Author Topic: Does this make sense or am I being silly??  (Read 5554 times)

Sebastian

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Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:18:58 AM »
I would really like to get into a new career field. Specifically, I'd like to get into web app development or web design. After going through a post on ERE's site and learning about the idea of being a free lance developer that is something I am really wanting to get after.

The reason behind this is because my lady and I are sick of where we live, and we want to sell our stuff (save a couple items like a laptop) and move into a cheap RV or big conversion van to start traveling the country. We figured this would be the best way to really go out there and see where we'd like to settle down to start a family.

Currently, I work in a shitty sales job working 50 hours a week if you include lunches... which I do because I'm still here at work. So I really don't have a ton of time to get anything done outside of work! It's driving me nuts. I wake up at 5AM get on my computer and start learning to code, but then I go to work at 7am and get home at 530pm. Usually I can get a little more time to practice coding, but never enough time to make big breakthroughs.

I have at least 6 months worth of eff you money. I don't need much money to live to begin with.. I could get by on 1000/month, and that's for both the lady and myself. Well... give or take a few hundred for her because of student loans. Either way, I was thinking that web dev is the career choice I truly want to get into and I know I can do it! It's just such a slow process right now, and the only way to truly get after something is to take massive action right?

I'm thinking of quitting my current job and picking up a server job part time. I could probably pull in about 1000/month doing that and maybe some random side gigs with my friends. Then I'd have twice as much free time that would allow me to really get after learning all this stuff. CSS JS PHP RUBY etc. Then I could get out there on odesk or one of the other sites and start building a portfolio.

What do you guys think of this? Is it a silly idea? I mean I'm not making that much money as it is right now and I'm constantly getting screwed over at my current job. I hate it and don't want to be here. To me it makes sense to take two steps back and start over again to get in this career.

Also, my experience with coding is very limited. I just started about 6 months ago, but I have the mind for it. I think with a lot of practice I could become very proficient. I've been in sales all my life so as long as I gain the skill set I'd have no problem networking around to find gigs. That's all I do at my current job now. I'm not scarred of cold calling or asking tough questions.

Give me the "yes go and fucking do this!" push that I need to do it! Unless of course you guys think this is silly :)


tl;dr - I hate my job i wanna quit and get a part time gig so i can learn to code and become a freelance web developer. This way my lady and I could move into an RV and travel the country to see where we'd really like to settle down and I could still work on the road. Would it be dumb to do something like this?

arebelspy

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 10:51:16 AM »
What's your lady think about everything?

How much are you saving each month?

How long would you be a server until you pulled the plug and switched to traveling?

What's your fallback plan if you can't be profitable coding?
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Gimesalot

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 10:52:06 AM »
You can take my advice with a grain of salt because I don't know how to code, develop apps, or even freelance doing anything. 

My only concern would be the ability to get freelance work of any type, if you are traveling a lot.  I would think that you need to lay down roots and meet people.  Then you could establish yourself.  Am I right?  I am not sure.

Do you know of any internet resources for finding good paying freelance work?

Sebastian

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 11:18:03 AM »
What's your lady think about everything?

How much are you saving each month?

How long would you be a server until you pulled the plug and switched to traveling?

What's your fallback plan if you can't be profitable coding?

She's the one waiting for me to pull the trigger!

My savings rate for the past 6 months or so is 47-48%. Most of that is all going into investments though. I have $7K set aside as the e-fund. Not to mention that I have a new car that I am still going to sell here now that it has warmed up and should get at least $5K after paying off the rest of it (money for the van/rv!). Honestly at this point I'm not really sure the ER aspect is going to pan out for me. I have some ideas though. I still really want to get into real estate like I have mentioned before, and that is also another reason why we want to travel. We want to hit up all the hot spots and places that are low housing cost but good rent. By successfully having a duplex that breaks even or gives me a surplus. I've already dramatically reduced my expenses for the month. Not to mention if the freelance thing does take off then I'll be making decent money to help out too.

This third question is actually something I was thinking about as I was writing out this post. I'm not entierly sure... I'd like to start getting some jobs first with the freelance stuff. The fiance I think would have a quicker ramp up to for finding freelance writting work as she is already really good with that. Either way this is something I need to plan out a little bit more.

Fall back plan right now is that we are planning on teach english abroad over in S. Korea. You can actually save up a fair amount of money teaching there.


Good questions to really think about more. All that aside what do you think?


You can take my advice with a grain of salt because I don't know how to code, develop apps, or even freelance doing anything. 

My only concern would be the ability to get freelance work of any type, if you are traveling a lot.  I would think that you need to lay down roots and meet people.  Then you could establish yourself.  Am I right?  I am not sure.

Do you know of any internet resources for finding good paying freelance work?

That is the beauty of this kind of work! I don't need to settle down as 99% of it is remote work from your computer. I figured we could set up shop at a McDonalds or other free wifi spot several times a week to upload our work and be good to go!

As far as finding work... it seems like there are endless web sites posting free lance gigs for coding and writing.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 11:19:50 AM by SethBahookey »

arebelspy

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 11:30:54 AM »
Good questions to really think about more. All that aside what do you think?

Honestly I think it's risky to bank on income from something that you don't even know how to do yet.

But if you have enough F U money, I'd personally just develop that fallback plan to be robust (and maybe plan multiple options).  Then I'd say once you can answer those questions that you're thinking about, you should go for it.  You're only young and crazy once.  Especially if the girlfriend is on board.  :)

Just count on not making little to no money at coding, and develop your plans around that, IMO.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Sebastian

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 12:06:47 PM »
That makes sesne. Thanks for the input!

Cassie

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 12:12:05 PM »
I have known people that have taken 2 years college programs to do this, did volunteer work in that area etc and still were not able to find paid work.  Research the job opportunities first.

limeandpepper

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2014, 12:25:02 PM »
I think to do this you have to be comfortable with the freelance lifestyle. Especially if you're not well-established / reputable in the field yet. Be prepared for difficulty finding work, and I've found freelance websites to be kind of hit and miss. My boyfriend is a freelancer (in a different but also similarly geeky field, I guess). He actually fell into it because the company he was working for decided to shut up shop, and the rest was history. He already had a few years of experience working for companies before that happened, which helped in terms of contacts. Even so, it can be feast and famine. Admittedly, he's not big not networking and marketing himself (which sounds like something in which you excel, which will be helpful, though of course you still need the skills to back you up). But he still gets work, sometimes a lot more than he wants, sometimes nothing at all. Luckily he's a pretty chilled out guy, has savings, is willing to work crazy hours when he's under the pump but also doesn't stress when things are quiet.

I suppose you're young and have no dependents so it's not a bad time to take a risk. If you are fairly certain you can get a part-time job while you build up your skills, that sounds like it could be worth pursuing, and you can always go back to sales if it doesn't work out? Teaching English overseas could be fun, too. :)

DoubleDown

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2014, 04:13:39 PM »
My 2 cents: Apply for web app development or web design jobs right now, as a full time employee, and see if you can get hired. If you cannot get hired as an employee, I think you will find it even harder to get hired as a freelancer. Plus as a regular employee, you can get further training and experience on the company's dime. Or start putting yourself out there right now trying to get hired for some freelance work, see if you can generate any substantial income. If not, keep building those skills and consider getting some professional certifications.

But do all of this while keeping your current job. Once you have established a track record in this career field, with some experience and a professional network, then you can consider quitting and doing freelance work as your sole source of income.

I know you're unhappy with your current situation and want out, and you have this awesome idea just waiting for you, so it's extremely hard to wait. And I admire your enthusiasm and drive to make this jump! But I'd stick it out at your job, while you take the steps to transition to the new career. Once you get hired in the new career, then you can quit the current job. There are very few circumstances that I'd ever advise someone to just pack it all up, quit a stable job, and try jumping into an unknown field with no previous professional experience, and with only 6 months of FU money.

arebelspy

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2014, 05:42:15 PM »
My 2 cents: Apply for web app development or web design jobs right now, as a full time employee, and see if you can get hired. If you cannot get hired as an employee, I think you will find it even harder to get hired as a freelancer. Plus as a regular employee, you can get further training and experience on the company's dime. Or start putting yourself out there right now trying to get hired for some freelance work, see if you can generate any substantial income. If not, keep building those skills and consider getting some professional certifications.

But do all of this while keeping your current job. Once you have established a track record in this career field, with some experience and a professional network, then you can consider quitting and doing freelance work as your sole source of income.

I know you're unhappy with your current situation and want out, and you have this awesome idea just waiting for you, so it's extremely hard to wait. And I admire your enthusiasm and drive to make this jump! But I'd stick it out at your job, while you take the steps to transition to the new career. Once you get hired in the new career, then you can quit the current job. There are very few circumstances that I'd ever advise someone to just pack it all up, quit a stable job, and try jumping into an unknown field with no previous professional experience, and with only 6 months of FU money.

I'm not sure you read correctly - he can't apply for jobs, as he doesn't have the skills yet.

He wants to quit in order to have the time to learn the skills.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Annamal

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2014, 05:56:21 PM »
Can I suggest trying a sample volunteer project before you make any drastic decisions?

Track down a local charitable organisation in need of a web presence (or one whose web presence still has flashing gifs and sparkles) and work with them to create a basic web site in your spare time.

That way your portfolio has an entry, you have some experience of the kind of work you'll be doing and you'll have a better feel for the industry.

Most of the programming that I do is learned on the job with the help of google and colleagues.

phred

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 05:58:12 PM »
everyone and his brother (& sister) seems to be studying at Team Treehouse and Code Academy right now.  This includes the English speaking third world which will work more cheaply than you.

Find some websites you like.  Right-click to view the source code.  If you can understand it all, then you are ready to dip toes into water.

DoubleDown

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 06:41:10 PM »
My 2 cents: Apply for web app development or web design jobs right now, as a full time employee, and see if you can get hired. If you cannot get hired as an employee, I think you will find it even harder to get hired as a freelancer. Plus as a regular employee, you can get further training and experience on the company's dime. Or start putting yourself out there right now trying to get hired for some freelance work, see if you can generate any substantial income. If not, keep building those skills and consider getting some professional certifications.

But do all of this while keeping your current job. Once you have established a track record in this career field, with some experience and a professional network, then you can consider quitting and doing freelance work as your sole source of income.

I know you're unhappy with your current situation and want out, and you have this awesome idea just waiting for you, so it's extremely hard to wait. And I admire your enthusiasm and drive to make this jump! But I'd stick it out at your job, while you take the steps to transition to the new career. Once you get hired in the new career, then you can quit the current job. There are very few circumstances that I'd ever advise someone to just pack it all up, quit a stable job, and try jumping into an unknown field with no previous professional experience, and with only 6 months of FU money.

I'm not sure you read correctly - he can't apply for jobs, as he doesn't have the skills yet.

He wants to quit in order to have the time to learn the skills.

Yeah, I read and understood that. I think he could already get the ball rolling on applying, based on having already having attained some skills from his self-study. Now, if he's nowhere near ready to apply, then I'd just modify my suggestion to be continue to learn while fully employed, then apply when you're ready. I would not quit to devote more time to learning. Part of my suggestion is because I think it's going to be difficult (but not impossible) to obtain employment with just self-study, and the feedback from potential employers or difficulty in landing work might be useful information. I don't want Seth to find out 6 months from now when the FU money is all gone that it could be hard to find work.

AJ

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 06:58:57 PM »
I second DoubleDown's suggestions. Going through the application process will give you a lot of good information for essentially free. Figure out what employers are looking for, study those things in your off time, and keep applying for jobs in the field until something sticks. It will be far easier to get freelance gigs once you have experience. There is a ton you will learn on the job (on your employer's dollar). Then take freelance gigs on the side until you are ready to jump into it full time.

I don't think your idea is silly, but I do think it is desperate. If you can hold on a while longer, it will be an easier, less costly transition.

Sebastian

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2014, 07:42:46 AM »
Thank you getting involved in this thread. I enjoyed reading the back and forth between some of you! haha..

I also like DoubleDown's idea a lot, but here is my challenge with that. I have gone on indeed.com and other sites to try and find web dev work. I'm in Madison which has a lot of IT jobs to begin with, but the requirements they ask for are a lot.

Even entry level web jobs are requiring 2+ years experience of this or that. How would I even get my foot in the door to apply? Just BS it and put that kind of stuff down on my resume? Unfortunately, I only have sales jobs on my resume because that's all I've ever had...

I feel like the best way to get a job without the experience is to go to event and network and find hiring managers, befriend them, and ask them for a chance. I'd even be willing to do an internship just so I could start getting experience.

Someone suggested finding a non for profit place and redoing their website, and I think that is a great idea. I will start looking around for places like that in my spare time.

At the end of the day, it just doesn't look like I can peace out from my current job to do this. I think I'm still going to look for a new job either way because 50 hours a week is just mental. I'm thinking maybe I could find a part time gig at 30-36 hours a week, and see how that goes. Ideally, if I could find a web dev job that would be great!

DoubleDown

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2014, 02:13:57 PM »
All of that sounds like a great plan to me, Seth! Unfortunately, if it's already proving difficult to land jobs without the 2+ years of experience some are looking for, this reinforces my concerns about trying to land a job later. But it sounds like you've got some great ideas figured out, I think it's a winning plan.

For what it's worth, I've known and helped some people who were able to get their foot in the door with no prior technical experience, and once they did that, their careers took off. So once you land that first opportunity, no matter how small, I really feel it will get the ball rolling, and all the ideas you're entertaining can get you there I think.

Annamal

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Re: Does this make sense or am I being silly??
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2014, 03:41:05 PM »
My best advice would be to learn everything you can from every experience you have.

I've sat in on job interviews in my own field and been very turned off candidates when I they couldn't explain what they'd taken away from particular jobs (in one case the candidate also managed to dismiss my entire field as "just set theory"...not maybe the best indicator that they were willing to pick up on the nuances).