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Changing direction, need a second opinion

srodrigo

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Sep 11, 2018
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Question for my forum mates.

Would you look for a £70-80k remote job (programming) if what you're currently doing was not making money and didn’t look like it would for at least another 6 months?

Some context

Ultimate goal: be free by having my living expenses (nothing crazy) covered by a lifestyle business and/or investments (e.g. real estate). Ideally within the next 5-10 years. Probably what many people here wants.

Current situation:
  • Left a healthy job abroad last year, moved back with parents to reduce expenses, and started working on my own projects. Those are making peanuts at best, and looks like it’d take a while until they do.

  • Thinking about buying a house before the next real estate bubble starts pumping and have to wait for 7-10 years to burst and correct. The big correction after the 2008 crash finished during 2015-2016 and prices are going up (although it seems like they’re going to raise less for the next few years).

I have other options in mind to work full-time (freelancing, building some software agency, being patient and carry on with my current projects, etc.), but I think it’s fair to consider the remote job option while working on my stuff on the side, as long as I can get one in those £70-80k ranges, which is 3x the average salary here.

This is from the perspective that I like programming, so hopefully wouldn’t be a soul-crushing job for me. I hate the rigid 9-5 Mon-Fri schedule and working on making someone else rich for a paycheck, but apart from that it’s not too bad. I would miss my current freedom a lot and would leave me with far less time for building a business that eventually frees me up, but I guess there’s a point (salary in this case) at which this option needs to be considered.

What would you do in my case?
 

Connor_Motivasis

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Apr 15, 2019
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It sounds like a better option would be to find freelance work that isn't direct hire based. Programming is one of the few jobs where self-employment is relatively easy (Not to say its super easy, but compared to other fields). Using online networks like Upwork and Fiverr can make you a good amount of money on a very flexible schedule.

At first, the income can be inconsistent, but it looks like you have the ability to take a slow start.

Best of luck, hope this helped.
 

srodrigo

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 11, 2018
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It sounds like a better option would be to find freelance work that isn't direct hire based. Programming is one of the few jobs where self-employment is relatively easy (Not to say its super easy, but compared to other fields). Using online networks like Upwork and Fiverr can make you a good amount of money on a very flexible schedule.

At first, the income can be inconsistent, but it looks like you have the ability to take a slow start.

Best of luck, hope this helped.
Thanks for your input!

That's definitely one of the options, as it gives more flexibility. I'd need to work on my sales skills though.

I even though about freelancing as a first step towards something else, but haven't defined a path yet. Too many options make it harder to decide.
 

lowtek

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Yeah, take the remote work. You're better off doing that before freelancing. Develop the habits required to succeed doing remote work, while getting paid. Then learn to sell your services by doing more contract work through Upwork. Two of the hardest skills to learn are how to estimate the timeline for work, and how to pick out good jobs.

Build some surplus to live on, learn to deal with these two issues, and then venture out on your own.
 

srodrigo

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Sep 11, 2018
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Yeah, take the remote work. You're better off doing that before freelancing. Develop the habits required to succeed doing remote work, while getting paid. Then learn to sell your services by doing more contract work through Upwork. Two of the hardest skills to learn are how to estimate the timeline for work, and how to pick out good jobs.

Build some surplus to live on, learn to deal with these two issues, and then venture out on your own.
Is there anyone who ever learns how to estimate well? :D

I've done some remote work here and there. Not full-time though, but I've probably got that part sorted.

The other two things you mention are the tricky ones. Regardless of what I finally do, I need to move away from being a generalist (which is really useful, but less marketable for freelancing) and stick to something for longer. I wanted to go for video games programming (Unity), but sounds like money is quite low compared to other specialities, and I already have good expertise in JavaScript, so better take advantage of it.

I've had a look at Upwork multiple times, and hardly saw anything I'd dive into at a first glance (although it might be that clients have no idea about what things cost). Today I looked at freelancer dot com and looked a bit more reasonable, people post their bids there and sometimes they look more realistic, but as you can't see bids on Upwork, it's difficult to say.

BTW, I watched your videos on Machine Learning freelancing on Upwork ;) Very interesting and useful.
 

MJ DeMarco

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This is from the perspective that I like programming, so hopefully wouldn’t be a soul-crushing job for me.
Take the work, as long as you have a long game vision in place, it shouldn't matter. And hey, you enjoy the "job" so its a pretty good situation. Just be careful not to get lulled into the nice paycheck and comfortable routine.
 

srodrigo

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 11, 2018
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Take the work, as long as you have a long game vision in place, it shouldn't matter. And hey, you enjoy the "job" so its a pretty good situation. Just be careful not to get lulled into the nice paycheck and comfortable routine.
Thanks MJ :) I'm quite obsessed with building a business that will make me free from a day job, so even if I took a day job I'd carry on with that for sure. It's just that it's becoming hard for me to justify earning nothing at the moment. Having a good paycheck while working on side projects sounds like a good compromise after going all-in for a few months and failing to make money. Let's see if I can find something good soon.
 

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