I started freelancing quite early on in my life. It was around the time I had started university back in 2014. Initially, it was a way for me to have some form of financial leeway because my pocket money back then was about $40 a month, which, if you factor in my ridiculous affinity for coffee, is barely enough to cover everything including food and transport. That was basically it, my goals were simple; if I can make enough money for food and coffee without having to choose one and lose the other, then I’m a happy man, so I did. I’d gotten some translation work from my professor which made enough money for me to fuel my ever-growing caffeine addiction and for me to get some food, and I was quite happy about it.
But things started to change a few years later. I think we all know the trend of getting a job while you’re in uni, and I was one of those people who tried to get a job while in uni, but as I’d predicted, almost no company wanted anything to do with a university student trying to balance a career and education. So I kept doing my freelance gigs after classes before I go on to do my assignments. It paid off quite well since I finally learned how to make use of my time and motivate myself without anyone supervising me, and though everyone was looking down on what I was doing, you know what? I had fun and it was very enjoyable.
But then I graduated and had to look for an “actual” job, and despite having a research paper published under my own name, it was quite rough. Even entry-level jobs have unrealistic requirements and a laughable salary attached to them. Pair that with the commute that I have to go on every single day just to get to where the office is (on my own dime), and the fact that none of these companies wanted to take a gamble on me made things a whole lot worse. I hit a very low point in my life at that time, thinking that the skills and knowledge that I’ve honed over the years would never culminate in anything meaningful and that I’ve ultimately wasted my time and my parent’s money.
And then I started freelancing again. It’s hard when you’re doing it all on your own without guidance. But I did it anyway because let’s be honest, what exactly did I have to lose? I had no prospect, I had no money to get yet another degree in a field no one cared about, and I had absolutely no work experience other than my freelance gigs; I was screwed. Things began to change when I met the American guy who decided to take a gamble on me and took me under his wing and taught me everything I know about copywriting. That partnership is what eventually opened the door for every other project that I’ve worked on to this day and I’m grateful for every single one of them.
I don’t want this to be a long-winded post, so I’ll conclude with this. I started freelancing because I couldn’t find a job that required any of my skills. And without any prior work experience and my preference for communicating in English, I had set myself up for failure from the very beginning. I created a market for myself so that I can at least sustain my daily needs and maybe the occasional gift for my parents and I’m quite happy with how things turned out. Hope you find this to be useful.