Becoming an International freelancer is a huge career boost for IT specialists, but also a hard one. In freelance you have the opportunity to develop your personal brand, grow your hourly rate far beyond $50 / hour and even start your small agency. However, it comes with a bunch of requirements like self-management, a high level of responsibility, and language.
I had the pleasure to spend some time in India, a country where English is an official second language and 90% of people understand it and can easily communicate. Through the latest years, the Indian economy has boomed, mostly due to IT export and similar future waits for Ukraine. 50% of startups I meet are having or had past relationships with Indian IT agencies or freelancers. India has the biggest amount of freelancers on the biggest international marketplaces like Upwork. India has big offices of the biggest international companies like Amazon, Google, and Meta that pay high salaries to local people. I believe that a bet on the English language was crucial in Indian success I deeply admire the decision of the Ukrainian government to move in the same direction.
I have been working with developers from all around the world and I can say that Ukrainian IT specialists are one of the best out there. After solving the language problem Ukraine is going to dominate the freelance market and get momentum on restoring the economy.
IT professionals now value flexibility
Apart from job security, flexibility is becoming the number one priority while searching for new opportunities. It was sad to realize that a lot of IT companies don’t like their employees to work remotely and live a nomadic lifestyle. After the war ends every man will want to have the option to go on a world trip, visit his friends abroad or just live for some time somewhere outside of Ukraine. It is in our Ukrainian blood to have a need to be free and not limited by corporate rules and policies.
Freelance is not only giving opportunities to freely travel through most of the countries in the world, but it also gives a great financial pillow to do that. Places like Bali, Germany, Estonia, Spain, etc. are having digital nomad visas which allow any specialist with a high level of earnings to live in their country for a long period of time. Most such visas an also tax-free, so you have to pay only Ukrainian taxes. Find full list here – 58 Countries With Digital Nomad Visas – The Ultimate List (nomadgirl.co)
Ukraine is entering a new age of relationships with the US and EU
Through the war time, US and EU have established strong bonds with Ukraine and these relationships are not going away after the war ends. New export/import laws and work policies will make it much more accessible for Ukrainian citizens to engage in business relationships abroad. The most valuable asset, after agrarian, is the IT market of Ukraine.
US and EU businesses will prefer working with Ukrainian IT specialists as an opportunity to restore the economy and it is our duty to make this relationship successful. Abroad investors will invest in Ukrainian startup founders and it is the duty of founders to be ready for that.
Ukraine will move to capitalism, and move fast
A primary goal for Ukraine in a post-war era will be membership in the EU. In order to do that Ukraine has to make business more accessible to everyone and boost its economy to the level of other EU countries.
I believe that freelance will not only allow Ukraine to more deeply engage with international markets but also will boost the amount of successful Ukrainian founders and a developing startup ecosystem. Look at India which started as the biggest IT export provider in the world and now they are having second biggest amount of startups after the US. While working through an agency or IT company doors for building your brand and building relationships with clients or investors are closed. With freelance it is the very neutral path to joining your client as a co-founder or starting an agency and it is the economic driver that Ukraine will need.
The whole world realized that job security is a myth
The number 1 argument for “Not becoming a freelancer” is job security. You may need to change a couple of clients before you find one long-term client and that requires having some level of financial independence. All of us were living in a world where the job was considered to be the safest way of earning money.
After the 2022 layoffs, this myth got busted and a lot of people who believed in job security became unemployed. The only benefit which was making people sacrifice their flexibility and high salary has gone and freelance has apparently become a thing.
Apply to be a freelancer
Freelance has never been so trendy in Ukraine as it is right now. I started my freelance community to help Ukrainian IT specialists make a transition to freelance as smoothly as possible by providing them guidance on the way and helping them find clients abroad.
I have been coding for the last 5 years, which might be described as "a proven track record" or "delivering consistent results" on LinkedIn. I am currently on a mission to enslave humanity with the power of gambling.
My skills include writing, re-writing, tweeting, startup founding, mixing cocktails, full-stack engineering, and watching the same isekai over and over again. Proficiency ranges from excellent to absolutely awful.