Are you a professional with a specific skill set who would like to try freelancing? From the outside, freelancing can seem like the perfect career choice – it gives you the flexibility to work on projects that pique your interest and choose clients you feel comfortable working with, it allows you the freedom to explore your professional competence and diversify your portfolio, and it also provides you the luxury of choosing your own working hours and work from the comforts of your home to remove the stress of to and fro travel from office every day.
Yet, many people find it hard to take the plunge and give up their safe, predictable full time job to begin freelancing. The reason – freelancing can be a risk, especially if you don’t start with a reliable freelancing portal that can safeguard your interests as a freelance worker. But on the other hand, if you are smart and start out right, freelancing can be a perfectly safe and lucrative career choice, considering that our economic environment today greatly favours outsourcing and freelancing.
The Rise of the Freelancer
According to a report published in the online Forbes Magazine, it’s believed that the number of freelancers will outpace full time employees by the year 2020. The shift is within the economy, as more and more people are beginning to understand and appreciate the true benefits of freelancing. While there were estimated to be 10.3 million freelancers in the USA in 2005, today the figure has grown drastically and there are over 42 million freelancers working in the United States of America alone.
The story isn’t much different in India. Freelancing has become a popular choice amongst professionals who want to supplement their income in their free time, and also with college students who want to earn their allowance side by side while aiding further education.
What truly helps matters is the fact that our economic environment is evolving; most MNCs and even smaller organizations are more than happy to hire contractual workers to outsource specific tasks that can be completed within a set timeline, rather than going through the hassle of hiring a permanent employee on their payroll because that comes with additional administrative and training expenses. It works out better for companies because they only pay for the job required, while the freelancer works out of their own home setup and doesn’t demand equipment, a set salary, insurance and other facilities that come with a regular job. As for the freelancer, the benefits of self-employment are far too many to ignore. Not only does it offer a lot of flexibility in terms of number of hours put in and types of projects undertaken, it also enables you to build a more balanced lifestyle wherein you are left with more free time to explore your passions and interests, without jeopardising your career.
A full time career is demanding. It doesn’t really matter whether you have projects to work on and meetings to attend or not, you still need to spend 8 to 9 hours of your day at office. For many full time employees, not all of that time can be productively used, as there are too many restrictive professional constraints to consider. However, as a freelancer, you can make better use of your time and skills. As a result you get more job satisfaction as your efforts are justly rewarded, and your free time is your own to decide what you’d like to do with it. And isn’t that the perfect life for anyone?!
How to Make Freelancing A Stable Career Choice?
While we have established that freelancing could be a rather rewarding and fulfilling career option, can it be called a ‘stable’ career choice? Yes it can be, especially if a freelancer chooses to work with a reputable freelancing portal.
Freelance portals are the perfect middlemen – they offer you a platform to find interesting projects, bid for them at a price that you think fair, and then arrive at terms and conditions of contract that both you and the employer are happy with. Additionally, they ensure a steady stream of lucrative projects to choose from, so that you don’t have to wait for clients to reach out to you, but have a ready platform where you can reach out to clients yourself. Simply put, these freelancing portals take wastage of time out of the picture, so that you have projects to work on round the year.
They make negotiations easy for both freelancers and their prospective clients, wherein you and the client can discuss payment terms, payment mode and payment timelines before you begin the project, as soon as you accept the job proposal. Not only does this guarantee that you can find lucrative projects that appeal to you, it also assures that your payments will come through in whichever mode you prefer (cash transfers, cheque payments, money transfers etc) once you have submitted the project and met with all deadlines.
by Shipra Uttam