I got featured on this month’s KLue for the Cari Makan section. The interview was about the glories and pitfalls of freelancing life. If you’re not grabbing a copy (why aren’t you?!), it went on something like this:
Interview by Syarifah Syazana, KLue May 2010.
What is your job description?
I’m a freelance designer/illustrator.
I’m pretty comfortable. (Note: not living in KL helps!)
Bachelor of Multimedia, Monash Uni, Victoria, Aust.
Currently, what services do you provide?
Web/multimedia design, illustration, well, basically anything design/drawing-related. Check out my portfolio at www.mimimashud.com for the stuff I’ve done.
What are some of the major perks of your job? Any drawbacks?
Perks – getting up at 10 almost every morning. Going to an empty cinema on weekdays. Life without stroke-inducing traffic.
Drawbacks – not having the security of getting a paycheck at the end of every month. There have been a few sleepless nights filled with worry!
What was your previous job and what inspired you to breakout of the standard tradition of a 9am-5pm job?
I was working with one of the major local IT companies as a web designer, for 5 years. I left simply because it’s been 5 years. When I first quit, being a fulltime freelancer wasn’t what I had in mind. I actually planned to just chill out for a few months, freelance for awhile, beef up my portfolio, and then find work with another creative agency. But somehow it didn’t quite go that way. Things kinda fell into place, with the freelancing gigs I’ve been getting, and now I don’t think I can go back to the 9-5 life again. But who knows, huh?
What is a typical work day like for you on the job?
It varies, but a typical day would be me getting up at 10 am. I check my emails as I have my coffee, and sort out things that need to be done that day. If there are no urgent deadlines, I hit the gym until lunch time. After lunch I start getting things done and checking off items on my task list, until I’ve completed what needs to be done.
As a freelancer, how do you make sure that the money keeps rolling in every month?
Always deliver quality work. If the client is happy with the work you delivered, and the experience of working with you, they’ll most likely hook you up with another gig. Or recommend you to their peers. During less-busy periods, I take on personal projects to improve my skills and gain exposure.
Most people might view going freelance full-time as an attractive but rather risky route they’d prefer not to take. What is your advice to those who secretly dream of leaving their current job to freelance full-time in something they enjoy/makes them happy?
Even if you secretly dream of doing your own thing, do well in your current job – it’s the people who you work with who’d know first that you’re quitting and want to try freelancing. If they know you’re able to do good work, they’d probably be the first ones to pass you a freelance gig/business contact. I actually got some of my first gigs from my ex-boss. That was really nice of him.
Try the freelance thing part-time first, to see if it’s your thing in the first place. Sometimes we mistake the desire to go freelance in a certain field for simply wanting an escape from whatever unpleasantness you’re facing at your current work. Freelance work, is work too, riddled with its own kind of unpleasantness.
If you’re sure, make sure you have enough contacts before you leave.
Well, you can plan and plan and plan, but in the end, quitting a secure job is still about taking the plunge.
Get your copy of KLue today! (hehe mestilah iklan sikit)