One of my mates has quited recently. We were sharing the same table at our neighborhood coworking space...
One day came up and he said that he'd got an offer and was going to join a company X. (Not from FAANG list)
He hasn't been freelancing for a long time. The project he was working on, finished and he decided to switch from freelance to a stable local full-time job.
Not surprisingly, his main concern was lack of stability and permanent uncertainty. Rather common reason, I suppose.
My experience of fighting uncertainty was painful
At the very beginning I was trying to achieve some kind of safe freelancing setup and ended up with three simultaneous projects.
- One of them was a full-time but with ~1 week breaks between 1–2 weeks-long iterations on average.
- The second one was 60% full-time but without tough deadlines
- The third project was planned as tiny upgrade of an existing app, also without tough deadlines, but turned out to be a much larger piece of work than expected.
My level of stress was immeasurable and my work-life balance was completely ruined.
Endless every day switches between tasks and projects — my personal nightmare that lasted a little more than three months without any break.
Do I need to say how exhausted I was getting back home late everyday and telling myself that the only way out was to finish all tasks and release, without dropping any of the projects. I was literally DEADLY exhausted.
There are only two positive things about that story. The first is that I didn't let down the clients by dropping any of them. I got on time everywhere. The second is a lesson.
Lesson learned: I do not get involved in more than one project at a time any more. That’s fake safe that leads to a lower quality of work and endless suffering. When starting freelance it’s not easy to find projects. That’s why it’s not easy to find courage to say “NO” to new projects.
Freedom false start
The second most common reason is to quit at the very begining when trying to have a fulltime job and freelance at the same time. That's the best way to perform bad in both places and burnout, telling about negative experience afterwards.
That's super common for the majority of freelancers and remote workers I know. The problem is triggered by uncontrolled working schedule, responsibility and stress. Plus to this, developer's job features also affect.
As for me I'm always in semi-burned state and almost got used to. That's rather comfortable comparing to my state at the time of the story of my gratest burnout.
Inability to organize yourself
I really suck at timemanagent. I cannot live and work following any daily schedule. My every second day is very spontaneous and my productivity is very volatile.
I'm almost always late for every common event. (I suppose that's because the timespan I use to measure and feel the time is just larger than punctual people use)
Nevertheless, I'm really good at getting things done and long term planning.
Sometimes I hear from people that they cannot organize themself and get the tasks done. I'm sorry guys, but perhaps you need a big boss that will make you get things done and control you if you cannot do it yourself.
The most painful problem is non-paying clients. That may sound rude, but clients from developed countries usually turn out to be times more accurate at paying invoices than others.
Let you freelance business grow
Grow if you do not want to quit. Freelance is like a business. You are your bussines. Run to stay on the same place. Run very fast to move forward.
Financial management and stability
It's like management and development. Frequently fucked up deadlines are more about poor planning and management, then poor development.
Very similar thing: financial stability is more about financial planning and management, then the variability of incomes.
Like the deadlines is about management and stability is about financial management, skills are about projects you are working on.
Picking up right projects can make your skill grow out of the box.
New technologies, new frameworks, new project scales. Grow by working on new things and moving yourself out of a comfort zone. Grow just by doing your job, that's very interesting.
It doesn't matter how cool and skillful you are if nobody knows about it. I like Upwork because it allows to do an automated and fair marketing by just doing your job well.
Do you wanna quit?
I don't. I consider switching from a freelance to a fulltime office job as a huge step back, while there are a lot of possible steps forward.