Monday, June 16, 2008

In Need of Advice Again

I just received an offer from Heritage Freelance a rather large and growing Web Solutions company based in Utah to work as a full-time freelance designer for them from the comfort of my home in Ohio.

The kicker? I work for the Government right now. It's steady income. I know how much I'll get paid every two weeks, and there's little to no chance of being canned unless I violate the privacy laws. But it's not what I love to do.

There are two (realistic) things in this world I can imagine myself being truly happy doing: Web Design and Community Management. The latter I'm slowly working towards. The former is right there, ready for the picking. I have my degree. I believe that I have talent. I just don't have the job.

This chance, is a great one. But it's also shaky. There's no set amount of work, though they say there's a steady inflow as they've needed to hire on 150 new contracted designers a week as of late. But my pay comes on a per job basis. So my paychecks will vary depending on how much work I do. And at any given time, the work could run dry right? I could suddenly find myself without pay if that happened.

So it's a great set up. Working at home, doing what I want, and when I want... but it's not guaranteed income like my current (but undesirable) position.

Help me fellow bloggers, especially those with experience in the workforce. What should I be asking this company, and what are your thoughts in general?


Tim said...

Seems sketchy to me. And looking over their PHP "test" it's very low level. With only their payment scale at 20% of a project cost, I would not leave my current job for this one. Who knows how much a project is?

I realize their design payment scale is more concrete, but as you said it's still based on an unknown quantity of work.

Personally, I'm risk averse when it comes to income. I would not leave a steady job for an uncertain one. Maybe when I was single to break into the field. But with two kids? No way.

Silo said...

Doing what you love to do and getting paid to do is very tempting. Unfortunately, life and responsibility (read debt, family, etc) makes the decision that much more difficult. If only these things would come along when we have fewer burdens! Two things to consider: 1) do you have somewhere to land if you fall: family, friends, etc; 2) are the people closest to you behind you 100% whatever your decision?

Good luck.

Openedge1 said...

Due to the current economy, I would question many changes to lifestyle at this point.
When I decided to "Freelance", economy was strong, gas a buck fifty, wife was doing well (this is a decider as well...backup income), and I was making a name for myself in my community...
I took the chance based on "several" contracts and not relying on one.

So, do you have anyone else to fall back on? Do you have children? Do you have a stash...some cash socked away..?

Answer these, then lets talk...


Silo said...

Sorry, I thought of one additional big thing to consider(coming from a married father of three)...benefits. Working on contract means you probably wont have any type of medical insurance, retirement, etc.

Bildo said...

Thanks guys, it's definitely a scary proposition.

I have no kids (yet), but I have a mortgage and the usual college tuition to pay back, among other normal bills. We're fairly comfortable right now where we are financially with 2 solid government careers.

My wife also being in the gov and being happy there and moving up steadily means benefits aren't a worry for me... except for retirement. That's the one I'd still need.

Also, the government is boring... it's not what I want in life, but it's steady. It pays decent. It's not going to be pulled out from under me at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps what I'll do is take the Heritage job a part time basis as they also have those available. Do the 1 basic site a week that they require and see how steady and stable this place really is.

If it seems good after a month or two, maybe then I'll think again about going full-time freelance.

At the very least it'll help keep my skills up to par.

Tim said...

That sounds like a win/win to me. If they seem legit and the work is steady, it could be great.

Bildo, is your work in the government related to web at all? Do you dislike it because of the work, or because of the environment?

Thallian said...

yeah I think you have the right idea Bildo.. exercise extreme caution with that one.

Brendon said...

I would be very careful. I don't think leaving the government right now is a good idea unless you find a better paying job with better benefits than your current job. This being said, I am leaving my government job for a less stable job because my wife got a government job and relocated to a nicer place. I will be following her soon but I do not like the idea of leaving my "stable" government job. Sorry about the long post. :)

Kristoffer Drageset said...
This comment has been removed by the author.