What is freelancing? Definitions and meaning with examples

In one word Freelancing is a LIFESTYLE, that any skilled individual chooses to live and balance life, needs and desires.

Let’s understand the definitions of freelancing its meaning with real-life work examples in this article.

Freelancing Definition 1:- Working independently to earn a living while continuously making dedicated efforts to achieve preset goals is known as freelancing.

Freelancing Definition 2:- An independent entrepreneur who is not confined to work for a single company but can provide his services to many companies at a time is a freelancer. He is not a permanent employee of any company and is open to working for anyone according to a predetermined time frame and payment agreement. This method of being self-employed is called freelancing.

Freelancing Definition 3:- The word freelancer can be used to describe any person who works according to a pre-planned schedule for an employer without being constrained to a physical working location or work timings. He is at liberty to decide his own working hours and it is in his own hands when he wants to work, how he wants to work and where he wants to work. But all this is decided as per the nature of work and the demands of the projects undertaken.

Freelancing Definition 4:- A freelancer works according to the demands of the market. He decides his fee/payment based on the value of his time, his skills and his experience in the matter. He prepares a list of his skills and services in a calculated way so that the he is able to choose his projects and assignments according to the following factors- his proficiency in a particular skill or task and the demand for that skill in the market, his expertise in a subject and the kind of projects he enjoys working on.

Freelancing Definition 6:- When a company or employer hires an individual for a specific project that needs to be completed within a stipulated time, and when that individual is able to finish and deliver that project on time while satisfying all the conditions set by the employer, he can get paid for providing his services and then look for his next project and employer. Such an individual gets hired by a new employer after fulfilling his responsibilities for the last one and this process is termed as freelancing.

This way an independent worker is free to work not just for one company but thousands of possible companies based on the skills he has.  He is not enslaved or obliged to work for a particular company permanently and therefore he isn’t entitled to the grants and allowances given to a permanent employee like EPF, insurance, increments and bonuses etc.

A stable, salaried employee works for a long time doing the same type of work every day on a 9 to 5 working hour schedule, expecting a monthly salary and yearly increments. He is entitled to get promoted and rewarded based on his performance and his company’s growth. He is satisfied with his work and is able to lead a good life on the salary he gets. He avoids taking any risks and is motivated to get a stable income. Meanwhile being an employee of that company, he is unable to provide his services to any other company at the same time and he is legally restricted by his company’s policy to work for them exclusively.

In contrast a freelancer is not restricted by anyone else’s policy but his own, he works for one company and after finishing his project for that company he begins searching for the next project. He does not desire or hope for a stable income, he is not interested in a 9 to 5 work schedule, he is inclined to work more than that at any time of the day or night as per his choice. He does not wait for promotions or increments; he takes risks, searches for the possibilities of success and creates his own opportunities for progress. He doesn’t wait for the generosity or mercy of his boss for his success and he doesn’t need to come to an office every day the usual manner.

A freelancer decides his work and title/position depending upon the market demands, his own knowledge, skills and ideals. He prepares a profile based on these things, which help him to search and acquire new projects.

You can also called this contracting but the basic difference here is that the contractor or freelancer does not get the job done with the help of any other labour but does it all himself once he is awarded the contract. These contractual jobs in freelancing have a stipulated time duration within which the job must be completed. Depending on the type of project, this duration can be an hour, a day, a month or even a few years. I would also like to tell you that the quality of work by the contractor/freelancer, his behaviour and discipline are also deciding factors in setting the time frame for that job given. For example if a freelancer is unable to finish a project within the given time, his time can be extended if his behaviour is good and he maintains discipline.

Apart from this, we can say that freelancing is a business model wherein a person provides his services according to the skills and knowledge he has to a person or company who is in need of those skills for a specific project.

Let’s try to understand the meaning of freelancing with a few examples-

  1. Consider a plumber who is called to fix a pipe when a problem arises. When he fixes the problem he is paid for his services and his task is done for that time. Now he won’t be called in again unless there is another pipe or water related problem. He is a freelancer who can search for other people that require his services.
  2. A computer maintenance technician is called when someone has a computer related issue. He resolves the issue, gets paid for his skills and moves on to the next assignment.
  3. A web designer’s services are required if any person such as a businessman wants to have his own website. The web designer is also free to look for another businessman once he completes the work for the earlier one satisfactorily and gets paid.
  4. A businessman can also be a freelancer, if he is not into product retail but into service delivery. He will provide his services to one client and then he is also free to look for another client.
  5. Even an entire company can be considered as a freelancer, for example a company that has been awarded a contract for branding or re-branding for someone. This company’s job will be done once it is finished with the branding/re-branding work and then it can find others who need its services.
  6. Let’s try to understand this in another way. When we bid for a project, use our skills and expertise to finish a given project within the expected time and decided preconditions, we are a part of the freelancing community. For instance a professional photographer may not be a permanent employee of any company, but he is still the person with good photography skills and he is free to sell his skills to anyone who may need his services. He may be called for events like weddings etc. by someone and this way he is a freelancer who earns his living by providing his services to people in need.

I hope this article helped you to understand about freelancing. If you have questions please ask freely. You can also subscribe to get next article directly in your mail box. See the get updates widget on the right sidebar.

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