Freelancing

Freelancing – A Detailed Introduction

There has been a promising growth in the freelancing community. In 2019, there were reported to be 57 million freelancers in the...

Written by Masooma Asif · 3 min read >
what is freelancing

There has been a promising growth in the freelancing community. In 2019, there were reported to be 57 million freelancers in the US.

More and more people are joining this new market. But what is exactly this whole phenomenon which has the tendency to convince people to quit their regular jobs?

This post will provide you a detailed introduction to what exactly freelancing is, what skills it requires, what are the pros and cons of practicing it, and more relevant information.

Definition

Freelancing is a contract based employment. Instead of being a permanent or a fulltime member of an organization, a person takes on a project or a task in an organization and then utilizes their skills, experiences, and education for the project. 

Those who practice freelance jobs can be referred to as freelancers. A freelancer is self-employed, having the opportunity to perform multiple jobs at the same time. A freelancer can take as many projects as they find themselves capable to manage.

What is the Gig economy? 

A Gig economy is one in which instead of hiring full-time workers, temporary workers are hired on short term contracts.

Examples of employees in the gig economy include independent contractors, temporary or part-time workers. Freelancers are also a part of the gig economy. 

Top sites to search Freelance jobs

Finding a freelance job is a simple process once you are aware of credible websites. Finding your freelance jobs is then just a matter of a few clicks.

Below are listed some of the most popular freelance sites:

  • UpWork
  • Toptal
  • Simple Hired
  • We Work Remotely
  • Design Hill
  • Guru
  • Fiverr

Steps to Follow to Become a Freelancer

  1. Decide what service you will offer 
  2. Identify your target market
  3. Select the freelancing websites you will be using
  4. Create a profile on these sites 
  5. Send applications 

Common Career Fields as Freelancers

You can find freelancing jobs related to almost every field on the internet. 

A few of the most popular ones are:

  • Computer
  • Software Development
  • Web Developer 
  • Writing, Editing, Proofreading
  • Data Entry
  • Video Editing 

Skills required to become a Freelancer

Time Management

Time management is of incredible importance when working as a freelancer. When working on projects, there are deadlines that are required to be met, and since you are on your own, no one is going to remind you of them. Hence, it is your responsibility to keep track of time.

Additionally, when working on more than one task, it is important to manage time efficiently and ensure that appropriate time is given to each project/task. 

Self-Discipline and Organization

It is very important that a freelancer is self-disciplined and organized. A freelancer must be aware of his/her capabilities and must therefore commit to tasks and manage workload in accordance with that. In other words, a freelancer must not over commit. 

Moreover, if a freelancer has taken more than one task then managing all the deadlines together is their own responsibility. They must have a plan and devise techniques or systems to ensure that that’s happening.

Communication Skills

Freelancing involves a lot of communication. You may need to communicate both in person, or online. 

It is highly important to clearly put forward the services you can provide along with your terms and conditions. Even while performing the job, some clients carry out regular communication. Therefore, the ability to effectively communicate is one of the most important parts of a freelancer’s job. 

Persistency 

To win clients it is very important to be persistent and patient. Clients can take time to reply. Similarly, networking may also be a time-consuming process. Persistency is also required to deliver your best performance. 

Pros of Freelancing

Flexibility 

Freelancing allows people to choose the working hours they find themselves most productive in. It thus frees the person of the 9 to 5 routine. This profession also allows freelancers to decide where they want to work. And if they ever feel overburdened, or feel the need to take a break, they can do so conveniently after completing pending projects without seeking someone else’s permission.  

Choose your own clients

You have the independence to choose who you work for. You may not pick up difficult clients if you don’t want to. If there’s some client who has given you a tough time, you can decide not to work with them in the future. Hence, no one can force you here. 

Workload Control

You can choose as many and as little projects you want. You can design your daily work routine yourself. Moreover, you can bring diversity to your profile by choosing a variety of different projects. This way you won’t be bored with your tasks. 

Cons of Freelancing

Absence of Benefits

While being a full-time employee you tend to receive fringe benefits from the employer. However, when working part-time or as a contractor here, you lose all such benefits. There is no health care insurance or retirement benefits that you can expect to receive.

It is more than just work

While operating as a freelancer, you are responsible for managing your accounts, marketing yourself successfully, keeping track of different projects at the same time, etc. Therefore, you don’t only require the skills and knowledge to complete the projects you take, but you’re required to work as a multi-tasker.
Those who fail to manage all these responsibilities are actually failing to become a successful freelancer.

Lack of Consistency in finding work

The conditions may not be the same throughout. There may be an abundance of work in one month, and absolutely no demand in the other. A freelancer must be prepared for such spells where they are unable to find work for themselves.

People who choose to freelance as a career carefully weigh the advantages as well as the disadvantages. At the end of the day, the independence offered by freelancing explains that working successfully as a freelancer is greatly dependent on the ability of a person to manage themselves and their work effectively. 

Conclusion

Now that you have familiarized yourself with freelancing, you are aware of its growing trend and increasing advantages. 

If you’re someone looking forward to starting your freelancing career, our freelancing course is just what you need. Our instructor, Asra Rizwan Khan, will make sure that this 4-week course equips you with all the necessary skills required to successfully start your career. 

Written by Masooma Asif
Syeda Masooma Asif is an undergraduate student at LUMS. With an Economics major, Masooma is deeply passionate about research in developmental economics aiming to provide consultancy services for the challenges faced by the less-developed economies. She also shares a passion for content writing, and through writing articles for Airschool she aims to contribute towards providing accessible education for all regardless of geographical or social disparities. Profile

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