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does freelancer experience get counted for job in IT firm?

sandy sean
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Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Posts: 69
hi!

i have worked with some IT firm for two years. now due to some home side problems i have a gap of about 1 year. i have two queries :-

i)first can this gap cause some problem in getting job further???


ii)second that if i do some java/j2ee projects on freelance basis for some time,say 1 year, will this experience as a freelancer get counted in my resume for getting job???

i reside in India.

thanks....
arulk pillai
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I think it does. Be honest about the reason for the gap, and concentrate on how you can add value to the organization going forward. Even be prepared to take an entry level role and work yourself up the ladder. You can always fast track your career.


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Ulf Dittmer
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arulk pillai wrote:You can always fast track your career.

Always? It's not an option for everybody - some folks do not have what it takes to have a great career (I'm obviously not talking about "the light" here, about whom we know nothing.)


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Henry Wong
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  40


Side question... what is "fast tracking" a career?

Henry


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arulk pillai
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Going from Junior --> intermediate --> Senior --> Lead/Architect, etc quicker . For example, some have 1 year experience repeated 3 times whilst others have real 3 year experience.
sandy sean
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Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Posts: 69
thanks for response...

can you please guide me on my second query regarding experience as freelancer??
Henry Wong
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arulk pillai wrote:Going from Junior --> intermediate --> Senior --> Lead/Architect, etc quicker . For example, some have 1 year experience repeated 3 times whilst others have real 3 year experience.


Yes, but how does one "fast track" a career? How do you know that your experience isn't as useful until you have done it? How do you know that you are "repeating" versus getting the right amount of experience?

To me, a career on the fast track is determined by external factors -- it could be that a person is very very good, is recognized as performing miracles, and place on the fast track by some very high level person; it could be that the person is the son of the CEO. You can't just start performing miracles, or get yourself related to the CEO.

Henry
Henry Wong
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  40

sandy sean wrote:
can you please guide me on my second query regarding experience as freelancer??


Quite frankly, you can put anything you want on your CV/resume. You just have to be able to defend it during the interview. It is very easy for most interviewers to notice that a project may have been used to fill a gap in a resume. You have to prove that its a real project, such as part of charity work, or consulting work for barter, etc.

Henry
sandy sean
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Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Posts: 69
Henry Wong wrote: You have to prove that its a real project, such as part of charity work, or consulting work for barter, etc.

Henry


You mean if do an application for NGO(charity firm) but does not have pay slips to prove that, will this still get counted IT firms???
Henry Wong
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sandy sean wrote:
You mean if do an application for NGO(charity firm) but does not have pay slips to prove that, will this still get counted IT firms???


Proving that the work is real means that you can describe the project; what you did, why you did it, tons of issues that came up, and even be able to brainstorm about it. I mentioned charity work because I have friends who have worked large projects for charity -- and IMO, should have the right to put it on the resume.


As for your charity work, I don't know you, or your work; and hence, don't have an opinion on whether you should put it on your resume.

Henry
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Henry: And luck. Being in the right place at the right time is a factor in many cases.

Arulk: Wouldn't that be slowing down a career? If one has 1 year experience three times, one has 1 year experience and not three. The person with real three years experience has 3 years.

Sandy: Putting down experience is fine. It is a good idea to be honest about what it is for when the background check happens. I think your question is whether the company looking at your resume will consider it experience. That depends on the person/company reading it.


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sandy sean
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actually in simpler terms, i don't want to work as a fresher with 1 year experience repeated 3 times. thats why i was considering freelancer experience for some time so that i can show that in the gap and can opt for some higher level position.

but i don't know whether I ,with my 1 year experience repeated 3 times along with some freelancer experience, can go for higher level positions in some company(assuming minimum experience for that higher level is 2 years).


In more general form, question is that suppose there is person working for 5 years as freelancer and now he wants to join some reputed IT company, will the company still consider him as a fresher or can he enter direct to higher level position,say senior programmer?
Henry Wong
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sandy sean wrote:
In more general form, question is that suppose there is person working for 5 years as freelancer and now he wants to join some reputed IT company, will the company still consider him as a fresher or can he enter direct to higher level position,say senior programmer?


As already mentioned, there is no one answer for this... it depends on the skills acquired as a freelancer, it depends on the company doing the interviewing, it depends on how the interviews goes. etc.

Henry
Jeanne Boyarsky
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sandy sean wrote:In more general form, question is that suppose there is person working for 5 years as freelancer and now he wants to join some reputed IT company, will the company still consider him as a fresher or can he enter direct to higher level position,say senior programmer?

Freelancing can be anything. Presumably one had clients. Then it depends on what you did for them, whether they are respected, what Henry mentioned, etc.

I don't see how freelancing helps with your problem though. From what I see you have two years experience and a gap of a year. Let's assume they are two years of experience (and not the same year repeated twice.) This qualifies you to work for an experience requirement of two years. if you freelance for a year and it is counted, that qualifies you to work for an experience requirement of three years. However, if you get a lower job with a two year requirement and work there for a year, it also qualifies you to work for an experience requirement of three years.

Freelancing does help with "why were you unemployed for the last year" by changing it to "why were you unemployed a year ago for a year" - a less worrisome question.

sandy sean
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Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Posts: 69
Thanks to all for your responses....discussion was useful to me.

can you please provide me some guidance on that while doing freelancing projects, what one should keep with him as the proof that he has done these projects ( say, to show in some IT company for joining/interview purpose)
Jeanne Boyarsky
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For interview purposes, be able to talk to them. If you are legally allowed to show code/screenshots, that is good too. It's rare though as the project typically belongs to the client.

For joining purposes, have someone you can use as a reference, tax records, etc.
arulk pillai
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Henry Wong wrote:
arulk pillai wrote:Going from Junior --> intermediate --> Senior --> Lead/Architect, etc quicker . For example, some have 1 year experience repeated 3 times whilst others have real 3 year experience.


Yes, but how does one "fast track" a career? How do you know that your experience isn't as useful until you have done it? How do you know that you are "repeating" versus getting the right amount of experience?

To me, a career on the fast track is determined by external factors -- it could be that a person is very very good, is recognized as performing miracles, and place on the fast track by some very high level person; it could be that the person is the son of the CEO. You can't just start performing miracles, or get yourself related to the CEO.

Henry



You do this by being pro-active and learning from not only your own experience but also from the others' experience. This is where good books, helpful mentors, being in the know how, self-study, open-source project contributions, etc come in handy. It is not easy, but it is achievable with the right mindset. I have done this, and helped some of my colleagues achieve the same. You don't need miracles, but have the right attitude, the know how, and motivation to put the extra effort required. Fast tracking is about achieving something in say 2 -3 years which would otherwise take 5-6 years if not pro-active and driven. It is quite demotivating to say that one's career is determined by external factors It is to some extent, but mostly determined by an individual his/her goals, drive, thinking, motivation to acquire the required skills, etc.


Jeanne Boyarsky
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arulk pillai wrote:It is to some extent, but mostly determined by an individual his/her goals, drive, thinking, motivation to acquire the required skills, etc.

I'd argue that you have to have all those skills/motivation to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.
arulk pillai
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
arulk pillai wrote:It is to some extent, but mostly determined by an individual his/her goals, drive, thinking, motivation to acquire the required skills, etc.

I'd argue that you have to have all those skills/motivation to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.


Sometimes one needs to have all those skills/motivation to be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves., and other times you go ahead and make that opportunity. It may take some time, but it is possible. It may require changing jobs, meeting the right people, trying a different strategy, marketing yourself differently, taking the road less travelled, taking the necessary risks, etc.
sandy sean
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Posts: 69
Does anyone of you know in person, about any person who has worked as freelancer for some years and after that joined any IT company at some senior level?
Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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arulk pillai wrote:Sometimes one needs to have all those skills/motivation to be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves., and other times you go ahead and make that opportunity. It may take some time, but it is possible. It may require changing jobs, meeting the right people, trying a different strategy, marketing yourself differently, taking the road less travelled, taking the necessary risks, etc.


My somewhat mild issue isn't that people can't control their careers; I am sure that they can. What I am saying is that, besides "fast track" being used as a verb, I have never really heard it used that way.

I have heard of it as "fast track careers", meaning types of careers that is in more demand than others. And "career on the fast track", which generally meant that it is due to external forces -- which may be caused by the fact that the employee is good and got noticed.


So, I guess I am not disagreeing with you -- more like partly disagreeing with the term you used...

Henry
Henry Wong
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sandy sean wrote:Does anyone of you know in person, about any person who has worked as freelancer for some years and after that joined any IT company at some senior level?


Sure... I actually know quite a few people, who either went independent (or even started there own company). And it either didn't work out (or worked out really well), and are now working as employees. I believe most of them are pretty high level now -- but that could just be because I know people with decades of experience. On the other hand, I also know a couple of people who went independent, loved it, and are still independent.

BTW, we are talking about less than 10 people here, so not statistically revelent at all.

Henry
sandy sean
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Henry! your reply gives me some courage...i was worrying about my career.

but it also seems that freelancing is also not bad if one has enough clients.


can anyone guide me about that job on contract basis is the same thing as freelancing???

does a person doing job on contract basis in some IT company is equivalent to employee on the payroll and whether he also avails Provident Fund facility?

arulk pillai
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Henry, now I understand where you are coming from.
 
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