Why I Quit Freelancing to Join Transifex
Joining a new company is always as exciting as it is intimidating – particularly if you have been freelancing for half a decade. Successful freelancers rarely quit the self-employed lifestyle to join a company. But I did it to join Transifex, and I’m here to tell you why.
Don’t worry. It’s not like the CEO or my manager are watching over my shoulder as I’m typing or anything. That’s apparent if you look at our Glassdoor reviews. I’m only doing this cause I want more people to witness the kind of difference that a friendly workplace makes. So, let us get right into it!
We can all hide behind our finger and act as if money is not important. But the truth is that no matter how passionate you may be about your job, if you can’t pay the rent and bills, it’s no longer a job; it’s a hobby.
Companies that are trying to pay their new hires as lowly as possible, has been the norm for years now. And, so, I was pleasantly surprised to see that unlike most companies out there, Transifex is generous with their employees. And it’s not just about the compensation. There are quite a few ways with which the company is taking care of us – but more about that later.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
What’s the point of having the smartest or the most hard-working people with you when they are rude and uncooperative?
I’ve heard countless stories of competitive work environments where co-workers are trying to bring each other down for a potential raise. But most of us can agree that this is not an ideal work environment.
Don’t get me wrong. Having a competitive work environment is fine as long as the aim is to push other people up; not bring them down.
So, one of the first things I noticed all the way back in my interviews was the overall behavior of both the executives and other employees. To this day, everyone is still kind, down-to-earth, understanding, smart, talented, and ambitious.
These are not things that one should take for granted nor are they to be underestimated. You spend a huge chunk of your life working – it’d be a shame doing it with people you don’t get along with.
Remote VS Office Work
Working remotely saves you money, time, energy, and effort. But, in the long run, it can also be emotionally exhausting.
Working on your own for months or even years and only meeting your co-workers or manager behind a screen is not ideal.
Then again, working in an office requires you to spend more time and money on commuting. Not to mention that for some people, continuous socialization can also be emotionally draining.
For most, the ideal work environment is somewhere in the middle – and that’s one of the many things that Transifex gets right.
You have the option of going to the office, assuming you are near it in Athens, or also working remotely.
Some people like to always work in the office, others are full-remote, while most prefer an in-between solution.
I myself prefer spending a day in the office while the other four are done remotely – which is a kind of flexibility that you don’t get with a lot of companies out there.
To some people, this may not seem like much. But for someone who has been freelancing for years, it’s nice to see that Transifex is willing to provide equipment both in and out of the office.
And we are not just talking about the bare necessities here. You get a decent laptop, such as a Macbook or something from Dell’s XPS series, PC peripherals, adapters, monitors, or even desk equipment.
You can ask for pretty much anything that helps you get the job done.
The company constantly strives to offer a proper office environment in and out of the “headquarters”.
Flexible Hours and Work-Life Balance
Speaking of flexibility, flexible work hours are another plus. Some people don’t like working during the morning, others prefer getting up and finishing work as soon as possible to attend to family, while a minority feels more productive by spreading out work in small sections throughout the day.
This kind of flexibility is definitely not applicable to all roles. If you are handling some form of customer service, for example, you probably won’t be able to get your tasks done whenever you want. But, for the rest of us, it’s mostly a non-issue.
At Transifex, we are all about getting work done. Sticking around a 9-5 schedule doesn’t mean a lot if you spend most of that time procrastinating and trying to wake up. If a different timeline works better, power to you.
And it’s not just about when, it’s also about how long. Both the CEO and the leadership team are constantly trying to make sure that everyone has a nice balance between work and personal life.
Sure, we are all trying to make sure we are delivering the desired results – but it’s all while also aiming not to overwork ourselves – and I think that all companies should strive to do the same.
A Sense of Belonging
During my currently short stay of 3 months here, there have been numerous occasions that make me feel like I’m part of something bigger. Things like:
- Events and gatherings (After the lift of the lockdown with self-testing and most people being fully vaccinated)
- Small birthday gifts from the company
- Weekly games
- Everyone’s transparent behavior
- And how close I feel to my team
Sometimes, going back to the office feels like coming back to a second home. And that’s something you can’t replicate with freelancing, or perhaps, with bigger companies as well.
Room for Creativity
Transifex leaves a lot of room for creativity across the whole organization. You may find yourself under engineering, customer success, sales, demand generation, or people ops, and chances are that you’d still have plenty of room for being creative no matter the position.
This is something that a lot of other companies don’t want to risk. After all, the more room for creativity you give to employees, the higher the odds of getting something wrong. That’s especially true in enormous companies where you feel like nothing but a tiny cog inside a complicated machine.
And that’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t originally like the idea of becoming an employee. Creativity is vital for me. So, waking up and having to do five tasks per day in a very certain way, five days a week, for the rest of my life, doesn’t sound very appealing.
Room for Growth
Many companies understandably don’t want to take any risks. If they want a role, they’ll get the guy who is already experienced for that particular role and nothing less.
At first glance, this seems optimal for both the employee and the company. The employee performs great due to having the role that he is so accustomed to and the company doesn’t have to worry about one more person who is underperforming.
But in the long run, employees don’t get any new experiences and the company is potentially losing a loyal and hard-working person who could be offering so much more.
That’s another thing that Transifex gets right. Despite working as a writer for all of my life, I’ve never been a content manager – but I am now!
And while there’s a lot to be learned, I think that both I and the company are benefiting from me getting more responsibilities than I used to have in previous roles (Editor, senior writer, copywriter, etc).
The Company’s Core Values
I think that one of the main reasons why Transifex works the way that it does is due to our five core values.
- Be a true teammate: Be generous with your praise, reinforcing feedback, and proactively collaborating
- Consistently grow: Always strive to improve yourself and learn from past mistakes – even if that means going outside your comfort zone
- Advocate for the customer: The customer is the company’s most valuable asset. Be committed to understanding our customers and helping them succeed
- Truly own it: Understand that your work plays a vital role in the company’s success and take responsibility for your actions
- Be your whole self: Be transparent, honest, fair, and kind. Share your thoughts and aim to keep a fine balance between work and personal life (Many of us infuse the two cause we can get that close as a team)
What’s the Catch?
It can’t be all good and dandy, right? Every workplace has its downsides. But I wouldn’t say that’s exactly the case with Transifex.
When it comes to Transifex, it’s more about whether you are a good fit for the rest of the team or not. But I’d argue that the same applies for every company out there. Some common traits that Transifexians have are:
- Mutual respect and transparency
- An endless desire for growth
- And a thirst for efficiency and productivity
For another person’s POV, do also feel free to check out this post from our Senior Product Manager, Mike.