Any independent individual who is not confined to work for a single company but provides 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.
In one word Freelancing is a lifestyle that any skilled or unskilled individual chooses to achieve their personal, financial, and professional goals.
The word freelancer can be used to describe any person who works online or offline 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.
What do freelancers do:
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 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.
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.
Difference Between Freelancer and Employee:
Employee: 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.
Freelancer: 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 in the usual manner.
How Freelancers Work:
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 call 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 labor 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 behavior, 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 behavior 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.
What is freelance work – Following are the examples to understand Freelance Work:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A businessman with multiple skillsets 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.
- Even an entire company or agency or group of freelancers can be considered as a freelance agency, 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.
- 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.