I get asked a lot “Is Freelancing Right For Me?” and in this article I’m going to answer this question objectively by providing the pros and cons of working as a freelancer and I’m going to leave the decision whether you want to work as a freelancer to you.
A lot of people have the dream of working from home where they have their own schedule and time freedom. It’s great to work from home, but as anything in the world there is a “not so good side”. Therefore, in this post I’m going to profoundly explain the pros and cons of working from home as a freelance programmer.
First Let me list out the advantages.
1. Work from anywhere
Obviously the first advantage of working as a freelance programmer is that you get to work from anywhere in the world. You want to work from a coffee shop, in a co-working space or on your bed you can do that. So that means that you don’t have to show up at your office or cubicle every single day.
Note: I’m not going to say that you can work on the beach. Technically you can, but in reality you will not be productive. You have to work from a place where there is everything you need.
2. Set your own schedule
You can work at any time of the day. If you want to work from 5 in the afternoon, or 9 in the evening, you can do that. This gives you great flexibility and freedom throughout the day. So in the morning you might what to do different activities instead of working.
3. No boss
Yayyy, finally no boss rebuking at me every other day. Yes, that’s everyone’s dream to get rid of their boss. Being your own boss is the most pleasurable thing in life. Trust me I tried lots of things, however, being your own boss is indescribable.
4. Commute issues
You will not have to get stuck in the traffic every single day specially if your office is far away from home. I know people who travel more than 80 miles every day to get to work which is terrible and this is the only problem they have with their job. So if you work from home you will not have to face this again.
Now let’s get to the disadvantages, laziness, missed schedule, not colleague, no project
1. Inconsistent income
You will not always have projects available to you. Maybe you work on a project for 6 months or even one year then the project finishes and you don’t find any clients which means you might have a couple of months looking for clients and projects. therefore, in my book “How to work as freelance programmer” I stress the importance of having a list of clients where you keep talking to and checking with them so that they will hire you over and over again whenever they need you and you might be their “programmer guy or girl”.
If your usually tend to procrastinate and you know that there is no specific time to clock-in and clock-out, then freelancing might not be right for you. If you really want the freedom the freelancing provides then you have to have a scheduled trust me you will work less if you know how to organize your time. Whenever you feel lazy, remind yourself that if you let laziness control you then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the other hand, if you get things done in time you will end up feeling and experience the true freedom that the freelancing world offers.
One of the most important aspects of working in an office environment is that you work with others and you develop team work skills which you will miss and get bad at if you work from home as a freelance programmer. At the beginning you might not care too much about working alone, but after a few months, things become difficult specially if you are a type of person who likes to strike up a conversation with people and working in teams. And honestly, working in an office environment will get you better jobs if you work well and bring value, your reputation will spontaneously spread and that get you to work for huge companies. So I would recommend socializing from time to time so that you don’t get depressed and al so attend conferences or small groups related to your specialization where you can get your noticed and might get a new client.
4. Lots of assignments
If you don’t have a specific schedule and keep putting tasks off, then you will be in trouble and you might end up even working more than you would do in a company. Therefore, my advice is that you set up a schedule that never skip.
So the bottom line is that you should be aware of the downside of working as a freelance programmer and try to avoid them as much as you can you that you don’t get stuck and end up hating your job.
Lastly, If you really want to work as a freelance programmer/developer then I’d recommend taking my course Freelance as a Developer, where I teach you several ways of how to work as a freelance developer with strategies that work.
You can checkout a list of 50 Best Freelance Programming Sites. If you followed the steps I mentioned above then start signing up in these sites and follow my strategy.