Its been six months since I quit my last regular job. I have been working as a freelance software developer in this duration. I have really enjoyed freelancing and provide below a few good reason for you to consider it as well.
As a freelancer, I’m more productive at work. The reasons for this are not difficult to understand – I concentrate on completing my work. There are not too many meetings; There are not too many coffee breaks; there is no office politics to be worried about. All these things that usually have a negative impact on a person’s productivity are not there at work any more – Hence a boost in productivity.
Sharper Learning Curve
This one too is not difficult to understand either. Since the duration of work at different assignments would be shorter as compared to regular job the learning curve would obviously be sharper. For example, in the last 6 months I have written an application to simulate increasing load on a web-site and monitoring its performance; I have worked on building an application over salesforce’s force.com platform; I have written a scrapper application that can compare prices of similar products on different websites & last but not the least I have built a website – http://www.chahiye.info with a partner.
More Hands On
If you have a decent number of years of experience in IT industry in India, you would have noticed how quickly on joining an organization you are given a team to mentor and grow. Gradually as the team grows, your daily routine moves away from actually solving technical problems to helping your team solve them for you. This definitely takes away the fun out of work. With Freelancing there is no team to worry about. Its only you and the problem – the stronger one would win (and here I hate to lose)
Freelancing work usually fetches more money as compared to a regular job. The organization hiring you (as a freelancer) does not much over-head in maintaining you as an employee. There is no PF, no medical insurance, no stock options, no annual increment/bonus, No need to worry about under-performance; no need to worry about quality of work assignment etc. All these reasons are good enough for an organization to dish out slightly more than a regular employee of similar back-ground.
Leaves with you more CPU cycles
With a regular job, a work assignment was more like “My Work” which resulted in my mind spending more time thinking about it. Even after work the mind was usually at work. A bright idea could strike in the shower or any where else. However with freelancing the association with work is not that tight – Somehow that association with work is weakened. Though I still think about work when away from it, but the frequency has reduced. As a result you are left with more free thinking time.
Stand-out in the crowd
Not many people in India seem to be doing what I have chosen for myself. This can be considered as an advantage as well as a disadvantage. When relatives ask me what do I do – I’m at a loss at explaining them. However I’m already getting exposure to meeting a lot of interesting people at a lot of interesting companies doing a lot of interesting work. This advantage clearly out-weighs the disadvantage.