Sir Walter Scott was credited for coining the word freelance, referring to a “free lance” worn by mercenary warriors which indicated that their lances weren’t tied to allegiance to any lord’s service. However, the term “freelance” has gradually evolved in its usage throughout time. At present, it means “someone who works independently; someone who is not committed to a single employer.”
With the onset of the World Wide Web and the improvements in worldwide communications, new opportunities have opened up for freelancers. In fact, there’s a remarkable increase in the number of freelancers around the world due to the far-reaching effects of the internet. At present, freelancers can now readily advertise their services online; moreover, prospective clients can readily see these advertisements. Hence, It is pretty much common nowadays to hear of a freelancing SEO expert, writer, carpenter, electrician, or software programmer. As long as you have a specific skill to peddle online, you can easily become a freelancer.
In this article:
Drawbacks and Risks Associated With Being a Freelancer
Deciding to become a freelancer has its own concomitant risks and drawbacks. At the onset, you will lose a certain sense of security in terms of a steady flow of work and income. You will remember how convenient it is to have a nine-to-five job with all the perks and benefits that go along with it.
But now, you’re all alone and facing the prospect of an unstable and inconsistent workload and income. Hence, you must engage in a lot of legwork to promote your service, unlike in a regular job where you are supplied with a steady amount of work to do. You will experience instances where you will almost forget your personal needs and interests, being too absorbed in completing as many tasks as possible.
There is also the problem of clients not paying you on time or not paying at all. Not getting paid after having completed a job is the worst predicament you’ll ever have as a freelancer. You can protect yourself, however, from unscrupulous clients. But more often, you would only realize that you’ve been hoodwinked by a client when it’s already too late. Lastly, your take-home pay begins to depend on the number of your clients. Hence, the more clients, the more income you’ll have. Everything now depends on you!
Perks and Benefits Associated With Being a Freelancer
Yet, freelancing has its own perks! As a freelancer, you can work on your own schedule. If you are a freelance writer, for example, you can work anywhere you want as long as you are connected to the internet. Moreover, you are no longer accountable to a boss, but only accountable to your clients. You will also have flexible working hours, and you can work according to what is best for you. If you want to take a nap for a while, for example, you can; if you want to take a weekend off, by all means, you can!
You can also choose your own clients. If you don’t like a particular client, you can end your contract with that client. Additionally, you will have a certain level of control over your work and the number of clients you can accept. You can also keep all the profits from your freelancing. This gives you enough leeway to spend your profits to expand your freelancing business. Lastly, all your money remains your own — you can spend it in whatever way you want.
Freelancing as a Software Programmer
Freelancing is definitely a good option for programmers. If you are a software programmer, for example, once you have posted your software programming service online, you would surely receive a lot of calls and emails from prospective clients. If it is your first time freelancing, of course, you will certainly get nervous and excited. But you will surely experience a certain high once you get your first inquiry from a prospective client, especially if that prospective client would inquire about your fee. The moment you type in “$50 per hour,” for example, in reply to that prospective client, you would feel relieved while calculating mentally whether your asking fee is justifiable. Once that prospective client agrees to your offer, then you’re off to a good start with your new career as a freelancing software programmer.
You’ll become more confident of your freelancing skill as you gain more clients. Interestingly, you would sometimes receive offers from corporate clients who would ask you to create their own software enterprise and other apps. Some clients would also ask you to do operating system-level virtualization. This may be something new to you for it would require you to learn more about containerization. If you’re not cognizant of containerization then, you need to upgrade your skill sets and undergo docker training to know about containerization.
Advantages of Containerization
A lot of huge companies are already investing in containers. These companies include famous names like Microsoft, IBM, and Google. This is because containerization offers great advantages. First, it allows a company to pack more applications into a single server as compared to the use of a Virtual Machine (VM). Hence, it doesn’t take up nearly as many resources as compared to a Virtual Machine. It only requires an operating system with libraries, supporting programs, and system resources. Moreover, it provides you with a consistent operating environment for deployment, testing, and further development.
Containers offer isolated runtime environments for all applications. Hence, if you simply need to have separate instances to run applications, containerization is likely your best option. As you further enhance your abilities in this area and further improve your skill set, you will become more confident of your freelancing skills as a programmer.
As you become more confident, you’ll be in a better position to triple or quadruple your asking fees for your services — that’s the beauty of freelancing as a software programmer. Moreover, you will immediately find yourself on a path that leads to freedom, away from the whip hand or prying eyes of a corporate boss. The path towards freedom, however, is not paved with red roses, but is replete with snags and pitfalls. Yet, your ultimate reward for being persistent as a freelancer is definitely the thought of becoming your own boss.