Consider this: The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime. Clearly, work plays a major role in our lives—and the quality of it. So why not pursue your passion and do something you love?
Let’s meet a few freelancers doing just that: Building their businesses through Upwork. And learn more about what motivated them to become freelancers in the first place.
Flexibility beyond the traditional 9-to-5
Graphic designer Anthony Agreste started freelancing through Upwork eight years ago while working a full-time job. He recently left corporate America to focus on his freelance business.
He says, “I love the flexibility of freelancing and the ability to work my own hours. I still work typical work hours, but the flexibility to stay up late and ensure a job is done on time is great.”
It’s this dedication that has, in part, helped Agreste achieve Top Rated status on Upwork. “I pay close attention to the needs of my clients and always try to go above and beyond to make them satisfied,” he says.
Necessity is the mother of invention
Balancing work and parenting isn’t easy, but the flexibility that can come with freelancing means parents can determine what that balance looks like for themselves.
Nebraska’s Sara Haley began her content writing business when she was looking for something flexible she could do while her daughter napped and jumped into it full time to continue to be a stay-at-home mom.
“Freelancers build their lives around both long-term and short-term projects and have a schedule that is flexible enough to help out in a pinch when you or your business is in a bind with a specific need,” she says.
Similarly, when e-learning specialist Saniya Varkhandkar had her first child, she wanted a job that would enable her to care for her baby and eventually homeschool him while continuing to work. Freelancing gave her the opportunity she was looking for.
Bridging the distance in a global economy
Varkhandkar now helps businesses design educational courses from her home in India and works with clients around the world: “[When I started] I had no knowledge of communicating with a foreign client, so it was a truly special experience.”
Bismah Fahad, a Top Rated virtual assistant from Pakistan, also enjoys working clients from different cultures and says Upwork helps bridge the trust gap. “Upwork allows the freelancers to completely trust their clients,” she says. “When we are working virtually, we might not know who we are working with. But the best thing on Upwork is that we are aware of all the details of our clients.”
And that transparency goes both ways: Clients can get an overview of a freelancer’s talent, experience, and ability to communicate through their Upwork profile.
What lies ahead
Whether it’s the draw of being your own boss, the flexibility of working from home, or the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top companies—including Fortune 500 companies—more and more people are choosing to forge their own paths and cultivate freelance businesses through Upwork.
As Agreste points out, “I think the industry is growing exponentially, and I’m excited to be a part of it in the early stages. I think as time goes on, we will continue to see more companies hire freelancers and remote work will dominate the workforce.”