Nehal Fatima Arbab
Growth of the Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) sector has changed the world, and a further change is expected in coming few years. This has affected economy the way and methods of working. It seems may a traditional jobs will disappear in coming years.
So Information technology and information technology enabled service will become main source and tool for job as well as vital for economic development of a country.
In case of Pakistan, this sector has tremendous potential and is expected to reach its set target of US$ 5 Billion in IT & ITeS export remittances within the next three years.
While looking back, official figures show that IT & ITeS export remittances surged to $1.23 billion during FY 2019-20, including US$150 million earned by freelancers. In the first seven months of the current FY 2020- 21 (July 2020 – January 2021), freelancers’ export remittances have rapidly increased to US$ 219 million.
So far scope is concerned, the most popular fields of work for freelancers are web development, graphics designing (30%), computer programming (19%), IT services (10%), multimedia production (8%), content writing (8%), translation (7%), marketing (6%), admin (3%), customer support (2%), project management (2%), sales (2%), quality assurance (2%) and finance (1%).
Other works included Logo Designing, Copy writing, WordPress Developers, SEO, Data Entry, Microsoft Excel etc.
What is Freelancing?
Experts define the freelance in these words: Freelancer is a type of self-employment where the individual works for themselves, carry out temporary jobs / projects / contracts / assignments / tasks and relate to professions such as web development, software development, graphics designing, computer programming, IT services, multimedia production, content writing, translation, marketing, IT solutions administration, customer support, project management, sales activities, quality assurance, financial services, research activities, news reporting, medical services, interpretation, commercial advisories, tech consultancies, financial consultancies, attorney services, etc. using IT platform and software/tools to provide services in-country and globally.
As Freelancer is a type of self-employment, that means it will be an effective tool to combat the unemployment,
This of course need few things. Skill, consistency and hard work are said to be basic rules of freelancing.
So whatever work we can choose, which we want to do. Mind it we are the supervisor of our work, hence it will decide the deadline and the payment.
People have been earning by freelancing for so long, but there are so many people who got scammed by their customers, after the completion of the job they vanish or block the freelancers, so they don’t have to pay for their work. There are bunches of websites that are exceptional for freelancing. National and international freelancers create their accounts and take gigs from the customers, they have left. Freelancers have freedom of choice to choose any work they want to do.
Usually, people are creating fake identities periodically to get their work done, there when the freelancers got cautious about the fraud. It’s not only the only fraud that is done by customer, but sometimes freelancers are also dabbling well the con game in freelancing.
There are incidents that freelancers after approving the project, later they start demanding more money or they will delay the project, or sometimes they copyright the project and demanding of money before the completion of any work.
Freelancing as the endeavor is really susceptible unless any scams or frauds cross the road. Numerous people have had forfeited uncountable money in freelancing.
Some best freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Peopleperhour, and Toptal are the professional sites that take good care of the scams and frauds. They have this policy of fulfilling money first which will be saved in the site after the work is done and completion of the project, then the payment is given to the freelancer.
A good of people in Pakistan though having skills avoid using these freelancing sites, because of interaction with international customers and the money modification process because of tax.
Freelancers residing in Pakistan and relinquishing their Online freelancing income (like from Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Peopleperhour, etc) through any other method to your bank, freelancers will have to get the PRC (Proceed Realization Certificate issued) to substantiate the Bank withdrawals as foreign income which will, then, be protected from tax.
Pakistan government has proposed National Freelancing Facilitation Policy 2021, but it is still in draft form and not approved, hence it recommendation are not implemented.
Freelancers in Pakistan usually find their gigs on Facebook, where clients or freelancers use fake id or WhatsApp to do the work, or sometimes it easier to fraud or hoax with no identity or evolvement of personal information, which can oversee someone to them.
Pakistan would never accumulate if the con game will continue in a freelancing enterprise. It will affect the frugality of our country and unemployment as well. The policies and securities should be further polished to enhance freelancing in Pakistan. There should also be freelancing awareness sessions so that people can know the real art of freelancing and earn a good fortune just by staying in solace zone. Freelancing perception should also include the earning strategies via professional freelancing sites which are more safe than any other.
The author is Media studies graduate and blogger.