Is it really worth going from a job to freelancing?
A friend asked me this recently, and this is my answer.
If you are from the younger generation, this might sound like a dinosaur talking, but do bear with me.
Just like all others, I did my primary, and then secondary school education. Then, I went on to Junior College. And then went on to a local University. This kind-of sums up the education path of a typical student in Singapore. And I was no exception.
Career-life: I got my first job in the IT field. The millennium was just getting started, like a fresh flower blooming. It was around 2001 or 2002. What else was blooming? My career. I quickly realised that IT is a hot industry to be in. Whichever jobs I applied for, I got into interviews quite easily. Only later on in life did I realise that this was not the norm.
Anyway, long story short, I jumped from big company to bigger company, and whoever was paying higher (yes, shameless me). Eventually, after some years, I got the business itch. Just like many others do.
I started freelancing on the side. By the way, I love programming and development work. It was and is my passion. It was like people are paying me to do what I love to do anyways.
But let me tell you one thing about employment, though. It has a knack of making you hate what you love to do already. Yes, I love programming, but stop pushing me. Stop stacking more and more on me. Oh heck, I hate programming now. You get the idea.
So, unsatisfied me wanted to do programming, but by MY style. So, I started a freelancing business. I brainstormed for a name and ended up with Getcha Solutions. During those early dot-com times, getting a catchy domain name was the norm for businesses.
And I chose www.getcha.com for my business. It’s also a play on getchar, if you know programming.
Note that I didn’t just quit my job and started this. No way. And no one reading this should make that leap just like that. I had to develop the side business on the side, while I kept waking up early, taking the public transport, and going dutifully to work.
So, it was not an easy leap. I still remember the years that passed by while I envision the day I’ll s̶t̶o̶r̶m̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶b̶o̶s̶s̶’̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶i̶g̶n̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶l̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶f̶a̶c̶e̶ walk into my boss’s office and officially hand him my resignation letter with grace and a smile.
It didn’t happen in year 1. It didn’t happen in year 2. New years came and went. It was only in 2007 or thereabouts that I made the so-called leap to quit my employment and go full-time freelancer.
And I’ve been my own boss since then.
If there is one credit I have to give, it is to Google. It was due to the business that google search was sending my way that allowed me to quit. Though google might have changed its algorithm, I cannot change my gratitude.
But remember, business is not for the weak. It is not an easier alternative to a job. It is just an alternative, that’s all. You still got to work. With the only difference being: if you love that skill, you will enjoy every day of your work.
About the Author
Anees Khan is a freelance web and mobile app developer for the past 28 years, and is running Getcha Solutions to help companies get the latest tech for their business needs, requirements and custom operational workflows.
- Tags: freelance web developer