I am a web front end developer (5 years exp) / scrum master (1 year exp). I started to consider to move to freelance, but It dependents in some conditions, and I do not know if freelance will answer this conditions :

  • I want to leave "classic" contracts as it's slow, I feel stuck in same things since 3 years in my current job, even salary is not moving..
  • Personally I get bored fast (not only for pro life, but in everything)
  • I do not like hierarchy, I really love and respect people (more than they respect me most of the time), but I get red and angry as soon as I understand that a handful of people decide actually my destiny and my future, decisions they take are never good for "me" but always good for them and business (it's in my opinion one of the biggest human poison, this can even explain pollution, wars, pandemics etc, no jokes)
  • I am musician, music needs a life balance, actual contract I have is like zero personal life

So, I need to understand if web dev in freelance is 180° opposite to my classic and normal contract ?


2 Answers 2


Technically speaking, freelancing is having your own business. Many "classic contracts" are either "full time employee with a different legal status" or even full time employees of the contracting firm being "leased" to the client.

Freelancing is a lot like being a full time musician. Most musicians are doing gig work, traveling long distances between gigs, on the road for months, and having to put up with terrible conditions in the back rooms. There are the 1% who fill stadiums and can put strange conditions in their contracts. But the rest don't and can't. A lot of musicians don't have good life balances (which is why so many die from drug and alcohol.)

As a freelancer, you have the responsibility of managing your own life. That means learning how to get new clients, how to keep clients happy, what you will do when a client doesn't pay, paying for your own equipment, software, CPA and lawyer time, and managing your own benefits. And in technology, you are responsible for having skills that others want which means that you might need to be learning a new language/framework every couple of years - and that on your own time and money.

A lot of people do freelance for a little while and then find that they don't make as much as they want, the overhead costs eat them up, or their skills go out of date. Faced with those circumstances, they go back to full time employment. Others learn what they have to in order to keep independent, adjust their prices, and keep going.

Since you are easily bored, you might enjoy the hunting of new clients and new projects. That is a skill few programmers have but can get you a lot higher income.

  • I see, just to clarify the "life balance in music" I mean I need to have balance between work and free time to do music (not life balance for a rockstar full time musician) Aug 4, 2021 at 15:47
  • Basically. When I was doing freelance full-time I spent maybe 90% of my time just doing marketing. After many years I had lots of repeat customers but it if you feel like it's easy to earn $1 working for an employer, it's 10 times harder earning that $1 working for yourself until you really grow your business.
    – HenryM
    Sep 8, 2021 at 13:07

If you think freelancing means... "a handful of people [WON'T] decide" your destiny and future, and that such decisions WON'T "always [be] good for them and business" you are very mistaken.

The only difference with freelancing is you can often more easily stop dealing with people making poor decisions for your particular situation. Unlike employment positions... If you find a client that is not paying well, you can replace that income stream with a better one. If you find a client that is simply insulting, you can quit working of them. Etc. But this all depends on your income stream. At times you can't simply drop a client you are unhappy with because you need the financial return.

Clients still determine your future with freelancing, in addition they will also now control your financial stability - which isn't a factor with employment.

To start freelancing because you're a bit disgruntled with your job is a knee-jerk reaction and may be a mistake. Sure you have no "boss", but you also gain a whole lot of new responsibilities.

  • It'll up to YOU to make money, you can't rely on that steady paycheck. And making money freelancing can be very difficult at times. You need to have a financial "cushion" to rely on when times are slow.
  • (US Based) You will be responsible to pay taxes your employer is currently paying... healthcare, social security, etc.
  • You may make less money when starting out. If you're already unhappy with the amount of money you make as an employee this can be problematic.
  • You might have more free time, if you find clients that can financially sustain you. But you might have much, much, much less free time if you are struggling to earn an income. You'll need to dedicate MUCH more time to self-promotion and marketing to find clients. This can easily double or triple the amount of work you need to do in any given week.
  • You still need to use contracts to ensure you get paid.
  • It'll be up to you to track down, pester, possibly sue, clients that are slow to pay or even refuse to pay.

Freelancing is probably not a "solution to all your problems" it's merely a different set of problems. With freelancing you primarily get rid of the "office politics" problems and you replace all that with financial stability and well-being problems. Rather than dealing with people you don't like, you have to deal with financial situations that can be a struggle if you aren't prepared for them.

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