Eko Purnama Halim, 23-year-old from Semarang, Indonesia, has always been passionate about the arts. During his high school years, he joined dance competitions to earn on the side. For a time, he was a professional B-Boy/hip-hop dancer and was hired to dance in weddings, family get-togethers, and company events.
When he entered college, he shifted his concentration to visual arts. since it was more related to his course — Bachelor of Arts in Design. He also used his skills in photography to make extra money. His forte revolved around portrait photography. “I offered some photography services, like outdoor photo shoots and model photo shoot, etc. It’s another way for me to earn some money,” Eko shared.
Eko’s love for photography only grew stronger as he learned more about the craft. “One of my dreams is to put up my own design and photography studio,” Eko added. There’s nothing compared to the excitement Eko felt whenever he hears the sound of a shutter opening and closing.
Life After College
After four years of honing his skills in design, he graduated from Dian Nuswantoro University. With the excitement of entering the real world, Eko applied to several companies and was later on hired by a well-known design firm.
“I was hired as a graphic designer in the company. Some of my tasks were to create brochures, posters, price tags, flyers, or any advertisement for computer accessories. I did the same thing every single day. Working with a lot of data and creating designs under pressure were common stuff for me,” Eko mentioned.
It only took Eko 10 months before he started feeling the exhaustion at work. His enthusiasm to work for the company was hanging by a thread. “I thought that I’ve reached my ceiling with the company and that I was no longer developing my skills,” Eko said.
One of the biggest drawbacks Eko complained about is the lack of part-time opportunities. He dedicated all his time rendering his services in the office. His frustrations were only getting worse.
A Better Opportunity
One day, while walking the streets of Jakarta, he bumped into a former classmate from junior high. The two spent time catching up on a lot of things including work. His former classmate mentioned that he’s working as an online freelancer and suggested that Eko should try it out too.
Hearing about his friend’s success on Freelancer.com, Eko was convinced to give it a try. After signing up, he checked the Contest page. He looked into projects he can work on and began working immediately.
He was happy to have the chance to earn extra money. As time passed, his family noticed that he was spending a lot of time freelancing. Eko continued joining Freelancer Contests and learned the ins and outs of the site.
Later on, Eko decided to leave his full-time job to work as a freelancer. At first, his father didn’t approve of his decision, but eventually chose to support him. His father advised that if Eko wants to work full-time on Freelancer, he has to put in the effort.
Lo-and-behold, his efforts paid off. “I got a salary about two or three times bigger than the salary I was being given in the company. My father’s opinion has changed and now he fully supports my freelance career. Recently, my brother joined Freelancer and submitted an entry to a contest. He won on his first attempt!” Eko shared.
Freelancing has given Eko so much flexibility in terms of workspace and working hours. His love for his new profession is like his love for dance. “If you wanna be a good dancer, you need a lot of practice to make good moves. Same with freelancing, you need a lot of practice and patience with clients, and even try a new project that can make you develop your skill every day. Always aim for a good reputation so everyone can see your potential. Never stop learning because knowledge has no limit. So, I have two quotes for every job that I do: ‘practice makes perfect’ and also ‘hard work never betrays’,” he said.
All the success Eko is experiencing now is dedicated to his mother who passed away four years ago. As the elder brother, he tries to exhibit the strength and grace his mother once showed. Since his father is retiring in two years, he wishes that he’d be financially ready when that moment arrives. Thus, he strives for much better opportunities.
Need a design for your business or for some other project? View Eko’s profile here.