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I have been trying to get some work that I could do from home since 2007. The idea was to keep myself engaged while I could take care of my son at home. A 9 to 6 job did not seem feasible and sensible back then as I did not want to leave my hardly 2-year-old son with my mom and go to work! But then, this was the first time in my life that I was sitting home all the time and it was quite frustrating. I was never that typical homemaker, who could be home and manage the home affairs completely! That was just not me!!! But then, back in 2007, in Kochi there was little I could do with a baby to attend to who would fall sick every other month.
Even though I was net-savvy and kept searching for some kind of freelancing work, especially in software development which I loved and enjoyed doing, there was no opportunity available. Then I got an offer from a reputed company where many of my ex-colleagues had joined. I was a referral by a couple of managers there and I was glad that I got the call. But then it did not work out as they wanted me in the office twice a week from 5 pm to 10 pm! I could never leave my son that long and there was no Ola or Uber for late night travel. Since the office was on the outskirts of the city and I did not find the timing feasible, I refused that offer and kept my search on.
Another couple of years down the lane, I happened to know that a friend of mine was undertaking outsourcing jobs and she wanted some writers who could help her out. I was not a writer but was ready to try my hands on since I knew that I could write without any grammar or spelling mistakes. I tried it out and found it quite interesting. There was a lot you could learn. It was flexible and interesting. Even though the pay was negligible, I was writing regularly for her and learning this new skill on the job.
But now the situation has changed completely. For those seeking work from home opportunities, freelancing is a good option. If you want to get into freelancing now, there are many options available. In fact, I have recommended this to many of my friends and relatives too, some of whom are already freelancers now. The best part of freelancing is that it is flexible! You take up work when you feel like, take holidays when you want to, and get paid for what you do, no matter from where you get it done! But it does come with some complications too. I am just trying to help people out with the pros and cons of freelancing and hope it helps them decide.
Pros of Freelancing
Things you need to seriously consider about freelancing are:
- It is flexible – If you can optimally use Freelancing, it is quite flexible.
- It pays – Use it wisely and professionally and you can make money.
- Be your own boss – You need to be a strict one at that!
- Diversified experience – Explore different skills you have with freelancing opportunities.
Cons of Freelancing
I am sure many of you would have experienced this part of freelancing more than the pros. But then getting into the right channels can make a difference. Like every coin has 2 sides, freelancing too has some issues:
- It is not permanent – This is something you need to consider seriously.
- There are frauds – But then there are in the conventional job market too!
- Take time – Yes, you need to have a lot of patience to start off with freelancing.
- Need to invest in multiple channels – Invest your time and effort in multiple channels of freelancing instead of mulling over just one option.
So how do you nail it?
As I said, there are many websites like Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour etc where you can register your profile and seek freelance opportunities. There are many organizations that also outsource some of their jobs. Things will not happen overnight and you need to build up a good network as well as profile. To begin with, compromise a little on the compensation and build a good clientele. Once you start getting work regularly, you can bid higher. Approach the start-ups or SMEs initially, where you can get a good exposure and build your profile.
If you are an experienced person seeking a freelance job, it makes things easier. You need to showcase your profile professionally and go out and seek the options available. Do not drop your card somewhere and expect people to call up and give you a job. If you want it, you have to explicitly ask for it and grab the opportunity that comes your way.
Try various job sites, LinkedIn etc which are also sources of freelancing work. But then, always make sure that you verify the company or the client for whom you work. Join networks like JobsForHer, Sheroes etc that are helping women out in restarting their career.
There are some basic ethics and rules to follow too. Managing work and personal life in freelancing can be quite tough! But then if you want to stay home and work, you have to find an efficient way out for it. There are many tools available online that helps you keep track of what you do. You can use MS Excel also if you are not that tech-savvy.
You need to be responsible and serious about your work. A negative review can cost you many projects impending confirmation. Deadlines have to be kept and communication is also very important. You need to prioritize the work and plan accordingly.
The fact remains that quite a lot of freelancing opportunities in various fields are available online. You need to polish your skills, get confident and focus on it. Writing, SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Customer Care, Teaching, Accounting, Fashion Designing, Web designing, Graphic designing, HR & Recruitment, Advertising, Software development, Photography, Surveying, Market Research etc are some of the fields where ample freelancing opportunities are available. If being occupied with work is what matters more, try diversifying into some thing that is in demand.
Make the most of the technology but beware of the pitfalls!