Raise Me Right

Why Your Adult Child Might Choose Freelancing Over Full-Time Employment

As someone who has deep-dived into entrepreneurship for years, I cannot imagine myself going back to taking orders from someone else. I’m so used to making my own decisions, flexible work arrangements, and charting my own journey of professional development, it would be unthinkable to return to a 9-5 job and to deal with office politics.

However, if you the parent have only experienced earning a steady income from a full-time job, you might find it unnerving if your adult child comes to you and says he or she wants to dive into freelancing, a form of entrepreneurship.

To get a snapshot of the current freelancing world, I interviewed Amir Haziq Hafiz Muhammad, Chief Technology Officer at DISINI Digital  (disiniwork.com), a portal that provides opportunities for youths to try their hands at freelancing.

Abbreviations:
JS = Jamilah Samian
AH = Amir Haziq

JS: Tell us about yourself and about disiniwork.com

AH: I’m the software developer for disiniwork.com, one of the biggest initiatives we developed with the main focus toward students. We explore the “Gig Economy”, a unique and rarely explored field especially in Malaysia. A “gig” is a job, usually temporary or freelance and performed on an informal or on-demand basis.

JS: What are some of the key advantages of freelancing as a work option for young people?

AH: Freelancing in general is a diverse concept that includes a lot of fields ranging from accountancy, software development and many more especially in the digital world. At disiniwork.com, we promote a unique diversity which include gigs from different fields. On this platform, youths can gain opportunities to work remotely, globally network to a larger audience, and explore new fields and test skills competitively.

JS: In your opinion, what are the main challenges young freelancers might face, and how can they overcome them?

AH: Freelance is a very high demand method of earning wages. The biggest challenge is proving themselves capable enough to take up the work. There is huge competition between freelancers to show clients their capabilities. All freelancers require effective pitching skills to convince clients on their worthiness.

A freelancer can be a top achiever and win a job by showcasing his or her work and skills. This include using past experience on projects, past designs and endorsements. Other than that, having multiple skills would widen the opportunity to secure work.

JS: How can parents support their children who are considering freelancing as a career path?

AH: Parents are surely the most important supporter for their child. Parents can support their children in multitude ways e.g. sharing knowledge of the skills the child requires to secure work. Having a parent teach their child the skills to pitch themselves is the most effective way to support their journey.

 

Amir Haziq Hafiz Muhammad

Amir Haziq Hafiz Muhammad, Chief Technology Officer at DISINI Digital

 

JS: What are some practical tips you would offer to young freelancers to help them manage their time effectively?

AH: Some of the most effective ways for youths and students are:

First, learning and action. Surely learning is important, action is even more critical. Test your learning skills by practice and take up new challenges. The learned Imam Al- Ghazali said, “Knowledge without action is wastefulness and action without knowledge is foolishness.”

Second, network with people. Meet new people, seek a mentor who can guide your journey and you’ll find that you can navigate most challenges with confidence. Having a mentor and applying his/her experience can help you to skip years of inexperience.

Third, accept new challenges. You only get one shot in life. The more you test yourself, the more you are capable of being resilient in this challenging life especially in the environment of gig economy.

JS: What role can mentorship play in helping young freelancers navigate the freelance industry?

AH: Having a mentor ensure that you learn the proper skills required to take up the challenge. Moreover, mentorship develops your character as a learner, which means you’re going to be more open to the world and ready to explore even more opportunities for the sake of learning.

JS: How can young freelancers ensure they have a healthy work-life balance, especially when working from home?

AH: Work-life balance is the crucial part everybody strives for. In the gig economy, the most efficient method for freelancers to ensure work-life balance is to have a proper working schedule with rest time. Having a schedule ensures they’re not going to overwork to the point that it exhausts their body which is harmful.

JS: What are some valuable skills and qualities that young people can develop through freelancing?

AH: At disiniwork.com, the client must communicate with the prospective youths/students first to showcase their skills before being assigned into the job.  Some of the valuable skills required include:
i) Pitching skills to convince the client in a competitive environment

ii) Communication skills to ensure proper coordination of work

iii) Project management skill: Every freelancer must know how to properly manage the project received and promote transparency with client in term of deadline of work and amount of effort required.

JS: Can you share any success stories of young freelancers who have thrived in their chosen field?

AH: An acquaintance of mine, Attaullah, from Pakistan, has been in the  gig economy for 5 years. After he completed his degree in Computer Science, he immediately took up the challenge to join the gig economy. He knew it was a competitive environment, but he persevered and now, he makes at least 20,000 USD every month thanks to his skills.

JS: How can young freelancers build a strong portfolio and network to attract clients and opportunities?

AH: Having a strong portfolio and network is crucial. One  practical method to build a strong portfolio is to utilize social media to promote yourself. LinkedIn is one of the most popular choice for any freelancer wanting to build a strong network and showcase strong portfolio.

JS: What advice would you give to parents who may have concerns about their child pursuing freelancing as a career option?

AH: My advice to parents who have concerns on freelancing is to let their children explore the opportunity freelancing presents to their children. It’s a lucrative opportunity in this era.

Let us now see some key factors that may drive the preference among youths to go for freelancing over other work options:

Flexibility

Work Schedule
Freelancers have the ability to set their own hours, which allows for a better work-life balance. They can work during their most productive times of the day and take breaks when needed.

Location Independence
Freelancing often allows professionals to work from anywhere, whether it’s from home, a café, or while traveling. This freedom can be especially appealing to those who enjoy traveling or have other commitments that require a flexible location.

Autonomy and Control

Project Selection
Freelancers can choose the projects they want to work on, aligning their work with their interests and expertise. This can lead to higher job satisfaction compared to being assigned tasks in a traditional job.

Client Choice
Freelancers have the option to select their clients, which allows them to avoid difficult or non-aligned working relationships. This control over client selection can lead to more pleasant and productive collaborations.

Financial Opportunities

Earnings Potential
Freelancers can set their own rates and often have the potential to earn more than they would in a salaried position. They can take on multiple clients and projects to increase their income.

Scalability
Successful freelancers can grow their business by hiring subcontractors, raising their rates as they gain more experience and reputation, or offering additional services to their clients.

Skills Development and Variety

Diverse Experience
Freelancing allows professionals to work on a variety of projects across different industries, which can lead to a more diverse skill set and experience. This variety can prevent the monotony of working on the same type of tasks in a full-time job.

Continuous Learning
Freelancers need to stay current with industry trends and continuously improve their skills to remain competitive. This continuous learning can be more fulfilling compared to the often slower pace of professional development in traditional roles.

Personal Fulfillment

Creative Freedom
Many freelancers enjoy greater creative freedom in their work. They can implement their own ideas and innovations without the constraints often imposed by company policies or corporate culture.

Sense of Achievement
Running a successful freelance business provides a sense of achievement and personal satisfaction. Freelancers often feel a greater sense of ownership and pride in their work compared to traditional employees.

Work Environment

Avoiding Office Politics
Freelancing can help professionals avoid the office politics and hierarchical structures that are common in traditional workplaces. This can lead to a more straightforward and less stressful work environment.

Customizable Work Environment
Freelancers can create their own ideal work environment, whether it’s a quiet home office, a lively co-working space, or a sunny outdoor setting.

Work-Life Balance

Family and Personal Time
Freelancing allows for more flexibility to manage family responsibilities, personal interests, and hobbies. This can lead to a better overall quality of life.

Health and Wellness
Freelancers can prioritize their health and wellness by scheduling their work around their personal needs, whether it’s taking time for exercise, meditation, or other self-care activities.

Conclusion

The preference for freelancing over full-time work is driven by a desire for flexibility, autonomy, financial opportunities, diverse experiences, personal fulfillment, and a better work-life balance. Each professional’s motivation may vary, but these factors collectively contribute to the appeal of freelancing as a career choice. Why not let your son or daughter experience the highs and lows of the freelance world, which is suitable for those who are highly disciplined and self-motivated?

 

Featured Image by Darkmoon Art

About Jamilah Samian

Jamilah has written 540 articles.

Jamilah Samian is an author and speaker.

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