Freelancing vs job

Do you think that more people get freelancing jobs after some hands on work at a real job or before getting a real job?

Some people say before and some people say you need to work somewhere before you freelance in order to gain knowledge.


Let’s say it never hurts to have job experience to get freelancing work. So mathematically I think it’s always going to be more opportunities when you have more experience.

But it’s definitely not a prerequisite. It also depends on what type of freelancing one is talking about. Volunteer projects are a great way to gain experience and grow you contact list/reputation. Also people who already have a deep network of people (non tech related) may have an easier type offering (certain types of) freelancing services than those that don’t.


Makes sense. I was looking at work on upwork, and it seemed like there were lots of knowledable people competing for jobs.

Is it normal for someone my age (20) who has been studying coding for around 6 months to expect to be able to find jobs on upwork. I’m guessing for things like Wordpress I could since I know it and it’s simple, but my goal is to niche in a more profitable niche since to me logically it seems Wordpress is not that profitable since it’s so easy. I could be wrong tho

What do you think?

I think at the 6-month mark it’s more return-on-the-money to keep doing projects that will sharpen your skills towards what you want to do (that includes fundamentals and soft skills).

Especially at 20 I think it’s better to invest in building skills, understanding, and contacts. If you get a small job that’s ok too (and there’s always the pragmatic issue of making ends meet).

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Im confused exactly at what your saying:

Are you saying work on my own projects or to work on upwork projects that will sharpen my skills?

Also how do you suggest building contacts? And why is this important

Also what do you mean return on the money?


what do you mean return on the money?

Basically how much you get back for your efforts. Basically I think studying properly right now will pay you more mid-to-long term.

how do you suggest building contacts? And why is this important

People that know you and how you work are key for freelancing. They can provide you with a passively provide you with references by virtue of the good work you put in with them. You can also get leads for opportunities (such as jobs, investments, etc.).

There’s many ways to build contacts, which is a topic too long for this post. My own philosophy towards it is to do it organically and honestly. Volunteer for work you believe in. The jobs you are involved in, no matter how mundane, try to bring your best self to them, etc… This builds your work “reputation” so to speak. It’s a very simplistic summary, but like I said, books can be written on the topic. It’s arguably not as crucial if you don’t want to freelance but I think it’s beneficial either way.

Are you saying work on my own projects or to work on upwork projects that will sharpen my skills?

Work on your own projects. If you do get something on upwork, great. But I would invest on learning much more in your position. (This is just my opinion though, you should try to find out if you know anyone who’s in tech to give you a more personalized take).

Ok, can you point me to somewhere where there is even more info on building contacts? It seems you know a lot and say books can be written about it.

Also where do you find places to volunteer coding for? Have any resources? I’ll look them up too. Is it possible to code for community service hours? I need to complete some.

And thanks for giving your own personal/professional opinion. I was thinking of hiring some professionals as quick mentors or advisors. Do you think this is smart? Any suggestions?

Also why do you think personal projects are better then upwork projects?


For networking you can probably find books or lectures if you search for stuff like “how to network”, etc. I just had to sit in a lot of conference/lectures about it so I never felt like buying a book, but it could have been useful.

You can look at this useful thread, I think he puts ideas for volunteering (Before you start looking for a job).
I’ve seen people put requests on reddit for volunteering, and I think on upwork you can offer services for $0 (I’m not saying I recommend this option, but some people like it).

I don’t think you need to pay a professional advisor. But you do have to be smart about keeping your ear to the ground and not taking bad advice. Maybe ask other people you know if they have any family members that work in tech and shoot them an email or give them a call…

As for the last bit, personal projects can help you focus on broadening your skill set and building fundamentals that you want. Hired projects are going to be hyper-focused and they might really wear you down if you don’t have everything under control already.

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Look into this, now they’re remote for the time being so you don’t have to be in NYC. I hear very good things about it from some very experienced people:

Read the website thoroughly, I think you could be a good fit. Most importantly it’s free and they don’t take money from you (even if they refer you successfully to an employer). If you do go through the program they do help you with resources into getting work (that’s how they’re funded).

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Ok thank you! Where exactly did you sit in lecture halls? Was it in college?

And that RC program looks really cool thanks for pointing it out I will def take a closer look

College, and just general non-profit lectures/conferences afterwards.

In the first five rows if the acoustics are interfered with air conditioning noise, else the top row against the wall to eliminate echo.

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The penultimate place to experience a play is from the follow-spot position. The acoustics are as dynamic as they come, and non-interfered since it’s well above the heads of the audience and largely bouncing off the ceiling. ‘Oliver’, ‘Romance/Romance’ and ‘Olympus On My Mind’ were for me extraordinary experiences from that perspective.

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It’s always better to have working experience before you freelance. Required, no. Better, yes. When you work at a company you’re learning new things every day, most of them you won’t learn working by yourself.

How to build contacts = How to network. This is like dating, you can’t just go anywhere and be “aggressive” with people, trying to push your services. You need to know how to talk to people, be diplomatic, charismatic.

Given all the questions you’re asking, I think you need guidance from a professional. I’m not saying you’re asking bad questions, I’m saying you seems to have a lot of ideas but no real path to follow. You’ll find some guidance and suggestions here, but I feel you’re not really getting true answers to all your questions. You’re not going to find answers in books, there might be a course out there that covers this but it sounds like you need someone talking to you, 1 on 1, giving you guidance. I don’t know who offers that kind of service.

I don’t mind giving opinions and suggestions, but I feel that for every answer you get you have 3 more questions. Simple answers don’t seem to be enough, I could be wrong but I think you want a step by step on what to do. That is very time consuming, and it needs to be tailored to your needs.


Ya I think you are right on the dot. I was thinking of hiring some professionals for advice. There are cheap services where you pay them monthly for advice. Maybe I can find someone who is already a freelancer to give me some tips.

Just popping in to say that this is an amazing resource, thank you for posting it!


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