freelance; That Doesn't Mean I Don't Work - How
I Broke Through Stereotyped Mindsets
The transition from
a full-time employee to a freelance contractor is not easy. Doubts,
apprehensions, and uncertainties are common and I had plenty of
these to deal with when I began my journey as an independent
freelance content writer.
I was starting from
scratch; taking small steps to launch my freelance business and
establish myself, all on my own. This was a new world that promised
wonderful opportunities, and a chance to fulfill my dreams like
never before. Success could be mine, with patience, perseverance,
and a pragmatic approach to everything I did.
Things were starting
to take off well and so were the reactions I was getting from people
all around me - friends, family & acquaintances. I must add
that this was quite a few years ago when the term 'freelance'
didn’t ring any bells in peoples' minds, especially in my part of
Everyone who came in
contact with me and inquired about my present employment ended up
giving me questioning looks.
They had numerous queries regarding what I do and wondered how I
could possibly work from home, while they spent hours at a stretch,
commuting to and from office on a daily basis to earn a living.
To tell you honestly, the only prominent vibe I got from each
persistent inquirer was “I don’t think she does anything”.
Sure, things were not
easy as this was a time when people around me were switching jobs,
taking up employment with high-paying MNCs that offered mind-boggling
perks & enticing employee benefits. No wonder, everyone was
astonished and wanted to know why I want to do anything 'different'
and not follow the dependable nine-to-five work routine?
And here I was, excited,
intrigued, and visibly hopeful about making it big on my own in
the beautiful world of content writing.
Over the next
few years, I had started getting some great writing opportunities
and was feeling happy with where I was. However, the questions,
snide remarks and failed attempts to make me jealous as other
“successful” professionals boasted about their steady flow
of promotions in their so-called predictable, high paying
jobs, continued. I was still someone who wasn't in a full-time
job, and “says she does something on her own”.
see a pattern developing here. Were people really finding
it difficult to understand what I do, or could it be
possible that they didn’t want to know. After all, I
couldn’t give them a big name of a company I was working
with at that time. Could I blame this on human mentality?
the case maybe, I stood unaffected as I was happy and
satisfied with my work and saw no reason to spend time
convincing others of what I do. It was hilarious when
at several social occasions, I came across people
who complained endlessly about their boss, work profile,
tiring deadlines & long commute, unbearable work
pressure, and much more.
were the same people, who at one point in time didn’t
waste a single moment in judging me. And the irony of
it all, I wasn’t the one complaining about all these
things, they were! Such is life.
thing left to do was to do nothing and let my work speak
Here's what I think:
Different people will have different
views about everything. The trick is to know what feels right
for you and do it wholeheartedly. It is important to break
through stereotypical mindsets if that’s what gives you happiness
and creative fulfillment.
Over the last few years, I
have worked on some exciting projects and with some excellent
clients, not just in India but across the globe. I am happy,
contented and thankful to all those people who doubted me.
If it wasn’t for them and their preconceived notions, I
probably wouldn’t have pushed myself to achieve all that I
I am happy that I didn’t settle
for anything less than I was capable of achieving and I will
say it again,
“I freelance, doesn’t
mean I’m Unemployed."
Writer: Akanksha, Freelance Content Writer, India
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