Freelancer of the Week

Our new series features freelancers from our community and we talk about how they’ve coped during the ongoing Covid19 crisis and their predictions for the future.

Next up is Becky Wong who is a remote freelancer currently based in Bulgaria!

What do you do?

Hello! I’m Becky. I’m an ex-Londoner turned digital nomad. I’ve been remotely freelancing for the last 3 years, wearing many hats! Most of my work is with small businesses as Operations & Projects Manager as well as freelance writing creating content for their company websites. This year I’ve been focusing on projects surrounding sustainability, diversity and inclusion!

Alongside my freelance work, I run Project Anywhere where I share stories about nomad travels, freelancing and remote work adventures – although this year there’s been a big pause on any travelling so it’s been mostly Bulgarian adventures! I also coach and mentor others who are starting remote careers or running remote businesses.

What have you been up to during the Covid madness?

My partner and I decided to stay where we were in Bulgaria when it all started, so I continued to work remotely from the small mountain town, Bansko. Some client work paused, so it did impact my work at the time. I also had some surprise health issues over the summer months which meant I had to hit pause on all of my freelance work in the end unfortunately while I dealt with that.

I had just started a 3-month membership at the local space Coworking Bankso before the lockdowns started in Bulgaria. The founder kindly contacted all nomad members who stayed in Bansko to check-in on us and started a Whatsapp group for us to share updates and stay in touch. They also shifted many of their regular community activities to online, so it was brilliant to be able to stay connected that way through the lockdown!

Because I’ve been working remotely over the last 3 years, apart from not being able to physically go into the coworking space or to cafes at the time, much of my usual routines stayed pretty much the same – working from home and video calls with clients with even more video calls with friends, family and online groups.

There were A LOT more Zoom video calls during the lockdown period. 🙂

What did your days look like pre-Covid and what do they look like now?

Pre-Covid I’d be moving around every 3 months exploring new bases around the world, but right now I’m not travelling at all (except for a few road trips around Bulgaria!). I had planned to slow it down this year anyway I just didn’t know where, and the world chose Bulgaria for me.

I’ve been relying on online groups to meet new people while travelling and joining online events over the last few years already, so it’s been fascinating to see the big shift towards everything going remote out of necessity because of the pandemic. There have been many remote work summits happening over the years and now it seems the number of online events is exploding more than ever!

Although it’s sad that it took a pandemic to drive more conversations about remote work being the norm, it’s a big positive direction. Because while some of us want to work remotely or flexibly, there are many others who need to.

How are you feeling mentally and how do you manage stress?

I think there’s more of a general acceptance now that this isn’t going away any time soon and we’ll be living with restrictions for some time still. I definitely felt that shared global grief people talk about because it has been a hard year for everyone in so many ways.

I’m feeling positive, like most people I’ve been feeling a lot of ups and downs this year. I’m grateful to have my long-term partner, travel buddy and fellow freelancer to keep me grounded and keeping my spirits up. Luckily, we live in an age too where technology allows us to video call family and friends at a drop of a hat – staying connected with loved ones has been a major help too.

There have been times this year where I felt like I should be doing more, achieving more, using the time especially during lockdown to push ahead on personal or professional growth but I’d be struggling mentally because of everything happening, as many of us have felt. I’d often remind myself not to be so hard on myself!

This year has not been normal circumstances in any shape or form so we should go definitely go a bit easier on ourselves. If that’s what you need right now, then don’t feel guilty about reading all of your books or binge-watching ‘Emily in Paris’ on Netflix. 😉

How do you feel about the future?

I’ve always been ever the optimist! My plan this year from the start has been “the plan is to have no plan” which turned out to be incredibly fitting. As a freelancer, I’m used to and prepared for bouncing between being busy and having downtime.

Pandemic-wise, I’m worried about what the world might look like from the view of the impact of this pandemic around the world.

From a freelancing and remote work view, I’m excited about the shift from friends or connections who would never have considered either before who are now seeing both as options now. Couple that with organisations also seeing this change as something that is here to stay rather than a long-term solution.

What predictions do you make for the future of freelancing?

I think there are loads of new opportunities for anyone who is looking to make that leap or is looking for a career change. I’m currently working directly with or as a sub-contractor with so many clients from organisations big and small who see the real benefit of working with freelance teams, to be able to quickly scale up and scale down depending on their projects while being able to work with specialists.

More people are realising the benefits of freelancing and self-employment for themselves too, to be able to choose when, where and how you work. As more people continue to look for and find the flexibility, they need to fit work around their life rather than the other way around, I think more people will choose this option.

Freelancing communities are such welcoming, collaborative communities, open to helping each other out. We’re all here ready to guide and support you if you are thinking about making a change. 🙂

 Thank you Becky for taking part.

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.