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5 Reasons Why I Quit My Job And Started Freelancing

Michael Hoffmann (Mokkapps) - Senior Frontend Developer (Freelancer)
Jun 12, 2019
3 min read
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300 views
Career
Freelancing
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I recently quit my job and decided to start a new chapter in my life as a freelancer. This idea was in my head for about one year, but to be honest, back in these days, I was not brave enough to go this step. In this article, I want to tell you why I quit and started freelancing. These are the five reasons which I will talk about in detail:

  1. Free choice of projects and technologies
  2. Self-planned professional development
  3. Bad experience with freelancers
  4. Better payment for the same job
  5. Possibility to become a digital nomad

1. Free choice of projects and technologies

In my previous jobs, it was always quite hard to switch projects due to different reasons. This also depends on your personality but I personally get quite fast bored of a certain project and technology and that's why I like to switch projects and technologies every 6-12 months.

But independent of the company, I always encountered the same problem if I wanted to switch project: My current project manager didn't want to let me go because I delivered good work and already had a lot of project-specific domain knowledge. The project manager of the new project wanted to have me as fast as possible as he heard good stuff about my work, and so the battle of the project managers started, and I was just a puppet in this game.

As a freelancer, I think I can now more effortlessly switch to new projects with different technologies, company sizes, industries, team sizes, and durations. Additionally, I can mix various projects, e.g., work some days per month for workshops/training and the remaining days for one or many other projects. I think this freedom fits more with my personality.

2. Self-planned professional development

I worked in a company where they didn't invest 100€ for a conference ticket in my town. In general, I made the experience that I am the best person who can decide how I can improve my professional development.

Now I choose which training, conferences, or workshops I want to attend without needing anyone to approve it. As a drawback, I need to pay it myself, but at least I get some money back from the taxes.

3. Bad experience with freelancers

In my last four years as a professional software developer, I worked with about ten software developer freelancers on different projects.

Unfortunately, more than half of them were terrible developers. What is a terrible developer? For example, I worked with many so-called "senior" developers who could not use git, could not write tests, and did not use standard best practices of software engineering like separation of concerns.

4. Better payment for the same job

This point is related to the previous point about my bad experience with freelancers. I often asked myself: "Why should I do the same job for less money?".

As a freelancer, you usually earn a lot more monthly money, but you also have a higher risk. You should have prepared some good savings if you don't have a project for multiple weeks or months.

5. Possibility to become a digital nomad

I currently live in Munich but I grew up in the Bavarian Forest and I still have family and friends there. I moved to Munich as I began to study for my master degree and I stayed there as there are way better job opportunities. In my home town and surrounding area are nearly no software projects available.

But as a freelancer, I am now completely free, and in theory, I could work 100% remotely from any place in the world and work on cool projects but live in an area where I would typically not find a good software project.

Summary

Now you know why I quit my job and started freelancing. At this point, I cannot tell you if it was a good or bad decision, but I will keep you updated in other blog posts on how my career as a freelancer evolves.