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Is it time to try independent work?

Companies taking advantage of the pandemic and not offering the same competitive salaries? (Even those that actually could, some are just taking advantage of the situation). I joke and tell people that it is easier to start a business right now or do freelancing gigs then get a well paying good job. But, in reality, it is not a joke - and I see this as an opportunity more and more as time passes and as jobs are becoming more competitive - making this an employers' market vs employee - meaning companies have an upper hand and with lots of candidates in the job market ready to work (and many for cheaper than you), this is driving the salaries and overall packages and quality of work experience down - particularly in the Middle East (I cannot speak for other parts of the world). 

Note of warning: surely, independent work is not for everyone and many need to be on company visas, have family responsibilities that don't allow for such flexibility, etc., but if you have been thinking about starting some independent work and you have the possibility to try - this might be a good chance to try. Fear of trying or not knowing how to do it are not good excuses.  

Here are a few reasons to consider
  • Reason 1: companies are more open to project based or freelance work so more opportunities are available in this space
  • Reason 2: more remote opportunities are available so you can work from just about anywhere - meaning outside of your geographical area
  • Reason 3: with many salaries (particularly for mid-level roles) are being cut or just overall lower than pre covid - you might have a better chance making a living in the Gig economy 
  • Reason 4: you can still continue searching for full time role while you explore independent work
  • Reason 5: why not give it a try?

How to do it
  • Understand what you have to offer as a value
  • Who wants to buy what you have to offer 
  • Build a portfolio or persona website - your marketing materials
  • Reach out to people who can use your services
  • Find your audience - where do they spend time? Groups? Online forums? Specific organizations? Where can you find your audience?
  • Check out platform for networking such as LunchClub or Gigs on Freelance websites, FlexJobs, and similar platforms 
  • See a company that is hiring for a role that you would be suited for but you don’t want to settle with them as full time? Reach out to them and offer your services - you never know they might be open for hiring someone as project based instead of or while they search for full time employee. 
  • Find creative ways to promote yourself to your audience. 

Proactivity and self-belief is what will drive the way forward - get creative, proactive, and experiment. And, remember, be patient and stay consistent. 

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