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Thread: Freelancers/Work from homers - Advice wanted

  1. #1
    Premium Member Bumpkin's Avatar
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    Freelancers/Work from homers - Advice wanted

    Okay, I have worked for the Pointy Haired Boss one day too many. (I was going to call him Satan, but didn't want anyone to think I was working for Firegirl's ex).

    I know that many of those on the FORT are working under contract or working from home or telecommuting. I'm interested in serious discussions about how you managed that.

    Logistically, I can do 90% of my work from home, but cant get PHB on board with the concept. I have been approached by some of his competitors, but those are iffy outlets.

    My work is technical, but not as much so as, say John's. Primarily I write proposals for professional services contracts (RFPs, RFQs) and create presentations and provide presentation coaching.

    What types of work are most common for telecommuting/contract work? Do you find these occur of a full-time on site job you had originally and you worked it out with your employer to work off-site? Or did you find your work thru other venues?

    I'm just interested in hearing what other folks are doing. Feel free to PM or email me if you can't describe your own scenario publicly.

  2. #2
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    One of our members, not sure if she'll wish to identify herself or not, convinced her boss to try out 2 days a week working from home, and 3 days "at work". When that goes well for a couple of months, her boss will probably be a lot more receptive to a full-time telecommute.

    As for me, when I decided I needed to quit and become a consultant, I p***ed off my employer, so even though I gave them 2 months notice, and worked half-days for another 2 months while they dragged their feet on getting me a replacement to fully train, I couldn't use them as a reference even.

    Knowing what I do now, I would have prepared a LOT more for it, but still done it.

  3. #3
    mantenna for AI3! blindart's Avatar
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    I do a very small amount of free-lance work. Every bit of it I got through contacts - networking. Plan to spend up to half your time marketing yourself and "running the business" - sending invoices and such. PHB is evil to work for, but he probably does all the marketing for you, so don't underestimate the value of that. If you feel shy about marketing yourself (networking/schmoozing) you will have a very tough road ahead of you.

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    Premium Member Bumpkin's Avatar
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    John -- I'm afraid I'll be in your boat - no matter how gracefully I try to exit, I'll still be a bad guy.

    I have tried the 2 off, 3 on bit, and frankly, the PHB just likes being able to yell at me down the hall and have me snap to in his office within a few moments. He says I can't get anything done at home, what with the kids and all.

    Lots of factors playing into this - all of which make a long post and none of which I should go into publicly - but I know I have a unique skill set to offer, have a great track record, and feel like I should be able to parlay that into something that suits my situation better.

    I freelanced as a journalist for a couple of years - and while that is still an option - it's a hit or miss kind of thing. Very little security for the checking account.

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    mantenna for AI3! blindart's Avatar
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    omg this was supposed to be in the veggies thread!

    never mind!

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    Premium Member Bumpkin's Avatar
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    Blindart - you are too funny! I have no idea what that means!

    I do understand the networking part, tho...

  7. #7
    mantenna for AI3! blindart's Avatar
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    It means I just posted a big thing about brussel sprouts, then realised it and edited it as quick as I could.

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I tried doing all the networking crap, and I sucked at it. I currently do 100% of my work as an independent through brokers (or "Borkers" as they're known in the business). They find the business, and then put me to work at the company. I get paid by the borker (which is always a little "iffy", so do your homework), and rely on them to find me work. I've currently got one that I love, and they find plenty of work for me to do. But I've had some bad experiences, and borkers are NEVER good about returning phone calls, e-mails, or answering questions when it's not convenient for them.

    Never sign a contract that has more than a 1-year non-compete clause in it, and shoot for 6 months. Buy a couple of consulting books, and read them multiple times. Talk to friends who consult, they'll tell you all the pitfalls. Save up money so you can live for at least 6 months with NO income. I didn't do that, and it was really tough for a while.

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    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    Whatever you end up doing Bump, I have some words of advice for when you do work from home (as I do several days a week)

    Make lunch plans just as you would at work. Go out with a friend or have someone come over to take a break.

    At the end of you "day" leave the house. Run an errand like going to the grocery store or pharmacy....or just walk the dog around the block to make the day come to an official end.

    And change clothes even if you worked all day in sweats.
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
    Regarding editing reality TV: "You can't edit IN a bad personality." ("Cali"-11/02)
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