Freelancer Web Dev by night?

My job I currently have I relatively enjoy. There’s a lot of pros and like with any job there is the feeling of being trapped in a tightly woven blanket of security with a retirement and pension on the horizon.

My question is: is there any way to become a freelancer front end developer to boost my income and learn a new trade while also hedging against the fear of putting all my eggs in one “pension basket”?

In other words can I work when I want and how I want as a front end, or back end, web dev given I work as needed whenever a project comes around?

To be even more specific I work seasonally and love my off time but have picked up odd jobs to fill in gaps. Looking to have those gaps being filled with something more than another labor job, or whatnot, but not be tied to a company full time. So when the time comes for me to go back to my “Day Job” there’s really no issue.

Upwork.com and Freelancer.com are pretty much what you’re looking for. Note that it can be difficult to get started on these though, especially since a lot of employers tend to be stingy and are looking for “cheap” freelancers. They’re also very competitive.

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Yes there is, but

You don’t get this much freedom freelancing most of the time.

If your freelancing you still have to deal with clients, meet their deadlines, and make it worth your time. Its a lot of work by itself as it still work, to the point your technically more running your own business than doing what you want when, you want, how you want. You do get to “shop” what jobs you can/want to do but as said above, it can get competitive.

So yes its possible, but it isn’t easy. This also assumes you can perform the jobs in the first place without any trouble.

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Sure. There are lots of threads on the forums about becoming a freelancer.

But it involves running a business, and as @bradtaniguchi says, assumes you can already do the job, and you seem to imply you want to do it whilst learning as a way to get extra money. Replace “developer” with “plumber” or “electrician” or “accountant” or “consultant” or whatever. It’s not generally feasible to get work as a beginner – eg if you hired a plumber to fix something, and they turned up and said “oh by the way I’m just learning”, that’s not going to go down well.

Yes, if you have lots of clients and you are in a position to turn them down. YMMV, but this generally isn’t the case, you don’t get to work when you want.

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Thanks for the honesty. Guess I got my work cut out for me since I am no where near having enough knowledge of these languages to market myself as such.

Maybe after learning, getting my first job and sticking out my first few years I’ll revisit.

Just was projecting a little and don’t post on here really at all. Thanks for the feeback.

It’s not impossible by any means – there are a huge number of people freelancing. It’s just not easy. By all means go for it, but be realistic in expectations. The freelance markets mentioned are worth looking at, even if only for experience (this is definitely worthwhile) and getting work is certainly feasible (though note they are a race to the bottom in terms of pricing for tasks requiring common skills).

Programs are just a tool, so if you can find something people need or want, it doesn’t matter so much what level of experience you’re at as long as you can deliver.

However (though I’m biased by seeing this on the forums a lot), there does seem to be a fairly common idea that very basic skills w/r/t front-end [web browser GUI] programming are a ticket to a freelance income. In isolation they aren’t, not really – there are a few people who manage it (often by luck or sales ability or situation), but in general these aren’t on their own hugely useful skills.

It is correct in one respect: because the product isn’t a physical thing and requires very little in the way of equipment, overhead is very low. But the same rules apply as with all job sectors. Below entry level skills generally translate to below entry level income (if any). Freelancing means you are running a business: you are selling a product – who is going to buy it?

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I like this perspective.