Bye-Bye 9 To 5: Freelancing Is The New Freedom

Millennials are choosing to be their own bosses.

Have you thought about freelancing? Sure, having the security of a regular job is cool, but freelance work has its own perks.

Freelancing has been around since the 1800s, but it picked up steam in the early 2000s. Freelancers answered only to themselves, and they could pick and choose their projects. They also had the freedom to work on two or more projects at a time.

Since freelancing became popular, every year saw more employees quitting their nine-to-fives. Between 2000 and 2014, there was a 500% increase in the freelancer industry. But back then, most freelancers didn’t quit their regular jobs. Some kept one foot in the corporate world. They freelanced in their spare time. Back then, IT and programming were the top jobs.

Marjorie* has been freelancing since 2014. “I started out as an IT agent in a call center in Makati. When I discovered O-Desk and got my first client, I left my corporate job. I realized I could earn more as a freelancer.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, employees found another reason to go into freelancing. They had an opportunity to become their own bosses, and they took it. Many of them fell in love with freelancing for different reasons.

Perks of freelancing

For starters, freelancers don’t have to work every day. All they have to do is be sure to meet their deadlines. Working at home gives them more control over their own time. They can also focus more since their managers aren’t breathing down their necks.

Freelancing gave people the independence they craved. They didn’t have to clock in and out at ungodly hours anymore. No more micromanagers. No more worrying about being late and getting salary deductions as a result.

They also don’t have to travel to and from work. Freelancers have the freedom to work anywhere. All they need is a device to work on and a stable internet connection. Some choose to hole up in their bedrooms. Others travel. They take their laptops to the beach and work while working on their tans. Take Bataan-based Anya*, for example.

“I decided to live here because I wanted to be near the beach all the time. The internet is good here, and that’s all I need,” she shares.

The pay is also better since freelancers can take on several jobs at a time. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork allow freelancers to do so. Yes, they take a cut of freelancers’ earnings. But most Filipinos working on those sites earn US dollars. Some even make up to $1000 on a single project. In other words, freelancers can earn big bucks in a short time.

Freelancing also appealed to many because it allowed them to grow. Having more control over their time gave people the opportunity to upskill. Freelance work may have been a side hustle before, but now it’s the way forward for many.

Because of these things, some people quit their corporate jobs to freelance full-time. 

Get started

All you need is a decent internet connection and a laptop. You also need a marketable job skill. Before you give freelancing a try, you may want to sharpen whatever skills you have. You may even want to learn something new. The more skills you can offer a prospective client, the more likely you are to get hired.

Certifications are also great things to have. You can get yours from Google, HubSpot, or other platforms. If you have a way with words, Reuters offers a certificate in digital journalism. That would be a great addition to your resume if you want to become a writer.

READ Where to Look When You Need Freelance and Remote Work

When you’ve got the connection, the device, and the skills, start looking for clients. Facebook is a great place to get started. Look for Groups where people post job ads. You can also build a profile on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Send out as many applications or proposals as you can. Don’t be sad if it takes you a long time to land a client. Keep trying.

There are many freelance jobs out there, so you’re bound to find work at some point. When you do, don’t let your clients down. After all, they took a chance on you, so you owe it to them to do your best.

Featured Image Daniella Sison

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