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Freelance or full-time, which is a better mode of work for you? Here are the pros and cons, from someone who has been-there-done-that.
For women who are restarting their careers after marriage, motherhood, or any other personal reasons, freelance work is an excellent avenue to consider. I think I’m qualified to make this statement because I’ve been there, done that.
When we had to shift from Chennai to Bangalore because of my personal situation, I was both excited and anxious; excited about the new pastures I was going to explore, and anxious that it should all work out well for us; for me, my husband, and our daughter (5 years old then).
Bangalore welcomed us with open arms and there has been no looking back since. I had just completed a corporate training course a month before moving to Bangalore, and was looking at new opportunities.
I was not particular about freelance or full-time jobs, I was just desperate for an opportunity, based on my previous work experiences. Gradually, I started getting calls for freelance assignments from colleges. As my network slowly expanded, I was already hands full with a variety of training assignments.
Call it destiny or serendipity, I also discovered that I realized my calling in teaching/training, and that I was born to be a teacher. I was enjoying the ride, when Covid happened.
I was getting fewer opportunities and before I could imagine the worst, which is being jobless, I got a full-time job opportunity through the contacts I had made.
It has been almost two years in my job now. Although I am thoroughly enjoying my work, there are times I miss my days as a freelancer. Let me pen down my opinion about both, for you all to think about and make a fine choice.
As a freelancer, I had flexibility like never before, hands down. I could choose my work, I could choose my holidays, I could even choose my timings. That, according to me, is a great advantage for women who are looking at work-life balance and freedom.
There is no boss you must report to, there is no need to clock certain hours every day, there is no pressure to reach office before a certain time every day (given the Bangalore traffic, Silk Board at that, and the unreliability of Ola/Uber cabs in times of urgency), and not much scope for misunderstandings/arguments with peers or bosses, because you don’t spend much time at any one particular place.
However, in freelancing, there is also no guarantee of regular pay cheques, and no guarantee of work round-the-year. Personal growth, as compared to a full-time job, is quite sluggish. There is no job security, and one must constantly be on the lookout for assignments. And if you are a social person and crave company, freelancing has lesser prospects, as its more suitable for fiercely independent people who can do quite well without a social life because you are not attached to any organization.
So, what do I enjoy now, being in a job, that I didn’t, as a freelancer? Well, I don’t have to worry about getting work on my plate as there is always something to do in a vibrant place of work like mine. And I certainly enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having our pay cheques credited, month after month, irrespective of the workload.
I would not be doing justice to this piece of writing if I don’t mention my inspiring work environment. In fact, I attribute my taking on to writing to my colleagues at work, either writers themselves or researchers, who work hard to make a mark in life, also inspiring me into some serious writing aspirations. And about my social life, I absolutely enjoy the chai-pe-charchas and the birthday treats and discovering new cuisines and filter-coffee shops about my place of work along with adventurous colleagues of mine.
However, flexibility of timings and being your own boss are things you may have to compromise on as a full-timer.
This is my humble submission based on my experience to all the women out there who are thinking of restarting their careers, may you decide what you want with all your heart and mind, whether it is freelance or full-time, and may all the universe conspire in helping you achieve your dreams!
Image credits Tsuji/Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro
Sukanya Raghunathan is a leadership trainer and a faculty of management. A mother of an eleven-year old girl, she also teaches Carnatic music and her hobbies include singing, dancing, playing keyboard, reading fiction/non- read more...
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