It’s been exactly three months that I rejected multiple full time offers to take a break and go towards the freelancing route. A Twitter friend encouraged me to write a post on why I decided to go from job security to the freelance world.
I’m a final year student in college and decided to quit my industrial internship in February to take a break from everything. I had iOS developer offers, but I was reluctant to commit to 9-5. I wanted to explore further opportunities that I felt wasn’t possible while doing a full-time role.
Taking the Leap
I read numerous articles about how people struggle in the initial months without any contract and go back to the secure day job. So, I knew having more clients is an excellent way to derisk.
But I had to find my first client. My friend got an offer to contract as a SwiftUI developer, but he referred me instead. And that’s it. That’s how I got my first client.
Also, networking on Twitter comes in handy. I saw a tweet that someone was hiring a junior iOS developer for a part-time role in a startup. I sent them a DM with my introduction and bingo. I got my second client.
I worked 10-20 hours a week for each, with my own schedule. I updated the project’s progress once in a while. As a result, life was a lot less stressful than an internship.
Around the second week of March, I got a mail from a manager that they liked my article on Medium on Accessibility in iOS 14 Widgets With SwiftUI. They wanted me to write for their company’s blog on iOS development. Getting paid to write? Sign me up!
At this point, I had no idea what money to expect, as this was a whole new industry for me. So I accepted what the startup offered. With that, I had another source of freelancing income!
After publishing my first post, it became a chain reaction where I got a few more opportunities to write.
In the first week of April, I started showing symptoms of COVID. As I was only dependent on active sources of income, it quickly went from 100% to 0. I told my clients that I cannot work further. I intimated to the companies that there will be a delay in writing the articles as well. Everyone was supportive, but this virus made me realize how difficult it is to work as a freelancer.
If I was still pursuing the internship, I probably would still get the monthly stipend in my bank account. But in April, I didn’t see any notification pop-up on my phone.
Taking the Next Leap
Post-COVID conditions were a productivity killer. I couldn’t write a single line of code nor form mere sentences. So I took April off and decided it was better to rest for the next leap in May. This disease taught me I was too harsh on myself, and I took a big break from programming and only focused on writing.
I got better over time and wrote around five articles in May. I’m having leisure time this week to write sustained rapid articles after WWDC.
After a V-shaped recovery in May, I’ll continue on this path forward. I don’t see myself working full time in the near future.
I’ve to be honest about it. Freelancing pays well as I earn in foreign currency. I work half the time and make twice that of a full-time role in my country. I write in the other half and achieve almost like a day job’s salary.
I used to hate working on Monday during my internships. It worked out well when I was interning at Apple as it used to be Tuesday in my time zone when it was Monday in California. But working whole five days a week? Not anymore. I follow a 3 days weekend, spending Monday on writing my own experiences, like this one.
I loathe daily meetings. I absolutely despise zoom calls in the morning. Now, every conversation happens over mail.
Time and Energy
Having my own routine helps me spend time on other hobbies. I wanted to study economics, finance, equity, money management. Read books about them. Observe the stock market. Experience biographies. Scrutinize balance sheet of companies.
I was always tired after work before, leaving no energy for these. I tried managing both but failed miserably. I blamed myself for horrendous time management only to realize it wasn’t about time. It was about energy as well.
Grass Isn’t Greener
But. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There’s a slight amount of risk involved as well. Having a consistent source of income every month is a dream when there’s no work. There’s this lingering feeling of helplessness if you don’t find work on time.
The only way I found to deal with this is to have several clients. I’m currently writing for four companies, and I plan to increase the number further. So if one bails out, I’ll still have many to count on.
So, this was my rambling about a few months in this new career. I know I can switch back to full-time after few months of interview preparation, but I want to go with the flow. I’ll write another post like this at the end of this year to see how much will change in the next six months.
Thanks for reading my blog!