Freelance Web Developer


Leaving the world of work

Leaving the world of work

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here, and I have a fair bit to write about now.

In September I quit my full time job to stay at home and look after my then one year old daughter. While the wife was paying the bills I decided to join a few freelance websites and see if I could get some work. This was mainly to see if I could cut it as a freelancer once the baby goes off to school and I have some time to devote to this properly.

Well, in short, it’s been a massive success.

I joined People Per Hour, and vWorker and the email with relevant work started rolling in.

Given the amount of free time I have around looking after the baby and doing the house work I started bidding for small projects that wouldn’t take me very long and eventually, though not initially, I got some work.

The first couple of jobs went smoothly and I followed the procedures on the sites and eventually got paid. PPH take at least fifteen pounds, or ten percent, so there’s no point in bidding for anything for less than £150. I didn’t know this, so my first ever freelance job was a small Drupal fix for the princely sum of £30. Which meant only half that getting to me. Lesson learned.

Most of the work I’ve got so far has come from vWorker though. I bid for a lot, and all of a sudden got a few jobs at the same time. While they were small jobs, there were quite a few, and after they were done there was the inevitable round of tweaks and fixes to be done. While all this was going on I got another few jobs and stopped bidding as things were getting a bit too much. I was spending all day looking after the household, then working until two in the morning on the computer before getting woken at six by the baby. Not a good work life balance.

But I must have been doing something right. I got everything done and decided to take a wee break. But then I started getting repeat work based on the quality of my previous work. Very nice, but it now means I can’t take a break. On the whole a good thing for my future career.

When the first payment came through to my PayPal account I bought myself an Intel MacMini to replace my broken PowerPC MacMini. This is so I can continue to use the iOS SDK, since it now requires Intel.

It’s been a sort of tradition of mine to buy myself something with my first pay cheque from each new job, but I never expected at this early stage, and given that I’m only doing small projects part time, that I would make anywhere near enough to buy something like a Mac Mini.

While not enough to pay the bills or make a decent living, I’ve made my very own money. No boss (other than the wife and kid), no office politics, no commute, nobody telling what to do, I did this myself. It may not be a lot of money but it’s all mine and it feels great.

It looks like I’ve built a few professional relationships, started the business, built a few websites and made a real go of it. As I type this, there’s emails coming in from an earlier project looking to expand on what I’ve already done, so more work and more money.

All in all, the initial experiment to find out if, given the time, I can make a go of this, has worked. The future of my freelancing career is looking bright.