Freelancing for SQL Server Professionals
What is a SQL Server professional to do? Let's face it. At one point in our lives, we will either lose a job or quit due to personal reasons. In between finding a new job, waiting for unemployment insurance should not be the last resort to earning a monthly income. As a hard-working professional in the workforce, the options to feed a family while unemployed is limited. What are the options? Applying for unemployment or waiting for months until finding a new job?
As a freelancer, I have weathered the storm of the economy. Often working in industries where employment is lacking due to external factors that can't be changed. This article is a helpful guide if you experience challenges along with a career. It can help with searching for a viable way to remain productive while waiting for a new job.
As of September 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States is 3.9%. As a freelancer, this article is for the unemployed searching for a viable way to remain productive while waiting for a new job.
SQL Server Freelance Rates
Freelance SQL professionals can make between $50 - $300 an hour. It is wise to turn the business into a product or service to earn a passive income without physically working to make money.
A freelancer works between 8 – 10 hours a day. You can work from home, but clients are the 'boss.' It is a freelancer's job to complete invoices, self-market, run social media platforms and attend networking events to attract prospective clients. And of course, meet other developers in the industry such as:
- Freelance websites, interacting on social media, and calling potential clients is the norm
- Personal branding online and offline will help to build a following which in turn results in new clients
Freelancing requires hard work, discipline, and a creative mind. The business needs to be nurtured by delivering work that clients need. Therefore, it is essential to keep in touch with clients to understand what they need and deliver it in a way a competitor cannot.
Develop a High in Demand Product
The goal is to work less and earn more. It is a way to retire to no longer work long hours most freelancers work. A list of streams to earn a passive income is listed below:
- eBook, audiobook, or book on programming
- Blog posts with advertisement selling a product
- Selling merchandise (i.e., retail clothing)
- Develop a brand-new app
Be creative and research passive income streams. It is a strategy to planning for retirement to continue to earn money as you sleep at night.
What to Expect
A freelance lifestyle can be met with challenges in the beginning. The best way to avoid common mistakes is to take heed to the points listed below.
Volume of Work
Most new SQL freelancers are disappointed when a project ends without new assignments to continue. As a rule of thumb, avoid depending on one or two clients. It can be prevented by asking at the beginning of the project is the project short or long term.
Daily marketing of your product or service is essential to prevent a shortage of work. Marketing can include email blasts to previous clients, social media posts, and online advertisements.
Fear of Negotiating
Negotiating with a new client can be considered an act of challenging a new client. When in reality, you have the right to ask for a rate that is common to freelancers in the industry if you worked as a software developer for the past 5 – 10 years in the corporate world.
The worst that can happen is a prospect says "no." Research rates of other freelancers in your area and request the rate to be the same. Most importantly, ensure the quality of the work is as high as the rate.
The Freelance Economy
A professional with at least five years of experience can transition into an independent contractor. The alternative is to start a casual or part-time freelance business. While it can offset Unemployment Insurance (UI), it can add additional work experience one is unable to gain in the workforce. Here is an example how freelance work can add to work experience:
As a freelancer, you work by yourself. In most cases, a CEO, President or employee at a company communicates with a freelancer to set expectations for an assignment.
In contrast, some entities like a small business or startup depend on a freelancer for creative consultation. It is a prime example to use delegation, negotiation and leadership skills to include on a resume to get back to work.
Learn Personal Branding
Most millennials use a smartphone to capture personal moments to draw an audience on social media. Content continues to be king in the world of self-promotion. Content marketing equals customer service.
Investing in university courses in marketing or online courses is not necessary. It is all about vulnerability. An unemployed person can use their story to inspire people to start a freelance or at home business.
Personal branding to find new customers can be used in the workplace when a person finds a new job. Whether you work in management or a customer facing job, personal branding is essential to be successful.
A Way to Stay Motivated
What is better than starting a hobby while unemployed? In a job transition remaining uplifted happens while staying busy. Whether a freelance opportunity earns an income or is slow to start, it is an activity to avoid depression.
Freelance Tax Risks
The risk of freelancing is not deducting the right amount of earnings to set aside for taxes. Most freelancers are required to pay taxes on earnings; it will depend on your local government taxes. I recommend contacting an accountant in your local area to find out the amount of taxes to deduct to ensure it is the correct amount.
A blessing to freelancing is it can be the reason a person decides to leave the workforce permanently. According to a Workopolis article, "It takes 16 weeks to get a new job." Imagine four months of interviews without a job offer or no interview at all. I can recall speaking to a friend that shared a story of her best friend being out of work for 16 months. I was appalled. If I had known the individual personally, freelancing would be the first idea presented.
Unemployment is a challenging experience. Some will advise people out of work to volunteer. It can be another activity to help the community and network. Alternatively, freelancing can help one earn a steady income and new work-related skills that can be applied in a new job.
A list of recommendations to be successful in a role on the list is below:
- Speak to a freelancer or read blogs about the real-life experience
- Identify your target audience and the products or services to offer potential clients
- Outsource work that includes administrative, invoicing or marketing to spend more time on assignments
- Increase the chance to retire by reviewing passive income options to work less and earn more
What are your thoughts? Do you recommend freelancing while unemployed?
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