Let’s face it. Freelancing is awesome. Having the freedom to organize your own day without any distractions is a dream come true. I know this sounds perfect, but it actually takes time to get there. Being a freelancer means having to fight for your own piece of the cake and that’s everything BUT easy.
Different stages of your career development will require different initiatives from your side in order to optimize your growth and enjoy the ride. No goal is easy to achieve and the path can be quite long. That’s why it might be a good idea to start in-office before you decide to go fully remote.
Even if you already are a freelancer and you like it, it would be refreshing to get a new perspective on things and start something different.
So, how can taking a full-time job make you better at freelancing?
Freelancing requires commitment
And you might not be prepared for it just now. It’s kind of funny how people can get a wrong perspective about freelancers. A vast majority thinks freelancers work just one hour per day, spend the rest of it binge-watching on Netflix, and get rich while doing it.
Well, not really. You still need to work, you just organize your time in order to manage to do everything. You can’t just crack a beer or two in the middle of the day and say that it can wait. You need to be responsible before you become free.
It’s always good to have other people who are experts in their own fields around you. They can help you when you are stuck or simply when you want to learn something new. Seniors have had many previous challenges and learned how to overcome them. It’s very easy to progress when you have people like that around you. Being a mentee will help you become a better mentor. Even if you only need moral support, you will always have someone to turn to.
The communication gap
Communication can be a problem when freelancing. You aren’t in the office and you have to wait for an email response when you encounter some difficulty.
If you are in the office, you will always have someone to ask for help. It’s better to overcommunicate than to under-communicate. Developers who freelance often don’t feel comfortable when they have to ask 8687 questions to the team via slack or email. They don’t want to seem annoying.
More focus on the code
Working freelance sometimes means taking the Project Manager out of the equation and figuring things together with the client. Being a freelancer means being good at gaining clients and managing them, which can take a lot of time and energy. Not everyone is good at negotiating and landing the best gigs.
On the other hand, when you are working at an office, you most likely have a Project Manager who is here to take care of all the aspects of the project — you just have to think about the code and how to make it better.
Delivering a project is a serious promise, and it could be quite tricky when you are doing it on your own. Especially if you are a beginner. You will have deadlines, minor issues, and maybe, some bigger ones. Having a group of people you can share this with during a coffee break is priceless in handling difficult situations. Maybe what you believe is a problem, is actually easily solvable when you get a new perspective. This way you can learn more ways of solving one problem that can help you if you eventually decide to become a freelancer.
Building a network
If you want to work freelance, you’ll most likely have to work for more clients at once in order to make good earnings. You won’t be able to find clients unless you start building a network where you’ll be able to sell your services. Doing a full-time job can bring you a lot of acquaintances that can later become your clients or refer you to their friends if you did a good job. Meeting new people can only be helpful for your future career. When the time comes for a freelancing career, starting from the people you already know is the best place to start.
Meeting deadlines is easier together
When you are a freelancer, the thing that is probably most valued by your clients will be how well you meet deadlines. And you are alone in it. Missing deadlines means that you are irresponsible and you don’t know how to organize your time. Clients don’t have time to wait for you. There are tons of other freelancers who would be more than happy to take your place.
If you think you are struggling with time management, you should definitely start with a full-time job. Here, you’ll learn how to make priorities. Next, you’ll be working in a team, so you’ll be meeting deadlines with joint forces. It will probably be more stressful if you are alone. Learn how to handle it before you go fully freelance.
Being a freelancer means having to take care of all the administrative stuff like health and pension insurance on your own. Moreover, there will be times when you just won’t be landing any gigs. You can’t be sure that you’ll always be making the desired amount of money.
Having a full-time job means you are secure. The company will be taking care of your insurance, you’ll have your benefits, and you’ll receive a salary at the beginning of every month. Freelancing is risky. Don’t start if you feel like you’re not ready.
Getting to know the industry
Working at a company will make you familiar with how things work in the industry. You’ll learn what clients usually want, how much time it takes to do something, how much you should charge, and many other important things you can’t know without any experience. Before jumping into something completely new, it’s good to know what to expect.
Life in a tech company is fun and dynamic, and you won’t be wrong if you try it. You might love it. You might not. But, you’ll definitely learn a lot from it. So, take your time. Get new perspectives. Find what you like. Actually, no. Find what you LOVE.
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