Regardless of which political party you support, we can agree on one thing: Pakistan’s economy is deteriorating. Last year our GDP growth was -0.6%, whereas population growth was 2%. This means that Pakistan needs at least 2% of GDP growth per year just to maintain your living standards. As there are fewer and fewer jobs, we try to get scholarships and dream to move abroad.
With more awareness about scholarships came more competition. There are only limited scholarships, and the number of Pakistani graduates is booming. Statistically, most of us will not get a foreign scholarship and will have to live in our country. However, failure should not discourage us and we can find alternatives to living a better life. One of the best alternatives is freelancing. Sitting in a village of Baluchistan, you can work with an American company and get paid in US dollars. You only need an internet connection and a computer.
Two types of people contacted me after my last blog about freelancing. The first category does not like to do anything except sending messages. Their messages were something like this. “I am blablabla. I have a degree in blablabla. I am poor. How can I earn money”. This type of people will never work when they know that everything is one google away. The other type of people were the ones who asked specific questions like “After several times trying, I could not get a job, what could be the problem?” I tried my best to find the problem they were facing. The biggest problems that I identified in the people who want to earn money online were three; 1) no tangible skills or lack of awareness of their skills. 2) Low-quality applications/work. 3) No persistence.
Skill is the ability to do something well. Most of the students have no idea about their skills. Not that they don’t have any skill, but they don’t know what are the things that they can do. They can speak Urdu so it is a skill. They could be good communicators. They could be good at playing games or MS office or English. All of these skills can be used to earn big cash on freelancing platforms. Ask your close friends or colleagues if you don’t know what you can do well. You can also put yourself in a situation and imagine what is very easy for you to do and maybe you enjoy doing it.
Quality of applications is the second biggest hurdle to succeed online. If you are not getting any job, you are not putting enough work into it. Just wishing to become a millionaire will not make you a millionaire unless you put in the hard work required to do the job, earn money and continue doing it. On freelancing, good quality is always incentivized. Doing a freelancing job, I over-delivered my work. I got five star reviews from the client and a bonus. Her review is helping me get more work online and by doing better work and getting more positive reviews, my profile is getting better and better.
Freelancing will not make you an overnight success. It would help if you had persistence. You might need to work hard to know what you are doing wrong and make it right for months. Watch Youtube videos, read blogs, understand the ecosystem of freelancing. The first job is particularly hard to get. Most of the people are not persistent so they quit. However, if you can resist giving up, you would ultimately land a job after one-month approx. Congratulations, you got your first job but remember the work is not finished yet. Now over-deliver your job. Do more than what is expected from you and win the client’s heart. Not only will you get 5-stars but maybe a long-term or a bigger project from the client.