If you were to stumble upon a fresh graduate, what would you find at best? You may find an ambitious person with a job and probably a partially financially independent youth looking for bigger doors. What if you discover a graduate being a CEO, a best-selling author, an entrepreneur, an online instructor, a freelancing influencer to thousands and much more? These are only a few of the numerous roles that Joyeta Banerjee plays on a daily basis, making herself a role model.
Normal is overrated
Currently, Joyeta is the CEO at TalkStory, Freelancing Instructor at Robi 10 Minute School, a renowned author for her best-selling book 'Habluder freelancing' (Freelancing for beginners) and a common face in career, freelancing and entrepreneurial seminars. The start of her wonderful journey to excellence dates back to her time in Kapasgola City Corporation Girls High School.
"To be honest, freelancing was not the first thought that came over me in my teens," she said. "After shifting from Barisal to Chattogram as a kid, all I wanted was to be different so that I could adjust to the new school and environment."
She did more than adjustments. Unlike every other seventh grader, Joyeta immersed herself in newspapers to sharpen her debating skills for years. Moreover, she took part in the talent show 'MARKS allrounder' and aced it with her singing prowess. It was not long before she had become a known figure in her school campus.
"For as long as I can remember, I have kept lists of things I need and want to do," she added, "and I follow this list religiously."
In addition to keeping track of her bucket list, she constantly writes diaries and follows her new year resolution diligently. In order to tick off her checklist, she needed resources and so she got a job. During her undergraduate life at Premier University, she took up tuitions. But after a few weeks, those took a toll on her health and left her sick. However, she soon left the taxing jobs for her passion.
"When I was little, I used to go over to my cousins' and play games on their computer," she reminisced. "Since then, I dreamt of doing something involving this when I grow up."
So, when Joyeta came to know the idea of earning from home using only a computer via freelancing, she wanted in. Upon this revelation, she along with her friends went to a training centre. But the centre charged Tk 16,000 which was approximately six months' worth of her savings. So, she and her friends all chipped in for the training.
"I did not have a proper internet connection back then. So, I used to borrow one of my friend's sim with data," she recalled. "I was so lost in this entirely new field and hardly found any guidance. Instead, I had tons of demotivating comments. Yet, soon I got my first freelance job from Upwork."
For her first freelancing job, Joyeta typed articles containing 3,000+ words for a dollar each. However, she prioritised experience over money at all times, as she says, "I told them straight away that I had no experience beforehand but I would give it my all."
As weeks passed by, she got more skilled in different areas and moved towards digital marketing. After a while, she got appointed as marketing specialist at TaxiLand Brokerage. With her skills and enthusiasm, she gradually got promoted to be the head of operations of the firm.
"That was really an overwhelming moment for me. Even though I was one of the youngest in the firm, the company put a lot of faith in me," said an elated Joyeta. "This led me to believe more in my leadership skills."
The company took off under her leadership and she went on to pursue other ventures. However, her life took a completely new turn in 2019 when her book came out.
The turning point
"In 2019, my first book 'Habluder freelancing' (Freelancing for beginners) got published in the Ekushey Boi Mela. I received an unprecedented response and love for this," said the author. Since then, all printed and digital media started to take notice of her acumen more closely. Her YouTube and social media pages were getting the spotlight. In a very short span of time, Joyeta Banerjee became a very well-known figure in and outside of the freelancing community.
"My career trajectory drastically shot upwards after this. I am very grateful and fortunate for all this support," she further added. "In fact, I am working on another book 'Ghorey Bosey Ay Korun' (Earn sitting at home) for more than a year. I can safely say that this is my dream project."
Joyeta plans on providing the very guidance that she searched for vehemently in her earlier days. Reminiscing her days hoping for a helping hand in the large world of outsourcing, Joyeta is working on creating a book containing all the information, assistance and insights one needs to thrive in the world of freelancing.
Not looking back
Soon after her massive literary success, Joyeta joined forces with Robi 10 Minute School, Instructory, TalkStory and another organisation. She has become a prominent figure as a freelance instructor. She has started to redefine digital marketing and branding via her organisation TalkStory aiming to start its operation this April.
"TalkStory is not going to be a typical marketing agency. We are going to cater to small businesses and individuals with proper contents focusing on Bangla with little to no cost," said an ambitious Joyeta. "We won't just create contents. We'll provide guidance and any sort of help on branding yourself or your organisation so that you can do it yourself."
"I have a lot of plans set in motion. If all goes accordingly, I should be able to complete my list in 2028," mused a confident woman.
She does have a lot on her plate. Fresh off the undergraduate degree, she plans on pursuing higher studies on marketing. One of the biggest goals she has is to establish Talk Story as the go-to place for people looking for branding solutions. The list does not stop here and neither will she.
"When I first started freelancing, I received about 645 comments stating why I am incapable and why I shouldn't do this. Instead of being demotivated, I wrote them down, went through the shortcomings I had and solved them one by one," she further added.
"Being a woman is difficult as it is. Society and the workplace fuelled by patriarchy is not exactly a cakewalk for us. You just have to shun the haters and savour the praise."
Given her acumen and vision for success, there is no telling what she can do in the long run. Joyeta believes in going big or going home. And she is still going, stronger than ever.
The writer is a student at IBA (DU). Feel free to contact him at [email protected]