My first month as a freelancer

— 3 minute read

After a brutal period of looking for a new permanent role earlier in the year, I decided to make the leap into freelance. This was near-enough a month ago, so I thought I'd talk about what's happened, what's going to happen and how things have gone.

A perfect start permalink

I got an opportunity to steal a client (all above board) from my previous employers, No Divide which gave me the cushion to go for freelance, full-time. I get on really well with the folks at Scott's Bass Lessons and will continue to work with them, long-term. Working with them has provided some much needed stability because it wasn't the ideal time to start as a freelancer, with a 6 week old baby!

With those folks, I'm working on something I really enjoy working on: a brand new design system. With their design system, I'm helping them to roll a completely new look and feel out over their vast, existing platform. The first part of this work will go live in December when we launch their brand new homepage. This design system is also enabling their team to better visualise the available design assets, so they can make consistent and informed decisions. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this will pan out, long-term.

This contract has brought some long term stability, which has enabled me to not panic and snatch at any project that is available. It means I can cherry-pick projects that appeal to me, which is super empowering. It's also enabling me to work with people and organisations that I truly admire.

This is just the start permalink

I'm only a month in and that month has been incredibly busy. This is mainly down to doing a lot of client work, but also meetings—lots and lots and lots of meetings. I've been a bit too open with booking in meetings, of which most have been a complete waste of time. From now on, I won't have a meeting until I know:

  • What the project budget is
  • What the deadline is
  • If the company in question has shady links that are at odds with my own ethical standards

I know I'm in a very privileged position to be operating like that, but it's important that I make the most of my time.

I'm also not moaning about meetings because on one of those occasions, I spoke with someone who works on an incredible project that will help more women get into code. I very much look forward to helping them out in the future.

Wrapping up permalink

This is only a little post to note down how my first month as a freelancer has gone and how I see it panning out in the future. I'm just about to embark on a tonne of work for a very exciting new client who I've been a big fan of for a lot of years. To say I'm excited would be a massive understatment.

I'll finish up by recommending that if you are thinking about going freelance, or are already freelance, you read this post by my pal, Ben Howdle. It's incredibly pragmatic and has already gotten me through a few wobbles.

If you want to work with me, I'm taking bookings for Q2 2019, so get in touch 🚀

Hi 👋, I’m Andy — an educator and web designer

I produce front-end development tutorials over at Front-End Challenges Club and Piccalilli. You can sign up for updates on Piccalilli to stay up to date with its progress.

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