The inclination of society towards freelancing or independent work has grown rapidly as the hurdles to independent contracting have fallen. The economic vicissitude and the ease brought about by technology has led to an increase in company downsizing trends that contributes to employee dissatisfaction. This situation has further triggered freelance the trend to rise among the masses. People are turning to self-employment in such large numbers which depicts that, in the near future, a vast majority of the world population would be their own boss. Both the bigger corporations, as well as those who are in their infancy, have realized that it’s easier to sub-contract labor than to permanently hire them for full-time employment. By hiring, the employers would be compelled to providing their staff with extra bonuses and advantages in addition to the salary, which, in turn, will be burdening them to tax ordeals. As the employers and the organisations have cut down on the benefits and flexibility, the workforce has started to slowly trickle out of the monstrous office buildings and infiltrate the freelance industry.
Looking at it through a corporate’s eye, the strategy and the framework for freelance industry seems remunerative. There are fewer responsibilities to fret about, and yet the revenue generated is greater on a very less investment. No matter how precarious or bleak chasing side gigs are, in such times, it’s an appealing option and a suitable alternative to opt for your own work.
What does freelancing have for women? The cliché that women are capable of juggling a lot of things is justifiable. It is said and believed that times have changed and that the world has progressed. When we look at the general perception of the masses, and on what has become the norm, the role of women is expected to remain the same – stagnant! In fact, it has added on to the struggle and work, since, now, they are supposed to work as well as pursue their passion at the same time. They are expected to either choose personal and household responsibilities over their career and dreams or take both of them together. We agree that some women have managed to break the stereotypes and build a name for themselves, but it is equally true that they have gone through a series of tremendous struggle and sacrifices. Making it to the higher echelons of the corporate world has unfairly gained them the title of being ‘less devoted’ to their homes and families. Breaking the shackles and setting yourself free in a male dominated world has a price to pay. Nevertheless, there is still a majority of the women who had to bid farewell to their dreams and passion and turn to being full time present at their homes. This is where the option of being a freelancer gleamed like gold.
If we come to think of the traits required for being a freelancer, women fit perfectly well into the role. It looks like nature was on the side of the females when the idea was being planted in human minds!
Apart from being naturally good at it, there are many other reasons we are about to get a peek into.
MULTITASKING IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT
Freelancing itself is a multitasking industry. There aren’t any specifications about the number of projects you will be handling at a time. Moreover, you have to reschedule your activities for including one more responsibility in your routine – another aspect of multitasking to which women are used to.
Women have an inbuilt mechanism for focusing and looking after several things at a time and yet doing everything with perfection. Whereas, men are not hard wired for multitasking. It’s easier for females to handle different clients and projects, teeter between client management, project delivery, personal marketing, etc. Men are better at focusing on one complex task at a time. Some might even be able to take the pressure, but they panic. This gives an edge to women when working as a busy freelancer with several projects to handle.
EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS
In the office, you are hidden behind the stack of paperwork or glued to your PC’s with probably everyone too busy to talk. All you have on your mind is to submit your files on time, so there is less to talk about. As a freelancer, you need to speak to your client and win their support, manage any arisen issues and secure clients for future collaboration. For this, you need to acquire robust communication skills. There is no doubt that women are better at communicating. Even according to research, though men use more words in a day, their weak communication skills make their conversation bland. (Guys, no offence please. There surely are exceptions!)
CALLING FOR HELP
Even pro’s get caught in the middle of confusion. Women find it easy to reach out and ask for help. They won’t let you go unless they get their queries answered. Whether it is about knowing the best place to work from, getting invaluable financial information or learning from the experienced freelancers, females don’t shy away from admitting their ignorance. Their curiosity to learn makes them smarter and savvy when trading. This vigilance to get things sorted out quickly by taking help makes women serve better in the freelance industry.
Theoretically, women are weaponed with a larger frontal lobe and limbic cortex, which makes them better at decision-making and problem-solving. They are better at visualising and planning, coming up with ideas and solutions. Considering this theory, women are better suited for freelancing since clients happily depend on you to take away all the troubles. Here yet again, nature is in favour of females.
As much as debatable and controversial this seems, it too is among one of the factors. When you work in the premises of the office, you are within sight of your employer. He is aware of your dedication and might let it go if you slack off sometimes when you are tired and exhausted. He may even give some margins if you play a joke to lighten the mood or to refresh yourself at your workplace. But, freelance clients do not put up with your jokes. They expect you to work with diligence and dedication and handle their tasks maturely. Women have an advantage again as they grow up and mature earlier than men. They are responsible and tackle situations with shrewdness and seriously. Thus they are more efficient in keeping the clients satisfied with their quick and dedicated work style.
LOOKING AFTER FAMILY
The diverse roles of females as a mother and a wife make it difficult for them to remain away from home for long. Especially, when women are expecting, they are not always given paid leaves, even if they need it just for a number of days. This situation makes it difficult for women to look after their new born and to recover. Putting it in simple words: the lack of paid maternity leave, no flexibility, and inadequate time off is not sufficient for childcare. By mid-30’s women turn into busy mums, and it is hard for them to squeeze themselves into a typical 9 to 5 job.
Men are free from all such troubles; they can even manage to work outside at odd hours. They do not have to agonise about taking children to see a doctor, to maintain the bills, or to enlist items for grocery. And the bitter truth is, no matter how supportive men are as husbands, all the domestic chores are expected of women.
In such a stuck-up condition, freelance serves as a better option for women to earn their own money. By working independently, women are allowed to work on their own rhythm and pace.
WOMEN STAY AT THE TOP WHEN IT COMES TO FREELANCE
Considering all of the above factors, it seems that females tend to rule the freelancing industry. Above all, freelancing does require patience. You do not reach the top instantly; you take one step at a time. And when it comes to patience, it too is a females’ department!
The above lines may be sounding gender discriminant, but this is not the case. With the cadences in the economy, men too have plunged into freelancing to make both ends meet. Many men prove to be better than females for freelance. But when we look at the matter from a broader perspective, it appears that females have been making more in freelancing as opposed to males. This can also be because of the difficulties faced by women in work places and the hardships they have to face in competing against men. In freelancing, they do not have to fight for anything, their primary concern is the quality of work and submitting it on time.