Working in a freelance role in the tech industry

The tech industry is a varied one, occupied by software engineers, web designers and developers, information security analysts, database administrators, network engineers and programmers, as well as managers and those who can fix almost any issue. It’s an industry that requires a great deal of knowledge in an incredible number of corners, and it’s always essential for companies to have the right person for the job. It’s little wonder, then, that so many tech companies choose to outsource jobs – if you’re going to need specialist advice, you may as well call in a specialist. 

A few tips for freelancers

Whatever sector you’re looking to freelance within, do take the time to do your research first. Freelancing isn’t only about flitting from project to project, but also about managing your workload, meeting lots of new people, networking by yourself, and setting your own hours and pay. Administration is one of the most important parts of freelance work, and yet it’s the most unattractive – who wants to sit about doing paperwork when you could be designing or coding? As you approach the daunting world of freelance, it’s well worth contacting a PAYE specialist such Atlantic Umbrella before tackling the admin by yourself. Experts such as this will assist with your journey into freelancing, help you to get paid the right amount and on time, and ensure that you’re legal and compliant before you run into trouble with HMRC.

Education and experience

Education and experience are vital in the tech industry. Employers need to know that they’re hiring the very best for the job, and that’s the same when it comes to freelancers. It’s not enough to be passionate about a particular subject, though that’s also vital. Freelancers must be able to show that they’ve taken their education as far as they can, that they’re willing to learn on the job, and that they’re experienced in a number of variables. Essentially, as a freelancer, you must be able to prove that you could tackle anything that a client may wish to throw at you – and that you’re able to do so without fluster, and with a smile. 

Analysing the pros and cons

The working day of a freelancer is a varied one; you’re going to have to learn to be adaptable and flexible, and to get along with all kinds of people – as well as putting everything you know into practice. Freelance work is also rather variable, and you may discover that some months are far busier than others. It can be a little difficult to plan ahead when you’re unsure just how much you’ll be earning. Other cons include a lack of bonuses, the distractions that working from home or all over the place can provide, and the lack of job security – all of which must be considered before you take the plunge. However, there are some great advantages, including being able to choose your working hours and adjust your home/work balance, setting your own costs for jobs, and being able to assist on the projects that interest you. It’s a mixed bag, and you need to be prepared for that. 

Understanding the industry

It’s absolutely essential to understand how the tech industry works, and to get to grips with the kinds of roles that are available. It’s a competitive world, and half-heartedness seldom cuts it. Above all, freelancers must have a passion for their position, and for the industry as a whole; prepare to face each day with enthusiasm, resolve to keep up to date with each new technological update, and come to terms with the fact that much of your time will be taken up with analysing and interpreting data – a big part of a tech freelancer’s world is learning to love numbers.

The world of a freelancer is rarely straightforward; there are bound to be times when you are busier than others, and moments when the hard work barely seems worth it. However, the benefits afforded to freelancers and contractors, and the help that is given along the way, will often more than make up for the lulls and the frustrations. You’re chasing your dream, after all.

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