I do not enjoy teaching anymore

I have no idea about other countries but teaching to me is by far one of the most underrated professions in Bangladesh. I have been a chemistry teacher for almost seven years. I have taught both O and A-level chemistry, I know what kind of hard work it takes. After each class, I felt drained of all my energy, my head ached. There are hundreds of money hungry English medium schools all over Bangladesh, it seems like they have only one goal, to drain the parents out of their hard-earned money. But surprisingly they do not want to invest in quality teachers.

Another reason about which I felt more disappointed was the lack of respect from the students, their parents and from the society. Yes, my students and their parents did praise me when they did well in school or exams but are there any hard written testimonials like there are in freelancing websites. Simply put there are no proofs of my hard work, no testimonial when it comes to teaching. When I went to schools for interviews, they treated me like a rookie until I took the demo class. Why wouldn’t they? After all, there are no proofs!

Another thing which frustrated me the most was the lack of appreciation from the parents. I charge only BDT 2500 per month for teaching O level chemistry, but I was paid BDT 1500 just because the student didn’t do some classes. Some parents didn’t even bother to thank me when their children got A in O level chemistry with my hard work. I never even heard their voices.

The schools are a different story altogether, they are just a bunch of money generating machines. They are willing to drain the parents out of their pockets, but they do not want to pay the teachers the amount they deserve. Why? Because of its a business, they want profit! They hardly want to pay thirty thousand takas to a teacher. More than that, they want a teacher to teach multiple subjects so they make even more profit. Why keep two teachers for maths and chemistry 25k + 25k = 50k. When you can hire only one teacher and pay him or her 25k to teach both, 25k saved.

When it comes to society, they have never taken teaching seriously unless its a professor at a university. They want to hear about professions such as executive, officer, engineer, doctor and so on. They think teaching is a child’s play but run after good teachers for their children.

When I started to do freelancing, I started to enjoy it right away because I could see the appreciation for my hard work. Even for a five dollar job, my clients left me a feedback and a rating. When new clients view my profile, they see the ratings and they talk to me with respect and pay accordingly.

For this very reason, I have decided that I will slowly make a transition from a teaching profession to being a top-level freelancer.

The Power of WordPress

If you ask an absolute beginner who does not have any idea about web development that what is WordPress? What do you think they would say? In my case when I was browsing through Upwork jobs about three years ago and when I saw the name WordPress, I thought that it’s probably a word processor like MS Word. That’s what the name suggests right? Word + Press = WordPress. Now, if you ask a person who has slight knowledge on the web development, who has just started to learn web development. They would say “meh…. it’s just a software with which you can make websites”, on the other hand, some so called “know it all” would say that WordPress is bad, is awful etc. I used to think like them too, but now my mindset has changed.

In the year 2016, I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I applied to more than 300 jobs with no response. I got called for an interview out of 300, it was for the post of “Sales Engineer”. I had high expectations from them, but they offered me a salary of only 15,000 takas per month, which is only about 187 dollars per month.

I knew this kind of low paying job was going to do nothing but ruin my life. So did a training called “Top-Up IT Web Development”, they taught me HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and PHP. After doing the course I was still not skilled enough that I could use all these different skills altogether to make a website. Simply meaning, I could not deliver an end product for which I will get paid for. My trainer who was a web developer himself said: “WordPress is easy, I will teach you WordPress within one hour”. Unfortunately, his WordPress lesson was garbage. But I knew WordPress is important and there is a great demand for WordPress in the freelancing market.

So I did another course named “Advanced WordPress Development”. There they focused mainly on how you can use WordPress to deliver an end product like a full website. I was amazed by WordPress, I used to need one hour or more to code a menu bar using HTML, CSS and JavaScript and that too with lots of errors. But with WordPress, I needed only five minutes! After doing the course I made my first website using WordPress called “Tasvir’s Chemistry Help“. My friends and families loved it, one of my friends even asked me to make a website for him called FeedMe. After that, I made several gigs on Fiverr as a WordPress service provider. I sold my first gig for $40. I got a huge WordPress project on Upwork worth over $350. Other projects followed and I earned over $500 only using WordPress. Now you see how important is WordPress! Next time you talk about WordPress, show some respect. Try to learn how to use WordPress and deliver the end product to get paid. Time is money, WordPress saves time, meaning it saves money.

I hope you have understood what I meant to say, I hope all of you have a very nice day!



Learning from YouTube

Suppose you are someone who wants to learn a new skill, like web development or WordPress, what would you do? Watch youtube videos? But honestly, do you really think someone who is a complete beginner can do it? Actually, it varies, some are really good at teaching themselves using youtube, unfortunately, most of them can’t.

Whats the problem? Problem is that the videos in youtube give you scattered information, some from here and some from there. The YouTubers from whom you are going to learn may not be even certified. You are judging them based on the likes and views they got on their videos. The video tutorials may not be up to the par, it may not be complete, there may be some important things missing out. You won’t even have a clue because you are a complete beginner!

So where can you learn new skills? You can learn from online websites like Lynda, Udemy, Codecademy etc. They are dedicated to teaching skills to absolute beginners, their courses are sequential. You won’t be lost as a complete beginner like you would be on youtube. The courses may have a price tag on them but it’s worth it, if you want something good then you have to pay for it. Of course, in websites like Udemy, the instructor’s course materials are checked thoroughly for quality before they can even publish them. How can I say that Udemy is so good? Because I have bought a course on “Machine Learning” from Udemy for only $10 and it’s wonderful. There are over 277 lectures, taught by a single instructor and it is nicely paced. The teaching quality is superb and I get to keep the course forever! Furthermore, I will even get a certification of completion after finishing the course, which of course I can add to LinkedIn.

So is youtube completely useless for learning? Absolutely not, I am talking about who are complete beginners trying to learn a new skill. Suppose you do have some idea about web development prior, then you will know what to learn and what not. You can basically self-teach yourself from youtube. But you do have to get to that self-teaching stage first, which can only come from formal pieces of training or courses.

How to learn something from youtube? Let me give you some tips, suppose you want to learn about a WordPress plugin such as “Yoast SEO”. It will be the best if you watch at least five to six youtube videos on this plugin. Make sure you keep a pen and a notepad with you for taking small notes. You will find something new from each Youtuber on the same topic, you will then combine all their knowledge to get the complete information. Keep on watching until your concepts on the topic is clear. If you have learned something new from their videos make sure you like and comment “Thank you”.

I hope I have made some points clear about how to use youtube and more importantly when to use youtube. Thanks for reading my blog.


My First Client on Upwork

Upwork is by far one of the most popular freelancing websites without any doubt. If you ask anyone about freelancing they would say Upwork, they would not probably even know the names of other freelancing websites. Apart from Upwork there are other top freelancing websites such as Fiverr and Freelancer. But to me, Upwork is the best among all others.

But getting your first client on Upwork is anything but easy. If you do not have any past experience, your bids are going to be declined continuously by the clients. Why would they even bother to let a rookie handle their website! So freelancing is not only about skills but is also a game of patience.

Now, how did I got my first client on Upwork? Getting your first client on Upwork requires hard work, patience and a bit of luck. At first, my bids were being declined by clients and some being completely ignored. But I kept on bidding, I did not stop, I kept on bidding like a machine. My formula was to bid and forget about it, move on to the next one.

So I held onto my technique and suddenly an Australian client name Andy Barnett responded to my bid. He needed sliders made for his website. I replied immediately and send him the links to my sample WordPress websites. He made a contract for me and I accepted the contract. Then he gave me the username and password to his WordPress website. He told me not to “break” his website. What does that mean? Well, if you try to edit the PHP code of a WordPress website, you might mess it up. If that happens the website becomes completely inaccessible. I assured him that I would be careful. The website was extremely important, thousands of visitors each day!

After making first few sliders for his websites, he loved my style. So he asked me to make sliders for the rest of his twenty-seven websites! I ended up earning $347 only from him. While working with him I realized that he did know a quite a lot about WordPress, Photoshop and a bit of coding. I learned a lot from him. After I was done working on all of his websites, he gave me a five-star rating and an awesome review. This review just made my freelancing career as a WordPress expert. I got hired by seven more clients afterward on Upwork.


Education is Everything?

Ever since I was growing up I was told that education is everything, education is life. You must get 90% or above in all your exams. I also used to think like that, I used to study extremely hard! I hardly used to enjoy, went to movies, hung out with friends, never played any sports and what not. I thought that if I study hard I will be rich, then I will be able to enjoy my life the fullest.

But after I graduated from University with a high CGPA, I thought that I would be handed a job due to my good results. But I was dead wrong, I applied to more than 300 to 400 jobs, asked to for jobs with salaries below 15000 takas (187 dollars) per month! I was angry and frustrated at my parents for lying to me, that education will solve everything. I was nothing but an unemployed educated young man.

After realizing the bitter truth, I started to learn new skills at my own expense. I came to realize that it does not matter how educated you are, you need to learn how to use that education. I learned web development and web design, I learned WordPress. I started to bid for jobs in freelancing websites like Upwork, freelancer, Fiverr, People Per Hour and Fivesquid as a WordPress expert. After one month of trying, I got a job at Upwork and earned over $350 in my first project. I found a new way to look at things. If you want to learn new things, please do not go for education, just buy an online course from Udemy. Save your time, energy and money. Universities nowadays in Bangladesh are only about business, they shove down a ton of theories down the student’s throat. Bunch of exams, assignments, and presentation. Please do not be like me, enjoy your life, play, pray, get married as early as possible.