low-stress jobs for a creative coder
November 29, 2017 12:02 AM   Subscribe

I've worked as a freelancer in art & technology for a decade. Before that, I worked in video games and newspaper publishing. I'm sick of stress and deadlines and responsibility! What kind of jobs (full-time or freelance) could I seek out that have low stress and not much decision-making, but still allow me to parlay my technical skills into a reasonable wage?

I don't mind working, but I'd love to have a low-pressure job for a while. I have a wide but not deep knowledge of everything related to creative coding and physical computing. My freelance jobs have usually been about building online or physical interactive installations for marketing agencies or wealthy private individuals. These projects usually have tight deadlines, crotchety clients, and a ton of responsibility.

I'm about 50 years old, and my last full time salary (ten years ago) was $80K. Now I charge $100-150/hr for freelance. Is it possible with my skills to earn a livable NYC wage without the pressure? (I might consider leaving NYC.) Freelance or part-time or full-time, but it would be nice to have time to work on personal projects.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you can teach, running courses in these skills for small groups might be lucrative?
posted by humph at 2:40 AM on November 29, 2017


The cynic in me says you need to be kicked upstairs into management.

At about your age, I took a job with a small, 50 employee company. Although I was a 1 man programming shop, I had more than enough time to get everything done. It worked out very well for me. In a really small organization, the problems of communication and timing are much reduced. Non-profits may also be more relaxed than big, for-profit companies.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:59 AM on November 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


My husband and I used to do interesting work in NYC and Philly. We now build websites and do data/digital marketing work for small and medium sized businesses in northern New England. There's a lot of demand, almost no competition, it's very low stress, and the cost of living is ultra low, relative to NYC. It's been a massive life change for us, and we've loved it.

If something like this appeals to you, feel free to MeMail me!
posted by nosila at 6:29 AM on November 29, 2017 [3 favorites]


The cynic in me says you need to be kicked upstairs into management.
Management can be extremely stressful, particularly if you are a new manager. With deep experience as an individual contributor, it should be possible to land a senior developer job at a large software company in NYC that pays in the 150-200k range, likely with a generous helping of equity or profit sharing. As an experienced software engineer, you shouldn't take seriously any offer under six figures.
My freelance jobs have usually been about building online or physical interactive installations for marketing agencies or wealthy private individuals.
Hit up the creative agencies in NYC. They do this, but provide the infrastructure to land, negotiate with, and manage clients. This will help you get on your corporate feet and build up the right kind of resume to move to a more chill company like Google.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:00 AM on November 29, 2017


« Older Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in Reno/Sparks area...   |   Not insomnia, but what? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.