Two years ago I decided that I wanted to work as a web something. I didn’t really know if design, code, client care or entrepreneurship was my cup of tea. I really had no idea.
The reason for my interest came from the fact that I was unemployed and had just moved to Stockholm. Most of my day went to working on my CV, and handling those out to different stores where I wanted to work. I didn’t get any. “Come back around Christmas time” they said. And so I did.
But somewhere in between I went to a party, where I overheard some guy asking another guy if he had any space in his very busy schedule. The other guy worked as a freelance web developer. “No” he replied. I took a shot. Accidentally, one of the only things that I had liked about school was when I had been working with HTML and found out about those web standards. I was attracted to the fact that they were striving towards an accessible web. “I’ve got some experience with web development” I said to the guy. He answered: “Perfect! Give me your hand.” I reached for him, and then he wrote a telephone number in my palm.
After that, and now with a client who wanted me to do work for him, I began to understand that this would require me to start my own company. My new life in Stockholm was forming, just a few month after graduation in Klintehamn and I had just turned myself as unemployed into a freelance web developer (or at that time, HTML markup-er, heh) together with tech wizz kid Petter.
The next week, I started listening to podcasts about entrepreneurship, web development and I … took lessons in spanish (Pimsleur). I read up on A list apart, 456bereastreet.com, robertnyman.com, adactio.com, accessify.com, andybudd.com, Veerle’s blog, Information Architects, Molly.com and of course StevePavlina.com. A big thank you to all of those who openly shares their discoveries, techniques, thoughts and philosophies!
I bought “CSS Mastery”, written by Andy Budd. It was great. I finally grasped floats, and how to make different menus. Wonderful 🙂 ! Now I could take on my first client. I charged him 4000 SEK (around 410 â‚¬) for a complete website and a full index of pictures, taken by my partner Petter. It took me two weeks to complete that website, and in the end we didn’t even get paid as the client didn’t like the design. We quit working with that particular client, and learned after a while to handle pricing, pitching, support and office hours better. That was the hardest part of the work, no doubt about it.
After a few more clients, and a few more cases, I saw an advertisement over at webbjobb.nu, which is a web niched job and gig board in swedish. I sent them an e-mail showing off my/our work and asked them to get back to me. They did, and after a really bumpy start, it all settled to be really good. I learned a lot during those first weeks, and still do. The reason as to why I wanted to get employed was that I didn’t know that much about managing, pitching, sales, money or even back end work. Now I had an opportunity to learn all that. Now, after a year at my current employment I still think that it was a good choice, I’ve learned so much from all of the brilliant people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with, almost only that makes it worth in itself.
Now, in order to stay alert and fresh I read a lot of articles, try out new methods and techniques and do my best to document the results. Most of the time, it’s a blast!
The following month (November) I will work less over at my current workplace in order to get time to work on one of my own projects, which is loosely called The Lagom Model. I’ll document the process either here, or on a separate blog which will be announced later.
I love my career at the moment and the craft. I love the internet, and the possibilities that the medium possess.