New career path

A page of my professional carrer turned few weeks ago. My one year contract as research associate at the university of Edinburgh ended and it is decided that I am going to try to be a self-employed ‘multidisciplinary designer’. So if you are looking for someone creative, if you need a website, illustrations, art work, UX/UI specifications and consultancy, graphic design & branding or to develop and present innovative concepts ; please contact me, I would love to hear about your projects and ideas.

It is not going to be easy: no sick-pay, no leave-pay and most importantly no guaranty to have a salary at the end of the month. Moreover, being a designer, with contacts mostly in academia is not a huge asset when you go for freelance, but I am willing to work hard, believe in the quality of my work, and my tenacity.

Why did I make this decision ? The main reason for making this choice is to be able to work from anywhere and whenever I want. I want to opportunity to work with different people on a broad scope of projects and learn from these interactions.

Lately I’ve been researching freelancing platforms which could help me boarder my network and find contracts. I came across and I think I am going to like it a lot… if I get through the selection process. Of the thousands of applications Toptal sees each month, typically fewer than 3% are accepted. But if I get in Toptal UX Designers Network, it means more interesting and challenging job offers, and better collaborations.

Here is the  Toptal Screening Process:

01 – Language & Personality
The first step in the screening process is a comprehensive language, personality, and communication interview. Candidates must be able to read, write, and speak English extremely well. We also probe into the inner depths of personality traits, looking for passionate and driven individuals who are hands-on and fully engaged in their work.
26.4% ofapplicants pass

02 – In-Depth Skill Review
Next, we check for technical knowledge, problem-solving ability, and intellect through various assessments. We typically only accept candidates with exceptional results.
7.4% of applicants pass

03 – Live Screening
Each candidate is screened by experts in their functional domain. Each screener will provide specific live exercises that cover core topics within the candidate’s primary domain of expertise. We look at problem-solving ability, depth of experience, communication ability, and creativity.
3.6% of applicants pass

04 – Test Projects
Each candidate is assigned a test project to evaluate whether they can “walk the walk.” Test projects provide real-world scenarios for candidates to demonstrate their competence, thoroughness, professionalism, and integrity over what is typically 1-3 weeks.
3.2% of applicants pass

05 – Continued Excellence
Toptalers are expected to maintain a perfect track record while working with clients. We do not tolerate sub-par work or poor communication for any reason.
3.0% of applicants pass

I have my language, personality, and communication interview tomorrow, and hopefully it will go well.  I would really like to get in and become one of the freelancers who work there. I believe I have the qualities for it but only the future will tell if it is going to happen or not.