Day in the Life of a Contractor: David the IT Guy
In our newest blog series we take some time to talk to contractors and freelancers to learn about what it takes to be your own boss. This week I spoke with David Reichard, or David the IT Guy, to talk about his life as a contractor.
Tell me a little bit about your background and what you type of work you do.
By the time computers became a household item, I had already been operating and fixing them for years. In high school, I programmed the school’s business computer, which was an IBM 1620. It took up a whole room and required air conditioning! Now, the range of things I can fix and install amazes even me: household appliances, consumer and commercial telephone systems, network upgrades, POS systems (cash registers), network and telephone cabling, WiFi, store remodels, printers and computers.
What made you get into this line of work?
I have been in the IT business for a few years now. The recession in 2007/8 was a wake up moment for me when I recognized the need to control my own destiny. With encouragement from my friends, I decided it was time to set up my own business. Even though I was excited about the idea of going into business for myself, I was also hesitant and unsure if I could actually do it. I have always loved fixing things and being the de facto “go-to guy” for tech and appliances. I realized that even though I didn’t have my own “formal” business, I was already in control of my schedule and doing the work that I loved, and all that was left to do was to formalize it.
What are some obstacles you faced as an independent contractor?
Initially, I was worried that I wouldn’t have the discipline to be my own boss. Since I struggle a bit with organization, the thought of handling paperwork and making sure I was compliant seemed overwhelming. Also, I wasn’t sure what was deductible and what information I needed to hold on to throughout the year. Of course, leveraging Work Market has allowed me to thrive as an independent contractor, as they make the process simple!
What are some benefits to freelance work?
I embrace the accountability and enjoy the variety and flexibility. One day I am fixing a company’s network, the next I’m at a Bank of America working on a machine there. Desk jobs don’t have this diversity. I choose when and where I want to work. If I want a day off or some vacation time, I schedule my jobs accordingly.
What do you find most useful about Work Market?
The Work Market platform eliminated my apprehension regarding documentation, allowing me to be compliant with ease. Work Market also helps in regards to payment because it provides the client and me with a procedure. Using a third party, such as Work Market, assures me that I will receive payment timely. Lastly, I use Work Market to find more clients and the consistent revenue it has presented was the perfect addition.
How do you go about scheduling your week?
I consider my days structured. This week, for example, is already completely scheduled. Typically, jobs are scheduled 2-3 days in advance. A larger project, such as the I am working on, is scheduled nearly a month ahead of time. I like the fact that although every day is different, there is still structure to my work week. Eventually I’ll slow down my workload and retire. Things usually fall into place and I expect they will in the future, too.
*David Reichard is a featured contractor on the Work Market platform.