Freelancing or an In-House position? Which works best for you? In this post, I will discuss my opinion on each, but I want to hear your opinions as well! I have been in the Computer World for about 11 years, with experience in the areas of software development and most recently concentrating my time in the world of Web Design and Development. For about 6 years I have worked as either a freelancer or in house at a company, and I have realized both have their pros and cons. In my article, Do You Have What it Takes to be a Freelance Web Designer or Developer?, I painted a pretty honest picture of the responsibility and sacrifice it takes to be a freelancer, and the truth is that is it a hard job. However, it definitely has it perks, and the perks it does have are great. On the other hand, having a steady in-house position has its serious perks as well, but with every thing in life, it also has its downfalls.
Therefore, I have come up with some elements to consider when trying to decide whether to take a freelance job or an in-house job; so you, as the web developer or designer, can decide which one works for you. Feel free to add some additional tips, and please comment as to what you prefer and why!! I hope you find this advice useful and I look forward to hearing your opinions as well!
1. The ability to make a higher income and to control your income.
2. The ability to work from home, which can save a lot of time, stress, and money. (no spending money on gas, miles on the car, get to be with family etc).
3. The ability to have control on all aspects of your work.
4. You have more autonomy in your time management, designs, style, and work.
5. More direct contact with your clients, so you can better understand what the customer wants…though some consider contact with clients to be a con too.
6. You can use your time better, and can actually work on more than one project at a time.
7. You can team up with and can delegate some work to other freelancers.
1. Having to know more than just design and development. (Must know business).
2. You have to be ready to work at anytime, including weekends and holidays.
3. You must be willing to take jobs in many different areas.
4. You need to know about your legal responsibility doing freelance.
5. Has the tendency to be boring and isolating.
6. Requires exceptional organizational skills.
7. You must keep a consistent clientele bringing in capital each month to keep the business going.
8. Can be difficult to separate work and play.
1. You can get health insurance, benefits, bonuses, and steady income.
2. More stability in your work schedule and income.
3. The ability to climb the corporate ladder or grow with the company.
4. You have a consistent, steady income each month, even if there is a drop in clientle.
5. The ability to have mentors which can help you grow in your field.
6. Some companies offer paid training, paid continuing education, and paid professional development.
7. The ability to work as a team and brainstorm ideas, because as they say, “Ten minds are better than one.”
8. You can leave you work at work, and not have to worry about it after 5pm, on weekends, nor holidays.
1. Little to no flexibility with a traditional desk job, which is not suited for everyone.
2. Must abide by company policy regarding dress, manner, work, hours, etc.
3. Your project managers most of the time have the tendency to limit your creativity, and can control the work you put out.
4. Project managers often give you impossible deadlines, which are difficult to meet.
5. More likely to be forced to specialize in one area, and you may not be able to use skills in other areas. For example you must work as either developer or designer, not both.
In conclusion, your own experience and/or specific situation will assist you in determining whether an in-house position suits you best or whether freelance is your cup of tea. I hope in the comment section you share your experiences and opinions on the topic!
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