Like many graduates, Chris Ryan had to put his dream on hold for the sake of job security. As competition got tougher and interview invitations became less frequent, he was pressured to accept a job as an assistant at a print shop where he did designs for clients and ran print machines. He thought of this as a stepping stone where he could gain experience for two years at the most.
Five years passed and Chris was still there, doing the same thing as he did on the first day. Eventually, he moved to EA Sports as a QA Analyst where he looked for and reported bugs. The hours were long, and his creativity wilted slowly but surely. Waking up to go to work was difficult.
"I was 14 when I realized that graphic design was the career I wanted. I dreamt of owning my own company and becoming my own boss," said Chris, who was then 25. Remembering this and what he was capable of, Chris let go of security to chase his dream.
How close are you to achieving your dream?
I'm closer than I was yesterday. Since leaving my job, I started working at Freelancer.com. It has been two years since I started -- now I have a great reputation on the site and I'm also a member of their Preferred Freelancer Program. I receive more than what I earned in both my full-time jobs. I have also learned a new skill. Aside from graphic design, I develop websites as well. Recently, I launched my website/portfolio that I designed on my own. I'm definitely on the right track.
How did you get to where you are now?
I got to this point by working every single day. Some people get really relaxed working from home and only when they feel like it. It's a great perk but also one of the pitfalls. One of the biggest traps for me is not staying productive every day so I created a daily routine to follow. I also don't get easily discouraged. It's true that getting jobs is challenging as a freelancer, but that didn't prevent me from trying.
Speaking of challenges, what are some you encountered?
It was difficult to get jobs at the beginning. But I thought everyone has to start somewhere. All it took for me was one job to get me off the ground. Little by little, the jobs increased and I used them to build a great portfolio to help me stand out from the crowd. Now it's all about pleasing and keeping clients.
What keeps you motivated?
My dream to build my own business keeps me going. Whenever I get distracted, I think about the jobs I've had in the past and where I'm currently at in life. To see that I've been able to create something out of nothing in a little under two years helps me stay focused.
What are some of the things you enjoy now that you weren't able to do before?
Working as a freelancer gave me more time to stay active, healthy, and motivated to maintain a positive lifestyle. Working full-time, I would often get so tired that by the time the day was done, I was burned out and unmotivated to do anything. Being a freelancer is the exact opposite because I'm able to space out my day how I please. This makes me a lot happier and content with life, which greatly helps in achieving goals.