The Dark Side of Freelancing

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Great, so I recently jumped back on the bandwagon as a freelancer just to help pay some bills and so I can keep my business dreams afloat.

Well well well, to my surprise, well not really…sarcasm.

It hasn’t changed one single bit from when I first started freelancing 8 years ago.

I am sure many of you have heard great things about freelancing.

The freedom to work anywhere you want, choose your own boss and work on projects you love doing, blah blah blah.

Well the reality is, it is far from the truth.

It really really sucks to be a freelance web developer living in Sydney.

As a freelancer, you spend most of your time proposing and bidding for gigs, following up and praying that the person on the other end will say yes.

Days go by, weeks go by and in most cases not even a courtesy call to say sorry you didn’t win.

It is very draining, stressful and disheartening to do this day in and day out.

When you get gigs it is an awesome feeling but the nature is this won’t last forever and you be doing the same thing all over again next month.

And then there are platforms like Freelancer, UpWork and Airtasker that are suppose to help “Freelancers” but I have yet to have any real positive experience with them.

It is not a marketplace for people who live in countries like Australia where the cost of living is so high where finding gigs that can compensate the cost is next to impossible.

For example I recently bidded on a web development project where the customer budget was like $2500, so I went in with a fair price at $2000 but the winning bid for that project was $200.

How the f*ck do I compete with that?

I can go clean someone’s house on Airtasker or ride a bike and deliver food on Foodora and make more money.

Hell I should just get a job.

Plus some of these platforms are absolutely horrible for freelancers.

I once submitted over 15 plus proposals on Airtasker for some work and I didn’t win one single bid.

I get it, I am brand new on the platform.

But what gives me the shits is it didn’t even tell me I lost the bid!

It assumes that if I don’t hear from them, I didn’t win. What kind of system is that?

They don’t care about us, as the Michael Jackson goes.

How hard is it to write a small piece of code, to tell me I didn’t win, at least I can tick that project off my list but instead I wait and wait and wait and presume I didn’t win.

Right now, I am not using any of those platforms to get jobs as it feels like a complete waste of my time.

On top of this, as a freelancer income can be very unstable and if this is your only source of income then it is horrible way to make a living.

When you don’t have a stable income it is really hard to plan your life.

Even the most basic things like going on holidays can be difficult to plan.

For example I recently went on holidays in November but just before I left I landed a brand new client.

So during my holidays, I had to spend some time working on my client’s project. It isn’t the most ideal situation and it is not the client’s fault it is just the nature of freelancing.

I guess one of the perks of been a freelancer, you can work anywhere in the world!

However this unstable income can also lead to being desperate.

There were times, I was getting desperate, I just wanted to get any job and this where you begin to compromise who you are.

First you start compromising how much you charge for a project.

And then you start bending backwards like a contortionist for your clients just to get the job.

It is a horrible situation to be in.

My time as a freelance web developer hasn’t been a real happy experience but it has help keep me afloat.

It is what it is.

Freelancing is great as a temporary solution to keep money flowing in until you find a better solution to fund your life.

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