Is freelancing good?
Freelancing has different meaning for different people. I believe majority of freelancers are doing what they are doing because of money. Money play a huge role in opting for freelancing, “Few extra bucks. Oh yes!”.
Unless freelancing is someone’s full time job and only source of earning, I don’t think any valid reason to opt for freelancing where main focus is money, even remotely. However, this does not mean that money should not be factored, since it is a freelancing it has a cost, so money can be one of the motivator but cannot be the real reason for getting into freelancing in the first place.
I don’t know about others but I can share my side of story. Money is never been an real reason for me to get into freelancing. I generally don’t do very frequent freelancing but I have done 2 types of freelancing one for software development and another for photography. In both the case my reason(s) remain same. Is to fill that gap which is empty and needed to be filled.
Since I am at an architect position and I participate actively in programming and I am generally down with good amount of work then a simple question anyone can ask, “What is empty and what is needed to be filled?”. My answer is self validation, exploring new horizons, analyzing different domains, working in different cultures, facing different types of pressure situations, etc. Now this is not something you can achieve in your day to day work, in same organisation, working in same project, working with same team,where you have calculated the pressure weeks before, icing on the cake is where everyone is listening you, where you are completely in comfort zone.
I believe as an Architect I am not only responsible for my current work and their deliverable but I am also responsible to bring in new practices, new methodologies,new knowledge, new idea, better communication ways, latest tech, latest innovations, etc. This will not only help me to grow as a better Architect. One lamest way of doing this is to read tons of articles and watch as many as videos on youtube and practical work or invest time in freelancing. Later is more rewarding.
Same thing goes for my photography, I am not a regular pro photographer, I do it for my own creative satisfaction, but in silos I can’t produce more then what I know or have learned or experimented. But, when I am working with clients on some freelance project, I get to know their viewpoint, their approach, sentiment and their expectation from the next photograph I am going to shoot and the next after that. This helps me to capture and edit in the way my client expects. Eventually I earn similar things I earned when I freelanced in software.
And what a great way to fill your void of improvement, when it all ends you get paid!
But few things are so important while getting into freelance that, if we don’t factor them then everything will turn into a real nightmare.
- Never do freelancing only and only for money, otherwise you will screw your client’s and your reputation.
- Never do freelance on false commitments, otherwise you will screw your client’s and your reputation.
- Give equal attention to your regular work and freelance work otherwise you will screw your client’s and your reputation.
- Commit what you can do, or do what you commit, otherwise you will screw your client’s and your reputation.
- If you already have to many commitments then don’t freelance, otherwise you will screw your client’s and your reputation.
So, for me Freelancing is good, it’s great only if you have some real reason to be in freelancing along with your day to day work, and that reason can not be money.
If you are looking for Freelancing in Software then you should checkout Toptal Web Programmers Community.