Interviews

“How Zoha’s Side Gig Turned into Full Time Profession”

Freelance Success Story

So we are back with our new Freelance Success Story of Zoha Umar, how she transformed her part-time income source into a full-time profession. In this interview, you will understand how freelancing transformed her lifestyle, she started freelancing as a side gig and soon transformed it into a full-time profession.

What’s your story, Zoha? Tell us about yourself.

Zoha – I have been always close to visual art. Post college, I was very much excited to realize that I could now pursue my career in Graphic Designing and turn my passion into a career. Since then, I have helped a number of clients in establishing their brands. Apart from art, I also have immense respect for world literature. If it was a choice, I would spend all my weekends reading.

How & When did you decide that freelancing was the right career choice for you?

Zoha – The freedom away from 9-5 corporate life is addictive. My freelancing career started as a source of extra income, with my daily hustle. But when I realized its potential with Upwork, it’s was apparent that I could help more people with this medium. It was an easy choice for me to switch to freelancing after discovering its obvious benefits over a day job.

Do you see freelancing as an alternative to a job or do you see a purpose in it?

Zoha – I like being close to art. I am lucky enough to find brands which could pay for my contributions. For me, it has always been a quest to help people inaccurately representing their identity. As long as I am able to do this, I am happy to continue with my freelancing.

How did getting into freelancing change your lifestyle and mindset?

Zoha – As I mentioned earlier, the freedom from Freelancing is addictive. It’s a great alternative to corporate life if one has both passion and discipline to organize their career without anyone’s supervision. It has thoroughly changed me and my decisions in past. It has definitely contributed to making me a more independent woman.

What has been a Biggest struggle with freelancing so far? Have there been moments where you started to regret your decision or moments where you found yourself under pressure ( financial / family etc ) to take a U-turn back to join a day job?

Zoha – At the moment I am happy with how I organize myself and work. But I remember organization was a hard nut to crack at the beginning of my freelancing career. I was so distracted by everything at home that I used to miss most of my deadlines. But soon I figured out the loopholes and fixed them. Today, I have a dedicated space for work which has made me far more productive and relaxed with my days.

What single motivation keeps you moving against all the odds?

Zoha – Helping meaningful businesses. I have seen brands struggle with their identities. It’s sad when a brand fails to convey its story to its audience. I think that’s where I can help businesses, and that keeps me motivated.

Would you call yourself successful? What does success really means to you?

Zoha – If I am able to help people with my skills, and during its pursuit, if I consequentially assist people to make better choices, I think then my work is a success. For me, success means a sweet balance between work and life, which luckily, at the moment, I have.

How important do you think giving back to the community is?

Zoha – Giving back is a key factor in my work. As I mentioned, I consider my work a success only when it helps people make the right choices. If my visual art directs people in the right direction, only then it lives the life it’s intended for, I think.

What would be your top 3 advice to aspiring freelancers?

Zoha – 1. Try to help people. Over time, helping wins over cash chase.
2. Freelancing only becomes easy when you take it as a serious job. It’s better if you get a separate space for working.
3. Finish what you start. As a freelancer, it’s not a good idea to leave any project unfinished.

If you would like our readers to connect with you for advice, what communication channel works the best for you?

Zoha – Here’s my Skype: Rebeccacopperfiled

We hope that the story of Zoha Umar helps you to believe that there is no perfect time to start working for yourself and live a life on your own terms.

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Wishing you Success With Freelancing.

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