Welcome to the 11th edition of #FreelanceVoices, this time focused on Polish freelancers. As readers may know, Poland is well-respected for the quality and sophistication of its high tech professional community. According to IT Landscape’s recent future of IT in emerging Europe report, “The CEE IT sector estimated 2 million people employed in 2020 and the number is growing by 3% each year. The largest IT talent pool in the region is in Poland.” The tech pool in Poland includes over 400 thousand software developers since 2019, and by all accounts has grown significantly since.
Sadly, one source of growth has been the War on Ukraine. Poland’s resident high tech community has increased by as many as 50,000 Ukrainian professionals and their families seeking refuge in Poland (to help Ukrainian freelancers find work in Poland and elsewhere, check out EmployUkraine.org). A large variety of global and regional freelance platforms depend on the Polish tech and professional community.
Toptal.com is our partner for this edition of Freelance Voices, and describes itself as a network of the “world’s top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams on demand.” The platform supports clients through a global talent network of over 10,000 professionals in 100+ countries. Those who follow freelancing know Toptal.com is a highly respected talent marketplace that rigorously credentials and supports its freelance platform members.
Poland is one of the Toptal’s most important talent pools, where several hundred Toptal professionals actively work with clients worldwide on any given week. The wide range of skills include developers, financial experts, project managers and product managers.
Here are Polish freelance voices:
Hubert Zub, Developer. “Schedule freedom and self-management aside, freelancing gives the absolute best opportunity to work with the greatest experts in the field. When working in a single company the team you working with is the outcome geographical and cultural aspects, external decisions and – sometimes – pure luck. When freelancing, most boundaries and limitations disappear. Your place and connections in the field will more likely be determined by your skills and perseverance, than where you live.”
Tomasz Adam Gasiewski, Product Manager. “Freelancing exceeds my expectations by offering a variety of assignments and opportunities for growth. Each engagement has new challenges. Having to onboard, learn and bring value to the client, all in record time, is tremendously satisfying. It’s amazing if you have kids, too. Instead of juggling work and family time, you can really use the flexibility and arrange your professional and personal schedules in a comfortable manner.”
Jana Poprocka-Topouzi, Designer. “Freelancing rocks because it gives you unparalleled freedom! You set goals, define terms, and select companies and people you want to collaborate with. Dreaming about an exotic place? Take your laptop and go. I truly appreciate workplace flexibility. However, one must be genuinely talented and reputable to succeed on this path. And watch out for the work-life balance, which can be challenging when you get too excited about the work.”
Karolina Modes, Developer. “At the beginning I was afraid of being a freelancer. Direct contact with clients was challenging, but it quickly became easier. I found very unique projects, where I can improve not only my life, but improve the lives of others as well. I am always excited when my code is deployed to production and real users can benefit from it. Being a freelancer is a way of life that I enjoy a lot.”
Konrad Gadzinowski, Developer. Working as a freelance software developer gives me the ability to handle diverse projects, greatly improving my technical skills. I’m capable of working from any location, with a flexible schedule. It’s an amazing combination of freedom and the opportunity to better myself. Working with clients from around the globe gives me satisfaction that I can contribute to technological development in all parts of the world.”
Mariusz Potocki, Project Manager. “For me, freelancing is mostly about the ability to work with some of the best engineers in the industry, on projects I am passionate about. As a freelancer, I’ve found that both clients and teams are 100% focused and committed. There are no distractions, no internal politics and few impediments. We are solving real problems and it is very rewarding to see the fruits of this labour realized.”
Paulina Jozwik, Designer. “It might seem scary to handle this level of independence but it forces you to become brave and creative. You grow as a professional, because the variety of clients and projects helps you evolve and learn. The main benefit is that you can manage your time, and work at your pace from anywhere. Financially, it is also more profitable if you establish yourself providing high-quality services.”
Rafal Dylewski, Product Manager. “Freelancing is about variety: variety of clients, technologies, organizational cultures, and ways of work. It offers continuous learning, which adds more value to clients. It can also be challenging, especially for those who need more stability in the work environment and teammates. You need to adapt quickly to new projects and sometimes work on multiple engagements. But this is why it’s so great, particularly when you need to keep pace with technologies.”
Slava Mirowski, Product Manager. “As a freelancer, I’ve been given a chance to collaborate with fintech, analytics and e-commerce companies. Freelancing is integral to my lifestyle. It allows flexibility and freedom to travel (over 35 countries so far), as well as time management, transparency and being descriptive. Working remotely definitely requires some decent self-motivation and self-organizational skills.”
Reina Uba, Project Manager. “Freelancing helps me challenge myself professionally. Different engagements with different clients puts me in new situations. An additional benefit is the ability to work remotely from anyplace. With the current unstable situation in the Europe, freelancing also offers the possibility to relocate without reorganising everything in my life.”
Przemek Fedorowiat, Developer. “For someone with ADHD like me, a monotonous 9-to-5 job is a tremendous burden. I decided to become a freelancer at the edge of burnout. Freelancing has reduced my stress level significantly. Now I have an opportunity to use my unique set of skills, working at my pace. Each project is different, which causes a rush of adrenaline that helps me overcome deficiencies that come with neurodiversity. Work is fun again!”
Galyna Mostova, Product Manager. “Feeling part of a team of highly skilled professionals, flexibility in my work schedule, earning possibilities, and a variety of interesting projects: all of that has convinced me to take the journey with Toptal. I see possibilities to sharpen my existing skills and gain new ones, and I value the support I receive.”
Viva la revolution!