If you're looking to be a freelance system administrator, good news: they're in demand. As you probably know, a system administrator is responsible for maintaining, configuring, and operating computer systems and servers. They might spend their days in a variety of ways, such as updating network hardware or software or maintaining network security. It's easy to see why system administrators are in demand: they represent a critical part of any organization.
Due to the high-tech nature of their position, a good system administrator needs to possess a wide variety of skills, including proficiency in the areas of problem-solving, networking, security, cloud architecture, account access, hardware management, mobile device management, programming languages, automation, SQL, and much more. While the exact responsibilities and ideal qualities of a system administrator may vary widely, there's no doubt that being a freelance system administrator is a great career choice for someone who loves problem-solving and working with computers.
Do you possess experience in the areas listed above and think that you have what it takes to become a freelance system administrator? Then keep reading to learn more about how to achieve your career goals on your preferred freelance schedule.
Make A Plan
Before you quit your job and start designing your perfect home office, take a minute to think about your career goals and how you want to achieve them. If you're desperate to transition to a work environment that allows you to work on your own and be your own boss, you can quit your job and strike out on your own; however, if you think you might want to take some time to build up a client base and get your feet wet, you can always freelance on the side of your full-time job for a while.
Once you've decided how you want to proceed, it's time to think about the other aspects of your business. For example, what hourly or per project pay rate will you use for your clients, and what tools will you use to invoice them? How much time per week or per month are you willing to dedicate to your freelance gigs? And do you anticipate that you'll be able to be on call to respond to urgent client requests, or will you need to hire a virtual assistant to help you keep your clients happy around the clock? While these may seem like overly detailed questions to answer now, you'll be glad you did once you start building a client base and expanding your operations.
Commit To Freelance Life
Once you determine how much you'll charge for your services, you'll need to wrap up the other loose ends that come with being a freelancer. Since you'll be generating revenue that you'll need to pay taxes on, it's always a good idea to meet with an accountant and create a plan for paying your quarterly taxes. Additionally, you'll want to begin forging a professional identity for yourself, registering as a business, and separating your personal and business finances. While it might take some time, creating a strong foundation for your venture is the first step in succeeding as a freelancer.
Furthermore, you'll need to take a few more steps in order to start landing clients and booking gigs. For example, having a strong professional website is a great way to tell potential clients about relevant work you've done in the past and any special skills you have that might be an asset to them. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and you're making an effort to stay updated on new developments in your field. Finally, consider joining professional groups on social media platforms such as Facebook, which can be a great place to learn about available jobs and to network with colleagues and peers. Making the effort to land new clients is an important component of getting your new freelance venture off the ground and ensuring that it's able to be a long-term success.
How To Find Freelance Work
Once you've built a strong professional website and have a plan for your business in place, start reaching out to potential clients. You can post publicly on sites such as LinkedIn or simply send private messages to potential clients telling them a little about who you are, what services you offer, and what pain points of theirs you can address or relieve. You can also send cold emails, which are a low-risk but high-reward way of going after potential clients.
Another method of finding freelance work is to check out freelancer websites and job boards. Some, such as Field Engineer, are specifically targeted toward engineers and system administrators, whereas others may include opportunities for system administrators but are open to freelancers in any field. However, job boards and freelancer sites are worth approaching with caution: while they may offer opportunities for freelancers, many of them take substantial percentages of their freelancers' pay, and they also force freelancers to undercut each other in order to successfully bid on a given client's proposal. While these sites may be a good resource for seeing what type of work is available in your field, they're often not financially feasible for many freelancers.
Becoming a Freelance System Administrator
Freelancing isn't easy, and becoming a successful freelance system administrator is no exception. However, it's useful to keep in mind that every step you take now represents another brick in the foundation of your sturdy and successful future freelance enterprise. The more clients you land and the more work you accomplish, the closer you are to enjoying the fruits of a well-constructed, smoothly operated freelance business.
While freelance life may be filled with uncertainty, and it can be difficult to get used to being your own boss and setting your own schedule, it can also be incredibly rewarding. No matter where you want your career as a freelance system administrator to take you, use this information to set yourself up for success in the early days of your new career as a freelance system administrator.