I recently quit my job and decided to start a new chapter in my life as a freelancer. This idea was in my head for about one year but to be honest, back in these days I was not brave enough to go step. In this blog post, I want to tell you my main reasons why I quit and started freelancing. These are the five reasons which I will talk about in detail:
- Free choice of projects and technologies
- Self-planned professional development
- Bad experience with freelancers
- Better payment for the same job
- Possibility to become a digital nomad
In my previous jobs, it was always quite hard to switch projects due to different reasons. This also depends on your personality but I personally get quite fast bored of a certain project and technology and that’s why I like to switch projects and technologies every 6-12 months.
But independent of the company, I always encountered the same problem if I wanted to switch project: My current project manager didn’t want to let me go because I delivered good work and had already a lot of project-specific domain knowledge. The project manager of the new project wanted to have me as fast as possible as he heard good stuff about my work and so the battle of the project managers started and I was just a puppet in this game.
As a freelancer, I think I can now easier switch to new projects with different technologies, company sizes, industries, team sizes, and durations. Additionally, I can now mix different projects, e.g. work some days per month for workshops/training and the remaining days for one or many other projects. I think this freedom fits more to my personality.
I worked in a company where they didn’t invest 100€ for a conference ticket in my town. In general, I made the experience that I am the best person who can decide how I can improve my professional development.
Now I choose which trainings, conferences or workshops I want to attend without the need of anyone to approve it. As a drawback, I need to pay it myself but at least I get some money back from the taxes.
In my last four years as a professional software developer, I worked together with about 10 software developer freelancers in different projects.
Unfortunately, more than half of them were really bad developers. What is a bad developer? As an example, I worked together with many so-called “senior” developers which could not use git, could not write tests and did not use common best practices of software engineering like separation of concerns.
This point is related to the previous point about my bad experience with freelancers. Basically, I often asked myself: “Why should I do the same job for less money?“.
As a freelancer, you usually earn a lot more money per month but you have of course also a higher risk. If you don’t have a project for multiple weeks or month you should have prepared some good savings.
I currently live in Munich but I grew up in the Bavarian Forest and I still have family and friends there. I moved to Munich as I began to study for my master degree and I stayed there as there are way better job opportunities. In my home town and surrounding area are nearly no software projects available.
But as a freelancer, I am now completely free and in theory, I could work 100% remotely from any place in the world and work on cool projects but be located in an area where I would normally not find a good software project.
Now you know why I quit my job and started freelancing. At this point of time, I cannot tell you if it was a good or bad decision but I will keep you up-to-date in further blog posts how my career as freelancer evolves.