Frustration cannot defeat all. And whoever wins becomes an impetus for other people. In Bangladesh thousands of undergrad students do suffer from a financial crisis. They further suffer from unemployment problems after completing university education. But things are getting changed day by day. They no longer have to remain insolvent during studies or waste their time and talent seeking jobs within the national territory. Since freelance job opportunity has brought a revolution here. Consequently, we can see some stars around us. One of them is Touhidur Rahman. He is now a top-rated plus freelancer at Upwork! Also, he’s an entrepreneur, owns an agency there. Let us get in touch with the tale about how was the struggle and how did he succeed.
It was back in 2009 when Touhidur Rahman got admitted to a private university in Dhaka. He was from a village. So he could realize early that he has to adapt to this megacity. And this struggle helped him achieve a unique height in freelancing later. Let us quote him to know how it was.
“After the admission to my university I felt the need for a financial back-up. I wasn’t solvent enough to meet my semester fees and other personal expenditures. Jobs were so limited for students. Yet, somehow I managed a part-time job, began to work in an international call center at night shift. I had to attend my university classes one day. But as I wasn’t skilled in English so I had to struggle a lot. You know how a village boy is deprived of The English-practicing environment here in Bangladesh! So it was very difficult for me to cope with this megacity. But gradually I learned to adapt through my hard-work. My part-time job was helpful in this regard. True that at the beginning I struggled to handle any conversation. But soon I turned into a smart guy as there was always a drive in me.”
Sometimes some bad things burden us to taste something good. Same thing we can find when we look at Mr. Rehman’s early job experience.
He says, “The first part-time job experience is totally bitter. I didn’t get any salary. The interview was good, I cheered. But the latter scenario was different! Then I switched to another job. But again, couldn’t taste my honorarium for the first two months. I hope you can imagine how frustrating it could be for young undergrad! Nevertheless, I stick to my goal, didn’t let the frustration defeat me. Then I joined another call center and started getting paid. But I was bound to continue my university classes and the night-shift job which was very arduous. Then overall I found it super hectic and Alhamdulillah, moved to freelance!
In our society, there are still many parents who don’t recognize freelancing as a job. Unfortunately to them, it’s ‘not dignified enough’ to maintain a social life. Bangladeshi freelancers have to face barriers in case of marriage. As a result many of the potential freelancers simply dropped out due to their family and societal hindrance. But things are going to change. His example can surely be inspiring for many.
From his life, we could learn why all of us need family support to do something extraordinary. Good thing is, we have at the same time thousands of wise parents who have faith in their children’s decisions. Today’s successful freelancer Touhidur Rahman wouldn’t have been in this position unless he got such tremendous family support. “Definitely my family was my biggest support. Despite being a rural middle class, they realized the importance of educating me even in a private university and encouraged my freelancing approach. I also felt that I must give nice feedback to them.”
Like many classy freelancers Upwork is the most favorite marketplace for him. He never thought of any alternative. Now, apart from being self-employed, he has some employees in his agency.
“Alhamdulillah, I’ve been working in Upwork, till now worked around 12000 hours! Here I’m working both as a freelancer and an agency owner. I think it’s a great opportunity to create an agency in this prestigious marketplace for an established freelancer. Here top-rated freelancers can easily become entrepreneurs. Our ICT ministry is also focusing on making entrepreneurs.”
Mr. Touhid also gives his opinion to boost this process. He says, “Having an agency at Upwork should definitely be focused on. You’ll find it difficult to open a personal account here, but can easily open an agency account and let others work there. So I think it’s a great option we must utilize. However, many top-rated freelancers fail to organize this type of business. They lack in management and organizational strategy. If we can diagnose and remove their limitations through some means like grooming, seminar & conference I think we’ll rock.”
He firmly believes that the Govt. must not miss this chance to reduce the unemployment problem.
We asked him to give his best 3 tips regarding client management and these are as follows:
“Number one, you must be hardworking, especially at the beginning. There’s no alternative to this.
Number two, you must be good at communication. This is a crucial skill to succeed. You can easily convince potential clients by this. It shows that you can understand and deliver your assigned task promptly.
And number three is professionalism. Many of our Bangladeshi freelancers do severely lack in this. I think we should emphasize the most. Because devoid of this you only create a bad impression about your country. It formidably hampers other potential freelancers’ earnings. So be very careful and learn to hone this!
Mr. Touhid assures that freelancing is a very good platform for the newbie. One can even run this business aside from his academic studies. One can easily start because lots of materials are available now.
“You’ll have many useful Youtube tutorials out there. The govt. is highly encouraging this sector too. So the guideline is available. But you just need to select your niche and study on this while you start. Simultaneously you must have communicating competency. Besides, as a newbie, if you start working under a local agency, you can learn a lot. This way you can secure a complete understanding and make a good portfolio too. It will help you stand out as a freelancer afterward. And unless you learn these you will just mess up with clients, spoil the reputation of your locality. So prepare first, then come. It’s a huge market. Here chances are very high for a newbie with minimum quality. You should dare to come here. I welcome you all!”
Our freelancing star Touhidur Rahman takes pride in his freelancer identity. He exemplifies the US as a role model for freelance module jobs. He also hopes that Bangladeshi freelancers will definitely go to the next level.