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The Hidden Pitfalls of Going Freelance in IT

Freedom to choose is a coveted idea, but when it comes to freelance IT, is it really worth it? Having the ability to choose clients, your schedule, and your pay rate sounds wonderful, but what are the drawbacks? In an article for InfoWorld, Bob Violino elaborates on the disadvantages of becoming a solo act.

Life as a Lone Wolf

In order to start any project, you need to have a client’s approval, which can be an arduous task on your own. Technology has made it possible for professionals to work remotely, but companies still remain hesitant to hire a person they have never met. Having face-to-face meetings helps to build trust. There is also the issue that people are reluctant to change, especially their infrastructure. In order to be truly successful, a person will need to put forth that extra effort in communication and be mindful of the wants and concerns of who they are working for.

A vast majority of companies have agreements established to protect confidentiality and limit competition. This makes a freelancer’s job more difficult to navigate, because they will need to be aware of to whom they agreed what, which may make it impossible to complete future tasks. If it is too overwhelming to keep track of every agreement, a lawyer will prove beneficial, or request the “standard” exceptions to confidentiality.

Sometimes, people are hesitant to accept or resentful of IT. This boils down to the resentment of a new person, making more money, wanting to change an acceptable system. Freelancers need to take that extra step to educate those they are working with so they are not shot down before they begin.

Unfortunately, IT is still seen as a cost rather than a profit. Due to this, at the first sign of trouble, a company will disband an IT project. Marketing needs to be integrated into the job title if a freelancer has any hope of continuing work.

There remains a huge difference between fixed-bid software contracting and agile software development projects. Constant change on a fixed-bid project is rather difficult and less than ideal. As a result, it is suggested the freelancer take an hourly stipend rather than a fixed-bid.

In order to be successful, a person needs to take that extra step to manage their time well. Freelancing is not the typical 9-to-5 job, and having a flexible schedule can help you succeed. In the time while you are waiting, better yourself and train online or bid on other projects; you do not have to be waiting around twiddling your thumbs.

You can read the original article here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3007722/it-careers/the-hidden-pitfalls-of-going-freelance-in-it.html

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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