Friday, September 18, 2009

Freelancing for IT Professionals

Information and technology has seen a lot of changes in the recent years. There are all types of companies; big and small who hire professionals to work for them. The companies have started looking for people who can provide services to them at low prices. This increases the availability of freelancing jobs in the industry. If a programmer or software specialist has some extra time that he can devote to doing freelancing projects, he can earn good amount of extra income. The buyers too would get the value for their money as they get people who work for them and charge less as compared to the regular employees.

Types of freelance jobs available

There are a number of freelance jobs that the people in the information and technology field can take up. Some of the jobs can relate to development of new projects while others may include enhancing the existing source code. It is up to the freelancer to choose the medium. The best and the obvious choice today is the web. Google comes up with hundreds of search results when you simply search for the freelancing jobs in your field. A person who wishes to do some freelancing projects will have to choose an employer who has a lot of projects to choose from and makes the payment on a regular basis. Secure payment options are a must for such jobs.

How to start a career in freelancing?
To successfully start a freelancing career, you may have to register yourself with a freelancing site. You can then search for the projects and find the project that you wish to work for or which is related to your field. You have to make sure that you follow the rules of the website. You will have to place the bid for the project and the buyer will then analyze the bids and allot the project to the best one. After you have won the bid, you can start working on the project. You have to make sure that you complete the project on time and if there is a delay, you should keep your buyer informed.

Why to take up these jobs?
The freelancing jobs come with their own pros and cons. The best thing about such jobs is that you get to be your own boss. Freelancers have more control over their work and they can work any time of the day as there is no office and set working hours. But sometimes the clients can be a bit demanding. Secondly, you get better money and will have to work for fewer hours. You can freelance full time and get great money for yourself. You can set the per hour money for your work. You can work on a lot of projects and this can be a creative job that satisfies your creative instincts. You will be able to choose what you want to do and can work from anywhere.

Why not to take up these jobs?
Along with the benefits come the disadvantages. The first thing is that you get to do less of what you actually want to do. You do work that you enjoy, but the amount of work is less. Secondly, you will have to manage yourself. You have to complete the projects on time and any delay may even rip you off the project. You have the responsibility and you cannot shirk it off. Also, there is no security as this is not a permanent job and there is no agreement. You do not get the benefits that the employees of a company get.

If you are looking forward to a career in freelancing, consider all these points to take a firm decision. Search for freelance jobs here.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Work and Life balance: Is it possible today?

For a break, Nick* opens his facebook page and types, “Still at work, badly in need of a coffee.’ It’s 12:00 a.m. and workaholic Nick is still in the office. Only Nick has a family which includes two kids who see very little of their father. Work and life balance is easy to achieve; so Nick knows but hasn’t managed yet in his life.

Nick is not alone; it’s not unusual for people to stay back at work each day. Here, it isn’t much about the pay but rather an urge to achieve perfection at work, dedication, eye for promotion and/or sheer habit. And when these people get holidays they carry their laptops and iPhones with them, checking their mailbox every half hour. This, however, happens even when the office doesn’t require the employee to ‘be available’ for work.

In reality, is a balance between work and personal life possible? The answer is in the affirmative. Check out these doable measures:

Do some planning:

Prioritise your work. Make a list of things/tasks to do on a day. Planning takes just a few minutes but saves unnecessary tasks and worries. Once you learn to do proper planning, say getting up an hour early, you’ll notice that you have more time to spend. In fact, planning followed by action-limiting internet and television time-will in itself help you achieve balance between work and life.

Learn to say ‘no’

When your colleagues know that you are a ‘finisher’ they may throw some of their pending works at you. Until now you were the good guy ever willing to accept the load, but at what cost? So, don’t hesitate to say a polite ‘no’. A classic line you could follow is ‘I’d love to but...’

Have a meal with your family

Food consumption is a social activity which fosters bond among people. Try having at least one meal together as a family, be it breakfast or lunch.

Flexible shifts

Today, it’s not necessary to be physically present at the work place to work. Thanks to technological advances, you can work from home using a remote computer. Few hours at the office and few at home is one of the best ways to get close to your family. To top it all, you get to be happy and active with good bye to stress. Muster courage and ask your manager if flexible shift is possible.

Say adieu to workaholism

If you are the person who puts work before anything in life, then appreciate yourself. The world needs people like you, but define your boundaries. Dedicate yourself to your job and leave work at the office. The office, like or not, will go on even without you. Hence, resist the temptation to stay back every day.

Safeguard your social life

When you submitted your resume, you never knew that your Manger would use all the means you listed (mobile/landline/chat/mail/your friends) to locate you. Subsequently, are you being summoned at unearthly hours or during holidays to your office, then time to have a chat with the Manager. Tell him your unwillingness to be ‘at sight’ every time. If your office continues to disrespect you, time to look around for another job.

*Nick is imaginary, but you'll find him in any office

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