Freelancing is a funny old game

by Clive Walker

Clive Walker working with laptop

Freelance web developer is my job but I sometimes feel that it’s no longer as exciting as it was. Freelancing promises to be a flexible and rewarding career role but the reality is somewhat different. There are freelancing ‘foibles’ to overcome, that’s for sure.

Not enough work, too much work

Feast and famine periods are common. Sometimes, not enough jobs coming in. Other times, inundated with work and struggling to juggle multiple clients and their projects. Even after 15 years, I still haven’t found a way to smooth out my workload so that there is a moderate stream of new projects.

Just now, for example, I’m having a ‘quiet period’. Yes, I have regular clients who give me smaller jobs every month. That’s great. Yet, I need a few new projects as well. And, projects that fit with my skills.

There’s seemingly no way of knowing when the next period of busy activity will happen. If there was, I could plan for it, book work in my calendar, and tackle new projects in an orderly fashion.

My business site

Quiet periods should be time to review and assess your freelancer’s site. You know, the website where potential clients read about what you offer, and make contact with details of their exciting projects. Yet, it’s not easy to work on your own site. Honest.

Somehow, redesigning and developing my site is ten times more difficult than a client’s site. I think it’s because I’m ‘too close’ to it. And a bit of a perfectionist.

And a site that has evolved over time is more difficult to pull apart. There’s a lot of work involved. It seems like a lot more work than starting afresh.

I do need to redesign it though.

Is this the career I want?

At times like these, I wonder if this is what I want to be doing. Perhaps I need to rethink and refocus. Perhaps, I need a new job doing something ‘different’ but related? I’m still thinking on that one.

Next week, I’ll probably be invigorated with a new project and getting stuck into that. Before that though, I’m allowed a few moments of introspection to consider and assess my freelance life.

That’s one thing that is good about freelancing, you have the ultimate control.

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