What I do for work
It's been over 8 years since I did my first development gig on Upwork and over these years I have dabbled in many side gigs but have mostly stuck with freelance development.
I work as a full-time Software Engineer at Industry Dive, a business-journalism company based out of Washington DC. Currently, I work remotely through a PEO service-providing company because Industry Dive is yet to set up a business entity in my country (which they will, soon) and earn a good salary for my region. My company and my manager is very flexible with timings so my core work hours are generally from 12 pm to 3-4 pm, 5 days a week. As a result, I get to work on personal and freelance projects in my free time.
As a part-time gig, I work as a Technical Consultant at a recruitment agency called Oval HR. I usually conduct tech screenings and interviews, and provide consultancy to companies on how to retain and engage their employees. My commitment to this role is on a contractual-basis so there is no fixed salary from this so whatever I earn from this from time to time is really just a bonus.
When my workload isn't very much at my full-time job, I actually earn more from freelance work than everything else combined. When you are a freelancer, be it in development or anything else like design or content writing or SEO, your main goal should be to be so good at it that companies want to hire you because you are an expert at what you do and not because you're charge less. Over the last 8 years, I have learned different technologies and polished my skills at them and now as a result, I can charge good money for my services. My main motto here is very cliche but very effective: quality over quantity. I primarily work with a handful of agencies based in Singapore that offload development work to me and I charge them appropriately for my time. Now, I could always go back to websites like Upwork and bid for projects but for me that bidding and constantly looking out for new work is stressful. So usually, when my clients need anything done, they reach out to me and I, more often than not, move forward with it because they are great clients and they know the value of my work. This way, over the last three years or so, I have consistently made more money from my freelance work than I have from my full-time job.
But does that mean it is time for me to leave my full-time job? No. Because, working at a company where stress levels are low and the kind of work you do is fulfilling to you is a great peace of mind and it also provides an extra layer of security because some months I go without any freelance work and some months I do not get enough time to sleep.
I sometimes read articles and tweets on generating multiple sources of passive income but I honestly am not there yet. I do have a constant passive flow through website maintenance packages which is just okay, but I have been looking to expand on that MRR. I am not quite there yet, and I do not really get the time to work on creating more passive income flows, but I think about it from time to time.
Like I mentioned before, I have previously dabbled in other kind of work like photography and videography and I made a few bucks from it, but honestly the industry standard rates were not enough for me to dedicate my time and energy to it.
I have been looking into expanding my passive income and working on generating more sources as well as investing but all of these require time for research so I am trying to do that a little every week.
At this point in my life, I am satisfied with how far I have come but I am still always hungry and constantly looking out for more income sources.