Into freelancing with borrowed laptop, now Junaid inspires thousands

July 10, 2023

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Junaid Aman Junu, a youth in Chattogram, started working as a freelancer with computers borrowed or hired from his relatives and friends. He gradually emerged as a leader in the country’s freelancing community to inspire thousands of others.

Currently working as a graphic designer, video editor, and digital content creator, Junaid’s childhood dream was to become a musician. When he tried to record a song written and composed by him in 2016, he found that it would cost him Tk12,000.

As he did not have the money for recording, Junaid thought that learning audio mixing and mastering with software would help his music career. However, when he went to a studio for that purpose, he found that learning to use the software would require a personal computer costing around Tk50,000, which he could not afford.

Instead of getting daunted by the expensive technology required for recording music, Junaid borrowed his uncle’s computer to learn about whatever multimedia software he could. This led him to learning photo and video editing, and thumbnail designing.

In 2017, Junaid opened an account on Fiverr – a multinational online marketplace for freelance services. Soon he started getting commissions for editing photos and videos, and designing web banners and thumbnails and started earning money.

However, making progress in this field was immensely difficult with the slow computer Junaid borrowed from his uncle as some of the tasks he carried out required a powerful computer. So he thought of renting high-end laptops from his friends.

“Some of my friends had good laptops, but they could not put them to good use. I started freelancing by renting laptops from them on a monthly basis. I spent a lot of time and effort every day to earn more so that I could buy my own laptop. At the end of 2018, I bought my first computer for over Tk1 lakh,” Junaid told The Business Standard.

Working 16-18 hours a day at a stretch took a toll on Junaid’s health and he fell ill in April 2019. He was admitted to hospital, where the doctors feared that he might have a stroke or go into a coma. After Junaid returned home following treatment at the hospital, it took him eight months to fully recover.

When he returned to freelancing after a long break, Junaid saw that he had lost all his clients.

Overcoming all the obstacles, Junaid reorganised his lifestyle and started freelancing again. Graphic design and freelancing jobs have been fetching him as much as Tk3 lakh on a monthly basis since then.

Though he worked from home in previous years, Junaid has recently taken an office on rent in the Aturar Depot area in Chattogram, where currently five people work.

From the beginning of his freelancing career, Junaid has focused on encouraging youths in doing independent work. He has established an e-learning institute called “JF Academy”, which offers free and paid courses on freelancing.

Junaid is also an admin of the “Chattogram Freelancer Community”, a Facebook group with over 8,500 members. Aside from freelancing, he owns two businesses, including a printing business. He is also involved in a joint venture. Along with all the business activities, Junaid still continues his academic studies.

Junaid’s success story was included in a book, titled “Fiverr-e Freelancing” – written by Faisal Mustafa and published in 2021. In 2022, he received the “Rising Youth Award” from Chattogram division in the Freelancer category. He has recently won the “Hello Chittagong” award for being the best freelancer.

“I am directly involved with the country’s most active and largest group of independent workers – Freelancers of Bangladesh (FOB). I always help anyone who wants to start freelancing or faces any problem related to freelancing,” said Junaid, adding, “I have a very good relationship with my students who have started freelancing after taking my courses.”

Regarding his passion for music, Junaid said he had a plan to set up his own studio in July this year, but right now he is staying away from music due to religious reasons.

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