Do you wish to work full time or does freelancing seem more your style?
I started my career at the age of 19 with the Airlines and had an intense job but at the same time had many off days in between. I have never worked 9 to 5. Now being an Image Consultant I meet so many people who are working full time and even more freelancers. I do foresee a whole generation moving towards having an intense appetite to see multidimensional growth in their lives. They want more, they explore more and try out more.
Though an office job does form a certain discipline and create a work environment it could also get less appealing over time. Freelancing can sound fun and easy but in my view and experience requires a lot of self discipline.
Is the Gen next actually acquiring these specific skill sets to move away from the brick and mortar offices to more co working spaces and working from home ?
From freelancing to full-time, what’s the future of employment?
With the expeditious changes in job briefs and job titles, the job market is rapidly shifting. The workplace has moved beyond its conventional cubicle-to-cabin space and forayed into a consulting arrangement. We are no longer looking at a job market that’s exclusively with a company and comes with an employer-employee tag but rather a platform where clients and professionals engage to work-out mutually beneficial business opportunities. That’s where we exit the cubicle and enter the world of freelancing.
The generation-next is not one to be oppressed by their bosses and nor will they be bound by the excessive bureaucracy that binds corporations. Metropolitan city’s long commuting hours and technology’s advent has made it possible for companies to downsize their employee count. This doesn’t mean machines are taking over employment opportunities but rather creates a gap in the market for skills that can be met by specific individuals. Enter: professionals! These professionals with their distinct skill set and expertise offer their services at their own terms and work project-to-project. They do what they do best for their client and then move on to the next. No time cards, no leave applications and no slogging for that promotion. Freelancing allows one to work on multiple projects with diverse clients and eliminates the fear of being fired because you don’t have any one employer. And because of the added liberty of work hours and own vision, the quality of work put out is undoubtedly higher. Also, the opportunities for career growth will be far more than a 9-5 desk job where the line from probation to promotion could take ages.
Freelancing is practical because we are living in an age where start-ups are the next big thing. Everyone is an entrepreneur and everyone is creating something. Most teams aren’t hierarchical but rather departmental where each individual is responsible for their job and report to their fellow workers and not an authoritative figure giving out orders. Also, start-ups aren’t in a financial position to hire in-house employees and give them benefits; most start-ups don’t even have the physical space to do so. Here’s when they save up on overhead costs and hire specialists/ consultants and freelancers for their skill and then let them go.
Now let’s face it, freelancing sounds like it’s a bed of roses but being your own boss comes with a far greater responsibility. You’re working solo, you’re your own brand and you’re your own marketer. Own accountant, own PR agent. You have to put yourself out on the market with a diverse portfolio and skill set that would entice the client to pick you from a pool of options. To set yourself apart, it is always best to have fresh skills and also the appetite for new experiences because each project for each client will be a new challenge. With a corporation, you can expect job stability and financial security because you have chosen the safe option that will allow you to do the one job you do best and were hired for. But, that’s at their time and the way they want. When you’re working for yourself, your professional energy may or may not vibe with every potential client and because you have no safety net, you have to push yourself to cater to a variety of needs and job requirements that would make the client want to work with you over your competitor.
Here’s where the real question arises, are you meant for freelance or full-time? The right question to ask yourself at this time is what am I offering to the market? Is my skill-set, my experience and my ability to develop my skills aligning with the prospects that I am looking at?
Janvi Sonaiya, a journalist with Ahmedabad Mirror, is currently making the best of both worlds. She has a full time job with a leading tabloid and still finds the time to work freelance as a theatre actor, a heritage guide and an anchor. She says, “Having a permanent employment gives me security and hence, the liberty to work freelance for people and organisations that I like. My question of survival is taken care by my full-time job and then I can explore professionally.”
If your skill set isn’t evolved enough to take on the freelancing space exclusively, its best to balance it out for the time being. The individuals that understand this are constantly upping their game.
When majority of all work happens online on our own laptops and smart phones, traveling to an office to do something you could do from home seems redundant. We are looking at a generation that is fearsome of monotony. We are on the lookout for the next thrill and the next adventure. A structured job for the rest of our lives is scary. The generation is demanding flexibility. But with these flexible needs, a flexible and open mind to imbibe so-to give out skills is just as important. The industry is changing and trends are picking up and dying out every other day. So, the more you can contribute, the more your professional value will be; regardless of whether you choose full-time or freelance.
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