HerStory

An Interview with Freelancer Fatima Javaid

Introduce yourself

fatimaI am Fatima Javaid, a young MBA graduate who is always eager to learn something new, different, exhilarating and speculating. I am from Baghban Pura, Lahore. I have always wanted to become a pride for my nation. My goal is to become a top-class freelancer to empower my nation and contribute to the society as an independent woman.

What motivated you to venture into freelancing?

After completion of MBA, I was looking for a way that could enable me to utilize my knowledge and play my role more aptly for Pakistan.It led me to attend a two-month freelancing workshop conducted by Empower Pakistan. Initially, I had to face a lot of hurdles but I never gave up and eventually all my efforts paid off. At the moment, I am working as a freelancing trainer at Empower Pakistan and educating women about making money online through freelancing and team building.

Everyone has skills that someone else is looking for. What are your core skills around which your freelance services are based?

My core skills are content writing and web development. I took a two months hands-on training to learn content writing and web development via online sources. Now, I am making use of these skills to make money online.

How easy is it for you to manage a regular flow of work? Does it sometimes feel like feast or famine?

After attending the session, finding online work was not easy. Although, I was really motivated to look for online work but I had to put in a lot of efforts to find work and earn.In freelancing, you have to be very consistent.At times, there is nothing to do and there are also instances when I don’t have a single moment to breathe. Usually I do single book projects but I also have to work on very short notices sometimes. Sometimes, you have to work on evenings, weekends and even stay up all night. But this is how it is. Freelancing is something which might or might not work for you.

Has the fear of not being asked again by a particular client ever made you say yes to work where you wished you hadn’t?

It hasn’t happened so far. I analyze my situation and workload before giving my word.

I’m sure that will resonate with others. How do you manage to keep a good work/ life balance?

Right now I am only focused on excelling in this particular field by utilizing my education on this platform. I work with punctuality to meet the deadlines and organize everything with professionalism. My love is my work and this has become my lifestyle so, I don’t see any trouble keeping the work-life balance. I am doing great so far to manage them.

How do you find work? To what extent do you try and generate leads yourself?

I get most of the work from my existing client. Apart from that, I also bridge freelancers and people who are hiring.

How do you manage to keep up with new technological developments relevant to your specialist area?

To keep myself updated about the technological developments, I read trade press and use social media by connecting with the people in my field. I always keep on looking for different ways of learning new things. I have availed subscriptions to Udemy.com, and lynda.com which are video learning sources that help me learn new things and polish my skills even more.

What’s your advice to someone who’s just starting her freelance journey?

You must think over the pros and cons first. Freelancing works for me but it might not work for everyone. Starting or switching would be easier if you choose to work part-time as a freelancer but it might be difficult for a person who is employed somewhere because in freelancing, the work-hours, payments, maintenance of financial accounts and expenses are different from a conventional job.

All of this, might be difficult to manage in the early stages. Moreover, you should also consider the work environment which entirely differs from that of an office. I think that freelancing gives you freedom and flexibility but at the same time you need to be careful because in the end it’s you who would be responsible for everything.

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