Freelance Software Developers: Setting Career Goals

Freelance software developers have the ability to make a very good living and work their own schedule. Because it is such a lucrative field, if you are going to get involved in it, you need to make sure that you set some career goals. Here are the basics of how to set career goals for freelance software developers.

Setting Goals

When you work in a traditional full-time development job, it is going to be fairly easy for you to set goals for yourself. Most people that are in this situation set a goal of moving up the ranks in their company. For example, you might decide that you want to aim for becoming a department head within a certain amount of time. You could try to become a regional manager or even an upper-level executive in your company eventually. These types of goals give you something to work towards over the long-term. However, when you are a freelance software developer, you are not going to have this luxury. You are not working within a company that has multiple levels of management and you do not have any other positions to shoot for. You are the CEO of your own company and you are ultimately responsible for your own success or failure. Because of this, it is important to set career goals for yourself.

Tangible Goals

When you are working as a freelance software developer, it is important that you focus on setting tangible goals for yourself. You do not want to set a vague goal such as "making plenty of money" as one of your goals. You need to be able to set a goal that you can measure to determine when you reach it. When you work with tangible goals, you will be able to focus on them easier and ultimately achieve them.

Gaining Clients

When you work in a freelance capacity, one of your goals will most likely deal with gaining clients. When you are getting started, your first goal should be to get your first client. Until you get your first client, you should not be focusing on any other aspect of your business. You need to do whatever you can to get that first client. After you have obtained your first client, you can move up from there. At that point, you should focus your goals on getting a certain number of clients or making a specific amount of money every month. This will allow you to work towards achieving your goal and being successful in your freelancing business.

Ultimate Goal

In addition to setting smaller monthly goals, you need to be working towards an ultimate goal. This will guide your actions in everything that you do along the way. For example, you might set the ultimate goal of eventually starting your own software development business with other employees under you. You might set a goal to retire at the age of 45. Regardless of what your ultimate goal is, you need to decide what it is and write it down.