Working as a Freelancer in the Pandemic: Opportunities and ChallengesAUTHOR: Lena Linetti
The pandemic opened a window to new opportunities for freelancers but new challenges too. Finding the balance between these two aspects is the key to leverage the moment. Before the pandemic, the freelancing world was already growing rapidly. But the pandemic shook the foundation as it did with all the other fields. So, if you are a freelancer or are thinking of joining this working style, here are some opportunities and challenges that you need to consider.
1. The boom of the digital world
The pandemic forced businesses and individuals to go digital. It was not an option anymore because it became the only way to reach customers. During the first weeks, the freelancing world lost traction because many businesses stopped offering their products and services. However, during those days, they re-organized their operations and realized all they could get from the digital world. Hence, they started a career to develop new web resources and lots of content.
And this is how a huge opportunity showed up for many freelancers. Those who resisted the initial period of the pandemic were lucky to harvest their resistance and received massive new work orders. On the other hand, new freelancers found they could leverage the moment and obtain their first gigs rapidly. With these new opportunities showing up, it’s a shame if freelancers are not familiar with digital tools, even the simplest ones, such as knowing how to send large files or convert files from word to pdf. Being knowledgeable about the functions of digital tools is more than essential now.
2. Independent work
One of the most celebrated benefits of becoming a freelancer is the opportunity to work from home… and anywhere else. Most of the time, it is only necessary to rely on a laptop and computer programs. As a result, people can choose between staying at home or going to cafes, parks, and shared office spaces. Firstly, if you stay at home, you have more time to share with your family. If you opt for going to parks or cafes, you can assure lovely afternoons with great environments and perhaps some delicious snacks.
In big urban areas, coworking spaces are the best option. Big cities have a fantastic offer due to the growth of self-employed people and freelancers. This type of space offers the chance to find like-minded people to share with. That helps to counteract the isolation and boredom of working alone while still keeping independence. Also, they are safe to use in these circumstances because they follow strict health and protection guidelines.
3. The competition
As the freelancing world is rapidly expanding so is the number of people willing to work as freelancers. As a result, the competition to obtain more gigs and contracts is getting fierce! It means that freelancers will have to invest more time and effort to prepare themselves. Also, they will have to learn to negotiate better rates for their work. The main reason for this increase is that many specialized people are turning their attention to the freelancer world. That is because they lost their permanent jobs and try to compensate for their losses and pay their bills. At this moment, it is still hard to determine if this will continue after the pandemic ends. Thus, it is time for any freelancer to think of their future in this field. But one thing is for sure, the freelancing world will continue to expand.
4. Broader opportunities
Working as a freelancer requires low mobility. As a result, people can remain safer than people who need to work outside. On the contrary, job opportunities are all over the world. This is to say that freelancers can get hired from clients in different countries. When they post their profiles on freelancer platforms, people from everywhere can see them and hire them. Also, they can place their bids for job posts of customers in different countries. As a result, the lockdowns do not affect their income and source of work. This is excellent news because the pandemic is constantly restricting or expanding their lockdown schedules and affecting everyone´s routines. But freelancers do not get affected by that. Hence, they can build a reliable and steady source of income that doesn´t depend on external circumstances.
There has never been a better time to start freelancing. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it is easier now. The pandemic also brought us many challenges and the best formula to overcome them is to stick to the positive side of it.