Freelancing is a business and one has to consider it as a business. In business, you don’t have a guarantee of a monthly income but if you want the guarantee for your career path, one can have it.
Freelancing is a business and one has to consider it as a business. In business, you don’t have a guarantee like a job where you expect a stipulated payment at the end of the month, no matter how bad you performed in a month or how bad the business performed.
If business performance keeps worsening or if an individual performance isn’t improving, the employer guarantee to pay won’t continue for an elongated period of time.
If you are looking for a similar kind of guarantee in income as a freelancer, you may be disappointed.
There is nothing like a guarantee of income anywhere on this planet. Have you not heard about people losing jobs or even people lose the ability to do a job (met with an accident or goes into depression for family issues).
In the world of technology, there isn’t too much you can do about when you are fired from a job but more importantly, if you are ready to take the needed steps now, you may be able to survive the bad phase as an employee.
BTW coding and development jobs are deadends anyway after 40.
The Guarantee of What?
When I left my job, I was working as a C# developer for a printer company Lexmark International. I was in the Windows printer utility application development division but I always wanted to be on the web and when I was in the dilemma to quit I wanted to be
- An SEO expert (had taken up a job in SEO as well)
- A Web Developer
- A CTO (Chief technical officer) of my company
- An Entrepreneur (Wanted to do business)
- A Freelancer (Work from home kinda)
- A Blogger
- A Trader
- An Investor
- A Photographer
- A Cricketer (Every Indian wants to be one)
- A Football player (Yes you want to be one in Kolkata)
And the list can be really long …
It took me a lot of time to settle into few of the above. Yes, there isn’t too much focus to be only one and I like it that way.
I am already a web developer, freelancer, blogger, SEO consultant, a trader who invests and I let other choices take a backseat.
As of today if you ask me, I will have such a list of things I want to be and out of which some I will be and others have to take a backseat once again.
So out of such a list, you have to make sure, you work hard enough on the sideline to be what you want to be.
BTW, I never wanted to be a top-notch C# windows application developer which was my day job. So you see, if you are doing something you don’t want to be doing for the rest of your life, it is high time you consider being a freelancer.
Back to the original question, can you guarantee a career path?
I think the answer is yes, You can’t guarantee the results (how much you will make) but you can guarantee the process.
The Guarantee for Career?
Let me share you a story here.
I was in a US-based multinational IT company Lexmark International around the 2007ish time. Lexmark was expanding in India and we moved to a much bigger space for expansion.
Soon the US trouble started and there was a buzz about Lexmark’s cost-cutting initiatives and layoffs which made many senior Indian developers and project managers concerned.
I remember in an annual presentation questions to the senior officials was why Lexmark has purchased a property in other regions but prefers rented space in India? We moved to a much large space for expansion a few quarters back and there was no sign of any layoffs in India. Lexmark always had such a policy to have rented space in India but suddenly it was a talking point among the employees.
The time was bad but I was hardly concerned because if I am laid off, I had a backup plan. My websites were getting a good amount of traffic and I was confident about building my client base.
In 2008, when everyone was hanging on to their job as long as one could, I decided to quit.
It can only happen if you work for yourself. The US was having a rough time but I knew, I will be able to find my share of clients.
There was no guarantee back then and there is no guarantee even today if I will have my next client.
I trust my ability and work towards improving it.
I have to be on the edge of the technology curve to whatever I am doing. I was in vBulletin, I added WordPress to my kitty and when vBulletin tanked, I looked for alternatives and move into XenForo.
I do SEO consultancy but Social Media isn’t something I have consulted for any of my clients as yet but it is something I may do going forward.
Final Thoughts on Guarantee
Apart from your family, no one will write on a piece of paper and hand it over to you “I guarantee you a minimum income” no matter what.
So instead of looking for an external guarantee, try walking a career path to help you be a freelancer. If it means you have to do something alongside the job, do it.
Further Reading …