A guest post from Esteban M. Valeri, an information system engineer living and working in Argentina
When I received the invitation to be a guest blogger for BrainLeaf I felt honored, since it meant my work experience could benefit a readers of this blog from all over the world, not only in my office or even my hometown.
So I began to think about the other benefits my work experience. I asked myself a question: is everything nice and good working in IT? Of course my answer was NO. To further explain to myself — much less to my audience — what was good or bad about working in IT, I needed to make a list of Pros and Cons.
The Pros of Working in IT
At the top of the list, we should have the knowledge shared around all the web, working in both ways, you can use it and you can give it. There is nothing more satisfying than learning how somebody used your material to fix an issue in his company. Likewise, when you are stuck in a bind, it’s nice to able to turn to this ever-expanding library of information and how to address your particular problem.
And another pro for the freelancer about money: If you became good enough, you can name your price. If you have a day job, you probably have some opportunity for promotions and raises, but as a freelancer you dictate everything, potentially increasing your salary by 30 or even 60 percent if you can make the right sale.
The Cons of Working in IT
Not everything is so rosy. One big disadvantage of being a freelancer in IT is the inconsistent or perpetually late paycheck. When you work as an employee, paychecks generally come every two weeks or once a month without question. But as a freelancer, the paycheck you receive is based on 1) how many hours you worked for that client (if you’re on hourly billing), 2) when you sent out an invoice, 3) what your contract says about payments and 4) whether you delivered the results you said you would.
As a beginner freelancer, you cannot expect to earn all the money you ever dreamed of right off the bat. It takes time (years, even) to create a name for you or your company. It will be a long and hard road, full of mistakes and frustration. But when you finally reach the status, you will make a solid profit doing what you love.
Conclusion: Keys to Being Successful in IT
To become successful in the business of IT. You will need to dedicate a lot of time reading about other’s experiences. And don´t look only for their greatest hits. Review their failures: that is where you will find the key that unlocks their success today.
Patience is a central tenet of growing a smart, profitable business. It takes time to become an expert in a subject. It takes even more time to be successful in that area.
There are a number of Pros and Cons I haven’t even touched on when you work in freelance IT. Many of those lessons you will learn in the process (the best way to learn anything, you know?). The important takeaway I want you to have is that the most successful freelancers are always learning, always sharing what they’ve learned. You will be startled at the impact you can have on someone’s life simply by telling your own story.
Esteban M. Valeri was born in Armstrong, Argentina in January, 1986. He graduated with a degree in Information System Engineering. He currently works at General Motors in Rosario, Argentina. He believes that sharing knowledge is crucial for the development of professional careers and personal life.
You can find him on twitter as: @e_valeri