So you’re a freelancer

The new age job, where you make your hours and your rules.

Many people assume that freelancers are hipsters that sit in cafes with their laptops out “pretending” to be buried in work. For the most part that isn’t true, but yes sometimes that’s just what a freelancer is doing. It’s about 10 – 20 percent of the job.

But there are many now who are opting for a life without an office, without the rigid hours of 9 – 5 and without the pressure of taking on a task you don’t find rewarding. With flexibility being the new buzzword as Straits Times so eloquently put it. It does seem like a more attractive way for one to contribute to society. Plus with all the brunches we have, we’re contributing to all these start up cafes.


“This explains why sites connecting freelancers and businesses, such as and Upwork, are doing so well. Services in demand include website design, copywriting and data entry. launched its site in 2012, picking up close to 15,000 users here. Three years on, it has almost 100,000.
Upwork had 40,000 businesses and 47,000 freelancers here at the end of the third quarter this year, up from 29,000 businesses and 36,000 freelancers in the same period last year.”

– Straits Times –

Majority of freelancers are web based and fulfill roles such as app/web developers, copywriters and designers. However there are a whole other hosts of freelance jobs available where companies looking to trim the fat in certain departments seek out freelancers to fill the gap, such as in the form of data entry and administrative work.


Even service roles may have a future in the freelance industry. Swensen’s will be launching a portal that allows for people to fill vacant roles in real time, such as when a staff member is on urgent or medical leave someone else can fill the gap and cover the hours. Which is a win for both parties.

Other freelancers retain their full time jobs during the day and pull in shifts at certain places after work. Such as freelance couriers who make deliveries using their own vehicles. The extra income could go to financing the vehicle for the entire month.

Having this new form of work arrangement means that when freelancers face a contractual problem, they can come out on the losing end because they are not represented under the employment act.

The NTUC has since 2013 pushed for more protection for freelancers against unfair and errant practices by their clients.

With the help of the NTUC’s Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit, coaches across all sports who train with schools and those who train athletes now have an association to represent their interests.


The freelance route is one of many, a full fledged career, a gap stopper or moonlighting for extra income.

However with the dawn of the millennial generation we see an increase in job seekers looking for more flexibility in their lives. Gone are the days where work took up the main bulk of your existence, where you toiled to put food on the table for your family. These new young upstarts are wanderlusters with no added responsibility of children or family, they believe in the pleasure that experiences can bring instead of the joys of monetary reward.



It’s a different outlook on life, that’s been brought together by the advent of social media. It isn’t cut out for everyone and not everybody embraces the irregularity that comes along with freelancing, but it is a new age, and with it comes new concepts.



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