The Freelance Life: What I Love About Being A Freelance Writer
Written By: Trina Moitra
Many people in India still raise an eyebrow when I say “I am a freelancer”. For these respectable figures (albeit with a generation gap) freelancer=lazy bum who couldn’t crack into any reputable organization. They smirk at me and ask me “What did you do for your graduation?” When I answer “I was top 3 in my class at a reputed Engineering Institute and had joining offers from a number of big names!” the silly condescending smile disappears. But wait there’s more…..when they hear that I am a part of a $760 million strong US Company and their only representative in India, the scope and implications of the entire shebang becomes glaringly obvious.
I chose to be a freelancer because I found the advantages and benefits irresistible!
Let me tell you what freelancing has given me:
More respect than any of my contemporaries. They have a “boss” who regularly humiliates them. I am my own master! No one has the right to make me do what I don’t want to.
More experience. My friends who joined more “conventional working options” are still struggling with their training. They will continue to do so till the penny drops and they realize they need an MBA degree to further their aspirations. They will then flock to some MBA Institute with 2 years of technical jargon on their CVs and no “marketing” experience. I on the other hand have designed and implemented websites and marketing campaigns for numerous pan globe companies and if someday the MBA bug bites me….I will not only get more time to prepare well (I am my own master remember!) to get into a good College, I will also do so with a repertoire that will allow me to squeeze every advantage possible from the curriculum taught.
More options! I am NOT bound 9 to 5. I am taking up so many relevant courses that can help me improve my skill set. For example if you are say a graphics designer specializing in Photoshop, go ahead and learn the framework of Word press as well. If you are a marketing expert, go ahead and learn Corel Draw. You will be able to provide better more comprehensive services which will include mock up designs with your marketing material!! My friends have a monotonous life: Its work Monday to Friday and sleep on the weekends. They are always lamenting the fact that they have no drive and no “value” left in their lives. The company sucks them dry!
More money. Oh dear….I won’t say much here! But my friends don’t have the luxury of buying an ipad at the drop of a hat or getting their entire house redone. Period!
Yes…that’s okay the critics will say…but what about job security and medical support?
Hello…..in the year 2012 alone more than 3 lakh IT professionals and other skilled workers were “let go” unceremoniously. What job security?? No one will ever “fire” me! In freelancing there is only “hiring”! In difficult times jobs actually come by more easily. We freelancers charge less and provide superior quality. We are the “back up plan” of the entire corporate world!
And medical support? The so called “medical support” that the companies provide to a fresher is normally to the tune of around 30,000 rupees a year. That’s less than 3000 a month. Trust me….when you are a successful freelancer, it hardly ever matters!
The last argument the dejected detractors like putting up is a social circle. What about that? Well Michio Kaku says that by 2030, there will be virtual offices everywhere! So yes…we are a little ahead of time. I have over 2000 virtual contacts and when the other day I was facing a technical glitch; my freelance buddy Salman Hijazi from Pakistan took time out to personally solve it for me.
I appreciate a friend in need like him more than any other fair weather buddy I ever had!
It is the ideal alternative really. Graduates should always go in for a year as a freelancer, part time if they have a lot of family pressure and the parents are threatening hara-kiri if you become a “bum” (read freelancer)! But do try this life. I promise you, it will spoil you for the other jobs.
Elance is one shining beacon in this greatly alluring field. It has started an India dedicated operation that is aimed at providing targeted help to Indian freelancers so that they can go toe to toe with professionals from other countries where “freelancing” is an accepted and highly valued engagement. Go check out their Facebook India page.
If interested you can sign up via www.elance.com/p/crp/kolkata/trina and be a part of the revolution!
I am sure that other portals will soon come up with a dedicated section for the largest democracy in the world! In short, it is a great time to be a freelancer and an Indian.
Next week I will be writing a piece on the most important tech tools that are changing a freelancer’s life.
Till then, keep bidding and keep rocking!!
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra