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Career CloseUp: Top Rated Plus Freelancer With Over $500k Earned

Meet Alex! A Top-Rated Plus freelancer with over $500k earned on Upwork.




What is your job title, and tell us what you generally do. 


Hey there, hope you are doing well. 😊

So, I’m a designer and animator with 12+ years of experience and an agency background.


What does an average week look like for you?


My typical week looks like a standard freelancer’s lifestyle – waking up and looking for some fresh coffee and good news on social media.


Well, coffee is not a problem, but good news isn’t coming frequently, unfortunately. I’m based in Kyiv, Ukraine, and this means that almost every day I hear alerts, missiles, and explosions, because it’s so ‘fun’ when you live close to the terrorist state of Russia.


So my traditional lifestyle is disrupted, and now I have to drink my coffee and work from the bomb shelter, otherwise Russian missiles may kill me and my family.


Other than this, I’m trying to work hard and mix this with some nice walks, delicious meals, and various entertainment.


What would surprise people about your daily work?


I think this is freedom – no office, no fixed hours, no boring routine, and all that kind of things. I’ve been freelancing since 2014 and enjoy the opportunity to work independently and when\where I want.


However, I should say that people are surprised when I say that working at the beach is not as fun as it sounds, he-he 😊


Tell us about your career journey.


How did you get from high school to your current role?


For a long time I was interested in various creative things and music, so was pretty sure that I will work with some kind of events, like music festivals. It all started when I was a student, and I passed away from the concert agency to an event agency, then I moved to a marketing agency and since that time I’m creating various marketing-related designs and animations 😊


What was it that made you choose this career? What was your a-ha moment that made you confident you wanted to do this work?


It all happened naturally, like a kind of personal growth, I never had hard decisions or something. Well, just once I had a really hard decision – I started my freelancing career back in 2014 when the terrorist state of Russia occupied Crimea and caused a lot of bad impact-- when advertising market was shocked and even the biggest clients decided to put everything on hold.


Due to this negative impact, it was necessary to find a solution for me and my family, so I decided to leave the office and try freelancing. It was a hard decision, but it led to a great future!


The first months were terrible, as it was super complicated to get some jobs at Elance\oDesk, but later things became better and now I’m feeling happy to be a freelancer and work with such great clients from all over the world. 😊


Are there any expectations you had about your career that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?


Freelancing isn’t easy, and we all know this. It’s not that easy to find nice projects, sometimes you have a lot of headaches with projects\clients, sometimes you are not feeling confident about your future, etc., but at the same time, you have full freedom.


I was ready for the challenge, so nothing surprised me. However, I must say that working at the beach is the worst idea regarding freelancing work, he-he 😊


What education, experience, or training has helped you the most in your career? 


‘Play hard, go pro’ – this is what helps me.


Education and other things are helpful of course, but the main thing is a mindset, especially for freelancers, a high level of self-discipline and self-motivation is a must. So I’m always trying to reach new heights and grow as a designer and as a person.




Advice for someone who might be interested in taking a similar path?


‘Believe’ – just like Ted Lasso told his team 😊


Connect with Alex on Upwork