Women in Freelancing : Personal Experience

Freelancing

Freelancing sounds like a great idea to many people, no bosses to answer to and setting own time to work. There is a lot that has been said about freelancing with different individuals siting different experiences. Bottom line is that one needs to understand well what freelancing is all about. Some have tried and failed while others have been very successful. It is important to note that when one has a new idea or has heard about something of interest, proper research should be conducted. Sufficient knowledge will help avoid one to make mistakes they will regret. So if you are employed don’t just jump into the wagon without proper research on freelancing.

Female freelancers

Being a female freelancer is my point of interest as I speak from my own experience. I learnt of freelancing way back in Campus (quite some years back). Never gave it much thought at that time, when a student is about to graduate they have big dreams (great job and a good salary). However, my dream was to be self-employed; I loved programming and thought I could set up my software development company. How that went down is a topic for another day. Back to freelancing, over the years I have done lots of freelancing in different fields. The urge to be my own boss resulted to settling in freelancing. There are many sites offering online jobs that one can register as a member and bid for jobs. Locally there are other jobs that one can get from friends, family and even small businesses. This is so because technology is one field that offers many opportunities for freelancers.

As a female freelancer and a mother for that matter, I have had quite a good experience (but it’s not all smooth). It may take some time getting what fits own taste, but it’s the best way to earn an income while taking care of your kids. Today it’s so difficult getting a good person to leave your kids with (the horrifying stories of kids mistreatment are nauseating) so most choose to be stay at home moms. But what do u do with the bits of free time you have when the kids are napping and you are done with house chores. When the kids are of age to go to school there is a lot of free time that can be utilized to earn extra bucks.

Tips for freelancing mums

Freelancing is all good, especially for mothers but the main challenge is always time. Unfortunately, as a mother one is not guaranteed consistent hours for freelance work in a day. Therefore, one has to plan how to properly utilize the time available. In my experience there are days that one can hardly get ample time to do anything constructive. However, there are other days one has so much time. The best thing to do would be to use the time resourcefully and avoid wasting time on TV or social media. A list of things to accomplish is very useful when one has free time. Tasks can be broken down to short intervals especially when one has small kids who are in the house. Balancing between work and parenting is no easy task but the most important thing is timing, use time wisely.

Challenges of a Female Freelancer

I hate bosses and keeping office hours, I hate waking up early. Well psychologists say there are morning and evening persons (Morning people and Night Owls). Most people can tell what type of person they are. Being a night owl self-employment was the best option, of course due to flexible working hours. Choosing to go the self-employment way was not all easy though. Especially since there is no guarantee that you will get a gig (read work) or even get paid after all the hard work. It is has not been easy setting up a business and to avoid going broke freelancing became the easier option.

Freelancing fields

There are many fields where freelancing is predominant such as web development, consulting, acting, writing, computer programming, event management, cosmetics, translating and many others.  I prefer web development, writing, oh and consulting too. Getting clients is a bit tough but when equipped with the right skills and a mindset to succeed one is good to go.

However, freelancing especially as a woman can be quite challenging. The main challenge from my experience is dealing with male clients. As a female web developer I have dealt with a couple of male clients, some I have taken the job while others you just have to let go. Being in a field where men dominate a lot of male clients do not take one serious. Some are just time wasters, am sure they just look at a woman and wonder if she can really develop anything. The worst types of clients are those who are disrespectful, to them a woman is only good in other ways. Well I have had to make some ruthless comments.

Challenges As Freelancer

Kids can be challenging for women who choose to go the freelancing way. As much as you plan your time, kids especially when they are little can present what in my words I like to call a “challenging challenge”.  Kids are quite a blessing but they have a way of messing things up. One can never really plan their behavior like the sleeping time, how fast they eat, when to be quiet and calm. The worst is when they become unwell. Ironically, the best time they become unwell is when one is busy and there is a deadline to beat. Balancing family and work can turn out to be challenging especially with the high expectations placed on women with families.

I would like to have women that am in the same field with, that is in web development. Unfortunately, there aren’t many women in technology and any consultations are done with male developers. This can be quite challenging as some men are not very supportive and may even be intimidating.

All in all being a freelance web developer and a writer has been quite an interesting journey that I would follow again even if I went back in time. Most important is to set goals and know what you want and how to achieve the goals. Women should learn to break out of the cultural expectations and build confidence that will see them become successful while doing what they love.