Riding today I got to hear the [Ruby Freelancers podcast][rfp] talk about business. What stuck out to me was their stance on working for yourself (freelance) or taking a job with company. Each of the hosts talked about freedom being the biggest thing that keeps them working for themselves.
Late last year and early this year I was on full time contract with a WordPress shop. I did the same type of work that I do today, but I just didn’t have the lame freedoms with my time. I didn’t get to choose my projects and clients. I didn’t get to book in how much work I felt like doing. I wasn’t happy.
Needless to say I left. I didn’t leave because it was a bad company, it just wasn’t the right place for me. I learned a bunch about myself. I thought a more stable income was going to relieve a bunch of stress. It was nice to know I was getting paid day in day out, but the stress of not making my own schedule was harder on me then the stress of finances.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t take a job with a company again, it’d just be pickier where I’d take it. The most important thing to me at this stage in life is being there for my wife and daughter. Earning money is just one small portion of being a good father and husband. Having time to spend with them is a much bigger part that I missed working on contract.
Even if you don’t code Ruby the episode was a great if you are thinking of running your business on your own.
[rfp]: http://rubyfreelancers.com/the-ruby-freelancers-show-18-listener-emails/ “Ruby Freelancers”
2 responses to “Working Freelance or in a Company?”
The thing I most dislike about working as a freelancer (at home, I should add) is that you don’t have any co-workers, with their knowledge, around. Working by myself I can get stuck on a problem, which previously only (usually) required me to ask my colleguae, sitting next to me, to take a look. Sometimes it was as simple as, lets say, a mistyped colon, which he or she spotted immediately, where I had been starring at my screen at for 15 minutes.
Now that same typo may cost me an entire morning, searching various solutions on StackOverflow etc, not giving me just the right answer and getting frustrated to the point I simply walkaway from the project. I open up the project the next day, spot the problem right away and get on. But at the expense of a morning wasted and a lot of frustration.
On the other hand, being able to go out for a quick bike ride when it’s just perfect weather outside beats a lot of those frustrations 🙂
Yeah it’s easy to get stuck on problems. I use Pomodoro and if I get stuck on an issue for more than 2 rounds I stop the project and come back at it later. I’ve joined a local co-working space so that I have an opportunity to ask some questions.