Back in september, I quit my job as a game programmer. I held this job for almost 3 years, the longest I have had any job.
I learned a lot from this job, and the colleagues where fantastic. I think I gained 5+ years of experience in those 3 years. But in the end I feel the company fell prey to the corporate bullshit monster, and I lost my good feeling about the job.
Then it just became a 50+ hours per week chore with a lot of pressure, and I quit in september of 2005.
I went on vacation to the states for 3 weeks with Anna and came back and started a job in the web business, working for a place that did web solutions for all kinds of clients, including some very high profile ones.
I have done web work since about 1996, so web is old hat to me.
I took the job with the hopes that their high profile clients would provide ample opportunity to do something new all the time. Unfortunately, as a business that creates a lot of websites with their own CMS, there was a high degree of easy, repetitive work.
One of my greatest weaknesses (which fortunately feeds some of my strengths) is my utter intolerance for easy, repetitive work, so I quit the job after 2 months.
I told them honestly that I was a shitty worker when the work is easy and boring, and that I didn’t want to waste their money. I also told them I would be going freelance and that they could call on me for some of the complicated work I knew they had lined up. They respected this and said they were likely to call upon my services.
The 1st of January, I was without formal employment.
I made a deal with my old boss from 5-6 jobs back, that his new company would hire me full time as a freelancer for a low price, in return for me having the freedom to scale back my hours in order to do other full price freelance work I might find.
This was a good deal for me; it secured a minimum income while giving me the option to take on other work. It was also a good deal for them, since they got me for well below my regular price.
I have always wondered how I would fare as a full time freelancer, and I soon found out.
I did nothing to find extra work, but pretty soon work started finding me.
In fact, it soon became so much that I felt I had to talk to the place I was spending the bulk of my time to give them the chance to renegotiate the deal.
It was a good thing I did, becase as it turns out we had two different views of our deal.
They thought it was that I would have the option to do the minimum amount of freelance work to get my income up to a decent level. I thought it was “any full price freelance work I might get”.
At the time when we made the agreement, there was no part of me that thought there would be a distinction, because I never imagined getting freelance work was so easy.
So we made a change to our arrangement; They could call on me for freelance work but I would stop being a part of their production pipeline, because my incessant time off (for other freelance work) was stalling their projects.
I count the people from this company as my friends, so I am very glad we came out of that as good friends with no hard feelings.
I went into it with full honesty, and so did they. Had my level of ambition been compatible with regular employment at this point in my life, I would have liked nothing better than to work with them.
This was about a month ago.
For the last month I have been doing freelance work on a couple of projects from home, and I have racked up a few solid clients. I have also had small jobs drop out of the sky along the way.
Current status is: Business is good. I regularly have to turn down work. The work I have pays well (even though I am cheap) and my steady clients could easily keep me well fed far longer than I even want the work.
My clients – both steady and small jobs – seem very happy.
I am enjoying myself and succeeding beyond my wildest expectations.
I am happier than I have been for a long time. For this and many other reasons.