Going Independent Is The Best Move I Ever Made
As you may or may not know, I left my job late last year and went independent. It's only been 5 months, but I'm already convinced that this is the best move I've ever made and can't picture myself going back to working for someone else. The financial side of that is a big reason obviously, but it's just one of a few actually. What I love most is knowing that you make all of the decisions. I can choose the client(s) I work for. I can negotiate my own deals and set my own rates. I can choose to go into different directions if or when I want to. I can choose how much or how little time I spend working, provided that my client is ok with that of course. I can decide to follow training courses if I want to, on whatever I want. I can pick which car I drive. What kind of insurance policies I get. I pretty much have full control over whatever I want.
That's not all though... I don't have to worry about the future of my employer or the company I work for. I have no reason to be bothered by office politics since they generally don't affect me anymore, and if they ever do, I can just wrap up the current contract and go out and get a new one. My career path will not be influenced by what other people think I may or may not be good at. I don't have to care about what a superior thinks of me. I don't really need to care anymore about people being given responsibilities for which they haven't demonstrated the necessary skills to handle them right. No need to worry if you see a boatload of money being poured into projects or products that will never turn a profit. Management mistakes don't really have a big impact on my future anymore.
There are a lot of benefits to being independent, and it takes away a lot of the downsides of being an employee. But obviously, it comes at a cost. You are responsible for everything. You need to handle everything yourself. There is no secretary to handle all of the paperwork. You are responsible for finding your own work. You have to negotiate on your own which might be a little weird at first (but fun and thrilling after a while :P). You will need to pick up the phone and make some calls to get things straightened out. You need to handle your finances. You'll need to build up some financial reserve in case you've got some downtime between contracts. The only thing I don't do myself are the actual books because I'm pretty sure an accountant is gonna do a much better job of it than I will. But even then, I'm responsible for the work the accountant does. If she makes a mistake, I'm the one who has to pay, literally even. In short, as great as it is, it certainly wouldn't be great for everybody. I don't mind the extra responsibilities, and in fact, am quite happy to have them so for me, this is pretty much as good as it gets. Well, at least until I turn the company into something bigger :)
These last 5 months have been eye-opening for me. I've learned a lot about myself, and am loving the opportunities that I'm getting. When I started I was excited about the client I was gonna be working for, and I'm still very happy to be there. I'm also very happy about how my NHibernate course is going. I absolutely hated doing all of the prep work (if you had to endure my bitching while I was working on it, sorry! :p), but it's turning out to be more than worth it. I gave the first private on-site course this month and it went great. In June, the first public course will be held, followed by another private on-site course in July and then another one in September. And I expect more courses to be booked because frankly, it's just that good ;). All in all, my first year is shaping up to be even better than I had originally estimated and I'm excited to see what else the future is going to bring. Even more so because I'll be the one who'll have the most influence on it.comments powered by Disqus