15 years a freelancer

This year marks fifteen years of freelancing in my life. That’s 100% of my work life and nearly half the time I live on this world. Time to write something down.

»When I was young, I challenged a lot and kickstarted my career. Of course I also failed often but combined with optimism and strategies how to succeed a project this enables my freelance business for now already fifteen years…«

When I was 17, I started out as a freelancer during school. With a friend I founded the my first company to do website programming jobs. What started as a hobby now turned into work and got me my first income in my life; it was amazing to be able to earn money completely on my own and be able to pay for things with my own money instead of my parents’. For some years, this worked out quite well for us until it became clear that my partner and I are going to follow different aims and paths in our work lives. So after a few years, we closed down the company and I continued as a freelancer.

This was the time when I moved from webdesign towards print and digital publishing. Webdesign back then was a bit boring (the time when HTML5 and CSS3 was still very new and not in every browser) for me and the world of digital publishing seemed new and promising. The next years, I worked “cross-media” meaning coding jobs on the one side and print stuff on the other and it served me very well. I was able to connect both things and met some amazing people. I was working with companies like Adobe and gave workshops and trainings for them.

Then, after another few years I realised that I miss website coding a lot and turned back into programming again. Now I started with bigger projects, including for worldwide known companies and taking on more responsibility. I was in involved in more decision processes, project planning and strategic work and also started leading various developer teams. I did a Scrum training and worked as certified Scrum Master for some years although I never stopped being part of the coding team myself. It was key to me to be a connector between management people and engineers which led me into positions of Engineering Management later on.

»The great result of the split is that I’m highly motivated to code websites again and have time for inspiration during my other work«

In 2020 I decided to change something in my life. I struggled with sitting in front of computer all day and wanted to be more outside, in nature. So I started a small vegetable farm business which right now is part of my work-life. At the moment, I split coding websites and growing vegetables as my main jobs and am more happy than ever, although this means less money than I’m used to.

The great result of the split is that I’m highly motivated to code websites again and have time for inspiration during my other work. My body and brain both benefit from the muscle work outside and the fresh air, resulting in less headaches or back pain issues when sitting in front of a computer.

In fifteen years I realised a lot of projects, I worked with many amazing people and companies, I spoke at events, I gave workshops, I did my own projects and write an industry-leading newsletter. I helped or at least advised a lot of people with their careers, finding their workplace, a work-life balance or just gave them some motivation. For me, this is the best reward I can get from my job.

Some blinks of an eye into future

In the upcoming weeks there will be a video published about me by Honeypot where I tell the story of all the background around this career development and where you also can get an impression on what I do nowadays. I’m very excited when this gets published and it was a real pleasure to work with Ida, the film maker.

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