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Work, life, balance?

Do you have work-life balance? The most progressive question that burns in every young adult’s mind as they’ve once participated or currently participating in the bloodsport of corporate America. The most relatable corporate setting involves working long hours in a confined space with little to no innovation in their routine. If you’re in a large metropolitan area with a huge population toll you’ll spend your day just commuting to and from work. I believe the average individual can relate to working in a position with little to no upward mobility and if an upward position should ever become available, it’s already been filled due to nepotism.

For some, like myself, the answer becomes clear through trial and tribulation, “I’m better than this, I’m more skilled than this, I’m not happy”. These thoughts reflecting self-confidence and self-assurance are quickly opposed by the harsh reality and necessity of survival. With the basic instinct of survival being the primary motive in any young adults life, a tactical plan must be developed. In my corporate prison, I came to the decision that I would not settle. I would not allow my circumstances to define me as a professional or as a person. As a self-taught web developer and graphic designer, I started my entrepreneurial campaign by using my off days and vacation time to prospect clients one by one. Facebook, Instagram, Craigslist, and other listing platforms became a primary lead source which allowed me to construct a fruitful stream of leads. Gradually over time, I was able to distance myself entirely from my 9-5 position and escape my cubicle desk. With my new found freedom I was able to establish my own schedule and all limitations were eliminated, but with great power comes great responsibility.

In the corporate world, I felt like my work wasn’t appreciated and that I was just a number filling a position of insignificance. I felt replaceable and ultimately useless. In the freelance world, I am considered the expert and my work is valued. I can innovate and communicate with my clients with confidence knowing that I don’t have someone constantly watching me or critiquing me just to fill out a form or meet a quota. With no strings, I can seamlessly provide business structures with high-quality web-based applications & client management systems or grow their social media presence using outbound engagements and strategic content that grabs an audience.

My proudest moment was designing and developing the e-commerce platform for beverage company Life Recovery Water. Along with designing and configuring their CMS and inventory, I also assisted with marketing ideologies and company slogans that is still utilized by the brand today.

Freelance life in the successful stage is beautiful but the downside can be detrimental to your survival if one is not ahead of the curve. A prospective freelancer can only be defined as an entrepreneur. Maneuvering with that mindset is imperative because you are the only asset to finding new business. In a freelance climate maintaining a consistent pipeline is essential to the survival of operation. Establishment of a consistent and competitive pay rate that matches market value is vital but difficult because the majority of business structures lack the financial capability to fund the service.

Job boards and freelance platforms are meeting this issue head on to provide a consummate solution to both parties. With these platforms, the prevailing issues that arise are the quality of Freelancers available to serious business structures. Clients want assurance in the ability of their contractors and Toptal provides that assurance through their vetting process. Unlike other blog sites, Toptal provides a rigorous interview process which requires their applicants to thoroughly demonstrate their skills sets. This method of vetting services as an ultimate win for both parties involved. With this formula, contractors have a better chance of getting selected for their areas of expertise and clients have a higher probability of project success.