Everyone has thought about being their own boss at one point. What's better than setting your own hours and having the creative freedom to do with your business what you want? Or perhaps, you aren't ready to be your own boss yet, but you are bored with your job and want to be on the ground floor of something new and innovating. I took a job at Gun.io for that exact reason: I was tired of working jobs that were boring and doing the same thing another business was doing, just under a different name and logo. Mong Truong, a friend of the Frontier Podcast and no stranger to startups, is a many-time founder and gives us the lowdown on how to choose an engagement that is right-sized for you.
Know What You're Getting Into
Depending on where you are in your life, your career aspirations will differ. Your career goals may be completely different now than they will be in 10 years. Either way, career changes, big or small, can affect many aspects of your life and need to be well thought out and planned.
If startups were 100% awesome, everyone would do it, but there's a downside to everything. In joining or leading a startup you have to gamble the uncertainty of income, long hours and a fast paced work environment that can become overwhelming. If you are someone that thrives in a fast environment with quick changes then perhaps a startup is for you.
Software startups can be hit-or-miss and a lot of factors will affect their success rate. At the end of the day the reason why you do it should be most important.
MONG: The main driving force, at least, for me was the ability to work on something that you love and create and to have a voice in that. You can steer the direction of where things are going.
Consulting is another way to navigate your career change if you plan to have stability and a more regular source of income. You can be put onto the payroll and have set tasks inside a company while also keeping some control over your time.
Your knowledge, skills, and experience are valuable and are used to transform and model changes inside a company.
MONG: If you become a consultant, you work for a large firm, they have their sales people and you just make sure that you come in; you do the right thing; the client loves you; you get staffed on different projects.
Knowing What’s Right for You
Freelancing sits in between the true startup path and the consulting job and can be a great alternative to starting your own business if you still want the freedom to manage your own schedule and be self-employed.
MONG: With a freelancer, I think it's a little bit in between where you do sort of a consulting gig but you're more responsible in terms of finding the next projects that you'll be working on.
Why not work on great projects and product development assignments that can provide you with software engineering projects that you are passionate about? You also don't gamble financial security as you would with a startup; for example, some of our top developers have been with us upwards of 2 years.
If you're an engineer, becoming a Professional Freelancer with Gun.io just might be what’s right for you. Our Professional Freelancers enjoy the excitement of building groundbreaking products on passionate teams, with the stability of working with an established company.