shruthibharadwaj.com_freelance job opportunities for women on career break_1

Heya, how are you doing today?

Like I was discussing women and career break in my previous article, I had mentioned some of the freelance opportunities that you all can look into.

So lets jump in!

First thing first, in freelance jobs there are advantages and disadvantages in equal proportion. We need to be mentally prepared to accept the pros and cons equally.

I would like to mention some of the cons first and benefits later.

Cons :

  • There would be no consistent work sometimes if you take up the work on a project basis. Once the project ends, you will have to find another one. Hence there will be some work delays, payment delays etc
  • There is a huge competition and you will have to struggle to establish yourself in the initial days.
  • You will not have a regular job hence there will be no perks like PF, insurances or any additional benefits like the regular salaried jobs
  • There is no holidays or fixed timings. So if you are used to routine work, it takes a little lot of time for you to get adjusted.
  • Since there is no “salary” as such and you are paid on work completion, you might have to go through a little financial crisis [if you lag behind the time].
  • There will be no guide/mentor/manager to help you

As long as you keep up time and consistency, there is no need to panic of worry about shifting into a full time freelancing jobs. Now lets see the greener side.

Pros :

  • There is no target, deadline as compared to a full-time role. Of course, there will be a time limit but it will be at your convenience. Again, it depends on the nature of your work.
  • There is no limit to work and you can do multiple works. For example, you can be a voice-over artist and Mehendi designer at the same time. So you can switch over the roles and enjoy all sort of work.!!
  • You will have an all-time for creativity! So once you get the hands-on experience, you will be loving your job!
  • You will get to work with different people, a new environment and lots and lots of learning experience.
  • Often many of us think that it is frustrating to work under a boss and always dream of starting our own business or find a job where you want to be on your own. Here in freelancing, there will be no guide/mentor/manager that you are dependent on. You will have more exposure however you need to remember there is nothing like ” I want to be my own boss”. You ARE answerable to clients. If you work in a company, you are answerable to the employer only. But if you start on your own, you are answerable to many people like your auditor, bank, investor, clients, customers, vendors, family and your own self. So if you are thinking of quitting your job coz of this reason ” I want to be my own boss”, it is advisable to re-think on the thought. Remember, being on own is a lot more than you think. Freelancing or entrepreneurship is a lot more risk-taking professions in terms of finances but absolutely awesome and worth if you have that sweat burning dedication and passion.
  • Since there is no “salary” as such, you can earn as much as you want!!

Now lets see what type of jobs can you find that’s trending in the market!

I have done a lot of research and figured that Fiverr is best(in my opinion) and I have shared some of their listings. There are many sites that you can definitely have a look at. But before that,

How to get in there?

>> STEP 1: Shortlist your skills.

[ I’m giving some examples for you to get some ideas]

Let’s say, my hobbies and skills are Photography, Content Writing, SEO, PPT Making, Business pitch deck presentations, Branding, Traveling, Dancing, Career Counseling, food critic, video making, reading books, nail art, jewellery making, painting, pencil sketching, trekking, adventure sports, bike riding.

>> STEP 2 : Self assessment

Now Sub shortlists your level of confidence in each area. Also, do your research on what skills can be monetised.

Ask these questions to yourself

Question 1 : What’s my proficiency in these?

Remember “I am good at it is not equal to I am professional at it”. I might be good at singing, but I cannot become a playback singer without proficiency. It is a different thought process altogether.

Answer : Photography : Product Photography(90%), Fashion Photography(50%), Wedding, Candids(80%), Pre wedding(80%), Maternity (80%) etc.

Content Writing: My grammar is about 70% Accurate and I am good at US and better at UK English. I can write on Entertainment, coding, food blogging etc.

Traveling : I travel for fun, I can write on hotel stays, food I explore and so on.

Question 2 : What kind of requirement can I find?

Answer: Content writing, product photography can be a kind of regular projects whereas pre-wedding, maternity can be occasional. So pre-wedding can be a pre-booking assignment that you can plan for weekends, and product photoshoots can be scheduled on a weekday.

Question 3 : How can I allot my timings?

Answer: If you choose multiple freelance works, you can fix it like 3 hours for SEO, 2 hours for content writing, weekends for travelling or reviewing the products and so on. Like I had mentioned in my previous article about finance, if your monetary requirement is more and you need to allocate a lot of time, you plan for an 8 hours schedule. You know you can get a regular project for product photography from a wholesale dealer every day to spend about 4 hours and you earn 15k/month. You will get a regular content writing project from a tech company and spend about 2 hours a day and get 10k per month. So you will be still having 1 hour left in a day. And you have your weekends for yourself. In that, you can assign some seasonal work like the bridal makeup, wedding photo-shoots and so on. This is an example and you need to plan up as per your skills and when you get into peer analysis of your own-self, you will be able to plan it well.

So you need to dig in detail about your level of expertise in the categories you choose. This is the most crucial part that you need to be extremely cautious about. We simply cannot mention 90% good at singing. It needs some endorsements. So when I say photography 80% in maternity and 90% in product photography, I need to know about lighting, lens, in-depth knowledge where I can confidently handle a variety of clients. An angry customer, a confused customer, impatient, arrogant, polite etc. So for this assessment, you need to prepare a portfolio, share with people from the same background. You can always count on friends but you might not get a professional criticism to correct it. Only an expert from that domain will be able to help you out. You can explore networking groups, Linkedin members etc and get your portfolio done.

PRO TIP,

“Remember!! The more you criticise yourself, the better you get at it. Because this is the phase of your career being judged by others and future deciding point. Once you are successful at this phase, you will have a cakewalk in the coming days”

Question 4 : How to get Clients/ Projects?

Of course, this is the first question to be asked in fact. Without having a project in hand there is no use of all these preparations. As per my experience in these many years, here is my answer.

“No matter what skills you have. No matter how good you are at your profession. There is one thing that is very much needed. You need to know to sell yourself.

If we go to an interview, along with the analytical skills, the interviewer will check for your communication, social, cognitive and many other lateral thinking capabilities along with your mainstream. There will be hundreds of applications out of which the interviewer will be seeking some special qualities that you have and others might not. If you fail in an interview it is not that you are not qualified, it simply means you are at the wrong place. The company is looking for a resource that suits their requirement. You need to look for a company that you suit in to.

Let’s say, you go to a shop to buy anything, sometimes even if you love the product and if you feel the shop owner is arrogant, you don’t feel like buying from him. We always tend to go to customer-friendly shops.

So building the client base is a special talent that everyone HAS TO HAVE. There are thousands of photographers and why will the wholesale dealer hire me? It could be for the near-by location, cheaper price, good camera quality or simply that the dealer likes my nature/attitude/appeal and it just worked! I have a good rapport and the merchant liked my presentation. So you need to build this skill be it you are a full time employee or a free lancer.

Question 5: How to find the projects?

Now that you are thorough with your preparations, you confidently know what you are good at, you have a profile, you have your pricing, everything handy, you now google some of the freelancing opportunities. Do not research anything without preparations. I will tell you why.

First you will think let me see what opportunities are available. Then you will check on project payments, then you will see whether is it feasible or not. Then you will think if you are capable of doing it or not. Then you will see the competition. You will see lot of profiles with 5 star rating, awesome reviews, strong client base. You will start to doubt yourself. You will think if the payments are sufficient for your needs and the negative vibe has already started in you. You will be thinking to quit job and seeing too many uncertainties you will end up in confusing.

Don’t you feel this is totally a wrong approach? You know you are born with some talent and might not have churned it well into a professional skill. You might not have got proper support from family, friends or whatsoever reason. But that shouldn’t be stopping you from what you should be doing and what you are currently doing.

So prepare yourself first, and then look into websites like freelance dot com, fiverr and google all the networking sites. Talk to your professional contacts. Avoid family contacts and close friends. Use your linked in account. Spend at least 1 hour a day to just build your network. Get first 3 projects and make sure you get a regular income. Once you see the consistency flowing, you then put your papers down at the company you are working.



Watch out for my next post in Continuation with this blog, I will write on various categories and opportunities in freelancing.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned to know more stories from me.

Love and peace!

-Shruthi

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