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Taking The Leap Into Becoming a Freelance Web Developer

Posted: 12th April 2018

Not so long ago, going full time freelance was only a distant thought whilst sat at my desk looking out of the big glass window of the agency I worked for. It was dream of mine that I wanted to give it a shot someday when the time was right and I had some money saved up. But as of April 2018 that dream became a reality for me and I am now a fulltime freelance web developer!

Why did I go freelance?

This might not be what everyone was expecting of me, it's certainly not what I was expecting to do! I thought I was going to be at my last agency for a good few years before I even considered it. However, you're reading this... That means things didn't quite go to plan. The last agency couldn't get enough work in to support my salary. Yes, I was let go. I was given two weeks notice (to finish the month) before I was unemployed. My initial reaction was panic.

My reaction to being let go

I've never been in a situation where I potentially didn't have a job before. I sat back, thought about what I was going to do. When suddenly it struck me as now is absolutely the perfect time to give freelance a shot. I had a few months rent and bills saved up and I now had no more excuses.

My stability of a salary was no longer in the picture so why not. After a long chat with my girlfriend that night, we made the decision. Once my time at that agency was finished, I was going freelance. Suddenly everything changed, I felt like I was finally taking my life into my own hands. I wasn't panicked any more but excited.

My First Month

As of writing this post I am slap bang in the middle of the first month. I understand there is a lot of work that needs to be done in this and the coming months to make sure I keep this dream alive. I've redesigned my website and I've also luckily managed to get my first client which has brought enough to cover my bills for the first month already. This is a shock to me, as I was mentally prepared to not make a penny while I try and get my name out there. Don't get my wrong by no mean is the work flowing in, but it's a start. Getting more clients is my current focus to make sure I can cover my bills for the next few months.

I'm having a blast though, It's given me a new purpose to wake up every morning and know today I'm working to better my future, not someone elses. I don't HAVE to be at my desk for 9am or HAVE to stop working at 5pm (although I still generally do). There are no rules, it's very different. I have found though that freelancing does come with some drawbacks, lucky I was prepared for some of them. Working on my own everyday at home can get super lonely and is the biggest one for me. I often turn to social media when this happens trying to connect with as many people as I can. I think in the future once I've got clients coming in I want to have a look at co-working spaces or getting a shared office with a friend.

I've still got A LOT to learn when it comes to this though and I can't wait to work my way through it. Overall I've never been happier than I am right now, writing this blog post.

Should you go freelance?

I really don't think freelancing is for everyone, some people like having a boss and a salary. That way things stay consistent, and the blame isn't yours when work doesn't come in. But for some people, like me, it's a dream. For those people I recommend you read Go Freelance by Dave Eliis I've recently finished reading this short but very useful book. It confirmed all the questions I had and everything I was thinking about where normal and answered them. Definitely worth the £8. To those who actually end up making the jump themselves, I wish you all the best and hope you gain all the success you dream of.

Raising a glass to all the adventurous people who take the risk

Connor Gaunt

Web Developer