Igor Piatkowski has been a freelancer for one year and a half and now specializes in business intelligence and data analytics.
“I caught this opportunity with Proteams when I was studying for my Master degree in Denmark”, he explains. “Freelancing really gave me the chance to dive deeper into the skills I initially had. For example, I was a beginner in Tableau and Alteryx, while now I received certificates as experienced user.”
Igor could also quickly develop new soft skills, such as client management and communication as they came along when being responsible for and leading projects. “Overall, freelancing for me was a huge learning opportunity”, he concludes.
For him, ensuring clients have a great experience encompasses three phases and communication is key across all of them.
First, he always tries to make sure he understands the problem of the client and that clients understand the problem themselves. “Sometimes clients are convinced about having a specific problem or about the best solution for their needs, but maybe they are missing something because they are so involved in the organization, or they have started with a wrong assumption. Then, throughout the project, I ensure recurring communication about progress and status. Finally, I take care of good presentation and handover.”
Igor has a background in management consulting, so he has experience facing very particular and challenging personalities. This helped him prepare for dealing with many types of clients.
“Usually I privilege client relationships, being accommodating with what they ask. But I also know how to deal with some “rough” clients just based on experience with them. For example, some want to be challenged and need a “rougher” approach. It all depends on the client I”m dealing with.”
It may also happen that clients ask for an approach he does not agree with, but even if he knows the approach may not be the best, he still delivers if that is what the client ultimately requires.
“What”s important for me is to always have a proof of what the client asked me to do and that I had suggested an alternative. There can be cases when things go wrong because they were poorly designed from the beginning.”
“I struggle with saying no: my mindset is always “everything is possible”, but I always end up putting in many extra hours, I always squeeze in as much work as possible in the fee agreed with the client.” However, Igor has been improving on this thanks to feedback from his colleagues.
“Always have a demo application ready, a mockup that can show exactly how the product/process would look like and what it involves for the clients. This adds tangibility to my work and facilitates setting expectations.”