Freelancer´s life in the Balkans


By: Svetlana Rajkovic
Those that work as a freelancers know for themselves what that means. Working for constant or occasional clients. Today there is an increasing number of those who are working as a freelances in all fields of work. They work mostly from home, over the internet, communicate in English, but there are those that are working for clents from a different speaking area.

Armin Mehmedović is one of them. He is an civil engineer and as such he could not find a job in BiH. That led him to look for a job outside of his country. In Germany. With three of his coleagues he is working for a German company. His plans are to eventually start his own company and hire other young people from his or surrounding countries.
- I work for a German company for over two years now, communication is either over skype or through e-mail. Only condition is that you speak German language. Two of us, that were the first in this workplace are now starting our own company, with help from German investor. If all goes well, it would be our own independent project – Armin says.
He points out that he knows many people that are working for foreign clients in many different fields of work, such as creating articles, design, programming.
It is similar in Serbia, through web sites where clients offer work, freelances apply, and if they are selected, they work for him.
Ivan Stanković is a programmer, he lives in Niš, and with his coleague works exclusively for clients outside of Serbia. They have their own companies and work through freelancing sites. According to them, most of the clients are from United States and western Europe.
- Clients are easy to find, it is hard to find good clients. At the moment we are working on two projects for a single client. Many clients are coming with their own ideas, in which they are investing their savings, so they are forced to budgetise – Ivan points out.
For bigger projects you need to have a bigger tim, so Ivan gets in touch with his coleagues from faculty. He uses only freelancing cites, and have never worked for domestic clients.
- The type of work that we do (backend for complex web system), is rarely needed here. I have an impression that people in Serbia do not value what we do. When i was starting to do programming, 8-9 years ago i got approached: „Imagine, they asked 100 euros for a webside. Could you do that, and aunt Tanja will make you a cherry pie that you like so much.“ Either way i don´t do that kind of web cites, so i rejected that jenerous offer – Ivan concluded with a smile.
There are those that are not working from home, but from coworking spaces. There you can find people from different areas that work in a common area. In Niš there are two of those spaces: „Tilda“ and „Deli prostor“. „Tilda“ hosts mainly people from IT sector.

- „Tilda“ offers ideal requirements for work to individuals and smaller teams. Also, it serves as a venue for events where people from different professions exchange knowledge, experience and network together – says Saša Stamenković
Saša says that it is not easy working and living in the same space. That´s where coworking spaces come in as a soluton for differentiating business from private live.
Some of the most known freelancing sites are: