Freelancing: A Counterpoint

Recently I read an article that was making the rounds on social media by the website “Fast Company”. It is about how Millennials have decided to move over to freelancing. Well I took a problem with this. Its not just because I have some disagreements with the article but from my own experience its becoming increasing more difficult to find a job with a company that will respect certain boundaries. Let me explain.

 

finding the Diamond in the rough…

I would say one of the biggest issues with finding a full time job, in my opinion and from what other freelancers have told me, is the job requirements. More and more as I search across the internet or talk with freelancers, the job requirements go from being a page to an essay. With the requirements becoming oh so long and a melding of different job positions that scares people away.

When it comes to freelancing with a project it can be more beneficial to find a few people than to hire someone that can do it all and this is where the cost cutting happens…

…for the price of aluminum

The increase list of requirements use to come with a rise in pay. Nowadays I have seen quite the latter. I have had interviews with companies and met the list of requirements. When I research the pay of these requirements on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed, it turns out the pay is far below the average base pay within that city. I have often noticed companies would fight me on the pay requirements; however, they seem less inclined to fight me on the pay requirements as a contractor. Now if I worked full time for this company it would be well over six figures but what is more cost effective? Hiring someone on a per need basis or full time with benefits?

The Price Of Living

Now to counter point the Quality of Life for a freelancer. I would counter this point as more of a separation of the work life balance. Such as, I have known people who work at companies where they make between 60 to 80 thousand a year (well under the average base pay), and they hate it because they often work more than 40 hours a week salaried. In many cases I have seen my fellow developers, designers, and marketers develop health issues over time. They often go into freelancing because there isn’t a clear cut separation of work life balance. Imagine this for a moment…you leave work, its Saturday night and you get a forwarded email from your boss with these words “DEAL WITH THIS BEFORE MONDAY MORNING”. You can’t really argue against it.

As a freelancer, you can easily engage the time tracker and start tracking your work. In some cases, my fellow freelancers and I charge time and a half on the weekends and triple on a holiday. This kind of contract adds a safe zone buffer because clients wouldn’t want to bother you unless it is the most extreme emergency. A lot of times you can’t do that if you are salary. When the work comes in, it is expected to be done. The reason for the quality of life being required with jobs and having the ability to work remote is the mental health of people is beyond important. A lot of companies just work their people to the brink.

IN CONCLUSION

The future of freelancing worries me. With companies being less and less inclined on taking care of its people, it could very well flood the market with a large amount of freelancers and could crowd and damage the cost benefit of it all. I have been told my hourly rate is too high, yet it is equal to the yearly salary of a senior developer. Now I have been beyond lucky to work with companies and people that understand what a developer is and respect their people and have taught me a lot about putting people first. The grass isn’t greener on the other side and I feel that the article didn’t point out all the issues that come with being a freelancer or the trials and tribulations with just getting started or the many nights of being worried. It shouldn’t paint everything in such a grand light but should post realistic expectations with more people becoming freelancers.

see you space cowboy…

Toa Heftiba

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