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How to Get Started as a Freelance Developer (S5E14)

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During the day, Sarah Greer is a homeschooling mom of four. By night she is a freelance web developer.

Sarah GreerAfter working in customer service for an internet service provider and then after that being a stay-at-home mom, Sarah heard about the need for women in tech. After jumping into a Skillcrush program, she was able to start building websites for small businesses at home. It keeps her busy, but she loves building client relationships, bringing in extra money, and honing her tech skills.

In today’s episode, Sarah talks about balancing freelance work, homeschooling, and family, and shares how to freelance work tips and advice for those who are just starting out, such as knowing how much to charge clients.

Listen below!

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!


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Key Takeaways

1. Say yes if you can’t do it now, but you can learn to do it.

“Say yes,” Sarah encourages. “That's my number one piece of advice. I've never, ever worked on a project where I knew everything going in. If I had waited until I knew everything, then I would have never said yes.”

For example, when a fellow student asked Sarah for help with JavaScript: “I was like, absolutely. Which is hilarious, because I was still learning it at the time. But I just knew that I could do it or I could learn what I needed to know to be able to do it. So I just said yes. Sometimes you just have to figure it out as you go along.”

bootcamp

2. Just getting started? Pick a course and jump in.

Sarah got her start by signing up for a Skillcrush bootcamp. “I jumped in with Skillcrush—I think I signed up on the very first blueprint that was available! I learned a lot and made a lot of connections there. The blueprints are three months, and you learn at your own pace. But you're pushing yourself to get through each month, so that you're ready for the next month. And it's just a really good way to keep you on track for where you want to be.”

3. Stay balanced.

When life is busy, it can hard to find a healthy life balance. That’s why you have to literally build balance into your schedule! Make a schedule, starting with everything your day-to-day life needs time for. Then, look for any gaps where you can plan some relaxation or fun.

having fun

For Sarah, it’s important to have a slow morning in order to gear up for the day: “We have a really lazy laid-back kind of morning. And then around lunchtime, we'll get started with our homeschooling stuff. We're usually done between four and five, then we get a little bit of dinner. Then it's kind of a swap with my husband. He also works from home, but he's off by then. And then I just go and I get my work done. I take a break in the middle and get some exercise in, because otherwise it would never happen. And then I work until the wee hours of the morning…and it all starts over again.”

4. Find out what tech is lacking, and brainstorm how you can fill the gap.

Maybe you’re part of a demographic that’s under-represented in tech. Maybe you have an innovative solution for a problem in the industry. Maybe you want to focus on a skill that there’s a lot of demand for.

For Sarah, all it took was one moment of epiphany from a podcast: “I started to get into podcasts. And I heard an interview with Adam from Skillcrush that was talking about the need for women in tech. I started to look into that a little bit more.” The rest is history!

brainstorm

Links and mentions from the episode:

Where to listen to the podcast

You can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:

  1. iTunes
  2. Overcast
  3. Stitcher
  4. Spotify

If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!

Special thanks to this episode’s partner

SkillcrushSkillcrush: Skillcrush is an online coding and design school with a wide variety of tech-career training programs that provide you with step-by-step guides to success. Start your career today with their FREE 10-day bootcamp for beginners.


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