I'm Basar, and I'm here to tell you about my journey, which began with my family giving me a computer course when I was a young child because I was afraid I would break the computer - I was the only child at the time, and adults who always had to use a computer in their workplaces had no knowledge at all - and has led me to the point where I continue my life as a remote & freelance worker today. In my ten years of working, I have reached the point where I feel most content and at home, albeit I can't call it a location because I work from home :)
At the age of 31, when most people believe it is too late to shift a sector, I will explain how I made the third sector transition throughout my ten-year company career before announcing my freedom.
My time of self-education, which I began in high school by asking myself, "How are these websites?" and looking at the page codes, continued in college. I became a software developer and then became a partner in the technical forum, which at the time was the top student platform of the ITU, after learning the fundamentals of frontend and backend through the websites I built with friends. Because I didn't have enough points at the university and I wanted to go ITU, I didn't study computer engineering, but my heart was always in it. When I earned my degree from the ITU Shipbuilding Faculty in 2011, I was ecstatic to start designing yachts and ships.
But life does not always give you what you want right away, as seen by the global consequences of the American mortgage crisis, etc. I briefly worked as a broker in the FX markets as the sector was on the verge of collapse. After a year, I left because of the pressure and tense atmosphere at work, and I then started working in the field of mechanical engineering.
After working as a mechanical engineer for around 6 years in a variety of companies, the pandemic breakout caused 2 hours of driving to be suddenly interrupted by snowfall. This genuinely demonstrated to me the viability and comfort of working remotely. During this time, I focused on my love of software, which I still do in my spare time from my full-time job, to make up for my weaknesses, and I started going to interviews.
I made my third sector move during my ten-year business career at the age of 31, which is generally regarded as being too late to change industries, and I landed a job as a backend developer at a small startup. Fortunately, a well-known e-commerce company that you frequently see on TV bought our small business, and the next thing I knew, I was working for a huge corporation.
My Upwork adventure
Years before I started working here, I registered an Upwork account just in case. I sent three to four offers, but I received no response. Then, after seeing Zekeriya's tweet, I made the decision to promote Upwork. This was ideal for the workplace atmosphere that I had been trying to create for a long time, remotely and under its own terms. After 10–12 applications, I was hired for my first job, which paid $10, but it started a job avalanche.
In the following four months, I took on 17 additional jobs, and when I saw that even the part-time, weekend-only gigs I took paid very well, I decided that this was how I wanted to live. I desired it. For years, I've desired a method of working similar to this. And it had taken place.
Berlin in Berlin
Finally, I secured a contract with a German company through Upwork for my 19th assignment. CTO decided to outsource the task by posting a trial ad on Upwork and having one of the pages in Zeplin made as a trial job. CTO had been battling with an agency that had been unable to print even a single page for months. After being hired, I delivered one of those pages that hadn't been issued in six months all in one evening. I was ecstatic to see the message We wish to continue with you the next day because I had an hourly contract and was earning a respectable hourly income at the time given my compensation.
For a few months, I participated in the company's entire redesign process in this manner. As I watched the satisfaction of the entire team, my enthusiasm increased. Eventually, I received a full-time offer from another organization. While the business is located in Berlin, I am now in Istanbul. By the time you read this, I want to be in Berlin with my wife, cat, and legos.
How do you organize your desk?
I'm trying not to mess it up, but it's getting very difficult. And when it becomes a LEGO hobby, it just falls apart.
What's your suggestion to new graduates?
Never give up; yes, we tried, we got it right, and now we work as independent contractors, but it's not always that simple. One might accept the first job that is offered, while the other might accept the fifty-first.
Never quit up if this working style suits you and you feel like you belong. Follow your dreams because we believe that while we are doing so, we are truly living.
What's the biggest barrier when you decide to do that? How did you handle with it?
I suppose I'm one of those people who just can't go on. Because I took the full-time employment offer from Germany when I was still a freelancer. I work from home right now, but I'm not a freelancer. But once that door was opened, and if you can't hang onto this firm, I don't worry about returning to being a freelancer every day.
What makes you a freelancer?
I am fond of freedom. Freedom to decide on my own working hours and earnings, my own vacations, the work I like/dislike
We have to earn a certain amount to live in the way I can feel most comfortable and peaceful, and that's the only way it is with my current abilities.
The platforms that I work
The details on my profile
I am addicted to order. My profile should be pearly, the viewer should be able to see what that title is about with emojis at first glance. The introduction should be divided into headings, and all information that can be filled should be filled.
How did I create my portfolio?
Because most of my clients at the time I was working as a backend developer had dashboards developed and placed them behind encrypted areas, I was unable to implement it. By using photographs from my works and blurring the important details, I also made some stuff that I may utilize for myself.
Communication in English
This is how my whole day is spent now, I involuntarily started to use English words in my daily life. It sounded very frightening at first; mispronunciation, making wrong sentences, not being understood… At the moment, so to speak, I am speaking in a relaxed mood
Which jobs do I apply for?
I make an effort to select tasks that I will enjoy performing and whose outcomes will please me. When I consider a job, I realize I could complete it on my own. After a while, if I don't refer to it as a wonderful idea or a beautiful design, that work starts to feel cruel to me.
The barriers that I face while freelancing
Since I first just worked on the weekends, my social life was fairly limited. Because we spend so much time in the same places, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
My suggestions to fresh freelancers
The average GitHub profile should be created by developers for themselves, even if it's only a to-do list program. Remember that even in exams, we would receive points for advancement; therefore, the most crucial thing in this situation is what you focus on, not how well you complete and execute everything.
The story of my first job
After seeing Zekeriya's tweet, I guess I didn't fall for Upwork as much as I should, and as a result, I didn't get the job.
What do I do in a bad mood?
I often find myself doing my LEGOs. Or I'm meditating, thinking about the places I want to go, the things I want to do, it's good, it gives me motivation.
The benefits of the Freelancer Guide
Fantastic communication For me, this group has been a turning point in terms of realizing that I frequently work jobs that make me unhappy. He guided me away from a field that is highly demanding and where my feet are moving backwards and into one that I genuinely enjoy, never get tired of researching, and has endless resources.
How do I handle with an irregular income?
I kept my hourly wage high. I started getting paid not to spend 1 month, but to spend 3 months. This brought me to a financial level that I could manage for months even if things didn't go well.
What I miss while working monthly salary
Paying the salary at the beginning of the month and enjoying with it :)
My goals for future
My wife and I aimed to have our future in Berlin or Amsterdam after COVID. At the time I was only doing $5-$10 Upwork when I was aiming for it. Now I am in an organization where I am responsible for the entire Frontend in a Berlin-based startup. We still haven't achieved our goal, but we're not too far away anymore.