Welcome to 11e edition of #FreelanceVoices, this time focused on Polish freelancers. As readers may know, Poland is highly respected for the quality and sophistication of its high-tech professional community. According to IT Landscape’s recent report on the future of IT in emerging Europe, “The CEE IT sector is estimated to have 2 million people employed in 2020 and this number is growing by 3% each year. The largest pool of IT talent in the region is in Poland. The technology pool in Poland includes more than 400,000 software developers as of 2019 and, in all respects, has grown significantly since then.
Unfortunately, one of the sources of growth has been the war against Ukraine. The Polish high-tech community has grown by 50,000 Ukrainian professionals and their families seeking refuge in Poland (to help Ukrainian freelancers find work in Poland and elsewhere, see EmployUkraine.org). A wide variety of global and regional freelance platforms depend on the Polish tech and business 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 with a global talent network of over 10,000 professionals in over 100 countries. Those who follow freelancers know that Toptal.com is a well-respected talent marketplace that rigorously certifies and supports members of its freelance platform.
Poland is one of Toptal’s most important talent pools, where several hundred Toptal professionals are actively working with clients around the world every week. The broad skill set includes developers, finance experts, project managers, and product managers.
Here are Polish independent voices:
Hubert Zub, Developer. “Aside from scheduling freedom and self-management, freelance work offers the absolute best opportunity to work with the top experts in the field. When you work at a single company, the team you work with is the result of geography and culture, external decisions, and – sometimes – sheer luck. When you are independent, most boundaries and limitations disappear. Your place and your relationships in the field are more likely to be determined by your skills and perseverance than by where you live.
Tomasz Adam Gasiewski, Product Manager. “Freelance work exceeds my expectations by providing a variety of assignments and growth opportunities. Each engagement brings new challenges. Having to integrate, learn and deliver value to the client, all in record time, is extremely satisfying. It’s amazing if you have kids too. Instead of juggling work and family time, you can really use the flexibility and organize your work and personal schedules in a comfortable way.”
Jana Poprocka-Topouzi, designer. “Freelancing is great because it gives you unparalleled freedom! You set goals, set terms, and select the companies and people you want to collaborate with. Do you dream of an exotic place? Grab your laptop and go. I really appreciate the flexibility of the workplace. However, one must be genuinely talented and renowned to succeed on this path. And pay attention to work-life balance, which can be difficult when you get too excited about work.
Karolina Modes, Developer. “At the beginning, I was afraid of being independent. Direct contact with customers was difficult, but it soon became easier. I found very unique projects, where I can improve not only my life, but also the lives of others. I’m always thrilled when my code is deployed to production and real users can benefit from it. Being independent is a way of life that I really enjoy.
Konrad Gadzinowski, developer. Working as a freelance software developer gives me the ability to manage various projects, greatly improving my technical skills. I am able to work from anywhere, with a flexible schedule. It’s an incredible combination of freedom and the opportunity to improve myself. Working with customers around the world gives me the satisfaction of being able to contribute to technological development in all regions of the world. »
Mariusz Potocki, project manager. “For me, freelance work is above all the ability to work with some of the best engineers in the industry, on projects that I am passionate about. As a freelancer, I’ve found clients and teams to be 100% focused and engaged. There are no distractions, no internal politics and few obstacles. We are solving real problems and it is very rewarding to see the fruits of this work come to fruition.
Paulina Jozwik, designer. “It may seem scary to manage 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 grow and learn. The main benefit is that you can manage your time and work at your own pace wherever you are.Financially, it is also more profitable if you establish yourself by providing high quality services.
Rafal Dylewski, Product Manager. “Freelance work is all about variety: variety of clients, technologies, organizational cultures and working methods. It provides continuous learning, which adds more value to customers. It can also be difficult, especially for those who need more stability in the work environment and teammates. You must adapt quickly to new projects and sometimes work on several missions. But that’s why it’s so great, especially when you need to keep up with technology. »
Slava Mirowski, Product Manager. “As a freelancer, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with fintech, analytics and e-commerce companies. Freelance work is an integral part of my lifestyle. It allows flexibility and freedom to travel (more than 35 countries to date), as well as time management, transparency and description. Working remotely definitely requires good self-motivation and self-organization skills.
Reina Uba, project manager. “Freelance work helps me meet professional challenges. Different engagements with different clients put me in new situations. An added benefit is the ability to work remotely from anywhere. With the current unstable situation in Europe, freelance work also offers the possibility of moving without reorganizing everything in my life.
Przemek Fedowiat, Developer. “For someone like me with ADHD, a monotonous job from 9am to 5pm is a huge burden. I decided to become independent on the verge of burnout. Freelance work has reduced my stress level considerably. I I now have the opportunity to use my unique set of skills, working at my own pace. Each project is different, providing an adrenaline rush that helps me overcome the deficiencies that come with neurodiversity. The work is at new fun!
Galyna Mostova, Product Manager. “The feeling of being part of a team of highly qualified professionals, the flexibility of my work schedule, the possibilities of income and a variety of interesting projects: all this convinced me to take the trip with Toptal. I see opportunities to sharpen my existing skills and learn new ones, and I appreciate the support I receive.
Long live the revolution!