Starting the morning with working on a website design and finishing up the day redesigning a website for a non-profit organization that will bring them more donations sounds like a rewarding day for any tech professional! Especially in the present scenario where one can work from home or the favourite coffee shop. Being able to work on the projects that makes one excited about it is really like a dream come true. And it is a dream that tons of people are following as freelancers. Most professionals who are freelancers, do so either due to flexibility or just to earn some extra money on the side of their regular job. The workforce is becoming more diverse and demanding more flexibility. As a result, a large portion of the workforce is turning to freelancing. India has about 15 million freelancers and they have been significantly boosting the growth of start-ups.
Tech Freelancing: The Way Forward
However, it is not only the workforce that is demanding change to how one participates in the world of work. Employers are also looking for flexibility with staffing solutions without sacrificing the quality of talent or workplace culture. These needs have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing unprecedented uncertainty to business planning.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has either forced many companies to shut down or downsize significantly and let go of their employees. It is expected that many people would turn to the self-employment route to stay afloat. These workers who are no longer tied to the traditional corporate work route are commonly known as freelancers. For someone who is just getting started in Tech, freelancing is a great way to gain experience and build a good portfolio.
But it goes beyond that; freelancing gives the flexibility that even the most flexible remote jobs lack. One can pick and choose the projects based on the interests and how much one can work on and have the comforts of work from home. Freelance workers enjoy the freedom to choose their clients and control the way they use their time. They cannot rely on the security of a regular paycheck or job tenure. Despite its risks, freelance work can be a path to success.
A huge number of software developers and engineers work in a freelance capacity. Some contract their services to a single company, while others perform a variety of careers for many clients. Whatever pathway they choose, though, their finances depend on having the technical skills that employers need.
Tech Freelancing in 2021
With that in mind, a prominent freelancing platform Upwork recently broke down the most in-demand tech skills among freelancers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made freelancers with the skills particularly valuable. IT companies around the world are hiring contract and freelance tech professionals to fill in the immediate demand. There is a huge demand for software developers and engineers that can work in a freelance capacity. The freelancer listing and aggregator platform, Upwork has recently published a list of most in-demand tech skills for freelancers. The platform has also published a survey citing the skills that Information Technology managers look for in freelancers.
Here are the most in-demand tech skills for freelancers:
Popular programming language skills for freelancers:
For smaller companies, it makes sense to hire resourceful people who have multiple skill sets. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses rushed to take their businesses online with the help of e-commerce platforms, which has raised the demand and popularity for developers with web and e-commerce skills. Burning Glass report predicts that there will be a career growth of web developers by nearly 14.9% over the next ten years.
Skills required to grow as a freelancer
Freelance Workers should be agile to change and adapt
Every project and client that the freelancers engage with, help in building their reputation and portfolio. The work ethics, professionalism, and quality of output are factors in determining the project fee. The same applies to the education, experiences, and networking that one builds as a self-employed professional. In freelancing, the person itself is the business – and clients will be paying for their brand of service. So, in freelancing one should always stay updated with industry news, emerging trends, and future skills that will help in keeping the person relevant and in-demand.
As a Freelancer one should actively expand their network
As a freelancer, one needs to secure multiple projects. This is the way to grow income as a self-employed worker. Allow yourself to be discoverable with a great website, attend industry events to plant seeds of future business relationships. One should also collaborate with fellow freelancers. As a freelancer one can ask to be referred to by friends, families, and clients. You will have more apples if you go out and harvest them than if you sit and wait for them to fall on your lap. At times, one is only as good as their last project. If the last project were completed a year ago, there would be fewer people talking about you and your services. So, it’s always better to go out there and show people that you’re ready to work.
A Freelancer knows how to master the budget
Budgeting is a key skill for everyone, but it is doubly important for freelancers with fluctuating incomes. One can see which expenses are necessary, dispensable, and can be delayed by writing them down. A written budget helps to balance finances and plan how to stretch money until the next project. A budget can also help set financial goals. By seeing how much money you have now and how much you need to reach your goals, you can make strategic decisions on which projects to accept and set schedules for when these projects should be accomplished.
Without any doubt, Tech Freelancing is the way forward in 2021. We can expect to see some major developments in the field, pointing towards exciting times in store.