bostian hasn't done? She moved from America to Sweden, started working at Spotify, and took up a few challenges along the way. And now she has some career tips to share.

What led you to software engineering? 
I was raised in the ecosphere of tech because my dad is a software engineer at IBM, and my mom was a designer there, too. My dad always encouraged me to join STEM and take a look at computer science — however, I was convinced I wanted to be a medical doctor. In my first year of college, I declared a biology major and quickly realized I was not too fond of it. In my second semester, I switched to an actuarial science major where I took Introduction to Computer Science, and the rest is history. In my second year of college, I declared a computer science major and began my journey from there.
What is the most impactful thing you ever did to boost your career?
Writing blog posts and documenting my learning journey on Twitter has far been the best career boost. I wrote purely for myself to reference the things I learned over time, and I even utilized my design skills in Figma to create custom graphics depicting difficult concepts like CSS specificity. By sharing my blogs on Twitter and engaging with the people reading them, I was able to grow an audience extremely quickly. I began receiving conference speaking opportunities, podcast requests, and course invitations to teach with LinkedIn Learning and Frontend Masters.
Ultimately, I landed my job at Spotify through Twitter, too, when a friend and follower of mine asked if I would be interested in interviewing. Now I live in Stockholm working my dream job. It still blows my mind how tweeting about my blog led me to some of the most amazing career opportunities.
What would be your three tips for engineers to level up their career? 
First, be patient. I often see posts on Twitter or LinkedIn about developers who were promoted to a senior position after a year. And while this is wonderful, I think we forget that each company has a different standard for what constitutes a senior developer, and everyone's journey will be different.
Second, don't be afraid to ask questions. If you try your best to solve a problem or answer a question you have, but you can't figure it out after a reasonable amount of time, ask a team member or mentor for help.
And lastly, invest in the right resources for learning. When I started my journey, I didn't know which platforms worked for me to learn. Now, I have a few trusted platforms such as Frontend Masters, Free Code Camp, or Level Up Tutorials that I go to when I need to learn a new skill.
You're currently working as a software engineer at Spotify. What does a typical day of yours look like there?
I begin my day answering emails. Then we have a team breakfast and a standup remotely as we're all still remote at Spotify. After that, we might have a web tech sync with the other squads in our business unit. The day usually includes some form of pair or mob programming, depending on the work stream. 
My team always has Fika, a traditional Swedish coffee break, scheduled every afternoon. Every couple of Fridays, we have team games planned to release some stress. 
Also, I tend to have a lot of free time to focus, which is nice but makes for a boring answer to this question!
Do you have some rituals or tools that keep you focused and goal-oriented?
I'll admit that I've been struggling with staying motivated in the time of remote work. I've been remote with Spotify since onboarding a year ago, but my team is wonderful, and they help me when I'm down.
Apart from that, I use Todoist to keep track of my tasks, and, naturally, I listen to Spotify while working. But other than that, not really. Maybe I should adopt some new tools to keep me on track!
My current favorite Spotify playlist is Brand New Chill:
I also love Chillout Daily:
You wrote a book called De-coding the Technical Interview. What was the impulse to do it?
I wanted to give the community a manual of the essentials of computer science knowledge to ace the technical interviews. The book covers data structures like stacks, queues, or linked lists, tackles algorithms, and deals with systems design. You'll also learn about the interview process from start to finish, get tips on how to submit an amazing take-home project, or understand how to problem solve. You'll also gain knowledge on the frontend coding skills needed to excel at a frontend interview.

If you could stress one piece of advice on surviving a technical interview, which would it be?
Do not lie your way through an interview. If you don't know the answer to something, just admit it. There's no shame in admitting you don't know the answer to something. There is shame in faking it and pretending like you do know the answer.
What's the single best practice everyone who writes code should follow?
Remember that while you are technically writing code for computers, you're also writing it for humans. Your code should be readable and have as little complexity as possible without sacrificing accessibility or performance.
In addition to the book, you co-host the Ladybug Podcast. What inspired you to enter this field, and what are the podcast's main topics?
We talk about everything tech and career on the podcast, from Java and GraphQL to how to start a business and cross-cultural communication. The podcast is a way for me and my co-hosts to share our experiences in tech, having taken different paths. And I'm really glad for doing it — it has allowed me to meet so many incredible people, learn many new things, and support my dream of teaching.
What pieces of your work are you most proud of?
My technical interview book was a huge feat for me as well as my courses with LinkedIn Learning on building a tech resume. I enjoy creating things that help other people advance their careers, so I'm also proud of my courses with Frontend Masters on design systems and CSS.
Follow Emma on Twitter
14 min
Kent C. Dodds: Consume, build, and teach — and level up your career
Featured Article
Even though his bio offers quite a hefty reading, he only applied for one job in his career. The rest came along as he was building his name as a renowned speaker, teacher, and a prolific figure of the open-source community. How did Kent do it? “Commit to creating high-quality content,” he says.

What led you to programming?
I had a friend when I was a teenager who was really into it, and he tried to teach me. But I just couldn't get it — it didn't make any sense to me. So I never really thought I'd get into programming, but I liked computers a lot, and I ended up going to school for electrical engineering. 
Well, that didn't work because I'm not good at math. But right when I started the program, I got a job at a company uploading videos to YouTube and that sort of thing. The work was tedious, so I decided to write a computer program to automate lots of the work I was doing with the knowledge I had about programming. And that was the first spark of things for me to use programming to solve real-world problems. 
What is the most impactful thing you ever did to boost your career? 
Committing to creating high-quality content. That might sound obvious because I'm a full-time educator now, but I would not have gotten my job at PayPal if I hadn't been so active with my blog. In fact, lots of my jobs came out of me being involved in the community around meetups, conferences, or open-source projects. 
How do you choose topics for the content you create, be it for your blog or podcast?
I don't think too much about the content other people are creating. And I don't often consume it. My ideas come from the things that I'm working on, things that I'm learning myself, or — when I was working with a team of developers — the things that I had to remind people of in code reviews regularly. Anytime that I would have a code review comment that was pretty long to describe my position, that was an excellent opportunity for a blog post. Also, if people ask me about a topic regularly, I'll make a blog post rather than answer that question multiple times.

What would be your three tips for engineers to level up their career? 
The number one thing I tell people is to be a nice person. I know that sounds fluffy or silly, but it cannot be overstated. You will get so much further in your career and just in life in general if you're a nice person. That doesn't mean that you take people being jerks lying down, but how you interact with others is out of kindness. You could be the best engineer in the entire world, but if you're not a nice person, you will not reach your full potential or accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.
Second, it's just as important to decide what you are not going to learn as it is to decide what you are going to learn. You could jump into countless things — and there are successful people who are polyglot programmers, but I can't speak to that a whole lot. All I can tell you is that in my experience, focusing on specific things that I want to be truly good at has worked out great for my career. That doesn't mean that I closed myself off to other things. With my website rewrite, I have been doing a lot of dev ops-related work and a lot of back-end stuff that I've typically not been involved in. You want to keep your head up on what's going on outside of what you're doing so that you know what direction to go in when you come across problems you need to solve. However, finding a focus on what you want to be good at has helped me a lot. That way, you feel a little less stressed.
And the third one? 
Learn how to learn effectively. It's a three-step process: you consume, build, and teach. The consumption of newsletters and Twitter and whatever inspires you, but you don't want to spend too much time doing that — implementing it into actually building something matters. This happens naturally if you work at a company, but maybe you're not making the things you want to learn, so you may want to start a side project. The building phase is where you get experience, but you also want to solidify that experience. How? You start teaching. You don't necessarily have to teach it to people, it could be stuffed animals. The goal of the teaching is to retain in your mind what you've learned through the building process.
What are you working on right now? 
The big thing I'm working on right now is a rewrite of my website. It'll be much more than just a developer portfolio — I'll have user accounts, and there'll be fun things that you can do with it. And because it's more than just a website, I'm using Remix, a new cool framework in the React ecosystem. I'm also working on updating my material on and a TypeScript course as well. 
So, whatever I'm working on, it ends up resulting in lots of opportunities for content.

Do you have some rituals that keep you focused and goal-oriented? 
I have a notepad where I keep all of my notes of what I'm going to do for the day so that when I'm checking things off, I'm not distracted notifications. I've tried apps for that, and that does not work well for me. 
I also am a firm believer in inbox zero. I have my work inbox and my personal inbox, and I keep them both at zero. And I kind of use that as a to-do list. 
And if I'm not feeling excited about working for some reason, I will often hop on my Onewheel, which is an electric skateboard that only has one giant wheel in the middle. It's just a total blast, and I'll hop on that with my backpack and a charger, and I'll go to a Starbucks or a park just to declutter my mind.
What things in the React universe are you excited about right now?
React version 18 is coming out soon. The experimental version is out there, and it's fun to play with. I'm just really thrilled that it's no longer a concurrent mode but concurrent features that you can opt into. Cool things like that will enable React server components in the future. 
But the biggest thing I'm excited about is Remix. That's huge. It eliminates a lot of problems that are solved well other tools, but when I'm using Remix, I don't have those problems, so I don't need those clusters.
You already said that teaching is an integral part of the learning process, and you stand your word since you're also a full-time educator. What inspired you to enter this field?
I have been a teacher for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a church where you talk in front of your peers from a very young age, and my mom was an elementary school teacher, so teaching has just always been a part of me. 
I really just enjoy sharing what I'm learning with others. As far as teaching technical topics, I gave my first workshop when I was still a student at Brigham Young University. With my fellow, we taught how to use AngularJS, and I got Firebase to sponsor pizza so they would show up, and that was pretty fun.
Then I started teaching on the side at right after I'd graduated. That was when I first got a paycheck for teaching. And I realized that teaching could be quite lucrative and support my family and me as a full-time endeavor. So I did it — I quit my job. I'm a very risk-averse person, so I'd done teaching as a side hustle for four years just to verify that I could make this work.
When TestingJavaScript was released, and I got that paycheck, I realized that I didn't need my PayPal salary anymore. I could just focus my daytime on teaching and give my evenings back to my family, which was a nice trait.

Apart from that, how has teaching impacted your career? 
Earlier I mentioned that pretty much all of my jobs came because I was perceived as an expert. After the first job, where I was an intern and then converted into full-time, I never applied to another. I worked for four different companies, and they wouldn't have recruited me if they didn't know who I was and what I was doing. My content is how they knew who I was — I just made it easy for them to find me. Teaching made that impact. It made my career. 
We talked about React and Remix. Are there any other open-source projects that you'd recommend keeping an eye on or contributing to?
I have some myself. React Testing Library is probably the biggest one that people are familiar with. And if React isn't your jam, then other framework versions of the testing library. 
React Query is also really popular. If you're using Remix, you don't need it, but if you're not, I strongly advise using React Query cause it's a stellar, fantastic library, and Tanner Linsley, the creator, is a stellar and fantastic person. 
What pieces of your work are you most proud of? 
Probably the biggest thing I've ever done is EpicReact.Dev. It has helped tens of thousands of people get really good at React, improve their careers and make the world a better place with the skills that they develop. My whole mission is to make the world a better place through quality software, and I feel like I've done that best with Epic React. 
There are things that I've built at other companies that are still in use, and I'm proud of those cause they've stood the test of time, at least these last few years. But of everything, I think Epic React has made the biggest impact.
Follow Kent on Twitter and listen to his favorite Spotify playlist
TechLead Conference 2023TechLead Conference 2023
36 min
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TechLead Conference 2023TechLead Conference 2023
31 min
Imposter Syndrome-Driven Development
“Maybe I’m fooling everyone… I’m not good enough for this, and at this point, it is a question of time until everyone figures it out” these might be the words that cross your mind as your coworker compliments you for doing another fantastic job at delivering a new feature. As you grow in your career, so does your uncertainty. You put in the extra hours, learn all the new technologies, and join all the initiatives you can, but at the end of the day, it never feels enough. At this point, that feeling is leading your actions and decisions. It is the thing that is driving your career. Only one question persists: Are you really an imposter?

Workshops on related topic

Node Congress 2022Node Congress 2022
39 min
How To Design A Sustainable Freelance/Contracting Career
Ready to kickstart your freelance career or just getting started on your freelance journey? You’re in the right spot. Learn the tricks of the trade from the industry’s most experienced freelancers.
The independent talent movement is the future of work. If you’re considering leaving full-time employment for a career as a freelancer, now is the time to find your successful space in the independent talent workforce. More people are working freelance today than ever before, with the freelance marketplace now contributing $1.2 trillion to the US economy. Some of the most in-demand roles for freelancers right now are senior developers with professional experience in React, Python, Blockchain, QA, and Node.js.
This workshop will help you design a sustainable and profitable full-time (or part-time) freelancing/contracting career. We will give you tools, tips, best practices, and help you avoid common pitfalls.
React Summit 2022React Summit 2022
75 min
How To Design A Sustainable Freelance/Contracting Career + Speedcoding Challenge
Ready to kickstart your freelance career or just getting started on your freelance journey? You’re in the right spot. Learn from the world’s largest fully distributed workforce in the world.
The independent talent movement is the future of work. If you’re considering leaving full-time employment for a career as a freelancer, now is the time to find your successful space in the independent talent workforce. More people are working freelance today than ever before, with the freelance marketplace now contributing $1.2 trillion to the US economy. Some of the most in-demand roles for freelancers right now are senior developers with professional experience in React, Python, Blockchain, QA, and Node.js.
This workshop will help you design a sustainable and profitable full-time (or part-time) freelancing/contracting career. We will give you tools, tips, best practices, and help you avoid common pitfalls.
At the end of the workshop there will be a Q&A session with a Freelance Developer who can answer your questions and provide insights and tips into their own success.
During the Workshop break, we will be running a speed-coding challenge! At the end of the workshop, we will award a prize for the winner and display the leaderboard.
We will have you login to our portal and complete the challenge as fast as you can to earn points. Points are assigned based on difficulty and the speed at which you solve the tasks. In case you complete all tasks, you get extra points for the remaining time. You’ll see your score, ranking, and the leaderboard once you complete the challenge.
We will be giving away three Amazon Gift Cards ($200, $100, $75) for the top three winners.
React Advanced Conference 2021React Advanced Conference 2021
145 min
Designing A Sustainable Freelance Career
Would you like to pursue your passions and have more control over your career? Would you like schedule and location flexibility and project variety? Would you like the stability of working full-time and getting paid consistently? Thousands of companies have embraced remote work and realize that they have access to a global talent pool. This is advantageous for anyone who has considered or is currently considering freelance work.>> Submit your interest on becoming a freelance engineer with Toptal and get a call with Talent Acquisition specialist <<

Freelancing is no longer an unstable career choice.

This workshop will help you design a sustainable and profitable full-time (or part-time) freelancing career. We will give you tools, tips, best practices, and help you avoid common pitfalls.
Table of contents

Module 1: Dispelling common myths about freelancing
Module 2: What does freelancing look like in 2021 and beyond
Module 3: Freelancing choices and what to look for (and what to avoid)
Module 4: Benefits of freelancing from a freelancer + case study
Module 6: How to get started freelancing (experience, resume, preparation)
Module 7: Common paths to full-time freelancing
Module 8: Essentials: setting your rate and getting work
Module 9: Next steps: networking with peers, upskilling, changing the world
Module 10: Freelancer AMA
React Summit Remote Edition 2021React Summit Remote Edition 2021
121 min
Landing Your Next Developer Job
Renaud Bressant (Head of Product), Nathanael Lamellière (Head of Customer Success and Solution Engineer), Nouha Chhih (Developer Experience Manager) will be looking at the different developer jobs that you can accounter when looking for your next developer role. We'll be explaining the specifics of each role, to help you identify which one could be your next move. We'll also be sharing tips to help you navigate the recruitment process, based on the different roles we interviewed for as recruiters, but also as candidates. This will be more of an Ask Us Anything session, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts and questions during the session.