Want to jump ship and be a software development consultant? This post will detail why this path is a much more fulfilling and safer path than a traditional job.
After interviewing quite a few developers in the consulting space, I quickly realized that this is a very common story. If you work for a company, they can usually let you go at any time for any reason. Given that this is your sole source of income, you are now in an extremely risky situation.
Contrast this with being an independent consultant. Most likely, if you are consulting you have 1 or more clients. In addition to that, you have some sort of pipeline set up. So when you lose a client, you simply pull another from your pool.
Working for a traditional company, you would be hard pressed to command this salary even after having 10+ years of experience. I’m not joking, kids who learned to code on Udemy in 6 months were making this while I had a salary cap of around $100K.
In addition to limiting safety risk, not having to commute has financial advantages. Since going independent, my family has cut down our need to a single vehicle saving us money on car payments, maintenance, gasoline, insurance, and most importantly time.
I typically like working in my shipping container office (post on that in the future) or wherever my wife has chosen to take the kids on a field trip that week.
As a consultant, you have 100% control over your time. This allows you to live life more on your terms. If you enjoy staying up late and hacking until 3am, you can then enjoy sleeping in until 11.
My wife and I currently homeschool our kids. So when we want to take a trip, it’s literally a matter of leaving our house. We don’t have to ask for time off, we don’t have to plan around other people. We can quite literally drop everything and head to Disney World during the “deadest” parts of the year and enjoy doing things while others are “working”.
I have found this level of flexibility has greatly improved my quality of life.
"So, Peter, what's happening? Aahh, now, are you going to go ahead and have those TPS reports for us this afternoon?" - Bill LumberI never want to have a "boss" again. It's true. I hate the thought of someone constantly breathing down my neck watching my every move. I also can't stand the idea of someone giving me a "performance report".
When you become a consultant, it should be obvious, but you are the boss. Early on, I would make the joke when my wife asked me to go on a random adventure “Let me check with my boss”. Hilarious right?
I find my level of quality goes up with my level of comfort. It never made sense to me why companies preferred “business casual” over “sleep professional”. Seems like millions in lost revenue.