The hidden pitfalls of going freelance in IT

Independence has its upsides and downsides. IT pros lend firsthand advice on the challenges of going solo.

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The life of an independent IT contractor sounds attractive enough: the freedom to choose clients, the freedom to set your schedule, and the freedom to set your pay rate while banging out code on the beach.

But all of this freedom comes at a cost. Sure, heady times for some skill sets may make IT freelancing a seller’s market, but striking out on your own comes with hurdles. The more you’re aware of the challenges and what you need to do to address them, the better your chance of success as an IT freelancer.

We talked with a number of current and former IT freelancers to get their take on the hidden troubles of going solo. Here’s what they said and how to make the best of the downsides of freedom.

Selling yourself from afar

You can’t get a gig without the client signing off, and often getting key stakeholders to accept you as a valued partner can be challenging -- especially when the work is remote.

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