When it comes to fields that have excellent employment prospects, IT is pretty hard to beat. However, like some prospective IT engineers, you might already be considering a freelance lifestyle. Or, you may already be working for a company and considering the self-employed route. If either of these scenarios applies to you, it\’s worth considering what the self-employment options are for IT engineers.
Unfortunately, while it isn\’t impossible to go from your training to being a freelance IT engineer, it isn\’t the best way to do it either. If you want to broaden your business, you need to get some experience under your belt. This means working for a company.
While this may put a dampener on your immediate freelance dreams, try to consider the benefits. Not only do you get the chance to make connections, you\’ll gain training, experience, and guidance that you wouldn\’t otherwise get from a course. With more senior technicians and support teams around, you\’ll learn tricks of the trade that can accelerate a freelance career.
Type the words \’freelance IT engineer\’ into Google and you\’ll see plenty of sites featuring job opportunities crop up. A number of sites allow you to work on projects from a distance. This includes Elance, Odesk, People Per Hour, and Guru. Each of these sites operates a bidding system, whereby you see a job, give your price, and get working. Other sites include LinkedIn, Creative Circle, and Indeed. When you first start freelancing, you might feel as though you\’re swimming in a pool of sharks and missed opportunities. Many sites attract bids from people willing to offer scarily cheap prices. Don\’t be daunted by this, if a client knows what\’s good for their business, they\’ll pay a reasonable price for work that is effective. To weather the initial self-employment storm, consider working for an actual business as an IT engineer until you have enough work to justify quitting.
In addition to using the sites listed above, consider setting up your own website. You do work in IT, after all. Use this site to advertise locally and post your ad on the Yellow Pages online. Doing this is an effective way to attract clients who need you to go out and visit their business. While you\’re likely to be competing against agencies in your local area, you\’ll find that some clients prefer to work with a smaller business or freelancer so they stand a stronger chance of getting the same technician next time they need someone.
Sure, you can set your own schedule. However, you\’re also the person who\’s in charge of their tax and NI. You need to deal with your own admin, which means you may also find yourself working every day instead of just a few days a week. However, many people do find that working as a self-employed IT technician is to their benefit, especially in terms of finding a work-life balance.