December 4, 2021

Virtual World Reshaping Ambitions

 Blog – Beenish Abdullah

May 15, 2021

Technology changes socio-economic and cultural conditions. But with the COVID-19 transforming almost every facet of human life for an indefinite time period, the professional trends and preferences among the youngsters have also been profoundly impacted.

The devastations of COVID crisis have been blooming over the economies and employments worldwide.  In these times of great adversity, the virtual world has come to the rescue of youth while the traditional market workout the ways to co-exist with the most deadly challenge of this century.

Freelancing is a term that is being coined on all social media platforms more than ever by individual freelancers, freelancing based companies and even by motivational speakers. The term is not contemporary, but the new crisis has definitely accelerated the pace of its growth and popularity and caused a major surge in number of freelancers in Pakistan.

A significant reason behind this major shift towards virtual freelancing is the environment of uncertainty that’s evident everywhere since the advent of COVID-19. With the frequent lockdowns to restricted business timings, from collapsing ventures to drastic downsizings, consistent delays in recruitment procedures in public institutions to curbed job opportunities available in job markets, the freelancing marketplace has definitely become a mean of survival for many youngsters.

The present reveals in every possible way that freelancing is superseding many prevalent professions in terms of revenues and the prospects of freelancing are bright enough. As the founder of Alibaba Jack Ma says, “In 30 years people will work only four hours a day.”

Talking in the perspective of post-COVID world, would a youngster, who has earned a good amount of money from the comfort of his home and with flexible job timings, ever bother to enter the traditional job market where hitches and ditches are way more evident than online job market and still hitting a six digit remuneration figures remains a dream for most of the people in the beginning years of their professional life.

Some of the most demanded skills in freelancing are content writing, classified ad posting, digital marketing, graphic designing, SEO, proxy marketing, data downloading and data editing.

So it’s evident that freelancing will become a new gateway to financial stability both at grass root and massive level and would keep on progressing in the coming times. Because what matters the most for majority of struggling youngsters in a shuttering economy is that you should make handsome amount of money in the end by fair means and respectful manner.

For initiating a career in freelancing, you must know a skill that you can offer to international clients and generate good revenues in return. Some of the most demanded skills in freelancing are content writing, classified ad posting, digital marketing, graphic designing, SEO, proxy marketing, data downloading and data editing. In Pakistan the most popular freelancing websites are Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer where you have to make attractive portfolios or gigs and then grab projects and assignments according to your skills.

So the question is, “are we, both as a nation and an individual, ready enough to embrace these new advancements in the global earning scenarios?” Is our educational sector producing a men-force who can earn decent livelihoods by making the most of these golden opportunities available a click away? Nevertheless a lot has been done to train and empower the people and channelizing them towards right platforms for making money in the past two years.

The governments biggest initiative for this purpose in the launch of “Digiskills” which is a free of cost training program for rendering all necessary information about grasping the online earnings opportunities . Enablers and Extreme Commerce are also very renowned names for working on capacity building and self empowerment of people through different online courses, workshops and video series entailing all necessary details about digital skills and ecommerce. But still a substantially large number of people, even the literate ones, comprises on those who admire the perks of freelancing wholeheartedly but are baffled about beginning a career in freelancing marketplace.

In today’s world, a vast majority of fresh graduates with the backgrounds of engineering, accounting, business studies and computer sciences struggle to find their path in traditional job market and eventually end up as service providers or virtual assistants on online freelancing platforms.  After entering the world of virtual opportunities, they have to completely put aside their degrees and either have to learn new skills or have to learn how to utilize their learnt skills to grab clients in online job market.

So why not our educational institutes adapt a pragmatic approach in these rough times and focus on upgrading the  professional caliber of candidates by making them fully equipped with all the necessary tools to meet the requirements of contemporary marketplaces.

There are many academic disciplines where curriculums can be revised to incorporate relevant digital skills by adding new courses or modules.

Universities should also pay more attention towards outsourcing the trainers from already established training platforms who can educate the students about tactics and skills required to grab your space in this highly competitive field of freelancing in relatively shorter spans of time.  This is dire need of the hour that our academic institutions adhere to the changing dimensions of professional trends and financial scenarios.

They must try to work out the possibilities of equipping youngsters with digital skills related to their academic background so that the satisfaction of serving in the field of your choice while generating hefty revenues can be achieved.

The blogger studied Media & Communication at University of Sindh and working as visiting faculty at a private university in Karachi