In February 2018, I gave myself a challenge. I would apply for all opportunities that I see and think I might be qualified for.
Even though I had been working as a contractor for 6 months, I wanted to see what else I could find. I knew that the more opportunities I welcome, the more I’ll find.
It didn’t matter how big the job was – if it involves coding, I’m putting my hat in the ring.
It also didn’t matter if I get the opportunity or not – the only goal was to say “Yes” and see what happened.
The result was that I got a remote job and made $2550 USD while working full-time.
The funny thing is that I hadn’t realized this until 2 years later, a few weeks before I sat down to write this.
Let’s get to the goodies, what did I do?
1. I offered to fix minor issues on websites for $50 USD / hour.
In a Facebook group, I posted this offer on a pitch thread. I had 2 people take me up on the offer, which made me $100.
I fixed the navigation and social icons for one website. Somehow, that led to another client who wanted me to make other fixes on her site, and I got another $200 from that.
Total Earned: $300
Hours worked: 6
2. I migrated a blog from Wix to WordPress.
In another Facebook group post, a travel blogger was looking for a developer to migrate her Wix site to WordPress. Her blog had 100+ posts and comments.
I took a look at the Wix site and found that I could scrap each blog post and save it to WordPress with a script.
I thought it would take maybe 5 hours, so I charged only $250. However, it ended up being over 10 hours. If I had to do it again, I would charge $750.
To be fair, I thought that I could reuse the code and potentially migrate more sites from Wix to WordPress quickly. I never ended up migrating another site, but it was a fun 10 hours.
She also referred several clients to me over the years (which I sent to someone else). Although I didn’t earn a lot of money on this job, I could have earned much more from her referrals!
Total Earned: $250 + several client referrals
Hours worked: 10
3. I coded interactive calculators for a solar farm co-op.
What really made me a lot of money ($2000) was the project to build interactive calculators for a solar farm co-op.
The co-op needed calculators that showed people the ROI of investing with them versus installing solar panels on their roofs.
I spent over 10 hours creating a proposal that I was proud of. For me, the benefit was just to learn how to create a proposal.
When I won the proposal, I found that my mockups closely resembled what the company had envisioned!
I definitely undercharged ($2000), but it was my first proposal, and I felt scared putting a number. I spent a few hours agonizing over what to charge.
While I created the proposal in February, the client took a few months to make their decision. However, it was done during the challenge month, so I’m counting it here.
Want to see the proposal? Download it here.
Total Earned: $2000
Hours worked: 50
4. I applied to 4 remote jobs and got 1 job offer.
As I wanted to continue working remotely, I of course had to apply for remote jobs. I applied to a few that were a stretch for me, including a Software Engineer position at You Need a Budget. They get 200+ applications per opening, but I tried anyways!
The job I ended up getting was from another software that I use, SmarterQueue. I saw the job opening in their newsletter.
What was important was that I knew databases, API integrations and can follow code down a rabbit hole to figure out exactly what’s happening.
I sent a video cover letter introducing myself and received a call from their CEO within a few hours…and the rest is history!
In summary, here’s everything I did:
- updated my resume, cover letter and portfolio
- applied for 4 remote jobs
- commented on an FB post with an offer to fix minor WordPress issues for $50 USD
- commented on another FB post of someone looking to migrate from Wix to WordPress
- sent 1 project proposal
Result: 1 remote job and $2550 in the bank
It’s been a few years since this experiment, so I might have forgotten a few jobs or Facebook posts that I’ve applied to.
However, this is the gist of what I did to generate my results. It’s not rocket science! 🙂
Just go for opportunities! You never know what’s going to happen.
At the start of the month, I had no idea what the result might be. What I knew was that there was no downside and that I was going to learn a lot.
Now, I don’t have kids, so my evenings and weekends are all mine. Instead of watching TV at night, I poured myself into this challenge in my evenings and weekends for one month.
I encourage you to try out this challenge and see what happens! Go for opportunities, even if you don’t think you’ll get them. Do your best with the goal of learning, and you will be pleasantly surprised!