Chris Weingartz has a 5-star performance rating and has been a member of Field Nation since 2013. A self-proclaimed “non-specialist,” Weingartz first discovered his passion for the technical industry at the young age of five after his father – a software tester – brought home an IBM ThinkPad.
“I’ve been into computers my whole life,” Weingartz says, who now lives in Mankato, MN. “My dad would bring home laptops and my brother and I would play on them. I started working with Visual Basic making programs and I got into computers after that.”
By the time Weingartz reached high school, he was well-versed in computer break-fix and had become known as the go-to guy who could help solve any technical problem or software virus. After a brief stint in technical college, Weingartz decided to make the leap and become independent full-time, a decision that, while after some initial hesitation, has become the best decision he has ever made.
“I like to talk to people and move around,” Weingartz says. “I got into networking, and just like social networking, I’ve been able to meet and talk to people instead of being stuck in a cube or a server room all day. I like that aspect of the job.”
After spending several years gaining first-hand experience in the field, Weingartz began to work various hourly and manufacturing jobs. He was first introduced to the concept of online work platforms one day when he, along with a group of friends, stumbled across Field Nation while conducting an internet search for freelance work.
“We all made profiles and found a job that required a team, so we went as a group of friends,” Weingartz says. “That first job was really simple and we kind of looked at each other like, ‘We just made $500 for this?’ It was a confidence booster.”
Today, Weingartz conducts work in a wide range of IT technologies, including low-voltage cabling and desk-side support, and is constantly seeking to broaden his expertise. Even after two decades of hands-on work, he notes that one of the most important lessons he has learned as an independent contractor has nothing to do with experience.
“Companies like working with people who are professional,” Weingartz says. “If you can show up in a professional manner, that’s probably 80% of the job. It still strikes me as odd when I get thanked for arriving work on-time. There are some things that just can’t be learned in a classroom.”
In addition to practicing professionalism, Weingartz says that for first-time freelancers or platform users, the concept of contracting may seem intimidating but there is a simple solution to getting your feet wet.
“If you are nervous or scared about getting that first job, try to find one where you can be an assistant technician and ask a lot of questions,” Weingartz says. “You will learn more in a practical setting and realize it’s not as intimidating as it might seem. If it’s a confidence issue, there are ways around that.”
While it has been years since Weingartz experienced his own first-time nerves, he is content with where his career now stands and is already looking forward to what the future holds as he continues to live out his freelancing dream.
“I have the flexibility of doing what I want and still pay my bills,” Weingartz says. “I don’t have to wait until the weekend to cram everything into a couple of hours. If I can continue to live my current lifestyle and know I will be comfortable in 10 years, then I am going to be really happy.”
To learn more about engaging with Chris on your next project, visit his Field Nation profile.