Is online freelancing Kenya’s next employment frontier?


Is online freelancing Kenya’s next employment frontier?

The unemployment rate in Kenya has hit an all-time high, with nearly one in every five youths of working age in Kenya having no job. According to a 2016 World Bank report, 17.4% of Kenyan youth are unemployed.

This has led to ingenious youth searching for alternative ways of putting food on the table. Some of them have taken advantage of the internet to search for jobs from clients all over the world. This is what is known as online freelancing.

This has led to ingenious youth searching for alternative ways of putting food on the table. Some of them have taken advantage of the internet to search for jobs from clients all over the world. This is what is known as online freelancing.

This has led to ingenious youth searching for alternative ways of putting food on the table. Some of them have taken advantage of the internet to search for jobs from clients all over the world. This is what is known as online freelancing.

These youths spend their days holed up in their apartments, hunched over their laptops and making money. Some have had to endure insults and degrading labels from their neighbors who cannot understand how they stay indoors the whole time and still manage to pay their rent.

However, online freelancing is here to stay, and I figure it is time we demystified it.

 How does online freelancing work?

To start working as a freelancer, you need to sign up on one of the freelancing platforms which help to link freelancers to clients from all over the world. There are several freelancing websites available. Running a quick search on Google with the keywords ‘freelance work’ will turn up tens of freelancing websites.

Signing up on most of these websites is free. Clients post the projects they want done on the website, where freelancers can then bid on the projects. Once a client hires you to do their job, you work on the project and get paid after you submit the work. The freelancing website gets a cut of your payment as a service charge for linking you with the client.

What skills are required to be a freelancer?

There are several job categories that can be done by freelancers. These include writing, graphic design, web design and development, social media management and marketing, virtual assistance, video editing, etc. Basically, if you have a skill that allows you to do a job remotely, then you are the right fit for freelancing.

Apart from your writing or design skills, you need to be a good communicator with good knowledge of the English language as you will be communicating with clients from all over the world.

Won’t you be scammed?

Many people are afraid that when you work remotely for a client, you might deliver the work and fail to get paid. However, most of the freelancing websites have a system where the client has to deposit the full amount of the project before hiring a freelancer. Once the freelancer submits the work, the money is then released to them. This prevents scenarios where the client might refuse to pay despite having received their work.

However, those who chose to work with clients directly outside these freelancing platforms face the risk of having a client fail to pay them.

 What are you waiting for?

As job opportunities dwindle, online freelancing is turning out to be a serious income earner for youth in Kenya. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and the willingness to work. For youths who have been into a hundred and one offices searching for a job with no success, maybe it is time you considered working online.

By Kelvin Kiogora. @Vantixx254

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One thought on “Is online freelancing Kenya’s next employment frontier?”

  1. .
    The biggest misconception I see around is the belief that online work is seasonal.

    Academic writing is seasonal, and I discourage people from taking it as a long term job.

    But why would an app development, website design, digital marketing, social media management….work be seasonal!!!?

    Get out of academic writing and seasonal is an alien term.

    Online work is not equal to academic writing!

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