Shahidul Alam Khan graduated from Civil Engineering and worked in the corporate sector for 12 long years. He is currently a full-time freelancer working regularly as a tender manager for an Australian company. Freelancing is not just his profession now, he loves freelancing like his family. Let’s hear about how freelancing became so close part of his life.

How did he Start Freelancing?

 While working in the corporate sector, Shahidul Alam Khan has worked with big organizations like Square, Sheltech, Northsouth University and many more.  He has been doing this for 12 years, until 2013. His work as a civil engineer was mainly of project basis. It was at this time that he first came to know through his wife that his sister-in-law was earning money by working on the internet. Even then, he didn’t know much about freelancing and thought it was just a story. Then in 2013 he became financially unstable and a he and his family was going to have a baby in short period of time. For this, he needed hospital fees, money to take care of the newborn as well as the mother. During this time he first tried to earn money through freelancing with the inspiration of his wife.

During this incident in 2013, he was able to raise the necessary money by working for three months at Odesk, the current Upwork. From then on, freelancing became like a faithful friend along with work and income source. Then he was doing another corporate job for a while and learning the job of freelancing by working at Odesk at the same time.  Then he realizes that freelancing is much more better than the given opportunity and labor of the corporate sector and he also is able to make money very well. Then in 2018, he started working as a full time freelancer at Upwork.

How Hard was the Start?

Shahidul Alam’s start was quite difficult. When he started in 2013, he didn’t know much about freelancing. Although he had a good idea about corporate office, he was completely new to Odesk. It took a lot of hard work and patience to learn everything anew.  ‘The first job I got was only 3dolllars per hour’, says Shahidul. His first client was very old, he could not work regularly due to illness and gave him a bonus as a deal clause.  But after a while this client died and his work also stopped. The job was to do engineering design. Then got a temporary job from Australia, where the client would verify the job before hiring in the long-term. But he was able to get this project smoothly.  In the meantime he had worked with many clients in different countries including USA, UK, Canada and was getting quite good feedbacks.

Why Fulltime Freelancing?

After a few days of freelancing, he got a job offer in a reputed corporate office in Bangladesh. They had many more benefits besides salary. Shahidul Alam Khan used to spend a lot of time in work as he worked both in the office during the day and at night in freelancing. It was at this time that he received an offer of a permanent job from an Australian company to estimate their work and he got the job. They later offered him a full-time job and Shahidul choose Freelancing between his job and freelancing. The reason for this was to get rid of the pressure of office, traffic jam in Dhaka, pressure of field supervision.  In freelancing he was able to do well in earning as well as find time for family and he had freedom at work.  So he started working as a full time freelancer.

Is There Anyone Special who Inspired Him?

The story of coming to freelancing is a little different in the case of Shahidul.  Usually, after working in a job for such a long time it’s hard for someone to get fully engaged in freelancing without any support. Inspirations or support plays a big role behind this.  Shahidul Alam’s main inspiration for coming to freelancing was from his wife. Starting in 2013, when he started as a fulltimer freelancing in 2018, his wife mainly supported him through these time and his family too. He also got inspiration from his elder sister who is a teacher. she has supported and encouraged Shahidul in all good deeds of him.

Any Suggestions for New Freelancers?

Shahidul Alam’s suggestions to new freelancers is first of all, of course, skill development. Information was less available when he started. But now it is possible to get many info, video tutorials, courses, etc. on many open platforms. So there are lots of skilled workers all over the world. And freelancing is also a open work platform. Anyone skilled can get the job done.  So the better one’s skill, the higher the success rate is.

He also emphasizes on mastering the use of all the software required in work, client management, work time management. One has to have a good idea about these things when it comes to freelancing.

Some Tips to Keep Clients Happy?

 According to Shahidul Alam Khan, there are some things that should be kept in mind that can keep the client satisfied. 

  1. Submitting work within the deadline: The first thing that Shahidul focuses on is that the work should be submitted within the deadline. If possible, submit the work before deadline.  But of course after completing the work well.
  2. Reviewing before submitting work: Secondly, he insists on reviewing the work. After finishing the work, make sure that you have filled up all the requirements of the client.  And even if there is any mistake, through the review it can be caught. You can also get good reviews from clients.
  3. You can help the client with any new idea while running the project: There is no guarantee that the client will always have better knowledge about the project than you have. Maybe you have come up with a better idea for the project so that the work becomes a benefit for both you and your client.  Share this idea with your client.  She will be happy and will probably recommend you to work again in the future.

You can also keep in touch with the client after work if you want, such as wishing on different holidays. The client may keep you in mind and may recommend you for later work scopes.

This is Shahidul Alam Khan who mainly works in civil engineering. He had a long era where he used to do this job with a lot of hard work and less opportunities, he is now able to do it much better than before through freelancing sector. And freelancing has given him solution and help at a crucial time in his life, that is why freelancing is now not just his profession, much like his family. According to him, even if he becomes unable to do freelancing in the future, he will still love this profession as he loves today.