I graduated from the University of Nairobi with a second Upper Division in Actuarial Science. Before joining the university, I scored A- in high school, enabling me to enroll in the University of Nairobi. My high school grades helped me get a scholarship with a Kenyan bank, which was a great deal. During holidays, I would go to work in the bank and they were paying me $240 per month. The salary was enough to pay for my basic needs and pocket money. I longed to complete my university studies to work in the bank permanently.
After graduating, I got a permanent job with the bank. I was happy I hadn't struggled to get a job. My starting salary was still $240 after all deductions. It was not bad for a start, although I was aiming for higher pay.
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How I Learnt about Freelance Jobs
I was working as a bank teller in the bank and I used to interact with most of my clients. They were working in different fields, but I noted that my young clients worked as freelancers. We became friends with one of my client and at the time, I didn't know he was a freelancer. He used to make huge cash deposits very often. We got to know each other and it is then he told me he worked as a freelancer.
I can remember a young lady who frequently visited the bank to make deposits. She asked me about the course I had studied. She laughed and said, "You must be a genius". She told me, "work here for two years and save enough cash to start your own business". I didn't take it seriously but after sometime, I gave it a thought and I thought she was right. This is after working for some months and I saw that I wasn't growing financially.
Leaving Work to Start My Online Job
After four years working in the bank, I decided to focus on my interests. By the time I was leaving, I was earning $320 after all deductions. I was not comfortable with the salary and I wanted a job that would pay me more money and give me some freedom. While working at the bank, I couldn't manage to start a business of my own. I would report to work at 8 am and leave at 5 pm. I was getting home feeling exhausted and worn out. I wanted a job where I was in control of my working schedules.
Working On Upwork
After resigning, a signed up for an Upwork account. The account was approved, although it took me longer than I thought to get my first client. During the first month, I didn't get a client. In the second month, I got a client with a long term project. The agreement was that he would hire me on a long-term basis if he was impressed with my work. I gave his work my best and it was complete in two days. I submitted the assignment and he reviewed it the same day and approved payment. He told me he was impressed with the work and he would create an account on his WordPress website so that I could upload articles directly on his website.
Read more: My experience working on Upwork.
After a week, he sent another project paying $25 for every 1000 words. He would send 10 topics every week. I couldn't believe that I would be making $250 every week, unlike when I was employed earning $320 a month. I was motivated and I would wake up early in the morning and work on his articles. By Wednesdays, I was usually through with his weekly project and this gave me time to work on other projects. I was sure every week I would make at least $300.
How I Started My Websites
I worked with the client for six months, until he had no project. Luckily, I had saved enough and I had WordPress skills. It is then I decided to start my websites. I had learned some SEO skills, which I applied on my website. After about a year, most of the articles were ranking on Google's first page before I started monetizing the websites. Today, I am self-employed and I write for my websites, which I depend on for income.