Working as a Contractor with NDS Perspective from Amanda Guise, NDS contractor

The Beginning

I started working with David Brooks Sr., owner and founder of NDS, back in July 2016. I came from no background at all, fresh in my senior year of college, only weeks away from graduating with my Bachelor in Web Design and Development. I had applied alongside a few other applicants, and NDS decided to take a chance on me as much as I had decided to take a chance on the experience on working as a contractor for the first time. 

I came with no experience and the only thing I had to give was my open mind and what I had learned in college. I started off on a few small graphic design projects, which was not my strong point. Nonetheless, David had guided me and encouraged me throughout the process. Meanwhile he gave me free reign on a WordPress theme, just to see my ability as a designer and developer in web. While not a paid project, or a legitimate one, I had fun playing with design in my free time and enjoyed the freedom to show what I could do, at my own pace. 

Falling into a role

We both quickly realized my strengths as a WordPress Developer, but he encouraged me and guided me through graphic work regardless. I did pamphlets, brochures, business cards, etc. and worked to tweak each design to better fit the clients needs. I learned more with each project and grew as a designer, somewhere I feel I lacked strength before. While I knew my strength was always as a developer, my experience in the graphic work I did reflected in the WordPress sites I continued to build. 

I fell into a Lead WordPress Developer quickly, as I showed strength and independence quickly. I worked with clients both locally and remotely, working and communicating with clients and teams members from Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, and many other states, and even sometimes other countries. I traveled alongside the team, meeting with clients, and gaining knowledge in many industries and developing skills I never realized I would need as a professional. 

Independence and Growth

Each client and team member taught me something new as I worked through projects and designs, seeing new facets of life and my career as I met new professionals and personalities. Surrounding myself with new people and other creative allowed me to develop skills in SEO, content writing, social media marketing, project management, graphic design, communication, team work, creative thinking, and so much more. I also felt fulfilled doing something I was so passionate about, as was David, and I was honored to work with non-profit organizations. I took many of the web projects for non profits on myself, and eventually sold my second project which I headed to a cause I felt deeply about – suicide. The pride and satisfaction I gained from being able to help a cause that was so close to my heart reminded me that even behind a computer I could make a difference.  

I worked on several projects in and out of 2 other jobs I worked part time, dedicating most of my time to NDS and the clients I worked with there. I took the experience I had and eventually moved onto a job in April of 2018 that provided full time and a steady paycheck. While the pay scale may have slightly shifted, I found that in the skills I carried and the compliments I received, it did not come from the work I moved onto, but rather the skills and work I had done with NDS and the skills they taught me in my 2 steady years I worked with my team there. 

I was never pushed or pressured on the job other than the deadlines that the clients gave us. NDS gave me freedom to work in and out of projects while I juggled family life and the pursuit of happiness I needed. I found my work fulfilling, my atmosphere easy-going, and the people I worked beside genuine in their endeavors and work. I do not do nearly as much contract work with NDS as I wish I could balance in my new work. Would my life ever fall to a point I could contract full time with NDS, I would have no hesitation to return to NDS and the projects I passed onto the new interns and developers that will grow and mature with NDS. 

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