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#1 apathybear7  Icon User is offline

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Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:19 PM

I've been doing freelance jobs for awhile now. I never worked for a big corporation, not because I wouldn't like it, but because I never went for it. Does anyone here, who has done both, have a preference? Any reasons why?

I can imagine a freelance job having more freedoms, but a Corp job having more security.

Thoughts?
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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:32 PM

I prefer to let others deal with the books, marketing, and sales.
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#3 apathybear7  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:33 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 19 March 2015 - 12:32 PM, said:

I prefer to let others deal with the books, marketing, and sales.


Mind me asking where you currently work?
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:34 PM

Yes, I do.
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#5 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:39 PM

like modi, I prefer letting others handle the annoying stuff. I did the freelance thing for years, but working for a corporation is far preferable to me. There's something to be said about having a steady, reliable paycheck without having to constantly worry about where your next job is going to come from, negotiate with lowballing asshats who half the time have no concept of what they're asking for, and whether the client is going to pay you after you've sunk a hundred hours into their project.
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#6 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:55 PM

Depends a lot on the company and the people you have to deal with every day.

I've had jobs where my boss was an ignorant asshole, my "coworkers" were clueless (mostly about just how clueless they were, and they liked to "prove" their superiority at length every time they did anything), and I was stuck in a loud, crowded room all day. That sucked. Freelancing is far far far more preferable than that.

On the other hand, I've also had jobs where the people were great (mostly because the realized they were clueless and were OK with that fact), the boss gave me room to work, and the atmosphere was chilled. That is a great place to work, far preferable over the uncertainty of the freelance life.
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#7 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 01:21 PM

I did the freelance racket for several years. I'm a sucker for a sob story about how/why someone can't pay their bill on time/in full/ever. Being a penniless freelancer, I understood the plight only too well and didn't have the stomach/brass cajones to drag people to court for non-payment. Hence, they didn't pay their bills, I couldn't pay my bills... shit got ugly.

I worked for a startup for a while and that was an absolute nightmare. 80+ hours/week for a $25k/year salary with no benefits will burn you out at lightspeed. And you still won't be able to get the bills paid.

Currently working in the government/education sector. Decent hours, decent wage, excellent benefits package, crazy amounts of paid time off, able to pay bills in-full and on-time, but surrounded by idiocy, bureaucracy, and asininity at every turn...and nobody understands what you do or the limitations thereof. They assume you are a ninja-code-wizard-diety and can accomplish absolutely anything in PHP with two hours notice.
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#8 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 01:22 PM

The corporation doesn't necessarily have to be big, my office only has about 20 people in it. But I still have full insurance, a 401k, a good salary, vacation days, all kinds of good stuff.
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#9 ybadragon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 01:32 PM

The corporation I work at has 80 people, and I get full insurance, 401k, decent salary(only been here a year), vacation days, not much PTO though.
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 19 March 2015 - 02:07 PM

View Postapathybear7, on 19 March 2015 - 03:19 PM, said:

who has done both, have a preference? Any reasons why?

I ran my own business for just over 10 years (was really small in the beginning), & I held small to large jobs on the side while doing it. It grew as large as 3 part-time employees bringing in under six figures, so very very small. If you still consider this to be freelancing (as that's how it started), I will do my best to provide insight. Also keep in mind how much technology has progressed in 10 years ;)

The benefits to Freelance :
Any day was payday.
Any day could be a day off.
I could work as hard or as light as I wished.
Any decision was end all my own.
Providing a product directly to the client, & seeing it make a difference was sometimes better than any payment. Sometimes. Not often.

The cons to Freelance :
Taxes ruled the day. It's not something you do by April 15th, it's something you do quarterly, monthly, weekly, & daily.
If a project missed the deadline, you're not getting paid. But that doesn't mean that bills can wait.
Balancing current projects with new clients. I was always chasing the next score to get future funding.
When you save the day you are everyones best friend. If you drop the ball, they never forget it & you are a bumbling idiot that doesn't have a clue what you are doing.
'Corporate/Business accounts' are generally many times more expensive. Internet isn't just $20 a month, it's $100+. Phones are not $10 a month, it's another $100.
Everyone expects that you have just a moment for some free advice. You're a professional that makes big money, you can't just tell me how to do this for free?
You have to sell yourself to every new client. It's like interviewing over & over & over again.

The benefits to Corporate :
Free coffee.
As long as I'm making project deadlines, I get to dick around on line.
Company complimentary fill in the blank. Meals, travel, whatever the day demands, sometimes you get a little extra for just being a team player.
Company parties.
Paid days off, paid time off.
Bonuses.
If I don't agree with the company, I can simply find another one that aligns with my desires.

The cons to Corporate :
Password policies.
I don't get to chose software. If the company thinks Windows is the new direction, I either adapt & learn or I move on.
Team member drama.
Missing deadlines when it's not your fault. There is nothing that you can do as another group held you up or didn't deliver, & everyone gets an earful. You're getting screamed at for getting your job done. If it's bad-enough that the client is lost, they company could go under, could downsize, or whatever.

View Postapathybear7, on 19 March 2015 - 03:19 PM, said:

I can imagine a freelance job having more freedoms, but a Corp job having more security.

Honestly, that about sums it up.

Though issues can come up, security can go either way. If you REALLY know what you are doing, & can both handle the technology & the personal aspect of selling yourself as a product, freelancing is the way to go. Having done it, it's out of my system, & corporate it is :)
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 20 March 2015 - 03:24 AM

Freelancing. Ok, let's call it what it is, being self employed, is just too much work. Or perhaps too much of the wrong kind of work. You can make more money in the up times, but when you factor in the down times and the amount of effort it takes to not have them, you might break even. Oh, and taxes, four times a year. Health insurance? Factor that in, you may not break even.

I enjoy programming. If I enjoyed being an accountant and running a business, then I'd enjoy freelancing. If I did decide to work independently, I'd pay people to do that work for me, but I'd still have to sweat the balance sheet.

Bottom line: doing what you like and having people pay you for it is really the best choice.
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#12 gibbie99  Icon User is offline

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Re: Freelancing vs Big Co, preferences?

Posted 24 March 2015 - 09:41 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 20 March 2015 - 03:24 AM, said:

Freelancing. Ok, let's call it what it is, being self employed, is just too much work. Or perhaps too much of the wrong kind of work. You can make more money in the up times, but when you factor in the down times and the amount of effort it takes to not have them, you might break even. Oh, and taxes, four times a year. Health insurance? Factor that in, you may not break even.

I enjoy programming. If I enjoyed being an accountant and running a business, then I'd enjoy freelancing. If I did decide to work independently, I'd pay people to do that work for me, but I'd still have to sweat the balance sheet.

Bottom line: doing what you like and having people pay you for it is really the best choice.


I was pretty miserable until I got an accountant. I make maybe 10k a year freelancing, and at first I paid myself a salary. It was such a huge mistake that I folded the corporation and created a new one to get out of the IRS and the other 5 agencies that wanted a piece of my salary. Nowadays I don't pay myself a salary, i pay a dividend if I make money but mostly I pay enough for rent, phone bill, internet bill, and computer equipment. At the end of the year I barely have enough to pay the accountant, and according to his wizardly I actually lost thousands of dollars, so I never pay the govt more than the registration fee. So, the nightmare has turned into "send me your yearly bank account statement and come by for your S corp forms and write me a check". So, i HIGHLY recommend finding a tax person and NOT paying yourself. You don't need to, and it's not a good idea. Plus you save all that money in taxes.
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