You’re creative, analytical and build great rapport with people. Sure, that’s not enough to base your new career path on, but hey, it’s a start. Whether you’re already an experienced developer thinking of going it alone, or you’re looking to retrain and become a certified web developer from scratch, going freelance has huge appeal.
You may even be sat at your desk now (with Barbara breathing down your neck about that project you still haven’t had time to get around to), thinking how sweet it would be if you were your own boss.
You might be on your daily commute to a job you hate, working with people who don’t pull their weight and you’re struggling to see any opportunity for progression in your role. You’re dreaming of a way out. Well, dreams do come true!
If you need more convincing, here are 5 top reasons you should become a freelance developer.
When you’ve looked for new jobs in the past, chances are you make a special effort to check the salary before you read any further. Although money isn’t everything, it’s important to be in a job that rewards you for the work you’re putting in. And that of course means financially.
Already employed as a web developer? Your earning potential can improve vastly when you go freelance. Your employer, like all businesses, has overheads to factor in when they charge clients, and these costs subsequently have an impact on your salary. Of course, when you go freelance, you too will have overheads like software licenses, electricity bills and desk hire (if you’re hot desking) – so this is something you’ll need to factor in with your hourly rate. However, you have the chance to work as much as you like to boost your earnings. With this in mind, your salary has the potential to skyrocket as a freelance.
If you’re hitting the ground running and are a newly qualified web developer looking to work for yourself, chances are you’ll already seeing an increase in your salary (depending on what you were doing before). Non-technical salaries are generally lower so you’re probably already starting on a great foot!
Learn how else you can succeed in the IT industry here
Think about what really appeals to you about the job you’re currently in.
Now think about what appeals to you most about freelance web development.
You might be thinking the being creative in a role is high up on your priority list. If you’re already working as a web developer, you might feel your creativity is constrained by the company you’re working for or stifled by your manager. Working for yourself gives you the chance to have complete creative license over the projects you’re working on. Sure, you’ll have a brief and you’ll need to work to your client’s requirements, but more often than not, your client is coming to you and relying on your creativity to deliver the project.
If you’re a natural creative and are in a role that doesn’t cater to this part of your personality, then you’re probably ready and raring to go! Freelance web development is a great career move if you’re the creative sort. You’re spending your day designing and creating websites, deciding how they look and how they function. How good is that?!
Here are the other soft skills you’ll need for your IT career
Work with who you want
If you’re a bit sick of Barbara and her overbearing style of management, going freelance is a great option. Not only are you becoming the boss, but you can also choose who you work with, and whether to carry on a working relationship after the project is finished. That’s the beauty of going freelance: you can pretty much work with who you want to work with. Of course, if you start throwing your toys out the pram every time you don’t get your way, you’ll soon build up a bit of a reputation.
If a client has been an absolute nightmare and you’ve continually tried your hardest to please them but to no avail, you have the option of simply not working with them again. If they do decide to contact you again, you’re within your rights to turn down the work.
Similarly, if Bob in your old office was always lazy, leeched off your work and was just generally annoying, you don’t have to work with any more Bobs! You’ll probably enlist some help from fellow freelancers on bigger projects (particularly if there’s a tight turnaround time) – if you find the people you aren’t working out, you don’t have to work with them again.
Take a look at these 5 tips to help you code, better
Impromptu days off
Just like choosing who you work with, you can also choose when
you work. Sure, if you’re looking to earn a healthy salary, you probably won’t have the luxury of 5-day weekends. But you do have the option of taking days off when it suits you. Fancy Friday off? Go for it! You are the boss after all…
If you’re concerned about the impact taking time off will have on your salary, it’s worth calculating how much time you can afford to have off. Think about how much you’re looking to earn in a year, then divide this by your hourly rate to work out how many hours a week you should be aiming for – then you’ll know how much time you can take off without it having an impact on your salary.
You don’t need a degree
Yes, you can have a successful career without having a degree! 2 out of 3 developers are self-taught – so it’s clear having a degree in computer science isn’t a necessity when it comes to this career move. You can save yourself time and serious cash by foregoing the traditional educational route and opting for self-study, like online training courses. It’s useful to do your research though to make sure you’re getting the most relevant certifications under your belt.
If you’re already certified or have been working as a web developer for a while, you’ll already know you don’t need a degree to start a successful career! So, go forth and code!
Want to get your freelance career underway? Start by getting certified!
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