How to convince your next freelance project that you can work parttime

  • Companies are often worried you can't focus and oversee a project if you don't work enough hours a week for them
  • I like to work at 2 or 3 projects at the same time as I think it's the golden mean. For me, this means just 12-20 hours a week per project - 16 on average.

What Companies Say:

  • You can't keep up with the sprint
  • You can't oversee planning and strategize tech stack and implementation with the whole team, so you can't really shine.
  • You will be distracted by other projects, you can't focus
  • If you just work 16 hours you don't commit and can't be as productive
  • We need to be certain that you can grow to 32 hours a week or more.

What I Say

You can't keep up with the sprint

If I can't keep up with the sprint, it's badly planned. If there's a weekly sprint, there should be fewer tasks assigned to me.

You can't oversee planning and strategize tech stack and implementation with the whole team, so you can't really shine.

That's not true. It only costs about 4 to 8 hours a week to strategize and plan a whole project. Communicating it with the team takes a bit longer, but can done in a few hours. That means I probably have one day left for programming (or someone else can strategize and plan the project and I can program full-time)

You will be distracted by other projects, you can't focus

I always seperate projects by days. For example, I work monday and tuesday on freelance project 1, wednesday and thrusday on freelance project 2, and friday on my own project. If I have time, I work saturday on my own project too. Also, I turn off communication for projects I'm not working on (only urgent calls). This way, you can really focus and won't be distracted.

If you just work 16 hours you don't commit and can't be as productive

When I work on a project and it takes multiple hours to get into it, that means the time-to-context is really bad. If this is the case, then the developer ecosystem needs improvements. If it's alright, I can be in the zone within an hour, so my productiveness and value is almost linear with the amount of days I work.

Futhermore, I think it's important to say that, the other days I work on different projects, I will work in the same or very similar tech stacks and development ecosystems. This means I will learn a lot of things that I can apply at our project. I can make things that are applied at multiple projects too. When mistakes happen at one project, I learn from it and can prevent it at the other. This is a very big difference compared to just working on this tech stack / dev ecosystem for one project. I think working on 2 or 3 projects at the same time makes me smarter, more productive and more motivated.

We need to be certain that you can grow to 32 hours a week or more.

I can't give you this guarantee. If this happens, it means I have to let all my other projects go. I will only do this if this is really a project I will go for and believe in. To achieve this, it needs to be a really good opportunity and it will take some time to know if this is the case.

How to convince your next freelance project that you can work parttime
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