Paul Kilfoil's World of Travel, Technology & Sport

Posted on  by Paul Kilfoil.
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At the end of May 2010 I left full-time employment and started working for myself from an office at home. Thus far it has been a very interesting, rewarding and challenging experience ... no more answering to a boss with whom I may disagree, no more filling in tedious timesheets and no more corporate emails telling the employees what a wonderful company they work for. Now when I write a proposal, it is MY work, written MY way and no paper-shuffling manager or sales director will tell me that the layout is wrong or that I must change some wording.

I wake up in the morning, do my usual routine of press-ups and sit-ups, have breakfast then stroll down the passage to my office, a commute of approximately seven seconds. Fire up the ADSL router, power up my development machine and my working day has started. I have a great view of our back garden, with grass, bushes, trees, cats and dogs, not a partition in an open-plan office or a bare concrete wall. No more fighting with traffic or jostling with people on an overcrowded train, and I can go for a run at lunch-time to get some fresh air.

My office at home ... where this blog was written

I was lucky enough to secure work from two organizations very early on. One of these required me to re-write their entire suite of applications because the IT company with whom they previously had a relationship owned the source code of their existing systems and demanded an exorbitant (and outrageous) sum for it. That kept me extremely busy from July 2010 to April 2011, and I will continue to get work from them for the forseeable future.

Of course, not everything is rosy. I have to put in a lot more hours taking care of administrative details I never did before - invoicing, filing, paperwork, etc. Maintenance of my development machine and my laptop (which I use when visiting clients) is my responsibility, so I have to ensure I am up to date with all the latest versions of the software I use. I also have to buy and make my own coffee, but these issues amount to a very small price to pay for the freedom I now have.

All that remains is for me to wonder why I didn't make this move sooner ...

  © Paul Kilfoil, Cape Town, South Africa