So the classic model of work isn’t doing it for you anymore. Maybe you’re feeling blocked or trapped or too defined by what you do. You're drifting off at all of your work meetings and Instagram is teasing you with posts of distant friends’ ridiculously beautiful “office locations” #beachoffice. What if there was a way to live and work differently? A way to have more agency of your working hours, your location, your salary, your free time? Drumroll: enter freelancing. The popular and tested means to becoming your own boss in work and life! Ok cool! But how on earth do I pursue this? In her talk “Build Your Dream Life with the Freedom and Flexibility of Freelancing”, Ironhack alumni Clemence gives you all the tips and tricks of how to transition to become a freelancer. Over the last 2+ years she found the flexibility she wanted and is now seizing her dream life! So don’t sweat, we have a summary of her steps for you just here.
A dream life
Step one sounds simple. Picture your dream. Where is it that you want to go? This ain’t so easy! Especially if you’ve been stuck in a job you’re not satisfied with and it is taking up all of your energy and draining your motivation. It’s time to take back your life! Start by establishing what criteria are important to you, for example:
Location: would you like to choose where you live and work?
Work: what do you want to be part of and what do you want to contribute to?
Time & Energy: how much time and energy would you like to dedicate to your work? Pleasure? Leisure? Relationships? Health?
Visualise yourself in your ideal situation. Make this your north star or southern cross (hemisphere depending). Once you have your dream established, the rest of the process is working towards it, step by step. There will undoubtedly be walls, hurdles, valleys and troughs, but in the future you will be unfathomably thankful.
A career change
A likely first wall you will encounter will be the realisation that “I don’t have the skills or experience to freelance and/or work remotely!” Scrum masters, for example, aren’t often able to choose the #vanlife. So who can work remotely? Well, since a recent pandemic, it has become apparent that a lot of jobs can be remote! Many of the growing job opportunities are in the digital sector. The next step is therefore to do research on a potential future career path.
After a lot of lunch breaks and late nights of research and deep dives, you’ve found a field that resonates with you. This is exciting! It’s now time to put on your goggles, adopt a learner attitude and jump headfirst into the new world you wish to enter. How? Get informed and get friendly! Find people who are in the field and pick their brains (we recommend offerings of artisanal chocolate to guarantee cooperation), subscribe to Slack channels, groups and individuals that share online content about that field. In doing so you will create your own bubble in which you’ll be exposed to more and more desirable content.
You now have new friends and your finger on the pulse in your field of choice. Woo! You’re moving! Cue next wall: “I don’t have a diploma or a portfolio. No one will hire me like this.” It’s likely true (if only, sigh). It’ll be hard to prove your worth to prospective employers, but with apparent skills and the beginnings of a portfolio to show, you’ll have your foot in the door! Solution: get skilled. How? Find a program, course or qualification to take your basic understanding of a topic to the next level. A fantastic, fast and cost effective way of doing this is through a bootcamp, as Clemence did with Ironhack. And guess what? With Ironhack you can do bootcamps face-to-face in selected cities or online! Bonus: they’ll even help you start your portfolio and be prepared to find a job in tech! Pretty great, hey?
Get out there
You’ve now established a skill base in your new field and your knowledge and experience continue to grow. You’re feeling a lot more confident in yourself and your abilities. Your portfolio may be a little on the fresh side, but it exists! Take a long moment to congratulate yourself on what you’ve followed through with. Your dream is truly in motion! The next step: get yourself out there! You’ve already developed a small network through your channels, linkedin, social media followings and maybe even alumni programs from your recent studies. Grow that network. Again, grow that network. Network, network, network. Communities are powerful (and wonderful)! Connect with people through every means that you can as they will soon be your new colleagues. Help others where you can too! Events, both real and virtual, are a fantastic way to meet people and establish relationships. Volunteering at these events is an even better way to connect with people from all kinds of backgrounds and experience levels!
Realisation: your dream is here. OMGs, you’re doing it! You're more skilled. You're more connected. You’ve got a job offer! Large wall approaching: you’ve never been your own boss! Invoices, hourly rates, contracts, taxes….argh! Once again, online communities to the rescue! Got a problem? Throw it out there to your channels and groups and you will witness the supportive and collaborative nature of online communities! You’ll soon be helping others who are following your path, and that will feel amazing.
Stick to your dream
A fast road to freelancing? Unlikely. Doable? Absolutely. The first step is recognising what you want, then take each step at a time. Following this process you will soon be a real, bona fide freelancer, working in what you want and where you want with time and energy for you and everything else that you think deserves it. You’ll then feel the great satisfaction that you have chosen your path and successfully followed your hemispheric dependent constellation.