Weaving a web
Freelance working is a way of life all around the world, as Hungarian Peter Csobanczi illustrates.
“I’m a web developer,” he says. “I develop websites and applications. I’m new to the market here in the UK – I arrived two weeks ago from Hungary and I’m doing my first job here. Headhunters found it for me. I uploaded my CV onto a couple of websites and they found me temporary work.
“I’m not really sure what I want to do here yet, so short term contract work is a good thing. You can see the end of it and there are always new projects. A permanent job has more security, but at the moment I don’t know what I want, so being freelance suits me.
“When I was born, my family was spending three years in Germany, and so I learned German and Hungarian in parallel. If you’re bi-lingual, it’s much easier to learn another language. I learned English at school, but there we mostly had Russians teaching us English. I had a native English-speaking teacher for private lessons though and that was really good.
“Britain is totally different from Hungary. Money-wise it’s incomparable. In Hungary, the prices are the same for food and clothe, but you’re paid a lot more here. You get the monthly pay of Hungary in one week here. You can even make 10 times more than in Hungary.
“I didn’t come for the money. I came because I’m fed up with Hungary. The attitude and the people – I don’t like it anymore.”
In Hungary I was a freelance web developer as well. If you want decent money there, you have to work as much as you can. At one time, I had an eight-hour-a-day job and was going home to do freelance work as well. That’s quite normal. A couple of times, at Christmas, I’d get in my car to go to the supermarket, but it was closed – of course. It was the 25th of December, but I’d been working too much to notice.
“I came to London this time because I was here back in November, playing with my band and I liked it. I was like, ‘I have to come back!’ There hasn’t been any difficulty so far in finding work here, but we’ll see – it’s still early days.”