A CodeNewbie's Diary
- From CodeNewbie To Full Time Freelancer -
Part 8: Some Final Words
Well, we’ve reached the eighth and final part of my blog series on becoming a full time freelancer in one year, and I want to end it with some final words of encouragement to CodeNewbies in general and more specifically those who have a desire to pursue freelancing full time.
As For Me...
My current State
Next week is my last week with a stable and predictable income, the last week of life in a cubicle, the last week of corporate benefits such as health insurance, 401K matching, W-2 forms, etc.
It also begins an exciting new chapter in my life and speaking of life…I only get one of these.
Transitioning into this, I have lots of work coming in, a great health insurance option, and a family excited that I will be around more often.
However, it is a bit daunting, but a challenge I am willing to accept.
As For You...
In this final post, again I want to offer a few points of encouragement to CodeNewbies in general and CodeNewbies looking to get started with freelancing:
Value Yourself and Your Work
You have value to offer people. You will never be the best coder and will never feel adequate for the programming role you are in. This is mainly because the field is rapidly changing/growing and you must be constantly learning to stay in the game.
But, you have come a long way and there are, at all times, myriads of people looking for the skills that you offer. So don’t build $50 websites…is that your worth? Think about the value that you are bringing to people, be confident in what you charge and what you require, and then give it your best.
In addition, your ability to code does not have a say in who you are as a person. Remember to value yourself independent of your skillset. Find your personality and be comfortable with it. Work on your Soft Skills (these go much further with potential employers or clients than you might expect). Enjoy your life.
I’ve been wanting to say this for a while but just haven’t had the opportunity, so here goes:
The #100daysofcode hashtag on Twitter has become quite a popular pursuit. Basically, people commit to some sort of coding for 100 straight days and Tweet about it.
I myself love it and think its a wonderful challenge with a wonderful community of people involved.
However, there can be a tendency to get so caught up in the “process” that you ultimately make it nowhere.
“Once I finish 100 days straight I will be more equipped to apply for that job.”
“Hey guys I missed three days now. Ugh. Starting Monday I recommit to a new 100 days.”
“Day 63. Finished my calculator and started learning PHP and React.”
All of this is great, but there comes a time where you have to be okay with missing a day and actually getting out there and interviewing for jobs. #100daysofcode can become a subconscious opportunity to hide behind the wall of perceived inadequacy.
There is a 99% chance that you are more than ready to meet the need of some client or employer out there. Enjoy the #100daysofcode, but don’t let it become an excuse.
Watch Your Health
Finally, when it comes to sitting at a computer all day we should be very conscious about the unhealthy baggage that follows. And sitting in a chair all day brings some unhealthy baggage.
It’s never okay to stay up all night coding. First, adequate sleep should be a high priority for reasons of health, productivity, sanity, emotional well-being, etc. Second, no on has a good coding mindset at 3 a.m. No one.
There seems to be this caricature of the coder up all night, stressed, talking to himself, on cup #10 of coffee, etc.
Don’t be that person.
Don’t devote yourself so much to a particular task that your mental and physical well-being suffer.
Here is a post I wrote on “5 Everyday Health Hacks For Those With Computer Jobs.“
Conclusion / Next Steps
That’s all I have. Hopefully this series has been helpful to you as a CodeNewbie or an aspiring freelancer. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or send them to me in the General Contact form.
As mentioned above, next week is my last week in the corporate workplace. What lies ahead in the next few months is left unsaid.
However, I would encourage you to sign up for the latest blog notifications as I will be continuing with the updates as I venture out in the freelance world. You can sign up here: