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Why DId You Start Freelancing?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
21 of 42

I came to it literally by accident. I had opened a Payoneer account in... 2010, I think, because I needed an US account to receive my book royalties. One day in 2011 I was looking at the Payoneer website and saw all their partners, and clicked on oDesk by sheer chance.


i was living in Scotland at the time and had a full time job, but thought it sounded interesting. I had never heard of online freelancing, so went about it rather haphazardly to start with, and didn't really take it seriously until I went on holiday to Italy in 2012, fell head over heels in love with the country, and also, at roughly that time, landed my first longer term, "as many hours as you can eat" contract. The pay wasn't great but because I had the full time job I was able to save up for moving South and face the idea of giving up the "proper job" and make a major life change.


So in February 2013 I moved to Italy (packing all my worldly belongings (which had not been sold, thrown away or given away) into an old Jaguar, including cat and dog and driving from the very top of Scotland to the South of Italy, to a town I had never been to, in a country where I knew nobody and didn't speak the language....) to start freelancing full time and have not looked back since.


In a way I have kind of come a full circle because my main client of the past 2 years has now employed me (through Upwork payroll) so I now have the best of both words, working from home with a flexible schedule, but with the security of employment and paid holidays and sick leave etc.


i still freelance for my other clients.


Wow, writing it all down makes me realise what an amazing journey it has been....

Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
22 of 42

Petra, IMO your story would make a great movie---seriously!  Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
23 of 42

I freelanced for a "committee" of lawyers from 2001-2005.  They provided me with an office and support and I worked pretty much exclusively for them.  The cases were all in settlement mode and when Katrina flooded my office with three feet of water, I decided I needed more stability.  Went back to the bricks and mortar world of law firms/ herding cats.  


When I lost my job in 2010, I just didn't have the heart to go find another.  I took early retirement and worked in the movies as a background actor for a couple of years which was great fun, but was also minimum wage and long hours (often overnight).


Not sure how I found ODesk - I remember that it was pretty random - and I've never looked back.  I work on jobs I'm interested in.  I don't have to deal with egos and office politics.  I don't have to drag huge boxes of documents to and from courtrooms.  And I can work as little or as much as I want (or need).  Lawyers are discovering that freelance paralegals are a huge cash cow for them, as I get paid more per hour than in a law firm but they bill me out at 3 times what they pay me.


Win/ Win.

Community Guru
Louisa J Member Since: Apr 12, 2017
24 of 42

I started freelancing full-time 9 months ago. I am 100% deaf and I thought 'Imagine working but not having to ask people to repeat themselves, or having to sit in silence for hours in meetings where I had no idea what was going on'. So I took the plunge after 6 months of both working full-time in the city and freelancing here on Upwork. 


I'm now in the process of packing up house as I don't need to pay the extortionate London rents anymore. I'll move about until I find my dream location with excellent Wi-fi of course. Man Happy



Active Member
Julia Z Member Since: Jul 6, 2017
25 of 42

Hello! I started freelancing so that I could have more say in my schedule. Juggling a full day of work with two kids, leaves very little time for doing much else during the week. I wanted my weekends to be more fun instead of things that I had to do like grocery shop, etc. Short answer - wanted to create my own schedule!

Ace Contributor
Andy A Member Since: May 12, 2017
26 of 42

I heard from Elance in 2010, I created my profile and everything, but I wasnt good enough in office work (in the engineering field) so I just forgot about it, got another full time job. In perspective this was for the best, I would have crash and burn if I had try to do estimation or anything during that time.


In October last year, I was out of the country and when I arrive I found myself without job. Again, I went back to elance (and I learned is upwork now); again I created my profile while I was studying english abroad but didnt do much and only applied to a few translation jobs (which I never got). I took a job I didnt want, in a country I didnt want to be. In April this year I decided to put some effort to the search, I took a few tests and refine a little bit my profile. After that, I started to get jobs; I dont do upwork freelance full time, but I think I will do it as soon as my job is done.



Active Member
Kenneth N Member Since: Jun 26, 2017
27 of 42


Lena you asked if  I recently become a freelancer ? Yes and I am barely a month old, I 've not been freelancing but a've heard of the trade and a've searched Ebooks and never thought that I would actively participate in preparing them.In the developing continent , where I am from (Kenya ) to be specific , the employment opportunities are diminishing and upwork provide that chance to all solving a global demand for jobs. 


I got to learn about Upwork from an online workers training, a digital initiatve by the Goverment  ICT ministry and got enticed  to become a freelancer , for flexibility and freedom. so far, I like the change and  the variety offered adds value not to forget raising hope that one can work from any corner of the world.





Active Member
Monika S Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
28 of 42

"...What enticed you to become a freelancer- was it financial independence, flexibility and freedom, or do you like change and variety and just don't want to work the same job? Tell us about your freelance journey." 


0. It started as a side-job search, based on the "make more money or spend less" mantra of single moms in a paternalistic, developing country


1. An hour worked - an hour paid (that was oDesk' slogan, I started on both sides, but I managed to kick it off on Elance stronger; anyway, the two were not so different for a noob)

2. I wanted to be able to set a "no thanks" price and some ethical minimum for myself

3. It was such a romantic thing 7-8 years ago, working from anywhere/anytime (school doorway, train, park, my friends in the countryside, night and day, or weekends)

4. When I got married - 5 years after I started on Elance -, I had been living "in two countries" for a couple of years, and I was able to keep up "self-employment"

5. When I finally and by law arrived in my second country, Upwork CS sorted out the transition of my account fast, giving me pride and motivation, that I brought my tiny business, as a dowry 


+1 question for further motivation: why do you want to freelance in the future? 

During the last 2 years, I rather grew on the client side, able to hire 2-4 long term and a couple of short-term contractors - thanks to my very long-term clients, tiny or biggie, all important


Of course, I must keep learning, and I changed myself a lot, just like the world around me. Sometimes I loose business, sometimes I reject opportunities, but growing together with my clients has been my passion.


Let's hope that I can stay in business, and this will be my memory game as best option against dementia.

Active Member
Michele W Member Since: Mar 23, 2017
29 of 42

I started freelancing in 2006 because it allowed me to stay home with my kids. Now that my youngest is going to high school, I've been trying to attract better projects that further my career. When I first started, I watched 3 different sites (including what was then Elance) and paid the membership fees for the first one through which I received a project offer. The winner was, and I've had a very successful freelancing career with them, but I found over the last year or two that the quantity AND quality of jobs there has been going down - fewer and farther between of the types of jobs that appear here on Upwork in the dozens. So when I had a lull recently, I replaced my automatcially converted Elance profile that I'd never done anything with and created a new one with details about everything I'd done through the other site. I've started to get some traction with some better rates and better projects. However, I have been scammed here as well, so really have to watch the projects for clues that they are real.


Honestly, I'm not 100% sure I want to keep freelancing, but I'm also not interested in just finding any job. I do like the flexibility and freedom, but it comes at a cost when I end up with too many projects at once or a project I agreed to do gets delayed. 

Active Member
Mohit D Member Since: Jul 11, 2017
30 of 42

Hi There,


Freelancing was my dream ever since I started working. In my collage days I learned about freelancing from one of my brother and during my training time he was running his own agency through freelancing career. So I decided to learn and dreamt about becoming own boss one day. From that day I have struggled a lot, even if I was offered higher packages to work on same old technologies , I refused and walk over to find new job, In my 4 years career I found my colleagues discussing about salary raise, but my idea was clear and I was preparing myself for something more bigger. I drop my full time job in last month and moved on to freelancing. I found to take this decision now due to few reasons :

1. Making out time for me and my family (as I am a married person).
2. Freedom to work in my ways and make my decisions myself.
3. I was clear from the very start that company gets 5 times higher money then they give you for bread and butter.
4. I found this to be right time to show my aggression and passion for working.


I am preparing myself for waiting to get good opportunity one day. It's tough but not non achievable.