Up to 2005, Linda worked full-time for almost 20 years in the same company as a Controller. A change of ownership of that company forced her to make a drastic career change. She then decided to become a freelancer. Her freelance career started to boom when Intuit launched Quickbooks online. Not only had she chosen to work on flexible terms now she could really work at anytime from anywhere.
As many of us are well aware, the popularity of freelancing is on the rise. There are many reasons for this but most of all it is due to the increasing demand for flexibility, independence and an entrepreneurial lifestyle.That being said technology has made it easier than ever to freelance and globalization has opened up new markets. At Workhoppers; a marketplace for hiring freelancers in your city, 44% of its users are professional freelancers, 20% are students, 5% are semi-retired, 4% are moonlighting and 3% are stay-at-home parents. Each of our incredible profiles choose flexibility for their own personal reasons and each have their own interesting paths to what led them to a freelance work life. This is the story of one of them, Linda, who recently joined Workhoppers. She is an accountant and has been a freelancer for the past 10 years. Her life, and career, significantly changed with the adaptation of Quickbooks online.
Linda, what made you change your career to freelancing?
The company that I had worked at for almost 20 years was sold and the new owner wanted to take over the bookkeeping himself so it was a perfect time for me to bow out of the business after almost 20 years since I was feeling burned out. Working with 2 kids was getting tough so I finished up there in May, thinking I would become a lady of leisure. But soon after I realized that being a house wife was not for me. So I put my CV together and went to see a few headhunters and ended up finding a part-time job for a small business where Quickbooks experience was required. I had worked with custom bookkeeping software and had no experience on Quickbooks, but they took a chance and hired me. I started my learning of QB from then on – and I am still doing their books, just now on Quickbooks online. Once I had learned Quickbooks online and noticed that I was only needed there a few days a week so I started networking and found a few other clients. My practice has grown since then.
How happy are you with your freelance activity today? Why is Quickbooks online so important to you?
Yes, I get to make my own hours, can work at home in the evening or in the early morning and I am available if my kids need me for something. Quickbooks online has totally changed the possibilities of my practice as I can service many small businesses from home whenever I have spare time and am in control of my own schedule. Usually when I lose a client for some reason I pick up a new one, and I am learning all the time because of the diversity of my clients and activities.
How many hours do you work now? What is your schedule like?
I work out of the house at 3 regular jobs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, averaging 7 hours per day at 3 different offices. Thursday and Friday I use as floating days, sometimes a client needs to see me and that way I can see them then. If I have nowhere to go those days I have usually planned it and take care of my bookkeeping clients then, rather than doing it in the evening or the weekend. Since I have lots of experience I know which weeks will be busier (due to the bookkeeping cycle) and usually know my next weeks’ schedule the previous week. If I had to give a generalization, on a normal week I probably work 30 hours – but some weeks it is more and some weeks less.
What attracted you to join Workhoppers?
Workhoppers runs a nice looking website that is very friendly and encouraging for people looking for jobs. I like that they are thinking of people who do not want full time 9-5 jobs, but trying to find jobs for people who are usually virtually available 24/7 but just need to find the right work to do. With this computerized age working anywhere at any time is possible and good people are out there – they just need to find the right place to work.