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Ask HN: Struggling to pay rent this month. Can I help you with a gig?
251 points by _whynow on Dec 30, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments
Hi HN, long-time contributor with ~1500 karma; throwaway for obvious reasons.

When I used to see these posts, I always was thankful for the position I was in. I never hesitated to send a personal message with my regards and best wishes, and most of the time I'd include a small bit of help. I'm hoping this all comes full-circle, because I desperately need it.

Let's not make this about financial planning (it's otherwise pretty good) but a client has just told me (after telling me they were waiting on a third-party...) they're unable to pay their invoice this month and it's put a strain on me.

About 2 years ago I had an excess of $100k in my bank account. As someone in their early-mid 20s, I was doing very good. I don't live lavishly or have super nice things; I'm pretty frugal and basic. But after some hospital expenses and some very bad luck, I'm down to less than $1k in my accounts, and my assets are non-existent as, well, they never really existed in the first place.

My stack is Ruby/Rails, HTML/CSS/jQuery (yeah, I know), and Sidekiq for background jobs. I can integrate any API or build them quickly. I've scraped more websites than I haven't, and I'm pretty good at it. A JS framework (likely Vue or React) is in my New Years Resolution. Point being, I can get things done and get them done right. I can also consult on SEO, copywriting, marketing, and a couple laughs if need be.

I'd prefer to stay publicly anonymous; I can send over some samples of work via email and we can jump on a call/Skype/hangout/whatever.

I know this won't be met with some of the kindest thoughts; remember, everyone has a story. Some of them are prettier than others. At the end of the day, we're all human.

Again, to reiterate, I'm not asking for hand-me-outs; I can't morally accept them. I'm not asking for a loan. I'm asking if I can start hacking away on that project you've been putting off.

Email: q3qjbo9iku2aipq@jetable.org (forwards to my personal)

So I wouldn't advocate abusing this, but...

If you have a Freshbooks account and you use it for sending your clients invoices, Freshbooks has recently partnered with a company called Fundbox which provides advances on your outstanding invoices. I'm not sure what kinds of qualifications you may need to be offered this service (not sure if account age or previous activity plays a role, I've used Freshbooks for a long time before this advance service was put in place), but any invoice under $1K is typically available for an advance immediately. Repayment is on a weekly basis and the fee is rather reasonable compared to the payday loan and title loan services you see advertised to "help" the desperate. You can add anyone as a client with nothing more than a name and an email address and you can send them an invoice instantly. The account set up for Fundbox is literally just connecting your bank account for them to ACH to you (inbound is about 2 days) and for them to automatically pull their weekly payment out. And, you can repay the entire loan at any time with no penalty.

Can I ask why are you interested in 1 gig and not a full time job?

Your skills seem pretty much what 2 out of 3 companies in WWR[1] are looking for. If your skills are what you say they are, you'll get hired in no time IMHO.

I wish you best of luck and happy new year.

[1] https://weworkremotely.com/ and SO careers are the best job-boards IMHO.

Can't pass a background check, and this is time-sensitive. I also like my independence since, in times past, things have been difficult to hang onto long-term due to said baggage.

Okay, fair enough.

I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year!

starting a new gig generally involves not getting paid for nearly a month.

//or so i'm told

Not always. I request 30% of the estimated amount upfront, when dealing with new clients. Once trust is established, I don't bother my clients with pre-payments.

A full-time job implies a commitment of at least several months, possibly years. That isn’t a commitment I’d walk into lightly, could take many weeks of research and interviews. This guy needs to pay rent.

Could be a variety of reasons. Not everyone is interested in being beholden to a single company. Just like an investment portfolio, it can be a worthwhile to have a diversified income strategy.

I've been in the same boat as you very recently (top client unexpectedly had to let me go because of low budget, when I was confident it would be fine through the early part of 2016). And I quite understand struggling to pay rent all of a sudden. Not fun! All I can say is, it gets better! Network like crazy, reach out to everyone you know: old clients, former coworkers, even people who offer the same services you do. You might be able to pick up work they're overloaded with, or talk to a past client at just the right time when they're ready to do another project. Also as other people have said, there are great job boards out there (WeWorkRemotely, etc.). Another thing you can try doing is blogging about some of the work you've done, problems you've solved, etc. -- never hurts to include content marketing in your "personal brand" efforts.

I don't have any work that I can offer, but I wish you the best of luck. I know the fear you might feel about not being able to pay your bills. Chin up!

If I happen to hear of anything, I will ping you.

I'm afraid I will be facing the same problems here pretty soon. Have you tried calling/walking in to any local businesses that don't have websites set up? $1,000 for a simple static website might look like a bargain.

Best wishes, and good luck.

In case you are decide to look for an actual (remote) job as opposed to a short gig, you could try this list[1] of sites that aggregate remote positions.

[1] https://github.com/lukasz-madon/awesome-remote-job#job-board...

I don't have anything to offer but I hope opportunities come your way through this; it's not easy asking for help, even anonymously, with the unhealthy way that money is linked to status and pride.

Sorry if this is unhelpful, but what do you have in terms of LinkedIn and other front-facing portfolios (including Github)? I've been out of the Rails job market for a few years now but I still get recruiters who are obviously autoscraping LinkedIn and Github (literally, for any repo that is classified as Ruby) and doing cold emails. I don't know if a full time gig is something that's possible for you but it certainly won't hurt to keep those low-maintenance nets open for the occasional legitimate recruiter doing keyword searches.

Been in the same boat and will try to help so sent you a mail.

What helped for me was intensive real-life networking; it changed my life. You cannot imagine what is there to pick from in this world if you speak to enough people.

How high is your rent?

Too damn high.

That sucks - I had a similar issue back when I was contracting; it happens to the best of us.

Unfortunately, I don't have a project for you, but I wish you luck! Keep at it, you'll pull through!

send me a copy of your resume `ramon at 3dr dot com`

How much is your rent? I know you don't want to accept money, but I may be able to send a donation.


I'm guessing this is not OP.

I don't have a project, but I wish the best of luck and hope things turn out better for you!

hackhands.com is good at fast payouts for what you are describing.

On an anecdotal note: I gave a couple of their tests a try just for fun. They really need to start testing actual coding knowledge instead of encyclopedia knowledge of things like "what does this random git flag do? ANSWER WITHIN 10 SECONDS!"

It felt like I was back taking a PHP certification exam from the 90's. I much prefer dealing with companies that gives live-coding exams instead of these sorts.

My rule: anything that can be answered in 10 seconds of Googling is a bad interview question.

I agree... the tests are pretty bad. They give you time allotted based on how many words there are which is a terrible metric of how hard a question is. The questions are not that hard but they are really bad because you get around 30 seconds to 1. parse the question 2. read all 4 answers when a lot of the answers are subtly different 3. figure out the best answer 4. answer it.

That must be a new feature. When I signed up, there weren't any tests.

Have you worked with Redux/React at all?

> A JS framework (likely Vue or React) is in my New Years Resolution.

Looks like if he has any exp, it's minimal at best.

I've had good success with gigster.com

i use sendgigs.com

Hope things turn around for you.

Can you provide links to your profiles on LinkedIn, Github and Stackoverflow?

Can you read?

>I'd prefer to stay publicly anonymous; I can send over some samples of work via email and we can jump on a call/Skype/hangout/whatever.

As someone that used to post to HN under an old handle many years ago, and as someone who has been lurking for even longer than that, I must humbly say that the attitude of the community here has degraded significantly.

why would you say such?

Nobody would ask questions like, "Can you read?" before, and the guy above that wouldn't be downvoted for asking about profile information.

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