Behind the scenes as a remote worker
Working from home is more than just staying in your pajamas and taking a few calls. Joseph Cruz explains the pros and cons of becoming a remote worker as a developer.
Finding a job is not easy, but finding a work from home job is much harder. Advances in technology mean it’s now possible for you to work remotely or as a freelancer. Either way means a certain lack of structure due to the fact that you’re working outside of a workplace environment.
This situation makes it even more difficult for programmers. Programming work by its very nature is time-sensitive and project-driven. This means, they have specific time frame for a given project and if the project is completed, there is no assurance that another project will come up. The unpredictability of freelance work is a fact.
Whether or not you are interested to move from corporate to work from home environment, you should be aware of the following:
Stabile or expendable
Working from home can give you awesome opportunities for working on the side. That is because you can take small, side projects from people you worked with before or you can find outsourced opportunities online. The only problem in this setup is that you have to hustle constantly to keep the projects coming. No one is going to give you another job; you have to go out and find it yourself. Some people thrive in this sort of situation, but not everyone is cut out for constantly looking for gigs.
Office work is pretty different, obviously. Your work and salary are fixed and predictable. You never need to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from or when that last payment from that one job is coming. (Also, freelance taxes are awful.) But the work is steady and that is something that some people like. You are never gonna run out project work in a company set up because there’s always something else in the development pipeline.
SEE MORE: Avoiding the traps of remote work
Working as a remote worker is the best of both worlds; you have the flexibility as a freelancer to work whenever and wherever you want to, with the stability of a office job. The only problem is that if you’re not in the office, your boss and coworkers might forget about you and the work you’re doing. It’s best to check in regularly and make sure no one forgets you work there!
Corporate study or self study
Programmers need to be very competitive as months go by. They need to learn new things, new language and new skill set. If you are working from home, all knowledge you can learn or will be aware of are from your own studies. You need to excel in your field. Otherwise, you will only get few opportunities. If you are not an expert in your field of programming language, there are resources you can try online but it will take time before you can use this in your service.
In comparison, companies often provide corporate training to their programmers or even send them to topnotch events like JAXDevOps. Attending to these kind of events is like a gold mine as the information will surely overload. You can even meet new people from other companies like Google or IBM.
Selling yourself is crucial for all jobs, whether you work from home or you happen to be based in an office. Before you get the job, you will have to convince your employer that you’re the guy. Regardless of how big or small the project will be, selling yourself to impress your employer always make the difference.
If you can’t sell yourself or you can’t prove you are the best candidate, you will probably not get the job no matter how qualified you are. Employers don’t just hire because of skills; they hire because you are uniquely suited to fill a position.
Satisfaction or accomplishment
Finishing a project is always an achievement no matter where you work. Employers like that. But if you’re working for a short-term gig, the story ends there. You might get another job down the line, but there’s no bonus or recognition beyond the final “well done, thanks” email.
Companies, on the other hand, are more likely to recognize worker’s achievements. A job well done can be parleyed into a bonus, a salary increase, or even a promotion. Either way, you should record your biggest accomplishments in your CV and keep them in mind for future job interviews.
These are some of the pros and cons of working as a freelance or with a company as a remote worker. Have I forgotten a key benefit? Tell me in the comments.