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5 Reasons I want to Join Toptal

I’m a sucker for lists.

I have a monthly list, a weekly list, 4 daily lists and a few others. I got all this stuff from the Bullet Journal idea, and I’ve adapted it to fit my own needs.

One of the daily lists I work through is titled Leads+. Super creative, I know. Each day, I check out a few different places online to score some new leads, so I can do work, so I can help others, so they can make more money, so they can pay me, so I can buy food, so I can feed my family. So far so good.

Soooo… Today I stumbled upon Toptal. I’d heard of it before, but I never checked it out for some reason.

For my students and other young designers that are reading this blog and have no idea what in the world Toptal is, it’s a super-exclusive network of the top freelance developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. It’s like an online head-hunter firm that only deals with the cream of the crop creatives. They tout their pool of talent, “Top companies rely on Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.”

Toptal wants applicants to write a quick blog “explaining why you are committed to joining,” and here’s mine.

But first, back to the lists. I love making lists – check lists, numbered lists, unordered lists, and all things structured. That’s why I write everything down. It seems only fitting that I make my appeal to join the ranks of Toptal in list fashion.

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Here’s why I want to join Toptal.

1. I want to work remotely (AKA from home)

Since January of 2016, I’ve been Daddy bus driver, Dr. Dad, Mr. Dad the tutor, you name it. Having the flexibility to work from home gives me more time with my kids, and what’s better than that? Nothing. Except for the fact that it also gives me a bit more time to cook awesome dinners. I can start something on my lunch break and let it slow cook all afternoon.

It also has allowed me to begin teaching design at Lone Star College CyFair, the same place where I began my design career.

It also has allowed me to balance all that with continuing to pursue my Bachelors at the University of Houston.

These things all play second fiddle to having more time with my kids, but they’re definitely perks to working from home. Now what’s better than all that? Yeah, nothing.

2. I want to be able to handpick the projects I work on in the very same way my clients handpick me

To some degree, I already do this, but variety is the spice of life. If I can have more vetted leads coming through my pipeline, everybody’s better for it – me and my work, my family, my clients, and their families. Boom.

3. I want to work with a variety of businesses, niches and sizes

Big brands sometimes equal bigger budgets, which when utilized properly can yield bigger results. If I get paid $10K to help a team of 20 be successful, it’d be awesome to get paid that same $10K to help a team of 100 do the same thing. Think about it: that’s 5x as many people, 5x as many people that are parents. That’s 5x as many Christmas bonuses, and 5x more fidget spinners in the stockings of their kids! It’s all hypothetical, but you get the idea.

Working with smaller companies and startups sometimes means making a deeper, personal relationship with the people on the other side of the screen. I like to think that this is just as valuable, if not more, than working with a bigger brand.

Smaller folks are often the ones innovating, and that means I could have the opportunity to help have huge impact. I know, I know, this probably all makes me sound very millennial, but that’s cool. If wanting to make a real difference with my work thrusts me into one category or another, I’m more than happy to own it.

In my experience, the smaller guys have a bit more grit too, and that’s something I’ve always been able to relate to.

Toptal touts a ton of big names, but in my brief research, I also found that they serve a lot of smaller, up-and-coming businesses as well. Again, the variety sounds good.

4. I want to work with people that are smarter than me and utilize every tool in their Batman belt

This blog is an example of that, 100%.

Toptal wants nothing but the best, most ambitious, motivated people, right? How better to spread that than with advocates writing blogs about why they want to be a part of it.

Once you fill out your app on Toptal, they tell you this,

We will be reaching out soon to get things started. If you'd like priority, write a post on your personal blog explaining why you want to join the ranks of the Toptal Visual Designers Community. When finished, send us the post, and we'll move you to the front of the line.

They’re utilizing digital strategy to their advantage, and I love it. After all, I’ve always said I’m more resourceful than MacGyver, and real recognizes real. 😎

5. Toptal only deals with the top 3% of freelance talent

Not only do I want to be counted among that top 3% simply for the sake of saying it, I want to be a part of it because ‘you are who you associate with.’

I think I like the idea of being around the top 3% of the talent in my industry even if it’s all digital at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having that 3% badge of honor. But even more than that, I love the idea of being a part of a group of people that can say the same.

I could probably come up with a few more reasons why I want to join Toptal, but writing this blog wasn’t a part of my daily schedule (list), so I have to get back to work now! If you’re a designer, dev, finance expert, you should check them out. Hopefully you see my name in the list of Visual Designers soon.

Update: Nailed it. There are four steps to their interview process; on to step two.

Anthony Gorrity
anthonygorrity@gmail.com
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