Even in his downtime, field service technician Thomas Cloud likes to flex his curiosity and learn new things.
“When I’m driving to a worksite, I like to catch up on news around crypto and Web 3 development,” he says of his commute. “There are a few YouTubers who put stuff out consistently. I’m always trying to learn as much as I can and stay current.”
“I’m almost 50 years old,” he adds, “so I need to keep up with the young guys in tech!”
In many ways, Thomas could be a role model for those young guys in tech.
In 2012 he decided to start working for himself. His years of experience in the IT service delivery space drew the attention of several clients, and he soon built up a dependable stream of steady work.
“They have a technician they can trust in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and I have a company that I can rely on for steady work.”
Still, there were periods when Thomas found himself in search of supplemental income. In 2016, a client mentioned that he frequently connected with contract IT technicians through an app called Field Nation, and Thomas decided to check it out.
The decision turned out to be game-changing.
“I do a lot of cabling work, and I saw that some of the work being posted was stuff that I could do. So that’s how it landed on my radar: I learned I could turn to it when I need a little extra income.”
The platform lets Thomas make judicious decisions about which types of jobs he’ll accept. Being able to make these cost/benefit decisions in real time helps support the financial security he’s built up with his network of steady clients.
He notes: “I’ve got two kids in private school and it’s really helped out.”
“It really helped out during the pandemic, too,” he adds. “In 2020, I lost some clients to COVID. People were just scaling back. But I always had Field Nation to fall back on. If I need to work a little more one month, then I can.”
The secret to Thomas’ success? A combination of preparation and flexibility.
“As an independent field technician, you’ve got to come prepared and you’ve got to be ready to deal with certain challenges that you wouldn’t encounter in a nine-to-five job where you are doing the same thing every day.”
“As long as you’re willing to do it, you can always find work,” he says. “And that’s a great thing to have.”