Sometimes all you need to do to advance in your career is take a chance.
After initially working in customer support, Lloyd George applied for a role to get into project management without a college degree. The 29-year-old betting on himself has paid off ever since.
George works as a freelance project manager in his day to day.
In a short timeframe, he went from starting out in the field making $75,000 per year to now, making $180,000. The flexibility that comes with being a freelancer allowed George to not only explore what type of roles work specifically for him but also which ones have the highest earning potential.
“At the time I got into project management, I switched roles pretty frequently,” George explained during an episode of “AfroTech Transparency.” “I was at each role for about a year to a year and a half, which gave me the opportunity to increase my salary a lot faster than maybe the average person.”
He continued, “So that helped quite a bit, just being able to explore different types of project management roles at different companies, primarily because each time you try a new role, you’re more than likely going to get an increase.”
Doubling his salary also required him to know how to effectively negotiate. George’s secret weapons have been learning while on the job and keeping track of what hiring managers share with him about what makes him the perfect candidate for certain positions. Utilizing their explanations helped him when asking for higher salaries.
In addition to being a freelance project manager by day, George is a content creator by night. Despite being initially held back by fear, he began creating content in December 2021.
What started as freely posting daily on TikTok for months transformed into securing life-changing opportunities. George was creating content for people who were new to social media and brands started to notice. What’s more, they reached out to him to make user-generated content (UGC) for their TikTok accounts and he charged $75 for his first deal.
“At the time, I probably would’ve done it for free, but it was nice to have someone pay me to create content,” he said. “I was very intentional knowing that I just needed to start working with some brands to start building my portfolio. And since then, I’ve been able to work with more brands and charge a lot more.”
Now, to date, George’s highest-paying video has been up to $3,000.
Just like many Black content creators, George has fallen victim to receiving lowball offers. However, knowing his value and return on investment (ROI) has guided him in becoming better at negotiating rather than taking every opportunity for the sake of building his portfolio.
“I feel like I have a lot more negotiating power versus when I started and I just felt like I was lucky to have any opportunity,” George said to AfroTech. “So when I talk to brands now, I’m very clear in knowing what my range is and what I want to be paid for work. And what is the lowest I’m willing to take and what is the amount I would love to be paid.”
In the future, George hopes to see more Black tech professionals take up space, whether it’s launching their own companies or becoming content creators, and sharing their unique perspectives to the world.