freelancer career

Career as a Freelancer

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance Leave a Comment

A Freelancer is a person who works on a contract-to-contract basis and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer on a long term arrangement. One of the major advantages of being a freelancer is the flexibility to choose the kind of work that you would like to be engaged with and the terms of the contract.

Industry prospects

There is a dearth of data relating to the penetration of the freelancer career industry in India. But, web sites that are instrumental in facilitating matchmaking between contractor and performers say that India is one their biggest and fastest growing markets. “In 2013, India was the top freelancer country based on dollars,” said a spokeswoman for freelancing website oDesk.com, which was acquired by elance.com in the year 2013.

Academia

Theoretically, a freelancer career does not need an academic qualification and it is feasible to secure contracts based purely on your track record in your chosen field. But, for all practical purposes, web sites offering freelance work opportunities do require you to complete a registration process that includes your contact details, educational qualifications, work experience, additional skills, etc. The registration details are visible to employers who are on the look-out for competent personnel for their assignments. Educational qualifications and work experience are critical considerations that are weighed up by employers.

Job profile

Freelance work opportunities are available for a whole host of sectors: information technology and programming, graphic design and multimedia, writing, content and translation, data entry and administration, sales and marketing, customer service, finance and accounting, web, mobile and software development, data science and analytics, engineering and architecture, legal, animation, audio production, video production, etc.

Employment Skills

i. Estimation Skills (20%) – to assess the time required for the assignment;
ii. Marketing Skills (25%) – to market yourself and your repertoire of abilities;
iii. Negotiation Skills (30%) – to establish clear contractual terms;
iv. Problem solving Skills (15%) – to deliver the contract on schedule by being resourceful enough to overcome problems;
v. Interpersonal Skills (10%) – to foster healthy and constructive working relationship with your principal.

Prospective Employers

There are a number of web sites on which you can register and search for assignments both domestic and international. The international assignments are, needless to say, more remunerative but also much more difficult to clinch given the global competition.

Leading Websites

www.freelancer.com
www.fiverr.com  www.craiglist.org
www.99designs.com (for designers)
www.peopleperhour.com (for designers, SEO specialists and web developers)

Compensation Packages

When companies and businesses look for freelancer career, they generally search for experience in addition to academic qualifications. Getting a breakthrough in the freelance market can be difficult. Initially, there may not be much alternative but to offer your services at what you may consider as unremunerative rates. The beginner will have to balance his anxiety to start work with the risk of marking down his own value. The truth is that employers are interested in hiring expertise and not in helping the greenhorn find his way. There are freelance web sites that display whether the hiring company is looking for entry level, intermediate or high level freelancers. A fresher can start out by bidding for entry level assignment before graduating to intermediate level after a year. But, even the entry level is extremely competitive. Current rates for article writing and content writing assignments could be as low as Rs. 0.06 paise per word at the entry level. Higher rates of around Rs. 0.30 paise per word are offered for the intermediate level and the rate for high level performers could even cross Rs.1.00 per word.

Pluses and minuses

Pluses
Freelancer career have the flexibility of working from home;
You can make your own work schedule and achieve a better work-life balance;
Travel time is invested in remunerative work and the travel cost is saved;

Minuses
Deadlines are almost invariably inflexible and can cause high stress situations;
Payment rates are usually moderate particularly in the early stages;
The flow of income is not steady unlike in a salary employment;
There are no fringe benefits such as medical reimbursement, LTA, etc.

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