Feature image: Local freelancers welcome Upwork team member Frances Liu to their Upwork Huddle in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo credit: Frances Liu)
The Bulgarian city of Sofia could easily be called one of the birthplaces of Upwork Huddles, recently gathering for their ninth quarterly Huddle—thanks to Nevena Angelova and Mariya Dimitrova, their engaging hosts.
Angelova is an experienced architect and interior designer and has been freelancing on Upwork for more than five years. She enjoys meeting people with different professions who share her passion for the freelancing lifestyle because it helps her to expand her horizon and gain new perspectives.
That makes her an ideal host for Upwork Huddles, independently organized meetups that are hosted by experienced Top Rated freelancers for the local Upwork freelancer community. Angelova started hosting Huddles on her own in 2017; she’s partnered with Dimitrova to co-host two of the most recent events. These events have brought together nearly 100 local freelancers so far.
Dimitrova found her passion for freelancing after she quit her job at a well-known web design company to pursue her own web design and website building service. Since then she has never looked back: “[Today] I am more confident. Being able to receive feedback for my work directly from my clients is making me a better professional and I am taking responsibility for my life. I know that the only person who can make me successful is me.”
At every Huddle, Angelova and Dimitrova have seen both new freelancers as well as repeat attendees from previous meetups. Angelova thinks it’s important for freelancers to connect in person.
“When you work from home, sometimes you need to just go out and meet with real people to discuss common problems, to socialize, to laugh and talk—and to feel that you are part of a community with like-minded people,” she said.
They also hosted a guest from Upwork HQ who was able to share a different perspective. When Frances Liu, a member of Upwork’s enterprise marketing team in California, was traveling in Bulgaria she was able to meet with the freelancer community in Sofia.
Dimitrova appreciated having an opportunity to meet and talk with a member of the Upwork team in-person. Liu was impressed by the number of different people who attend each event. “These Huddles are so useful,” she said. “They touch a lot of new people. It was a good mix of experienced and new freelancers who are struggling to get their first job, and by the end everyone was in high spirits, exchanging cards, and looking forward to the next event.”
Angelova and Dimitrova are planning ahead for the next year—both for their businesses and upcoming Huddles. Dimitrova jokingly adds that her most challenging exercise will be to organize her schedule to find time for all the goals she has for the next year. What are your goals for 2019? Maybe you have some ideas you’d like to discuss with fellow freelancers at a local Huddle in your city.
Upwork has a network of dynamic Upwork Huddle hosts all around the world. Becoming a host is a great way to expand your network, connect with other freelancers in person, and have fun!
To learn more about Upwork Huddles and how you can become a host, check out this help article. Please note that becoming a Huddle host is a perk for freelancers who have obtained Top Rated status.
Thanks to all Upwork Huddle hosts and attendees for helping to develop local Upwork freelancer communities. Watch for an upcoming Huddle in your community and follow the buzz online: #upworkhuddle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.