One of the reasons I love is teaching is to see how students evolve, progress and what they get up to after school. I haven’t looked at too many stats and this is not great research on my part, but most students who were more “design” inclined went on to do more classes, while the coders took on jobs. However during the course o the class, all of them always ask about freelancing and setting up their own company.
I’m pretty lucky that I’ve been able to experience both. I worked as a barrista for a few weeks back in 2000 and worked at a startup until the 2001 dot bomb exploded prior to going to going back to school. Following my time at BCIT, I started freelancing right away, but took on a job after about a year, at a company (that shall remain nameless), for only 6 months. I liked the job at the startup a lot, although the smell of money being burned got a bit overwhelming at times, but the other 2 jobs, not so much.
Freelancing has definitely been the right move for me. But is it the right move for everyone? If you’re considering a career as a freelancer, here are a couple of pieces that I think are worthwhile looking at.
Mike Monteiro, designer extraordinaire and author of Design is a Job (a must read for anyone, even non designers), wrote a great article a few months ago advising students to consider getting some experience before setting up their own firm. He makes a great case in point.
If you’re still not convinced by Mike’s argument and think to yourself that freelancing is the right path for you, you might want to check out Shane’s Freelance Primer.
Just fill in your email and you will get access to his one hour presentation on the subject. In his presentation Shane covers the basics of starting a business, getting all the paperwork done, finding great people to work with, finding great customers, most common mistakes, etc… This video is a great resource for anyone starting out and diving into freelancing.