Tag Archives: freelancer

To freelance is divine!

Up until now, I’ve been quite selfish with Aerospace Nation, doing virtually all the writing.

Time to fix that.

One avid reader kindly volunteered to share his experience of freelancing (also called contracting). What a brilliant idea.

Jon Mercer isn’t an aerospace hack. He’s spend most of his working life in IT. While nursing a passion for flying machines. Of course. Doesn’t everybody?

But the story he’s about to tell could very easily be that of an aerospace techie. (The one exception being: While you might be able to get into IT armed with only a history degree and a willingness to hack, you can’t get into aerospace like that. The aerospace world is rather backward that way, to its detriment.)

What’s cool about Jon’s story is how he sort of fell into freelancing, and then discovered how much happier he was that way. That’s a theme that resonates. I can count on one hand the number of freelance people I’ve met who regret the switch from permanent employment. The vast, vast, vast majority of freelancers are happier, richer, and wish they’d made the jump earlier.

With a few exceptions, the language below belongs to Jon. Where I have added anything, it is italicized, in brackets, and prefaced by DK.

Read on!

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It was one day in the late 1990’s.

There I was, sat at my desk, when suddenly the voices around me fell silent.

Something was being passed from desk to desk. You could follow its progress from the red faces and embarrassed expressions.

Someone had brought a freelancing magazine into the office . . .

Backtrack to the mid 1990’s. I was temping after finishing a History degree and wondering what to do with myself.

Continue reading To freelance is divine!

Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – Freelancers, Clouds, Crowds, Open-Source, and Makers

A trend over the last 20 years is that of freelancers, or contractors, as they are also known. Knowledge workers who hire themselves out to companies temporarily.

In the 1980’s it was comparatively rare. You only went freelance if you:

  1. Were extraordinarily bold, and had no fear of being unemployed;
  2. Had a particularly high-value set of skills that were hard to find, and that companies were prepared to pay a premium for;
  3. Were approaching the end of your career, and had a great network of powerful contacts who were prepared to compensate you handsomely for some consulting (often business-development-related).

Continue reading Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – Freelancers, Clouds, Crowds, Open-Source, and Makers