Gig Economy and the Rags to Riches Story of Every Freelancer
Even the most prideful domain expert will be humbled after becoming a freelancer. But that's just one of the initial woes every freelancer crosses before witnessing the dawn of their careers.
With the promise of freedom tantalizing me day in and day out through my LinkedIn window, I couldn’t help but quit my job and give freelance writing my worthiest shot.
And I was not alone. Of course, I cannot be the only one to see the rewarding opportunities fruiting everywhere in every industry for every requirement. Talented and skilled people — audaciously including myself to the group — are reaching out to the decision-makers and hiring managers more often than ever and are winning the fruits (projects) with only showcasing what they are capable of.
How is the Even Gig Culture Rising?
For a layman, freelancing is the forbidden apple, and none should ever even rest their heads on its side. And it makes perfect sense too, especially in India where caution is practiced until it’s too late. After all, why would someone leave the consistent stream of income for something seductive yet out of reach and in the wilderness?
However, the idea of freelancers who are confident and the experts of their domain is completely different. After all, why would someone opt for the nine hours — sometimes extended — job when they can enjoy the freedom of choosing the work and work timing while making so much more.
Why Managers Hire Freelancers?
Two words: skill gap.
Unemployment is rising. It sure is. What about unemployability?
Jobs are everywhere; opportunities are everywhere. I am seeing vacancies that are never filled. I am answering at least one interview call every day. So, no one is applying for the job? No way on earth that can be the case. The truth is no one eligible is applying for the jobs.
Everyone kept a close watch on unemployment rates, but no one dared to bat an eye on what unemployable rates looked like. This has led the hiring managers to compete for the limited talent, who, of course, saw the opportunity to juggle between multiple gigs at the same time and bingo-ed!
The other reason for hiring freelancers is common knowledge: companies don’t see the same work existing after a period or they need someone to fill the gap before they can hire a full-time employee or they don’t have the resources for full-time employment.
Is Freelancing That Easy to Start With?
Who are we kidding? Freelancing is no way an easy task when you are just entering the gig market. The first stage is the 'Inductee' phase where even the best of talents is paid in peanuts.
While I presented myself as the knight in the shining armor taking care of every one of my client’s needs, which I did, my prospect treated me as a pauper begging for alms. I often ended up agreeing for more than I can handle and pulled all-nighters because I didn’t want my only client to dump me. Not to mention, this is also the phase where I was always the one reaching out to prospects and pitching my expertise. Not the other way around.
The next-up is 'Made Man' phase, where I got recognized for my skill, and people started approaching me — felt like a celebrity until I heard about the payment. The remuneration didn’t send me to the heavens but was better and enough for good living.
And the next is 'God Father’ phase where the best of the best of the best — and one-in-a-million kind of lucky — reach. It is the phase where people earn in thousands for a few hours of their time. It is more like selling your expertise than a service.
Above everything, freelancing is all about freedom and the potential for exponential growth in a very short time — depends on the skill, of course. And that makes it worthwhile for people to try, strive, and make a career gigging.
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