In the previous article, I mentioned three Websites that are excellent sources of projects to fuel your freelance programming career. As a freelance contractor, you would naturally select projects that can be done remotely. And if you are the type who prefers working from home, Web-based projects present some attractive options. A good number of project opportunities posted on the aforementioned sites are coming from Western Countries particularly the US tapping into the pool of IT talents from the other side of the globe and taking advantage of the low cost of labor. Some are also based just locally in the Philippines from Manila, Cebu, Davao and other smaller cities around the country. Where the opportunity is coming from doesn’t make much difference anymore. The Internet has made it all accessible to virtually anyone at a super low cost.
But sometimes the best project opportunities can be found right at your own backyard — in your own city, town or the neighborhood just staring at you in the face. Believe it or not, I’ve been doing local projects for locally based clients for a couple of months already. And when I say local, I mean right here in Davao City.
“God hides things,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “by putting them near us.” I’m not a Literature guy, but I think Emerson is referring to man’s inability to spot the obvious opportunities right where he stands. I don’t want to elaborate on that literature stuff further. Suffice it to say that there are indeed opportunities in your own locality if you have the eyes to see them.
In this article, I’d like to share some local sources where you can possibly get your next project. Here they are:
1. Your Previous Employers
Your former employers can be a source of project especially if you did an excellent job while working with them. Since they know you on a professional level, they can vouch for your job performance. And the fact that you have worked with them in the past gives you an added advantage of knowing how the business operates.
2. Your Co-workers
I found out that co-workers are good a source of contacts. If you are like me who had a good time jumping from one employer to the next, you have probably worked with different professionals from diverse backgrounds. I was lucky to have been surrounded by accountants while working for an agribusiness company. (I realized that debit and credit is more complicated than plus and minus.) Overtime, some of your co-workers will also be joining other companies. Good, that means your network will also expand!
3. Professional Organization
I bet you already know what birds of the same feather do. Aside from flocking together, they also exchange notes and ideas. On some occasions, members also love to share projects or solicit professional assistance. And since you are on speaking terms with each other, that’s a plus point.
4. Circle of Friends
A friend who knows what you are doing can help you along the way by pointing to some opportunities you might not know otherwise. I once had a friend who called me up in the middle of the night to inform me of a software project his company needs to do. It’s hard to believe, but I have worked with a web-based project in Davao after being referred by a guy who happened to be a friend of my friend. Until this time, I’m still amazed how it went.
Grow Your Professional Network
If there is one word to describe the above list, it’s “Networking”. When it comes to local projects, your network is the best source that could lead you to the target. By growing your network, you also allow opportunities to open up. And the best way to grow your network by being the professional that other people would love to network to.