IT Freelancing: 11 Signs It's Hot Now - InformationWeek

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IT Freelancing: 11 Signs It's Hot Now
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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
9/24/2015 | 10:29:44 AM
Re: Contracting
@david: I was offered better healthcare insurance for a period of 4 months (the time the project lasted) and I have to say i was greatly impressed by how good opinions the world was having for freelancers. The people I worked with were all having steady jobs but they didn't put their negatives on me, that is they didn't shrug their shoulders everytime I walked around, because others have sniggered and passed comments because I was "a guy without a job" and not a "freelancer". This mentality should change.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
9/24/2015 | 10:26:27 AM
Re: Contracting
@vnewman2: It's very different for me. I left freelancing because it wasn't getting me anywhere. Yes it got me money, sometimes more than I actually used to earn, howeve I wasn't happy with it. You know, there was so much competition and everyone was contending for that one contract and the employers were selecting the one with the greatest expertise offering the cheapest price, and I hated that. If I know the work well I know my price, and a steady job pays me for that. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2015 | 6:02:36 PM
Re: Contracting
@Terryb- Yes, the benefits issue is the hard one. Ideally, all of us who wanted to freelance or consult would have a spouse with a job with benefits. It will be interesting to see how various changes in healthcare and insurance in the coming years (don't want to politicize the discussion) will change freelancing.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2015 | 6:02:34 PM
Re: Contracting
@Terryb- Yes, the benefits issue is the hard one. Ideally, all of us who wanted to freelance or consult would have a spouse with a job with benefits. It will be interesting to see how various changes in healthcare and insurance in the coming years (don't want to politicize the discussion) will change freelancing.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
9/23/2015 | 2:13:51 PM
Re: Contracting
@TerryB, I've lived both of these lives as well and you do give up some nice perks when you don't work for a company obligated to provide benefits and take the hit for you tax-wise.  It's a trade off between hussling and grinding.

I gave up my freelance life as well in favor of stability and a guaranteed income/benefits.  Granted, these days nothing is guaranteed but there's comfort in knowing - let's see, how shall I put this - that the passage of time gets me paid.  Yes, I need to do a good job or I'll get fired, I suppose.  But,in the words of Peter Gibbons from Office Space, "That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
9/23/2015 | 1:28:16 PM
Contracting
Interesting the word freelancing seems to have replaced contracting/consulting. I spent a year doing that when the 550 person consulting company I worked for went belly up after Y2K ERP work was over. I had three steady clients that kept me busy full time. I got the failing company to sign a release from the non-compete I signed when they closed the local office, then registered my own LLC called World Domination Software. Pinky and the Brain was popular then, inspired my name choice. :-) 

Cost me $12 in startup cost, to buy some business card stock, then designed by own cards with MS Word. Had revenue of $150K (in 2001) when I was making about $70K from the consulting company in salary.

But questionable to this day whether I came out ahead or not. No benefits, so I had to spend $800 a month on health insurance (and not very good health insurance) for my family. Then had to pay unemployment tax on top of other income taxes being self employed. All together, was about a $60K tax hit against my revenue. No paid vacation, if you took time off, no income during that period. I'm not sure I took any that year, certainly not week at a time.

I eventually took IT Mgr/developer job at one of my clients, which I'm still doing today. The tipping point for me was the realization how difficult the sales process would be, getting new clients. Just how do you do that when you are working all the time for existing clients? So it was either commit to trying to growing the business (adding sales person, more employees for field) or go back to permanent hire somewhere.

If I was younger and single, or at least married with no kids, I might have taken chance to grow the business. But having a family, minimizing risk was really the driving factor in the decision.

I certainly don't miss the travel. One of my clients was a good 1-1/2 hour drive. That wasn't a lot of fun in the dead of a Wisconsin winter. I also missed not belonging to a team. My clients treated me great but you weren't part of them, their goals were not your goals. I've never regretted my choice, assuming I really had a choice in my particular situation.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2015 | 12:10:19 PM
Re: Different country different paygrade
@sachinEE- I'm sure that it depends on the person. When I was a freelancer I felt the need to turn jobs around fast to get the next one. But if you know there is no next one coming right away or you can string the one you've got for extra money, then I can see how that could be very demotivating.

One thing that I should say is that a lot of freelance and contractor jobs still require you to be in an office. So maybe people who don't do well at home should seek those out.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
9/23/2015 | 8:59:38 AM
Re: Different country different paygrade
Though I wouldn't say that freelancing pays better, there's also a lot of variables that needs to be factored in. Since you are working from home or a make-shift office, it's easy to lack motivation. For example, if I had a job deadlined in a week, I would procastrinate until the 6th day and then get the job done, but in hindsight, I would rather be glad if somebody finished the work as soon as possible and gave me results before that week. Freelancing is hard, especially when people around you know a lot of things and you are just a beginner.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
9/23/2015 | 8:57:07 AM
Different country different paygrade
I have worked as a freelancer, providing consulting and managerial insights into the workings of companies and making a variety of jobs that I didn't know I could do, (like learning Go, the language developed by Google, because I had a project with that) and all I have to say after my freelancing experience is what Sir Richard Branson had said, to sum it up: "Say yes to every job and learn it along the way". 
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