3 reasons why you should consider becoming a freelance programmer and 3 reasons why companies hire freelance programmers

This is mainly based on working as a freelance programmer for a single client on a contractual basis like 6 to 24 months, and not working on smaller jobs for multiple clients. This gives you better job stability.

3 reasons why you should consider becoming a freelance programmer

Reason #1: Better pay, which is usually between 1.5 to 2.5 times the permanent salary. The reasons for this better pay are

  • As a compensation for short term or temporary nature of the assignment.  Freelancers or contractors can be easily hired and fired.
  • To attract specialized and wider range of skills.
  • cost to a company for a permanent employee with benefits can be 1.5 to 2.0 times the amount they see in their pay check. 

Reason #2:  Professional freedom.

Since a freelancer can earn more than a permanent staff, you can afford to take some time off say 1-2 months in between your contractual assignments to pursue other avenues like launching your own products and apps, self-publishing your books, starting your own blogs, and any other creative ventures to channel your knowledge, skills, and talent to brand yourself. The main focus is to attract more customers, earn more passive income, and to grow your small business.

Once you have created your own brand, it empowers you to build and promote yours' and others' products and services through your brand. You can afford to take more vacations as you will be reaping in the benefits of ongoing passive income. New opportunities and ideas will knock on your door as you tend to break free

From --> your comfort zone or routine of working hard, getting home (often late), having a bite to eat, watch a little TV to relax, and go to bed

To --> get your regular work done, and channel some of your experiences and creative ideas towards your own branding and business by spending at least 30-60 minutes each day while commuting to work and before retiring to bed.

Freelancing means professional freedom, but it also means instability and the risk of failure. But if you risk your stability for something more in tune with your professional goals than a traditional job, you have the opportunity to build your name and reputation and reap more rewards.  You are the best person to decide what is best for you.

Reason #3: Fast-tracking your career and skills

As a freelancer, you can fast-track your career by acquiring a wider range of generic and specialized technical skills. Easier to quit your job if you are feeling stagnated.  You have a better chance of staying relevant in terms of technologies, frameworks and tools.

Your non-technical skills like job hunting skills, networking skills, resume writing skills, and interviewing skills will also improve. You will get the confidence that you will be able to find a job in any job market.

3 reasons why companies hire freelance programmers

Reason #1:  To get freelance programmers to do the boring tasks that other permanent staff  don't want to take on. For example, working with an outdated technology.

Reason #2:  To get the mission critical projects over the line. In other words, to meet the deadline.

Reason #3: To bring in the expertise that are lacked within the current team.

So, it is imperative to learn more about the position at the job interviews to ensure what you are getting into. Ask about the

  • technologies, frameworks, and tools used
  • mission criticality of the project  - e.g. how many registered users?, how many servers on the clusters, the development team size, and number of other systems to be integrated with? (e.g. CRM systems, Data warehouse systems, CMS systems, etc).

You would ideally want reason #2 and #3 to be the reason where you can acquire more skills and experience.

Tip: When you are asked for your freelancing rates, provide a range like $450.00 to $600.0 a day as you don't want to price yourself out of the market and at the same time miss out on great opportunities. After your job interview, you will be in a better position to negotiate further once you had effectively sold your capabilities to your prospective employer.  

Disclaimer: This is a general discussion only. It is imperative that you consult your accountant for relevant business structure and tax laws in your jurisdiction. 

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