Rise of Freelancers in India:Driving factors & opportunities for women
If the idea of working nine-to-five and doing the same thing every day sounds monotonous, you might be more suited to freelancing careers. Freelancing careers may contain more part-time or temporary positions and are commonly used to ensure a more sustainable work-life balance. Freelancers provide excellent opportunities for employers to cut cost and leverage on fixed expenditure.
Freelancers are self-employed professionals who either work independently or with an employer up to a certain period of time, without directly being part of their company. Unlike conventional professions like Law or Engineering which require years of training, freelancing doesn’t require any kind of specialization, just an idea to bank on one’s talent or skills. Although this alternate profession does not promise job security, most people still choose to tread the road less taken and take up self-employment for varying reasons like – Work & Time Flexibility, Creative freedom, or Fulfillment of personal goals.
The popularity of freelancing stems from the fact that it allows millennial to work at their own time and pace while enjoying the luxury of their own space. It also serves as a way to follow one’s passion along with regular job. Freelancers are no longer people with an average resume. Many of them boast degrees from top-notch institutions having rich experience across marquee firms.
Hence, freelancing is becoming the hot career option among millennial-who form a large part of the workforce, want freedom and flexibility in everything they do. One of the most envied perks of freelancing is that many freelancers set their own hours. That is exactly why 9-to-5 is a thing of the past.
For women in India, the freelancing sector has turned out to be a boon as they can now build their career without having to compromise for either family or work. They are finding much-needed balance in their lives and as mentioned above, flexibility to multitask without feeling burdened.
Furthermore, freelancing is gradually becoming the career of choice for many young professionals who either wish to pursue their passion or fill the gap in their professional career in case they have taken a hiatus.
Over the years, there have been several factors which have contributed in enabling the freelance economy in the Subcontinent. Let us explore the various growth drivers and opportunities within this domain.
Technology plays an extremely important role in driving the growth of freelancers in the country, specifically via the Internet. Being the 3rd largest online market in the world, India’s internet user penetration is over 462 million and growing.Additionally, the freelancing economy’s growth is further being accelerated by the presence of Digital Media, which has opened millions of opportunities for people within this segment.
‘Digital India’ campaign
Even the Government of India has lent its support towards this domain in the form of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at promoting digital literacy across India. This can especially help women who are mostly forced to choose family over work. Achieving digital literacy can help such women embark on their professional journey and significantly contribute towards the nation’s economy as well.Furthermore, this initiative can greatly benefit the freelance economy as it can bring with it many opportunities that people from all walks of life can explore.
These days, several campaigns like Helping Women Get Online, and other initiatives such as Hackathons, Women Who Code, Bloggers evenings etc. - are contributing in creating awareness about various freelance work options. This can help women in exploring the vast ocean of opportunities for furthering their career goals.
Among thousands of options available for work, the most common freelance job requirements include those for Content/Creative writing, IT, and Social Media management.Those looking for freelancing job opportunities can easily apply for these profiles without having the pressure to commute to work every day. Among the ones mentioned, content writing is the most preferred option for freelancers as it is one of the easiest and less time-consuming jobs available.
Unlike few years back, when freelancing was viewed as temporary work, opportunities for freelancing are being shared much more openly these days owing to greater awareness. Also, with an increase in online platforms that specifically facilitate freelancing options, it has become easier for people to find work without any constraints.
Another major factor that is becoming an integral part of freelancing is the advent of Co-working spaces – a kind of shared workplace that allows independent activity. These places allow freelancers to use typical workplace resources on its premises for a very nominal fee - providing them with any infrastructure they need to complete their job. Additionally, women who need a couple of hours away from home to escape routine from time to time can make use of such facilities and do their work without any distractions.
Therefore, no matter which way one chooses to go professionally, it is safe to say that freelancers in India will continue to rise in numbers – contributing to the nation’s economy manifold with their respective efforts.