Freelancing: Be the master of your own destiny
Ever thought of earning your own pocket money while being in college? If yes then you certainly must have come across the term Freelancing. Seeing the growing trend among youngsters and particularly college students, it is not surprising that Freelancing has begun to be seen as a full-time job for some of the skilled professionals. Many young professionals who refuse to accept the hierarchical structure of a company, quit and begin freelancing or building up sources of passive income. Passive income as a term was popularized by Robert T. Kiyosaki in his bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad. In his book, Robert goes on to explain how rich people tend to make money work for them instead of working for money. It’s like having your bank account automatically credited while you are on a vacation. Though the term says passive, assuming that you have nothing to start with, you still have to create something which people will value in-order for you to benefit economically from the exchange between you and your visitor/customer/client. There is another belief prevalent among college students that they can make quite a bit of money (many even think of becoming millionaires riding on it) by investing in the stock markets. Though the idea is not totally impossible, it is certainly not feasible either for many of the dreamers. In the book “ The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, usually considered the Bible of trading, the author clearly mentions the principle that you cannot expect something of value in return for nothing. The idea is first you have to create something of value or spot something of value, then work on it to make it more valuable than what it is and resell it in the market. This is the Golden rule in business if you want to get rich. So the most reliable way of making money in college is either by building sources of passive income( blogs, YouTube channel etc) or by doing freelance work.
Freelancing: A Basic Definition
Essentially, a freelance job is one where people work for themselves, rather than for a company. While freelancers do take on-contract work for companies and organizations, they are ultimately self-employed. So if you are freelancing, you can enjoy the freedom which is seldom available to an employee and still add value to the market.
Most Common Freelancing Fields
Team MM analyzed the data from websites like UpWork and Flexjobs, which provide freelancing opportunities online, and we have come up with the following list with the most freelance openings available in the market.
Computer & IT services
Finance & Marketing services
HR & Recruiting
Editing, Proofreading, and Writing
Traits and Characteristics needed for freelancing
Like in every work, here too you need to have some special weapons in your arsenal to overcome or destroy the hindrances to success and achievement. A few of them are listed below:
1.Discipline: There’s no boss watching you out of the corner of their eye or colleagues to judge you when you spend an hour online shopping instead of working. Discipline is necessary to stay on track.
2.Persistence: The projects in the market aren’t going to be easy, there is a reason why your clients are looking for freelancers, it’s because their employees couldn’t do it. So you need to be persistent in order to find the solutions.
3.Resilience: There’s one word you’ll hear more than anything as a freelancer: No. Rejection is the name of the game, and you’re going to need to let it roll off your back.
4. Organization: You’re responsible for a lot of different tasks. You need to keep track of your income and expenses. You need to promptly reply back to client emails and stay on top of your deadlines. You need to keep your files sorted and your workload streamlined.
5.Communicative: Being a freelancer involves a lot of communication. You need to be willing to have hard conversations—like negotiating a higher rate of breaking up with a client—and handle them tactfully and professionally. There’s no boss or other colleagues to take care of that dirty work for you.
What is Gig Economy?
Are you a college student who’s financially unstable or looking for some extra income? Gig economy or gig work is the one that can help you. Gig work refers to temporary independent work that one does in order to earn extra money. It is not done under any supervision or employer. And in recent times, it has been on the rise. The benefits of gig work is that you are independent and can choose a project or an assignment of your interest. Gig work encourages people to work in their area of interest and hence results in increased efficiency. But on the flip side, the absence of a supervisor or employer might make some people lazier and their efficiency can nosedive. But the amount of success in gig work depends on a person and his nature. Gig work is also beneficial to the economy as it reduces unemployment. Also, gig work has proved its worth by preparing students for the future. College students cannot work full-time owing to studies and classes. And gig work is a new avenue for them to work independently without the pressure from an employer. Gig work, if successful can turn a student self-sufficient sooner than others. Though it has existed in some countries for a long time, it has been a recent trend in India. But India is soon catching up as well, and with its favourable demographic dividend is projected to have a huge gig economy in the coming years.
Projjal Kanti Das, who is currently a sophomore pursuing his B.Tech in Ceramic Engineering and also a part-time freelancer says:
I do a part time job as a graphic designer for a chain of restaurants which is a bit different from freelancing. It's just that I get paid monthly rather than getting paid after each project as in case of freelancing. My experience has been really great. Though sometimes the work becomes quite hectic, the work environment was great as every member was ready to back up when one isn't able to deliver on time. This job has been very instrumental in improving my design skills. One must possess good time-management skills. I remember getting designing tasks night before the midsem exams. You should accept the opportunities only if you are interested in that field or else you'd feel burdened by the tasks
Devidutta Biswajit, another sophomore who is currently pursuing his B.Tech in Metallurgical and Materials Science Engineering shared his experiences with us and said:
I do freelancing in the fields of afflitiated marketing, ad clicks and data entry. I usually search about them on Google and Quora where I get suggestions related to it. I now possess almost 2 years of experience in freelancing. It's a great opportunity for anyone if one’s really interested in earning some extra pocket money. It goes without saying that one should not devote his/her complete time to it as there’s no income guarantee. So it should be pursued in leisure time.
Freelancing is a great opportunity for all those who want to earn more. It is steadily on the rise in India. The advent of technology and the increased ease of accessibility of the internet has accelerated its adoption. Freelancing and gig work are now quite common, especially amongst students and youngsters. Complete freedom to choose projects and flexible hours are among its benefits. On the flip side, the lack of guarantee of a steady income does involve some risks. But, if done part-time as many students at NIT Rourkela are involved in, it can prove to be a bonus and promote self-sufficiency at an early age.