Software Freelancer Stian found a perfect project through Witted on the first try

With 12 years of experience in optimization, cloud, infrastructure, and DevOps, Stian Øvrevåge is a sought-after talent in the IT market. Naturally, this has resulted in a career that’s been pretty hectic at times. Earlier this year, however, he felt it was time for a break to evaluate both his life and career so far, and thus terminated his existing customer relationship. That’s when Witted came into the picture.

Witted supports software freelancers in customer acquisition, career path planning, and in legal and contractual questions. Moreover, Witted helps developers kickstart their entrepreneurship journey.

After his notice period, Stian looked forward to a longer break. The plan for the break was to figure out which way to go next and to start a new project with new insights and drive. You see, even though Stian liked his hectic life, it was his personal values that were the fundamental driving force in his work.

“I’m fundamentally driven by values, and without the right values, it’s hard to grow, be a team player, a role model, and always deliver at a high level. For example, because I’m concerned with climate change, it doesn’t feel right to take on assignments that entail increased oil and gas production. Although I don’t judge those working in that sector!”

At Witted, we are also driven by values. We aim to be easily approachable, transparent, bold and decisive, and experimental. We see this as a good starting point for potential cooperation, and as you’ll see, transparency has a special place in this story.

First and foremost Stian wanted to be heard

Even though Stian was set on taking a break, other brokers and customers didn’t set their requests aside. With an in-demand competence, many approached him with different project opportunities. However, despite Stian explaining that tech stack, rates, and prestige weren’t the most important things for him, he didn’t get the feeling that he was heard.

“Sadly, it seemed that most followed their usual scripts and presented the next case in their list without thinking too much about it.”

But then our paths met.

“An exception was Philip from Witted, whom I had many good conversations with without many concrete cases. It was more about getting to know each other and building trust.”

In the jungle of headhunters and recruitment firms, Witted has decided to side with the talents and see things from their perspective. The talent first; everything else second.

When Stian’s notice period was over and it was time for the first day of vacation, Philip asked Stian if he wanted to meet a client he thought could fit him.

“I thought it was very unlikely that the first case would be the one that checked all the boxes, but taking the meeting and making some connections couldn’t hurt, could it?”

Staying true to himself gave the best outcome

Given that Stian didn’t have a need for a new assignment, he was able to be 100% himself and focus on his values. Hence he was open and completely honest in the meeting with the client.

There were three important questions Stian asked himself to evaluate if the customer and the project were right for him:

  • Do I want the customer to succeed?

  • Do I think the customer can succeed?

  • Am I in a unique position to help the customer succeed in a better and faster way?

Apparently, all points were fulfilled, because four days later Stian sat on a plane to Trondheim to acquaint himself with the new customer. In one week, they went from having the first meeting to negotiations back and forth, and finally to a mutual agreement and desire to work together.

Saying yes to the meeting was not something to regret. It was a success on the first try, yet the result is not that surprising as both Stian and Philip knew very well what Stian was looking for.

Now, Stian has been in the project for two months and says that he’s still as excited as he was the first week.

“During what has now become many years in the business, I must say that this customer differentiates itself in a positive way, and really is the perfect and most logical next step for me. It’s an open and inclusive environment, and they are actually willing to take the risk to innovate instead of just talking about it. They’ve managed to grow big and profitable without getting smothered with bureaucracy. All in all, I see myself as incredibly lucky that I get to use my competence on an even higher level and keep challenging myself to grow.”

Just as in Stian’s approach to the meeting, openness and honesty are the fundamentals of everything we do. That, in turn, creates room for finding out what one truly wants. By listening to the talent, the process becomes more personal and well thought out. That’s how we at Witted work. For everyone that wishes to use our services, a process is set in motion where we help you find a software project that actually fits you and not only your tech stack.