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Freelancing: A Potential Solution for Unemployment?

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Freelancing: A Potential Solution for Unemployment?
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Every year, over 200 Nigerian universities churn out thousands of graduates, no one of each are sure of securing paid employment. In the past few years, the unemployment numbers have continued to rise and no sustainable action has been taken to avert the disaster that awaits.

Most qualified people have a very hard time finding employment and most of the few who do are grossly underemployed and the truth is no one is to blame but the system.

With how run down the various sectors of the economy are, running a company is becoming increasingly expensive and there’s only so much these organizations are willing to part with in employee compensation if they are to break even.


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At this point, it’s time for employers and the unemployed to start thinking outside the box. There is need for a middle ground, a bridge to close the gap between the employer’s needs and that of the unemployed youth.

That balance is exactly where freelancing comes in. With this new arrangement, everybody comes really close to getting everything they want. Instead of that mid-level company or startup hiring in-house labour that they may not exactly be able to afford, they can hire freelancers on short term contracts for the period that their services are needed.

And you dear unemployed youth, instead of waiting on that big job or taking that underpaying job that will eventually take up all your time, how about developing your skills and working freelance?

While this might seem like a drastic step to the average Nigerian who has practically been raised to believe in stability and financial security, the truth remains that desperate times call for desperate measures.

So if you’re still wavering and not entirely sure about all of this, the next paragraph contains some reasons that might change your mind.

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Why Freelancing?

For Employers:

• Hiring freelancers minimizes costs: Unlike employees, freelancers do not require round the clock payment. There are no regulatory obligations (like pension contribution, medical insurance) associated with freelancers as they paid only for the services that they provide.
• It eliminates redundancy of labor: Certain roles and services do not need to be filed all year round (e.g. an IT personnel whose job is to implement system updates at intervals). This means that with in-house labour, there is a chance that at certain periods that you’ll be paying some of your employees for doing absolutely nothing. In cases like this, freelancing would be your best option. You hire an independent contractor to deliver the short term service that you need after which the contract is terminated.
• You get high quality work for time: Sometimes hiring a full time employee is a gamble. Even with the most efficiently designed recruitment process, there is a remote possibility that this
person may not be able to add value to your organization in the way that you need them to. In this case, you can eliminate this risk by simply employing an experienced freelancer whose skills have been tested to be true.
• An experienced freelancer would probably already be an expert in his field and would therefore not require any extensive training.

For Freelancers:

• Freedom and Flexibility: This is probably one of the greatest perks of freelancing. By choosing to freelance, you get to dictate your work hours for the most part. You also get to determine what exactly it is you want to work on, the conditions under which you want to work, the extent to which you want to work etc.
• You can work on several jobs concurrently: What you may lose in a steady source of income, you gain in multiple sources of income. Because freelance contracts are not as binding as full time employment contracts, you can choose to do several jobs simultaneously.
• Increased sense of purpose: The average youth is driven by their feeling that their work means something. With full time employment, there is the possibility of getting stuck between organizational goals and personal goals. Freelancing allows you to focus and build on exactly the type of work that you want to do.

While this post may have succeeded in convincing you why freelancing is a viable option you should be strongly considering either as an employer or one who is currently unemployed, you may want to ask where?

That I can help you with as well. You can decide to go the old fashioned route of personal referral or the more method of advertising your services through traditional and electronic media, but a much easier method is through freelancing websites.

Through indigenous freelancing sites like TERAWORK, Asuqu, FindWorka and some others, you are exposed to a host of freelancers and buyers in need of your services.

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So now that you have almost all the resources that you need, it’s time to switch things up and pay serious attention to freelancing because whatever we’re currently doing concerning unemployment is obviously not working.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Freelancing: A Potential Solution for Unemployment? was written by NaijaTechGuide Team. The article was last modified: October 9th, 2018
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