A buzz was created recently when a 21-year-old Bangladeshi girl named Tamanna Islam became one of the youngest paid authors in an international platform named Goodnovel. She explained that it was nothing but utilising the spared time allowed by the lockdown situation. She decided to pursue her hobby of writing novels and freelance them to create her own identity as an author.
“I love to bring life to my imaginations by writing them down. Someday I want to create my own identity as a renowned author just like Colleen Hoover did,” she noted as she shared her joy of writing a novel.
Even today, whereas many women are afraid of doing outdoor jobs, some young women are striving to create their self-identity by turning their hobbies into freelancing. Young womenare nowadays seen freelancing on things that used to be their hobbies like painting, writing, video editing, and gardening.
This influx of young female freelancers is increasing since this provides opportunities to make money by working from home at flexible hours.
A 2020 Statista Global Consumer survey conducted in the United States shows that 53 per cent of respondents answered in the positive when asked if they are making money from their hobbies. Among them, 22 per cent were women aged between 18 to 30 years.
Though no such survey has been conducted in Bangladesh, the presence of female freelancers in social media groups and communities bears proof of the rise in number.
Hobby typically means an activity that one does in the leisure period not aiming for earning money. According to Ask Your Target Market's latest survey, 74 per cent of overall respondents consider having hobbies to be important.
Freelancing, on the other hand, is used to describe any form of work where the person is not committed to a particular employer or company and can be labelled as self-employed.
Freelancing can be a potential source of significant volumes of earning foreign currency through different pathways.
In Bangladesh, many young women navigated several conundrums regarding outdoor work. Thus, these young women are trying to utilise the boons of social media and are generating income by turning their hobbies into freelancing. Mrs Purba, a student from Rajshahi University, reported in a personal telephone interview about her success as a freelance digital artist. It was very difficult for her to seek outdoor jobs. From a very young age, she used to love painting.
During the lockdown when she faced certain financial crisis, she decided to learn digital artwork and started doing small projects on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. “I’m earning so much right now that it is not only helping me to solve my insolvency issue but also providing me to create my self-identity without stepping out of the door,” said she.
Despite the boons of freelancing, The New York Times said that continuously women are subject to gender differences. Part of the problem is that the pay gap in the traditional employee environment is retained when the female freelancer first begins working with clients.
Fahima Hossain Raisa, a business and technology management student from the Islamic University of Technology, shared her experience she faced at the beginning of her freelancing career.
“Since I enjoyed video editing and cooking, I looked for freelancing opportunities to create cooking videos. However, I didn’t get much support at the beginning and it took years to gain customers trust as a new female freelancer.”
However, the societal attitude towards young women should be improved so that more young women can get the opportunity to create their self-identity by turning their hobbies into freelancing.
Jinnatul Raihan is a third year student of Business and Technology Management at Islamic University of Technology.