For 10 years, graphic designer Milind Thombare from India either hopped from one company to the next or subcontracted work, but one thing remained constant—his vision of making it on his own. Fueled by this nagging desire to go solo, he checked out several online sites where he could apply his skill set. After quite a search, he found a home in the world’s largest online workplace, Freelancer.com.
“Freelancer.com is my only income source,” reveals the 35-year-old head of the family. “I get lots of projects through this great online marketplace that I never thought of joining any other site or doing any other business. I am a very happy member of the Freelancer.com family!”
Milind unabashedly loves the outsourcing site. “Regular UI changes, very supportive and prompt support base, the addition of features week by week to improve the overall user experience—I just love everything.”
Using “Sweetys1” as his handle, he shares that this was a very personal choice. Together with an artist-friend he initially worked with on the platform, he decided to honor another friend whose support, guidance and vision contributed to who he is today. He recalls that this friend came at a crucial point in his life when he moved from his hometown to Pune, a metropolitan city, to find better work opportunities.
While he acknowledges that the pay is good, he equally considers receiving a pat on the back very important. “Every positive feedback gives me a lot of pleasure. Freelancing has given me the freedom to choose the work I like, meet various people, and learn new things. I am grateful.”
He shares his experience with family and friends when he gets the chance. His father, a retired government employee, sits with him for hours while he works and even tries to learn from him. Milind shares: “My father would say, ‘It’s a very interesting field and a great platform for millions of people across the globe to work through! Our lives could have been easier if Freelancer.com were available 40 years or so ago as then you can work on the areas you like and have passion for.’”
With the passage of time, Milind has broadened his creative experience to include UI design, app design, and project management, among others. Sometimes he changes hats on the platform—from freelancer to employer—to outsource some development projects. “Many times clients ask for theme coding, web integration, hosting services,” he explains, “so I ask assistance from my known circle.”
Today, he works on projects together with his wife and he has friends who assist in web development, integration, hosting, and other similar jobs. Because Freelancer.com is “a great arena and source for other relevant businesses such as writing, translation, SEO/SEM, etc.”, Milind is planning a startup business that will also involve these areas to widen the range of services he can offer. “Right now I am concentrating on making good local and remote teams that will be working on a common platform, Freelancer.com.”