FYI: Freelancing

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Hello and welcome to FYI.

This week, we touch on a potential solution to the spiraling unemployment issue.

A freelancer is anyone who offers services to clients without being committed to an employer. Initially, these workers were mostly found in writing, design, or marketing. But with the increasingly border-less internet world, it has evolved to cover almost every field; including education, music, photojournalism, web development, consulting, and event management. Together with outsourcing, it’s revolutionizing the way we work. It’s why American families have Math tutors for their kids in Bangladesh, and a Nigerian music video shot in Ajegunle is edited in an isolated room in Johannesburg.

Formerly a self-employed discipline, freelancing has in recent times also evolved to include part time roles that do not compete with services offered by your full term employer. A typical example is a Pharmacist who edits articles or designs websites, and a female Banker who bakes for special events (She left the Bank a month ago). Moreover, dynamic trends in freelance marketplaces are allowing clients meet freelancers online through sign up sites.

So think of any person with a set of skills that are in demand and you have a potential freelancer; Architects, Engineers, Pharmacists, Lawyers, Literature and Linguistics Graduates, Social and Political Scientists etc. All that’s necessary is the right attitude and a little bit of luck.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a freelancer does, here’s an excellent article I found from Forbes’ Deborah L. Jacobs just before posting this. It’s about “the Secret of Successful Freelancing” and there are two interesting takeaways.

“As a Freelancer, I viewed the work world as a series of opportunities – a philosophy that few job hunters share” and,

“There are few things more valuable than being at the right place at the right time”.

But most important is her continuous mention of learning opportunities and valuable new contacts, which takes us this interesting networking conversation.

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P.P.S. Oh, and notice how we keep including links? It’s because reading is a shared quality of some of the most successful business leaders. So please share all the interesting articles you come across.

Right! That’s it then. Remember to say hello to the next stranger you meet. It might be the key to an amazing networking story.

Now it’s your turn. Have you been going about the job hunt wrongly? Or are you a freelancer? What freelancing stories or difficulties would you like to share with us?

Abubakar Abdullahi is Managing Principal at The Front Office NG. He tweets @ab_bakr


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in The Business Hub on 11th June 2014.

 

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