Umer is a CERT 5 full stack designer working with major companies and clients all over the world!
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
I have a degree in Engineering, specialising in computer science. During college I was also very keen in art and design. After University I made a drastic change in my career path and went for a design course as that was what stirred my heart. I am passionate about the latest design elements in digital media from apps, websites and logo designs. Apart from design, I have experience as a programmer also, which helps me create the whole package within an interface. My main interest remains in UI design as I like clean and minimal designs that are user friendly
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I used to work in a software company as a technical support, where I had to troubleshoot customers’ technical problems remotely. Though that job wasn’t what I would love to do forever, I learned a lot there such as how to handle customers, which still helps me in freelancing.
How did you come across PPH?
While I was learning more about design on the Internet, I stumbled upon PPH and I found the platform very easy to use. Everything on PPH was pretty clear, that’s when I posted a few hourlies and applied for a few jobs. Luckily I got one straight away!
What was your first job like on PPH?
I had to design a college magazine cover and I had this mixed feeling of excitement and fear. I was thinking, what if they find out this is my first job and I kept wondering whether they will like my work or not, but it all went well. It wasn’t even about money at that time, I just wanted to get those 5 stars. Which I got from the first job and the feeling was great. Though my work wasn’t that great, eventually you get to the point where you feel more confident about your work.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day starts with a good healthy breakfast and reading tech blogs. My freelancing work starts from 10am until whatever time I want, however, work-times obviously depend on client deadlines. In my free time, I work out at a gym which helps me reduce any stresses and just be happy with myself.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
Freelancing is all about freedom. You work whenever you want, you set your own rules, you are your own boss and that’s what makes you work more efficiently. While in a ‘normal’ 9-5 you’re bound to rules and don’t have such freedom.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
I have tried almost all freelancing websites but PPH will always be my favourite. PPH is really simple to use and you can find people happy to pay sensible money for a professional job. Freelancing lets you take control of your life by letting you do jobs in a field that you enjoy. You can work from an office or at home giving you more time for your family and friends. PeoplePerHour provides us with a great opportunity to do just that.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I want to turn this into a big venture and take my designing to a whole new level.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1. Showcase your work. Create a good portfolio, because that’s what your client is going to see before accepting your proposal or buying your Hourlie.
2. Keep your rates fair. You can research the market before setting rates as charging too low or too high can affect both you and the entire PPH community
3. Communication is very important, make sure you get all the information from the client. Show your interest in them and their business, then break down what they can expect by working with you step-by-step. This helps build trust and confidence.
4. Always go the extra mile with the job, not only you will get great feedback but also a lifetime client.
5. Be patient though it may take some time to get your first job, eventually you will get it. Don’t give up as once you get those 5 stars, you will get a huge kick start and more jobs will roll in.
What web browser do you use?
I use FireFox primarily with all the plug-ins
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
I would be a panther. Because panthers are beautiful. All sleek and black. Like Bagheera from Jungle Book.
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