My sabbatical year ends in one months. During 10 months it was clear to me I would return as an employee, possibly in a 4/5 regime. But february has brought some opportunities to go full-time freelance. So I'm evaluating the possibility this right now.... It would have been easier if I had had these opportunities one year ago, but here I am now with all those questions....
It's not an easy decision. First impact is the salary of course. Will I be able to get enough contracts to survive? I'm not looking to get rich, but a minimum income is necessary of course. And some costs will be added compared to my employee's situation: car, internet connection, mobile phone, servers housing. All these items will cost more if I go freelance. There'll be some "marketing costs' too, in addition to insurance, social security, etc, etc...
On the other hand, if I get lots of contracts, will I still have the time to live a life?
Also, how will I profile myself to prospects? Web developer, database administrator, system administrator, project manager? I love learning new things, so would there be a market if I want to take projects in a domain I don't know yet, but where the customer doesn't find anyone?
And what are the type of contracts that a freelance can get? I'd prefer to not go work 6 months full-time for a customer in a team of 20 developers, but would rather work on smaller-scale and short projects. Isn't that a wrong approach for a freelancer? Won't that approach put me in a market of small companies that don't have the money to invest in such projects?
Another question: during my sabbatical period, I worked quite a lot, but from home, and organising my time as I wanted. Will it still be possible as a freelance? And will I still have the opportunity to put enough time in those projects?
As you see, it's a lot of questions. If you're working as freelance, and you want to share your experience, I'll be happy to read your comments or your mails (sent to rb at raphinou dot com).