telecom.Tech Lazaros Agapidis P.C.

2016 / 10 February

Musings of an infant freelancer…


I am relatively new to the freelancing world.  Up until now, most of my contracts were long term and had the feeling of being more permanent positions rather than short term employment.  As I gained experience, I starting thinking more about what it would be like to start freelancing my services remotely.  Of course one of the incentives for doing that is to be able to make more money, however, I quickly realised that there are many more important factors in deciding to begin freelancing.  More important than money?  Oh yeah!

I really didn’t know where to get started, so I asked a friend who has been involved with freelancing for a while and he suggested some freelancing sites that would get me started.  I logged on, created my profile and started searching for jobs that fit my skill set.  About a month later, my contract had ended with my main employer.  Although the contract will be renewed, I decided to take about a month off for myself between jobs.  Now I didn’t actually take time off in order to have more time for freelancing.  My reasons were completely independent of that.  However, a great opportunity showed itself just at the right time to get me started off.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  More like Divine Providence.

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Most people have the impression that those that work from home are in their PJs and slippers and have a lot of time on their hands, making money with very little work.

So I started working with this client and in the meantime, I was increasing my network footprint on several other freelancing sites.  I started reading about good practices, others’ experiences in the transition from traditional jobs to freelancing and I quickly found out how hard it actually is.  Most people have the impression that those that work from home are in their PJs and slippers and have a lot of time on their hands, making money with very little work.  This is definitely not the case.  Although pajamas are acceptable in the freelance workplace dress code (unless you’re on a Skype call, then you have to at least change your pajama top!) the amount of work involved is no less strenuous than working traditionally.  In fact, freelancing it can often be more work because you often have to spend many unpaid hours looking for that next big job.  So far I’ve made over 50 proposals in less than a month!

Freelancing also is inherently insecure as far as job security goes.  You never know when your next job will come, but you just have to keep looking.  Sometimes many jobs will come together, other times there may be a drought.  But I’ll let the more experienced freelancers talk more about that…

As I continue to freelance (it’s been about a month now since I officially started my first job) I’ve taken on four freelancing projects, two of which are ongoing.  Out of all of this, I’ve realised the following:  Freelancing is FUN if (and that’s a big IF), if you are at least moderately successful.  It’s exciting to meet new people from all over the world, gain experience in technologies you know and in skills you posses.  It feels good to wake up and see a couple of messages from prospective clients needing your services.  And it’s rewarding not only financially, but especially for personal and psychological needs.  You’re your own boss.  You can work from home.  You can work from your travels.  You have no “business hours” but you’re flexible.  All of these things, if they are managed correctly, can contribute to a very pleasant working experience.

So will I go back to my old contract job next week?  Of course I will.  However, now I’ll be able to secure slightly different terms.  Let’s see how it goes…

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