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Getting Started and Is This a Good Idea for Me?


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#1
Steph Sorensen

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I am wondering if any of you can give me some advice. I have been using GIS applications for about 8 years now. While I don't know how to do any of the spacial or 3D analysis, I can produce just about any map anyone would want. I love it and would love to make a career out of my skills using GIS.

My main concern, however, is that I currently provide GIS graphics to clients in my current job. I am an Ecologist with an environmental firm, doing NEPA documentation and acting as our sole GIS graphics producer. While having access to clients that use my services already is a big plus, these are clients that are currently paying our company $107 per hour for my services! How could I start freelancing without stepping on any company toes? I would eventually quit my consulting job once I had sufficient GIS work to be able to do so, but until then, I really need my current job.

I would understand if some of you would think it would not be a good idea to freelance given my current position. However, if it is possible to start doing this, how do you recommend I go about getting started?

Thanks in advance!

Steph Sorensen


#2
James Hines

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Employers frown upon self success stories especially when you are freelancing out those skills you use in your work place. So under no circumstances let your employer know your doing business outside the work place because if you are caught doing it that is considered being in competition with your employer & that can under many circumstances lead to your ultimate termination of employment. Therefore lets just say in simple terms conflict of interest.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Employers frown upon self success stories especially when you are freelancing out those skills you use in your work place. So under no circumstances let your employer know your doing business outside the work place because if you are caught doing it that is considered being in competition with your employer & that can under many circumstances lead to your ultimate termination of employment. Therefore lets just say in simple terms conflict of interest.


Alternatively, you can see if there's room to come to an agreement with your current employer. You can try keeping it a secret, but sooner or later they're going to find out.

I would start by taking a look at your current contract and see what it says on competition.
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#4
James Hines

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Employers frown upon self success stories especially when you are freelancing out those skills you use in your work place. So under no circumstances let your employer know your doing business outside the work place because if you are caught doing it that is considered being in competition with your employer & that can under many circumstances lead to your ultimate termination of employment. Therefore lets just say in simple terms conflict of interest.


Alternatively, you can see if there's room to come to an agreement with your current employer. You can try keeping it a secret, but sooner or later they're going to find out.

I would start by taking a look at your current contract and see what it says on competition.

Yes I learned that after I was told under no circumstances was I allowed to take any work time off for projects. They frowned upon me when I chose the Wireframe job which you payed 10 times the amount I would have made during that weekend comapared to a mere $50.00 in one day. So in time & when they gave me me more shifts in the afternoon & nights therefore forcing me to make a choice. And though I knew I was not yet quite ready & nor am I still ready to work full time freelance I didn't want to stay at a job that in my opinion was paying me well under the poverty level & didn't allow me for advancement.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#5
ELeFevre

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If your serious about doing this, why not talk to your employer about contract work vs. full-time employment. Financially this might work out better for both of you. They save money on benefits et cetera. You get to start your business with a client/products you're already familiar with. Beats burning bridges unnecessarily.



#6
Steph Sorensen

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Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly! I kind of figured it wouldn't be a good idea to just start. Unfortunately, I work for a small company, so they need to employ all of the bodies they have in order to qualify for decent benefits. So negotiating contract work from them probably wouldn't work out so well.

I may try, but for now, I will probably just stick with what I'm doing.

Thanks again!

-Steph





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