A freelancer is a person who works on a contract basis , they lend their skills and get paid for it . They don’t have a regular income and the person works for themselves rather than the company. They work as writers , content creators , web designers etc.
The impact of Covid 19 has created a global crisis for every sector be it economic , health or any other. According to a calculation, 15 million people might have lost their jobs in two weeks of lockdown.
Losing a job due to such a crisis is a bad situation for people with regular jobs but worse for freelancers. In a survey of over 1,000 global freelancers, Payoneer found that 32% of freelancers experienced a decrease in demand for their services during the pandemic. The sad reality is that things are going to get tough for any business or company but here are some steps you must take towards your financial stability against the uncertainties caused due to COVID 19 -
There is always something left to explore and now is the right time to do that . The quarantine time gives you a chance to show your newer skillset and above all , upgrade that.
There are many jobs that you are not even aware of , might be in the field of content creation , administration, or even web development. Do some research and explore avenues that will still provide you work and reset your skills according to your interest and job type.
The valuable skills to be a better freelancer are as follows -website building , blog writing , wikipedia contributor, product description, content developer , copywriter etc. Various sites like Behance , Upwork , and Fiverr gives you an opportunity for various freelancing jobs that can be done remotely.
Change is the only constant and you must reduce your unnecessary expenses and be systematic enough that it helps you protect yourself against such vicious cycles. One way to do that is by taking a note of all your unnecessary expenses and streamlining those expenses wherever you can .
If you happen to be a part of a professional organisation or any other organisation , you must see the kind of help or support available for you . Get yourselves some cheaper alternatives wherever you can.
Even if you have money saved up for the next few months , you should always be prepared for the worst and you should always be the wise owl. Once you are done taking a step back you must focus on stable things , projects or activities that are constant and involve zero risks.
Focus on the industries that are still booming for example social networking and zero in on fields that have been least affected by the drastic economic downfall.
There is absolutely nothing you can do if you are mentally not healthy , stressed out , depressed or unhappy . A survey conducted by Viking , UK freelancers reported that one of the greatest struggles faced by freelancers is balancing personal time and work as well as battling loneliness due to isolation.
During normal days too freelancers tussle with stress and this global pandemic makes it even worse. Utilise this time for planning and training in various fields. Take short breaks , do more of what makes you happy , play games online , schedule a human interaction , get enough sleep and take good care of your diet.
You are a unique and only version of yourself . You are the greatest asset , keep that in mind.
This pandemic, we have realised how vulnerable we all are , from CEO’s to gig economic freelancers , the crisis is real. Now is the time that you tap into your network as some of your clients or colleagues will emerge as an indispensable source at this time . Even if it means no current help , they might help you in future .
There are a number of ways you can tap your network and as it is said charity starts at home , you must start from your friends , relatives and colleagues .
Freelancers lack workplace protection and employment benefits such as paid leaves. There are assistance programmes that are being allocated to freelancers as they are entitled to relief during such crises.
Organisations like Freelancers Union an advocacy group with almost 50,000 members is set up by the US to provide assistance to those impacted by COVID 19 in addition to various resources offered by the government .
You must research your state’s employment benefit guidelines .
People with regular jobs have a benefit of office provided health insurance but freelancers don’t get such benefits. Your family’s health covers are important too .
It provides you with benefits such as tax benefits . supports you in the case of disability and what not. There is no harm in being double sure when it comes to you and your family.
It’s rightly said that you always have an option and now is the time to be flexible . Look for alternate sources of income in your area of expertise . It might be part time employment . BPO companies are hiring part time workers .
Business Consultancy is another good alternative if you believe you have the skills to guide business during rough times.
Online retail business or e-business ensures quick payments without piling up stock at your home .Setting an E business might take a lot of investment and time however properly managing it might be a rewarding venture.
Today , the world runs on the internet and it is one of the most powerful tools. Currently it’s not just freelancers that need to get behind the screen but all the people are working from home.
To be very specific it might not be an option for many freelancing activities , specially those fields that require physical contacts with the clients , in that case you might have to be flexible enough to shift to different alternatives for income.
You must optimise your new working space and routine . At first it might be a trouble for you to do everything online but with the right strategies you'll become used to it and things will eventually start falling in place.
If a client cancels within 30 days notice , you are still entitled to any retainer payments that were initially stated as “Non Refundable Retainer”. Check for the rules in your state and construct phrasing accordingly. It is also very important to pay close attention to the detail of phrasing in close contact.
There always exists some competition in the market but now is not the time to be competitive but rather collaborative . People are often very shy to open up to their colleagues , too competitive to ask for some help . People are often too proud to admit they are struggling , so they project themselves as wonderful.
Don’t dwell on how it impacts you but rather how it can have a positive impact on you and uplift you. As non essential workers, we can still impact by reevaluating the impact and by aiming to give back to our communities .
We must recognise the opportunity to be of service to the local business , by easing their challenges of the elderly and be present and supportive and collaborative. You must remember that it’s okay to slow down and focus on the work that you can do remotely.
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