How I Made A Career With Full-Time Freelancing

Published on 30 Dec 2017 . 4 min read

When it comes to making a career and having a great job, a typical thought process in India is around the concept of a 9 to 5 office going profile. While a lot of us talk about alternative careers and making it big in freelancing because it is trending, it sort of ends at that discussion too. Dialogues over social media handles and over round tables are many, but very few professionals make it on this offbeat path. With offbeat, I do not mean careers that are rare to dabble in, but the ones that can make a decent living and have a respectable status, alternative style of job.


The Freelancing Era In India

Freelancing has been looked upon as an unusual career for ages, but over the last one and half decade or so, Indians have warmed up to it, like never before. Early 2000 was what began as the era of outsourcing in the content in marketing departments, lots of jobs that require writing skills of the right kind and could be converted into project leads and full-time opportunities working from home.


While you might have met your average book reviewer, your average technical documentation specialist and your average content writer, there might not have been many professionals who have made these freelance careers full-time jobs. The trend has always been to look at freelancing as a ticket to earning that extra moolah for covering just some luxury EMI.


My Full-Time To Freelance Switch

Coming to 2010, when I began my career after freshly graduating from college, freelancing for me meant a super way of having bylines in print and web publications. It didn't take me long to understand that this is what my calling was and that I would not want to continue in the typical rigid career alternative that my parents had hoped me to work in.


My biggest realization with joining copywriting firms around India meant a lot of work that involved late night calls and a lot of back and forth, feedback incorporation and equally less payments. You can say I was being paid peanuts for my work.


So why did I choose to remain a freelancer for most of my life?


Living in Seattle and Abu Dhabi gave me a lot of opportunities to explore the full-time work culture and yes, I did enjoy my years abroad. But then again, moving back to India was sort of a reality check. In my city, Kolkata, opportunities seemed so dried up that there wasn’t much scope to earn as well as satisfy myself at the same rate.


However, my freelancing engagements with a publication and with great clients continued effortlessly. The better I got with my writing, the more improved skills I got and naturally, the more I got to command in terms of pay. Yes, I use the word command very consciously.


The best way to understand here is that if you want to continue freelancing on a full-time scale, you will have to be really very dedicated and committed. There is no register to log your attendance, there is no work involved in doing something extra over the night but then the best liberty in freelancing is that you’re at your own beck and call. You might be able to manage to finish up an assignment quicker and get the extra three days for an unplanned holiday. Trust me, never in my life on my full-time stints have I enjoyed these unplanned breaks.


So What Am I Saying?

In my almost year long career as a full-timer, a freelancer and then as a full time-freelancer, I have seen two distinct phases - the phase of extreme worry and the phase of extreme calm. I will write in depth over these phases later. But for now, the one assurance my career choices have given me is that if you have a will, you have a way. Your choices will find manifestation and fulfilment. You’ve just got to push them in the right direction.


Satarupa Kaur freelance


This is a personal narrative by Satarupa Kaur who is a writing consultant and also a SHEROES champion. From being an active SHEROES community member to becoming a SHEROES champion, Satarupa has always extended help towards the women in our communities. She currently helps women with everything related to career guidance and work from home.


Satarupa Kaur
Satarupa Kaur is a writing consultant who has a solution for the alpha and omega of any writing allied issue! From web content to marcomm, from catchy copies to stories, from corp profiles to blogs - she believes in sipping from diverse cups that find a corner in this industry. She’s a passionate writer and a SHEROES community member.

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