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Millennials abandoning 9–5 jobs for freelancing, the latest career opportunity on the block

Sairee Chahal
11th Jan 2017
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Kiara, a young, talented, and vibrant engineer, often finds herself answering questions about her work within her social circle whenever she speaks about a new project at work. The conversation usually revolves around her decision to continue working at the same company for the past two years while most of her friends chose to follow the prevalent norm of switching between several companies within the same time frame. Although this kind of stability is rarely seen within the millennial youth in India, Kiara’s decision to continue with her current company is indicative of a new trend within the Indian corporate sector.

The 24-year-old is part of a growing community that is the driving force behind the shift from conventional job roles towards freelancing the job market is currently witnessing. It is also becoming one of the most preferred career prospects among Indian women, who are seeking such opportunities in order to create a balance between their personal and professional lives.

Over the past couple of years, this trend has gained substantial momentum. Fuelled by India’s growing millennial population, this change has been trending in the job market for quite some time now, and shows no signs of slowing down. If some reports are to be believed, latest market analyses suggest that more than 60 percent of millennials prefer to switch jobs within two years rather than following the traditional way of slowly climbing the corporate ladder.

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Why are millennials shifting towards freelance-based job opportunities?

The freedom and flexibility to work are perhaps the biggest advantages of freelance-based job roles as they allow individuals to work at a time and place that best suits their convenience. Take the example of Kiara, who took a chance as a freelance designer for a top company and has not looked back since. Under the steady guidance of her boss, an accomplished and seasoned designer, the talented millennial felt extremely inspired by her work.

Moreover, since her supervisor has always understood her aspirations and given her the flexibility to achieve her set goals by herself, Kiara is now confident of her capabilities and believes in reinventing herself as much as her work.

Let us further explore why this trend is catching on among the urban youth and further explain why the millennial youth wants all or nothing:

 

  • Monotony: While a 9–5 job was considered quite a lucrative deal in the past and is still the dream for some, the preference for such prospects is slowly declining among the Indian youth. Despite being considered a stable and secure option, such jobs tend to become quite monotonous after a certain point of time. Contrariwise, freelancing offers individuals a variety of possibilities that they can exploit according to their tastes and preferences.‌
  • Long commute and closed workplace environment: The millennial generation loves to be on the go, and anything that proves to be a hindrance to their overall growth, whether personal or professional, leads them to lose interest fast. As a result, commuting long hours to work in an enclosed environment is not considered very productive for such individuals.
  • Shifting preference among corporates looking to hire fresh talent: These days, many corporates have begun to assign tasks, both light and heavy, to freelancers who work on a commission basis for specific assignments. The biggest reason towards this shift is attributed to an increase in internet user penetration and application advancement. Since there is limited to no scope for the job constraints that usually come with a traditional job role, most millennials tend to have full creative freedom for such projects. They are also better committed to finishing the task at hand effectively and in time.

Facts to consider before contemplating a freelancing career

Following are some basic guidelines and facts for those considering freelancing or even those who have already begun their journeys:

 

  • While making or receiving professional calls, freelancers should make sure they are logged in and are available for the duration of the call. Additionally, they should make sure that such calls are conducted in a professional manner, and ensure no background noises disturb the call.
  • Since freelancing is still professional work that can be done from any place, individuals should make sure that they have a dedicated space to complete their tasks. Contrary to popular belief, freelancing does not mean long breaks and lots of free time. Such jobs take as much time as work done in an office and maybe even more, depending on the task assigned. Thus, those considering a career within this space should make sure they are surrounded by people who understand their work commitments.

The future of freelancing in the Indian job market

Some market reports suggest that more than 45 percent millennials value flexibility over good pay, which can be another reason why such individuals are being accepted within corporates for various assignments on contract bases. Industry giants like IBM, Accenture, Samsung, and Nokia are quite prominent examples of those in the corporate realm who prefer that their employees freelance/work from home. Such organisations believe that the productivity of an employee is higher when working in a familiar and/or relaxing environment and that they are better able to utilise their energy in their own style.

It is evident from the aforementioned examples and factors that freedom and flexibility of work in freelancing are some of the key factors that the corporate sector has begun to consider in order to work with the talented Indian youth. What’s more, even millennials look forward to being a part of a workplace where they can make an impact on the community and serve a greater purpose. Thus, it can be concluded for now that freelancing is certainly the latest career opportunity on the block and will continue to dominate the Indian job market in the future.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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