Should You Work for a Corporation, a Tech Startup—or Freelance?
The constant drone of employment advice from everyone—from your parents to complete strangers on the Internet—can certainly be a little overwhelming (and contradictory, as I’ll point out later). On the bright side, there is a plethora of IT and software jobs out there to be had. Depending on what part of the country you live in, those with tech backgrounds, or even just tech skills, can seemingly have their pick of the jobs these days.
For those who know they want to work in software development, testing and QA, mobile apps, the cloud, etc., the big question is What type of company do you want to work for? Many people aren’t so lucky as to even get to choose where to work, so, nice going on choosing such a hot career. Pat yourself on the back.
For many who are fresh out of college, the appeal of not having to throw out their entire cherished wardrobe of hoodie sweatshirts and baggy jeans will drive them straight into one of the countless tech startups. Depending on whom you ask, that could be a smart idea. Fast Company actually gives eight reasons why you should work for a startup, and of course one of those reasons is the aforementioned ability to wear jeans at work.
Not so fast. Don’t fill out that employment application just yet.
Not one month after the Fast Company piece was posted, ReadWriteWeb published their biting retort, “5 Reasons Working For a Hot Startup Isn’t As Cool As You Think.” In defense of Fast Company’s piece, RWW’s reasons are a little sweeping and could stand to be a bit more factual—something a bit more convincing and less pigeonholing than “The pay sucks” and “The hours are long.”
Just as we shouldn’t be limited to only two political parties, neither should we be limited to the confines of the startup and corporate world. What about working for yourself?
The speed of today's software development projects allows for a wide range of freelancing opportunities for developers and testers alike. The hours may be long (aren’t they long everywhere outside of working for the government?), but the pay can be fantastic, depending on what types of projects you land.
WNYC’s Manoush Zomorodi recently attended SXSW and interviewed two freelancers who’ve not only made it on their own but sound like they’re having a blast doing it.
Care to join me in the evergrowing list of strangers giving career advice online? Have a great piece of advice for those looking for work? Make your voice heard in the comments section below!