My name is Ruth Mwongeli. I come from Kenya but I currently reside in South Korea. I am Msc+PhD researcher. At the same time, I am a very active online freelancer.
The million dollar question I get asked every time is ‘Why freelancing, and how do you blend the two?’. Well, let me say that I love the challenge that comes with research work. I am much interested in research-related jobs; compiling a list, data gathering of information which is more research related. Also, I have taken up jobs related to questionnaires many times. The research-related jobs excite me pretty much, not just because of the good pay, but because I am confident I can deliver quality results on any research work.
And I would relate freelancing much like a ‘flexible online research’. This is because, freelancing jobs come in different shapes with different requirements and each job is unique in its own way. The uniqueness of these jobs is what drives me.
HOW DO I BALANCE PHD RESEARCH AND FREELANCING?
I love WHAT I do, and so I dedicate my time into everything I do. Time is very important to me, and so I learnt how to separate my research and freelancing.
The most important thing is that I work according to my schedule. I have a schedule for my study, and a schedule for freelancing as well. It is not easy for me to deal with everything all at once. So I try to breakdown any project I got into different smaller tasks. I deal with each jobs requirements and priorities the tasks. I deal with the harder part of the job first to give me a momentum. I also believe that timeline is essentially a promise. I have promises and timelines for my study and as well for freelancing, so when I am making a promise to a client about the date of delivery, I give realistic expectations to the clients than promise a speedy timeline which is hard to honor. This way, I get a buffer time to get things done right.
Time management catches up with me sometimes especially when I am drowning into procrastination, but technically that is a challenge that I can have direct control on.
I previously worked for many freelancing sites, and many other personal clients who I could do market research and analysis for. However, since I learnt about Workshift, I find it very flexible, friendly, responsive, and convenient to work with, and much important, the work ethics are impecceabe which makes Workshift one of the best freelancing platforms of the many that I know. Workshift basically works best for me.
I aim at being a researcher in the long run. That said, I feel that freelancing in Workshift complements my idea of being a researcher and that the more I do different task, the more I get to improve on my research skills, may it be data collection, research analysis and evaluations.
MY ADVICE TO THE NEWBIE FREELANCERS
Time management is one the most crucial internal battles that freelancers face. As much as there is the freedom of being your own boss, it is quite a major challenge not having a boss over your shoulder to ensure completion of work.
The freelancing life is filled with both sunshine and thunderstorms, the study life also has its own lemons and oranges. In the end, it is the mental toughness as a freelancer that will drive you to achieving success.