Are you considering whether to become a freelance programmer instead of getting employed in a company?
You’ll be better placed to make that decision if you know what life is like as a freelance programmer.
Here is the lifestyle you can expect as a freelance programmer.
Your personal and professional freedom is the main attraction in becoming a freelance programmer.
You’re in charge of the way you work, what type of work you do, when you work, how you work, and much more.
Since you aren’t tied by any long-term contract, you are free to choose the kinds of projects that appeal to you. You can focus on one type of job or mix it up and handle multiple responsibilities. However, it’s always better to specialize, which makes your skill even more valuable (specialization is also beneficial when learning to program).
When freelancing, you can take time off to be with your family or to socialize.
That’s because you are in charge of your own schedule. You don’t have a supervisor dictating the time when you should be working.
For someone who is taking care of kids or other dependents, this is an ideal situation to always be available whenever they need you.
Ultimately, freelancers can more easily balance their work and personal life needs compared to full-time employees.
If you like travelling, you can do that while working as a freelance programmer.
As long as you have internet access wherever you go, you can move from city to city, and country to country while still doing your work.
Such location independence also means the location of your clients won’t influence where you live. Since there’s no need for that daily commute to the workplace, you can live in and even move to a house that suits you perfectly.
This way, you can save significant expenses by living in affordable rental areas. Who knew that learning programming would end up helping you to save money?
Building Your Brand
Full-time employees have limited space to showcase their brand to outsiders. On the other hand, freelancers have extensive freedom to build their brand.
The fact that freelancers have to market their services to get clients for every project enhances their exposure to many more people. Some even publish books and offer some free services in promoting their skills.
Being Part of a Wider Community
As a freelancer, you may not have workmates like employed programmers, but you can position yourself within an even wider community.
You’ll achieve this by working on open source projects where you’ll interact with, and even learn programming from other freelancers with a wide range of skills. You can participate in many free communities for freelancers, whether online or within your locality.
By having such extensive interactions, you build a strong network through which you can get a consistent flow of jobs. This also helps in keeping up to date with current trends in your industry.
Working with Multiple Clients
Many programmers who get employed typically seek to work with the same employer for many years without changing jobs.
Freelancers tend to do the opposite.
Freelancers can work with multiple clients every year. Such diverse experience gives you exposure to many different types of projects and knowledge of different kinds of business operations.
In the end, you develop a more wholesome understanding of the industry you work in, having had firsthand experience working with multiple organizations.
Managing Your Freelancing Career Yourself
The aspect of managing your own freelancing career may be challenging for some.
Unlike employed programmers, freelancers have to manage every aspect of their career, including continuous career advancement, finding jobs, conference calls with clients, accounting, invoicing clients, and many more.
One good thing about it is the fact that paying business-related bills might be beneficial if you work from home. Working from home means your personal bills are part of your business costs, for which you can get tax deductions.
You can only enjoy such a lifestyle if you put your best effort to excel in programming. A helpful place to start is reading the coding guide for beginners, which provides a thorough introduction that will give you a great foundation to learn programming. Once you do that, you’ll have an easier process moving forward.
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