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Why Freelance Programmers Decide to Leave Corporate World

Updated on April 28, 2019
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Prachi works as a full-stack developer, specialized in e-commerce and mobile app development.

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According to research conducted by Edelman Berland in the year 2016, more than 55 million people in America are working as freelancers, which is one-third of the American workforce. Besides this, the number of European freelancers is growing at a fast rate too with the current number at 9 million and a similar trend is noticed in Asian countries as well as some other places.

Certainly, innovation in technology has made it easier for the majority of people to work as a freelancer. Since the marketplace is growing stronger connections worldwide, the job of freelancers is no longer restricted by their geographical location, the whole world is, literally, their office.

The best freelance profession rated in this global exposure is that of programmers. There is no doubt that there will always be a huge demand for people knowing programming skills. From tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, and Google to small businesses, everyone needs tech developers in most of the cases.

While the demand is too high, the question arises why most of the people are relying higher on freelancing business and leaving their daily 9 to 5 jobs? What makes them leave companies like Google, Facebook, or Apple?

There is not one, but plenty of reasons for them to get into a freelancing business. Here are a few of them, which everyone agrees upon:

1. Money is the Honey

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No matter what company you are working for, the perks and salary are fixed and the hike is limited. On the other hand, while working as a freelancer, you are your own boss and have the choice to work as much as you want and earn as much as you like. It might seem very easy though, but not every freelancer makes huge money, many of them earn the same amount as their office-going counterpart. On the other hand, people making millions of dollars per month are no less in number as well.

Companies thrive for talented professionals and are ready to pay thousands of dollars per hour to the skilled programmers if they get their things done right.

The reason why companies are preferring freelancers to do some specific set of tasks because they can find people with the required skills without wasting much money and time on recruiting staff and training their employees.

2. Freedom is everything

Freelancers are not bound by any strict schedule of waking up early in the morning and getting ready for office leaving Monday blues behind and then, coming back home tired and next morning, again repeating that monotonous schedule. Instead, they have the option to work from anywhere and earn everywhere even in their bed or while enjoying vacations, lying near the beach and having a sip of the martini.

Freelancers do not need to wait for weekends and plan their short trip. They have the option to work for 50-60 hours a week and have time for other activities as well.

3. Choosing the Passion over the Tension

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Unlike traditional workers, freelancers have the option to do what they like and are passionate about. In comparison to office-going workers, freelancers find their work extremely rewarding and are deeply committed to their job. According to a survey, they are also three times more engaged with their work. That’s certainly true because they have the rights to choose the type of work they want and what kind of client they want to work with.

According to the professionals who turned to freelance, “I have worked for big tech giants and dealt with projects for highly reputed clients in various roles such as technology architecture, development and process improvement. It was fun but the trail of bureaucracy and deep-rooted effects of politics always frustrated me. While working online, I feel highly motivated with value delivery mindset. The process of agile is very smooth and there is no need for countless and useless meetings.

Certainly, the desire to simply cherish the work and avoid unnecessary matters hold much appeal.

On the other hand, other corporate professional turned freelancer says, “There is no denial in the fact that independent workers need to cope up with high level of stress, since we need to handle the projects as well as deal with clients all by ourselves, which is absent in corporate world to a great extent. But I love it, the ability to gain entrepreneurial skills makes this option worth giving a shot for. You need to be self-motivated and keep challenging yourself to progress faster.”

Is there a Negative Side to it?

Well, it depends. While few freelancers perceive the situation as motivating, others may see it as devastating as they are facing high-stress levels. The income incurred from freelancing is solely based on skills and productivity levels.

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Is Freelancing suitable for every Programmer?

Short answer, no. If you are not really into taking risks and trying new things out and lacks confidence in skills you possess, then this field is not for you. The moment you step into this field, creativity and delivering quality products are the only things that matter. You don’t put up your 101%, you don’t get to work with high-paying clients.

Besides programming skills, freelancing demand you to possess some additional skills as well, which we call soft skills. Unlike traditional workers, you don’t have the perks to put your focus only on the development aspects of the projects. You need to have a lot of self-control, set a routine for yourself and have clear goals. You also need to have good marketing skills to make your existence felt among the clients.

Freelance programmers also need to take into account the financial side of becoming an independent worker. You need to know the way to handle taxes, set up retirement strategies and make sure to hire a tax expert to deal with your financial matters.

In short, think like an entrepreneur and work as an entrepreneur.

Freelancing has the potential to yield great rewards for those with the right mindset and great skills. Be your own boss and work in your own set time limits.

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