Parbhat Puri

Read to understand how Parbhat Puri has an awesome freelance career working from Kurukshetra 🤔

June 22, 2019

⚡️ Quickfire Round

Where is your current homebase?

Pehowa (Kurukshetra)

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely?

I generally travel for the purpose of a holiday. I've travelled to various places in Himachal, Uttarakhand and have recently visited Seoul and Tokyo. My attempt to work remotely in Pune was a failure.

Highest education qualification?

B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering

Occupation

Information Technology

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working on a scale of 1-5 (where 1-negative and 5-very positive)?

4

How much do you earn per annum?

A freelancer income various a lot even from month to month. Freelancers generally use hourly rates. I'm billing the current contracts at $40 per hour.

Years of total experience?

4 years

Years of freelance experience?

I started freelancing part-time and working as a full-time freelancer since almost 2.5 years. I have worked in various remote roles as an intern, a software developer and a freelancer.

When I think about the ability to work remotely, I feel ____

Empowered and Fortunate

What was your key motivation for being a freelancer

Freelancing helps to work with companies present in any part of the world. I can work at my own pace along with the ability to work remotely.


🔥 Fireside Chat

How did you land your current freelance gig?

I am currently working with two companies: The Motley Fool (2 years) and Open Technology Fund (6 months). I was initially hired by The Motley Fool to work in a niche skill but after some months, started contributing to different areas of their tech stack.

I got both of the current contracts through Upwork. Some people have a perception that Upwork is only for the short term, low paying gigs. But that is not the case. A large number of high paying companies use it to hire high-quality freelancers.

Most of my freelance contracts are long term. I try to avoid short term projects (1-2 months). Some of my Open Source contributions and blog posts helped a lot in getting these projects. I received one of my last contracts because of a blog post that I wrote.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely?

Remote work and especially freelancing gives a lot of flexibility. But this flexibility sometimes adversely affects productivity.

I do not work at random times of the day. My day starts with Yoga. I like to have a set schedule and usually work between 10 AM - 7 PM IST. Most of the communication is async with other members of the team. I do not like to work late at night. Therefore, I only use my phone at night to reply to any messages and discussions. Also, taking a weekend break from work helps a lot. My goal is not to be available for work 24x7.

Recently trying to divide my work-day into two slots of 3-4 hours. Working long stretch of hours helps me to do some meaningful work. I like to be consistent about it but some days, things do not go as per plans.

What advice would you give to someone who is out there looking for a remote job or freelance work?

Most people starting with freelancing often complain they are not able to find projects. They try for some weeks and leave it. Building a career in freelancing is a process that takes time to set up like any small business.

Will you buy a laptop launched by a new company that claims to have the same specs as the MacBook Pro? No, right! You will first let other people try and review it before buying it.

Similarly, in freelancing, only a small number of companies will trust the new freelancer. Therefore, do not start freelancing with no experience. And only start it on a part-time basis as it can take 3-6 months or even more to properly set up things.

Some points that set you apart from the crowd -

  • Good portfolio
  • Open Source contributions
  • Online presence via blog or personal website
  • Target at a niche skill
  • Good network

Good companies often hire freelancers because they need help in a particular technology. A company looking for React developer will not hire a freelancer who does not know React. Even if the person worked with vanilla JavaScript, Angular or Vue, they will try to hire a React specialist. Focusing on a niche skill set will help a lot in finding quality clients.

I have taken a remote job after working with the same company as an intern but never looked for a remote job. While working for foreign companies there is less distinction between a working a job and working as a freelancer in terms of legality. Legally speaking, remote jobs for companies present outside India are contracts. Only a few companies hire on payroll via third parties. I'm mentioning it here because people planning to go remote full-time only look for remote jobs. The number of companies hiring remotely is increasing, but the number is still small compared to companies hiring remote independent contractors.

Email is still the best way to find a job. Just write an email to the company you admire if you have the right skill set.

What is the biggest benefit of working freelance?

The ability to schedule my day and work with companies present globally. I have recently written a blog post about it: Benefits of remote work from an Indian context.

Do you see any challenges of working remotely and how do you try to overcome them?

Remote work demands self-motivation. Some days can be lonely and boring. To overcome the issues, I sometimes help my father in his small business in the evening. Also, I try to travel after every 2-3 months. In the Indian context, remote work brings more motivation than challenges.

Where can people find you on the internet (if they have more questions)?

My website: https://parbhatpuri.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/parbhatpuri

Abhishek Bose

Abhishek Bose

Creator of RemoteIndian community

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