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Freedom is the new wealth @ HackConf 2017


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Do you work in an office and you find yourself counting down to Friday? Have you ever dreamed of travelling the world or working on your own schedule and not typical 9 to 5? Actually, there’s another option than the typical career.

In 2011, I started freelancing on the side. Now, I am a full-time freelancer, working on various exciting projects for clients all over the world.

Do you want to know how I got my very first freelance project, why I chose freelancing and how to land your first client? In this talk, you'll hear about my personal experiences and lessons learned from 6 years of freelancing.

This talk was given at HackConf, Sofia, Bulgaria on September 30, 2017.


Jenny is a Senior UX/Product Designer at Toptal, an exclusive global network of the top freelance designers, developers, and finance experts. With a passion for helping newcomers in UX to grow and succeed, she mentors designers under her mentorship program. She also founded and co-organizes the Ladies that UX Amsterdam community. In her spare time, she likes globetrotting and has explored over 45 countries.

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Freedom is the new wealth @ HackConf 2017

  1. 1. Freedom is the New Wealth @jennyshen - HackConf - Sep 30, 2017 Join the future workforce of freelancing!
  2. 2. ! "
  3. 3. @jennyshen@jennyshen Taiwan Operation World
  4. 4. @jennyshen
  5. 5. @jennyshen
  6. 6. @jennyshen
  7. 7. @jennyshenDooder, Freepik
  8. 8. @jennyshenDooder, Freepik
  9. 9. Dai KE, Unsplash @jennyshen
  10. 10. @jennyshen No more commuting #1
  11. 11. @jennyshen
  12. 12. @jennyshen
  13. 13. @jennyshen Flexible schedule #2
  14. 14. @jennyshenCrystal Ro, Buzzfeed
  15. 15. @jennyshen #3 No interview process
  16. 16. @jennyshen
  17. 17. @jennyshen “Tell me about your biggest weakness” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
  18. 18. @jennyshen Wear whatever I want #4
  19. 19. @jennyshen Work wherever I want #5
  20. 20. @jennyshen
  21. 21. @jennyshen #digitalnomad @jennyshen
  22. 22. @jennyshen Flexible schedule No interview process Different industries Work wherever No commuting Entrepreneurship Wear whatever
  23. 23.
  24. 24. We’re realizing we don’t have to work 9 to 5 in an office to be our most productive. Especially as creatives, there’s not a lot of inspiration in routine. @jennyshen Lauren Hom, Independent Illustrator Lauren Hom
  25. 25. I started coding and experimenting more and I started writing articles. And less than a year after that, I got my first front-end development work inquiry [through Codepen], which kickstarted my freelance career. Sara Soueidan , Independent Front-end Developer Quotes Magazine @jennyshen
  26. 26. I started as a freelancer because I was traveling for skateboarding. I wanted to develop my creativity personally, not under the reign of an art director. Mackey Saturday, Freelance Graphic Designer. Interviewed at @jennyshen
  27. 27. @jennyshen Now?
  28. 28. @jennyshen
  29. 29. @jennyshen How to find great clients & have consistent income? @jennyshen
  30. 30. @jennyshen How to find great clients & have consistent income? THE HOLY GRAIL @jennyshen
  31. 31. @jennyshen
  32. 32. @jennyshen Portfolio #1
  33. 33. @jennyshen
  34. 34. @jennyshen Online presence #2
  35. 35. @jennyshen
  36. 36. @jennyshen Network #3
  37. 37. @jennyshen Talk to one person you don’t know. Introduce yourself, talk about what you’re working on, AND that you’re available for freelance. Challenge
  38. 38. @jennyshen
  39. 39. @jennyshen Open source contribution or side projects #4
  40. 40. @jennyshen
  41. 41. @jennyshen
  42. 42. @jennyshen Apply to freelance jobs #5
  43. 43. @jennyshen Join freelance communities #6
  44. 44. YOU are in control of your life and career
  45. 45. Благодаря! Senior UX Designer at Toptal @jennyshenJenny Shen