I am a freelancer, to become an aerospace engineer for now

10 days ago   •   4 min read

By Zekeriya Mulbay

Hello, I'm Sedat! I am a part-time student, part-time employee, and part-time freelancer. I turned 18 a few months ago. I am a high school senior who wants to study aerospace engineering. I moved to Istanbul 5 years ago and have worked in software for more than 4 years. During these 4 years, I realized what I learned to make money and met Upwork.

I'm not a very corporate person. I am not a money-savvy person, but I want to study abroad. While the value of TL in Turkey was like this, I could not save money for going abroad. In this process, I researched what a freelancer does. By the way, I am a complete motorsport lover. Let's move on to the story.


Upwork 1.0

I met Upwork about 1.5 years ago. I made a terrible application and was rejected. Then I applied to join the Freelancer Guide community and was accepted. This time, other problems challenged me. A few months passed, and I got my first job. My customer was delighted, and I got my first 5 stars.

Then the Upwork system asked me for the verification process. When I was completing verification, Upwork didn't accept my profile because I was 17 years old. Moreover, with the opportunity to open an account again at 18, my profile was closed.

After 10 months, Upwork 2.0

A few weeks before I turned 18, I opened an Upwork profile again. After getting the first job, the system wants the verification process, and the verification period is about 1 week. That's why I wanted to open my account early. I had a challenge again, but then I got my first job. Luckily Upwork didn't have any issues this time, and I successfully passed the verification process on my birthday.

Let's talk about who I am and what I do.

I go to school in the mornings and work in the evenings, and at the same time, I work as a freelancer. I don't have an office or a working desk. I'm one of those people who like to leave the house with a backpack and work everywhere. That's why my days can be highly variable.

I love this aspect of being a freelancer anyway. I always work, but in other words, I never work. Time management is totally up to me. I can even work in class while at school. Besides that, I have customers in Turkey. As far as I have observed, the customer quality is much higher. More importantly, the money you earn is at least 3 times. And, of course, the money you earn does not lose value.


My Profile

I filled my profile with my previous work at first. I don't like my portfolio and am currently trying to update it. I think a lot about the introductory sentences in my profile. I'm thinking about how I can make more impressive introductory sentences.

In addition to these, English level and professional behavior are significant. I think my English is at a level that can be called good, thanks to the university preparation exams.

Apart from these, I learned about the approach to the customer and all the points related to professionalism from Freelancer Guide. I just want to add some tips, too.

Don't work low pricing. If you are not a perfect match, do not apply for jobs with a hire rate below 30%. Don't accept jobs under $100.


My first job

There was a $200 job posting. It takes a few minutes. I said in the cover letter that you don't even need to hire it; here's the solution. After 3 days, the customer said that he could not open the menu, I told him the reason. (a common problem).

Then he sent an offer saying, "This is just one of the tons of things I don't know, can you do it for me?" Then I did. He did almost half the work by himself. I offered to do it, but he did not accept; he did not want to share account information. I also shared with him a tutorial on YouTube.

He said, "I'm glad to work with you." He gave me 5 stars and said, "If you want to work with me again, I have more work to do." It was an excellent experience for me.

I earned about 4 times the wage I earned in Turkey from that experience.


Worker vs Freelancer

I think they both have their pros and cons. I am currently doing both. I think the only negative side to being a freelancer is the irregular income. Because regular income makes you feel great confidence. But I still think that a quality freelancer can regularly reach a certain minimum income after working a little.

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