The job scenario in India is changing by leaps and bounds today as more and more millennials are opting for freelance opportunities rather than being stuck to a traditional desk job. The availability of a plethora of online portals and dedicated freelance platforms is making this an even more lucrative option. After all, who would not prefer working on something they love from the comfort of their homes?
Freelancing enables people to leave their office cubicle behind to be their own boss and choose what they want to work on and when. However, it’s not just the young generation that is benefitting from this model.
A huge pool of the retired workforce is turning towards freelancing nowadays and exploring it as a viable career option after their stint at a full-time job. The elderly come with a lifetime of experience and expertise that can make them a valuable resource for companies, especially within the startup ecosystem. While these new-age firms may lack the resources to hire a full-time, experienced professional to help them with a way forward and strategize their business plan, bringing a veteran as a freelancer can help them fill in these visible gaps in a cost effective manner. For the elderly, such an opportunity paves way to stay in touch with their skills and make the most of their retirement by working well into their golden years.
It is also a fact that most of these professionals spent a larger part of their lives working in a nine-to-five job and earning a livelihood for their families. Amidst their busy schedule, they never had the chance to pursue their passion. For the longest time, it seemed too late to do that after retirement. But with the viable freelance options of today, this route has suddenly opened up for them.
When Asis Kumar Sanyal retired from his 31-year long banking career, he took to his love for photography. In the next six years, he travelled to seven countries for work; something which he couldn’t imagine as a banker. His second career as a freelance photographer also keeps him financially stable and independent.
The skilled stay-at-home moms
While freelancing has become a popular choice among the retired workforce, there is another section in India which is leveraging the rapidly growing gig economy. There are many Indian housewives and stay-at-home moms who are confined to their homes despite being well-educated and skilled. For some, the reason is social constraints while others make a conscious decision to quit their full-time jobs to cater to their familial and maternal responsibilities.
Workplace challenges such as long working hours, unsuitable shifts, etc becomes a major hurdle for them in the long run. The freedom to work from home has given these women a recourse to put their degrees to good use and make the most of their potential. Instead of being totally cut off from the profession that they gave so much into, they are now pursuing a similar option, albeit in a freelance opportunity. It allows them to tick all the boxes when it comes to getting a grip on their career, fulfilling their family commitments and doing something that they love.
When Mumbai resident Veena Patwardhan quit her job as an analytical chemist and microbiologist after 25 years, she decided to pursue her passion for writing to keep her career alive. A freelance writer for 20 years now, Veena found freelancing to be the answer to her struggles of juggling her professional and personal commitments. Any woman can take a leaf out of her book and empower themselves by finding freelance opportunities in an industry of their choice and interest and work at their convenience.
Staying in touch with the subjects
The increasing popularity of smartphones is adding onto this trend. With the internet at our fingertips, anyone can now easily connect with a company that requires their services and offers them a plethora of opportunities in their preferred field. In fact, many companies are now favoring the services of a freelancer over full-time professionals for certain roles to cut down costs and get a wider range of output. This is directly helping housewives and the elderly who are ready to take up lucrative freelance offers.
The most popular choice among housewives, when it comes to freelance jobs, is content writing. Many companies outsource their content needs, and women who have a knack for writing are taking up such projects. Those who have a flair for design and technology have ample opportunities to offer freelance graphic designing services.
Online tutoring and data entry are some of the other popular choices. For the retired, freelance consulting is perhaps the most popular choice. The reason being that as a consultant, they can offer their years of experience and expertise in a particular field to benefit businesses. Many elderly people are also turning towards being freelance subject matter experts for the same reason. This is especially popular among retired teachers and professors as they can stay in touch with the subjects they love and continue to be a part of the current workforce.