By day I work in a highly pressurized job. By night I am a freelancer!
“I am motivated by a never ending desire to achieve more.”
As I write this piece I am residing in London, England. Never one to rest, by day I work in a highly pressured job for one of the top universities in the UK and the world, and by night I work as a translator, writer, research consultant and more.
I am motivated by a never-ending desire to achieve more, to do better and to push myself to my limits.
- Can you recall a memorable moment in your career?
It can be said that it was partly for these reasons (pushing myself to my limits) that I entered an essay into the Japan Foreign Trade Council’s (JFTC) 2012 essay competition on depopulation in Japan, it was a useful exercise in research, but I never imagined that I might win a prize.
As it turned out I won the grand prize and was invited to a ceremony in Tokyo where I gave a speech in English and Japanese to gathered officials and press members. I hope, however, that this special event won’t represent the peak of my career!
- What is a typical day like for you?
Outside of my day job the kind of work I am asked to do can be quite varied, so I feel lucky that we have been able to create a type of makeshift office/nursery at home. We have a two month old baby, so recently it has felt very busy, but as an example of daily life, today I was at work at my university, in the evening at home I played with our son while my wife cooked and then once he was asleep I got to grips with a current assignment I am completing for a regular client of mine; doing the English voiceover recordings for an English textbook to be published in Japan - the country where I met my wife and where we married.
I guess the struggle in my life is finding time for myself! However, for me my wife and son are the most important people in the world and everything I do is for them, so I don’t mind if I have my own personal time or not.
- How did you find Workshift and what are your thoughts?
My wife was the one who originally found Workshift on the internet and she saw jobs she thought I should apply for given my Japanese skills. As one has to craft a persuasive email for any jobs they apply for it is quite interesting! Workshift has also given me the opportunity to complete a variety of different jobs that I have really enjoyed.
I am registered with several other companies in Japan but the relationship with Workshift is different, they really seem to care about both clients and freelancers. I never even expected that I would meet a member of the Workshift team, but earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting one of their staff (in the photo below) at a café here in London!
- Does the Workshift platform suit you?
I think the biggest attraction for me was that the website is so easy to understand and use. I especially like how a deadline can be set with the client, which for freelance work is very important.
The different functions of their website work really well, so I can see which jobs I have applied for, I can see the status of the jobs I am currently doing and I really like how everyone can evaluate each other. The payment system is really straightforward and easy too.
- You seem to have a very busy life. What‘s next?
I have a great affinity for Japan and we will be relocating to Tokyo soon. I think this move will put me in a position to be a better freelancer as sometimes I feel the distance between London and Tokyo when I am communicating with clients in Japan. As I will be a stay-at-home dad in Tokyo I am hoping to visit Workshift’s office to say a proper thank you to the staff there.
- What advice do you have for new freelancers?
For someone just starting with Workshift I think I can’t emphasize enough the importance of writing an appropriate email for any particular job that you apply for. Of course, for a freelancer it is tempting to just use one or two email templates for every job that you apply for – because you may be applying for similar jobs across different platforms – but I think Workshift clients are a bit more special and they really need to understand from you why you should be the one to do their work. So I would say really look at the job that is advertised and really explain to the client how you meet their requirements.