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  1. #1
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    5 desperate questions.

    Hi! The answers to these questions may forever change my life so I will send a million dollars to whomever best answers them! (no I won't. I'm poor)

    I've been driving myself crazy the last few weeks trying to decide if I should gamble on pursuing a career in website design. I'm 32 years old, come from a completely unrelated field, and have few transferrable skills (proficiency in AdobeCS, completed most of the w3schools tutorials, and have a B.A. in English Lit. Thats about it lol. Plus my almost supernatural good looks)

    I was considering a 2yr diploma program, and have to decide soon, but don't want to waste my time if it's too late for me already. So if anyone could help me with some of these questions...or with anything really, whatever your inital impression of my situation might be, I will be eternally grateful.

    1.) Is it a realistic possibility to work entirely from home? working 'mainly' for online clients?

    2.) If so, is it possible to start soon after graduation, or would I need years of on-job experience? could I learn enough in 2yrs of study anyways, assuming I complete emmerse myself in it?

    3.) could I earn a respectable wage if my talent-level ends up about average?

    4.) Would it be better to specialize in a certain area (say design) or must I develop more well rounded skills?

    5.) is there a particular niche which is best suited to self-employment, or freelancing, or working from home?

    I realize these questions probably sound amateurish but, well, I'm an amateur. Thanks again and any insight at all would be MUCH appreciated.

  2. #2
    Life is strife TriGeminal's Avatar
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    Hello leonard
    Maybe I don't know answers of those questions, but overall I can tell you ..
    Yes, you can work from home! I do so, I'm a freelance designer & developer .. I'm the owner of my own business ..
    You can make money from home, but you have to make a backup plan .. meaning it's not 100% guaranteed job .. for me, if a site stopped, or electricity went out, I lose $$ that day .. changes are very fast in that field ..

    I'm still looking for my main bussines, but current work I do will be the helper to start
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil ..
    .. is for good men to do nothing"
    Edmund Burke.

  3. #3
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Welcome to SP Leonard. I can only answer your questions from my perspective. I currently do work full-time from home (telelcommute) as a programmer. I have had a previous in-house working relationship with the company so they already know my skills and they trust me. I earn a pretty decent salary and I get to wake up and throw on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts -- saves me money on business attire.
    Last edited by ses5909; Jul 27, 2005 at 07:17.
    Sara

  4. #4
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Welcome Leonard!

    First, you have a B.A. in English Lit, so I'm guessing that you can write very well. That's a huge skill to have when working from home since most of the communication with your clients will be through e-mail or telephone.

    To answer your questions:

    1) Yes it is possible. There are plenty of people doing this, a good portion of this forum's posters work from home.
    2) You could start right out of school or even while in school. I work from home, have a day job, and go to school. It's very possible, you just need to organize and plan your business before you jump in.
    3) This depends. If you do good work and market yourself then I think you should be fine. I'm guessing you want to get into design? You'd need to make a name for yourself. Create a portfolio, etc. You have to sell yourself.
    4) It would be great if you were well rounded but it's been my experience that being the master of no one talent is a little bit of a hindrance. If you are a good designer then sell yourself on the design aspects and if you can do a little programming then you've added a little value to your work.
    5) A lot of people say the design field is overcrowded, that IT is being outsourced. I disagree. If you are good at what you do then you'll find work. It's all about being a good, trustworthy worker. People appreciate that more than they do cheap labor.
    Last edited by Hartmann; Jul 27, 2005 at 11:12.

  5. #5
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    thanks a lot guys! appreciate it

    This place is an absolute treasure trove for a n00b like me. I spent the entire night reading through the site and following links to articles, etc. (still havne't gone to sleep and it's 10:47 the next day lol).

    I'm still completely undecided though lol. It's been fairly disconcerting to hear so many people predicting doom and gloom (using a search of 'home' 'career' turned up a bunch of great threads. Exposed me to a lot of the problem's I'd be facing; massive overseas competition, design firms offering incredibly cheap prices, new advances in easy to use templates. And designers bidding against each other for contracts (just seems so unethical lol)

    my brain is fried right now. Too much info to take in all at once. Thanks again though, and to anyone nice enough to respond later on

    BTW anyone have an opinion on this particular program
    http://selkirk.ca/learning/programs/...&courseid=1296

    if I actually go through with this, will this program give me enough of a grounding to start out?

  6. #6
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    ooh

    one last question (then I'll stop. I swear)

    some people were saying the only way to make a reasonable wage with a home design/development business would be to offer several services (webhosting, content management system, etc.)

    what do people think of that? is he crazy? a genius?

    (the more I think about this, the more worried I get. Thought I could train for a year and just set up shop in my basement. Thought the worst thing I'd face would be a sub 40k/year paycheque...sigh)

  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Far more people fail in this industry than succeed. If you currently have a job do not quit until you're making more from your design than from it.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict smittenbite's Avatar
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    hi leonard:

    1.) Is it a realistic possibility to work entirely from home? working 'mainly' for online clients?
    probably but if you want to get really serious you might have to work with people in person and you'd probably get more money that way anyways.

    2.) If so, is it possible to start soon after graduation, or would I need years of on-job experience? could I learn enough in 2yrs of study anyways, assuming I complete emmerse myself in it? well that depends, CAN you completely emmerse yourself in it? you arein your 30's , do you have a family to take care of? do you have anohter job right now? are you good at applying what you learn and not just 'learning it' for the grades? usually when i hear about schools that offer 2 year programs about web design sometimes they say theyll help you get a job or internship at the end of the 2 years. thats what was offered me when i thought about this option just 3 months ago or so. (i didnt go through with it, lol)

    3.) could I earn a respectable wage if my talent-level ends up about average? personally i dont think so since the competition in this field is incredibly fierce. but then again you could always build up a client network and plus friendly service and flexibility could earn you a lot of clients still.

    4.) Would it be better to specialize in a certain area (say design) or must I develop more well rounded skills? i tihnk specializing in something would be better that way you know exactly where youre going from the beginning, and you'll be extra good at it instead of just okay in everything.

    5.) is there a particular niche which is best suited to self-employment, or freelancing, or working from home? what? lol. i dont get this question...

    if you are well off right now and want to do this on the side then i think thats a good idea since you have interest in it. but yeah i wouldnt quit my current job to do this especially since you seem a bit shaky about the whole idea. if you are really REALLY well off and wanna do this for fun cause you know you have a few k's to throw around and what not then yeah go for it!!!


    just some thoughts, anyways good luck!


    ps. I LOVE ENGLISH LIT!!!
    nothing.

  9. #9
    is craving 'the potato' slayerment's Avatar
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    Before you start anything make sure you are 100% commited to being the best and you will be.

    1.) Yes

    2.) You don't need on job experience, you need experience. Read books and built tons of sites and you will be fine.

    3.) Respectable wages are subjective.

    4.) From home you need to be well-rounded. Clients will want you to take care of everything so you should know how to handle most tasks.

    5.) Probably, but I'd say your best niche is being damn good at whatever you do and you will have no problem finding work.

    Good luck!


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