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What is my job?

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

In recent months, I seem to have spent a lot of time managing and updating various clients' ecommerce websites. That's great, you say. Steady work. For a freelancer, the nirvana of regular work is hard to beat. On the other hand, I have started wondering what my job really is because a substantial proportion of the work has involved the addition of product information via an ecommerce administration control panel. Although, I get paid the same rate for this type of work as anything else, it is perhaps not as exciting as getting a new website designed.

I am not too unhappy with this state of affairs because the situation was different a few months ago. I suspect I am just going through a period where various coincidences have resulted in a higher proportion of the ecommerce administration type of work. However, it has emphasized the variety of work that I tackle throughout the year and caused me to think about my job. When people ask me what I do, it's tempting to say 'websites for small businesses' or 'web designer' or 'front-end coder'. In reality, it is all of those and few other things thrown in besides….!

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  • 19 Jun 2008 15:17:26

    From a really tiny amount of personal experience, I would recommend out-sourcing the admin work to someone you trust, who charges a lower rate. Data entry is an ideal task for (as an example) an A-level student, who would usually be earning minimum wage in a Little Chef or a newsagents.

    They’re going to be bright enough to do the work with minimal training, and it’s easy to check that they’ve done the job correctly.

    They’ll be ecstatic that you can pay them an extremely generous ¬£2.50 an hour more than the minimum wage, amazed that they can work at 2am if they like, and delighted that they don’t finish work smelling of fried breakfasts.

    That leaves you doing the fun stuff, and making a small profit from marking-up their subcontracting rates.

  • 20 Jun 2008 09:01:49

    Simon. Good idea. I have someone lined up for one particular project. Not a student but the wife of a friend. No doubt it will cost me more than a student though!

  • 23 Jun 2008 10:10:49

    Well, as long as she’s someone you trust, and she’ll free up your time, and she’ll cost less than you would, then you’ve cracked it.

  • 23 Jun 2008 13:51:46

    If you can tolerate the rather boring role of amending and updating your clients websites and look at it as easy money then great. However, if you’re itching to do some design, you’re better off outsourcing to someone else you know and trust to do the job… at a lower rate of course, you need your cut after all.

  • 23 Jul 2008 15:02:21

    The hardest part is finding someone you can trust as well as doing the job to the same high standard as yourself. Once you’ve got that, you’ve got it cracked – freeing you up to do what you do best.

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