Freelancing in Egypt

Have you ever wondered who brought the term “freelance” to the world? Well,”freelancer” or “freelancing” are terms currently used to mean a person who is self-employed, and is in the business of selling their services and skills to different employers for a specified time period.Other words similar to freelancer are independent worker, and independent contractor.

But surprisingly, the word freelance was first used in 1819 by Sir Walter Scott in his book “Ivanhoe”.He mentions a hostile lord who refers to his paid army as ‘free lances’. So, the term free-lance was used to refer to Italian and French mercenaries, who would offer their combat skills and weapons to anyone willing to pay them the most.

Freelancing started coming strongly into the working scene in Egypt when the increasing rate of prices have risen up too high that the income became insufficient and life needs are noticeably increasing as well. In addition to a steady job, utilizing your skills and work experience by taking on freelance projects has been a very thoughtful and helpful method to secure extra cash. Be it the flexible working hours, being your own boss, or the cash inflow, more and more people in Egypt and around the world are adopting and turning to become full-time freelancers.

Other than the prices increasing and the insufficient income, some employees in Egypt claim that they never got paid enough nor felt appreciated enough to at least try thinking of dealing with the payment issue in order to keep or stay in their job. Some other people turned to freelance to maintain a certain lifestyle that they want. As for them, freelancing can ensure making double the amount they receive from their full time jobs but for less effort and in shorter periods of time.

Nowadays, companies in Egypt are turning to hiring project-based freelancers. As freelancers can be very useful when sudden projects pop up or when there is sudden high demand. You cannot just hire people on the spot, it is difficult to make such a big decision in such a short time, so you rely on freelancers. Also, most industries have seasons, So it would be more cost-effective for employers to pay freelancers to complete specific projects than to sign a contract with them.

Although freelancing is like a surviving tool for some people and a source to maintain a certain lifestyle for others and cost-saving for companies, We can't deny that it is accompanied by some issues that if they weren't solved and got taken care of can be a real threat and ruin one's existence in the freelance world.

The first issue is; lack of experience and it often happens with fresh grads as they still need to get a better handle on their skills and knowledge; which leads to the second issue; the lack of development for freelancers. Companies invest in their staff. They train them and send them on courses. However , freelancers have to work on themselves alone and have to bear the costs of their own development.

One of the very recent achievements done by a growing freelance platform called “Freelance Yard” was a job fair called “ON Fair” that took place on the 21st and 22nd of August but it wasn't an ordinary one as it marks the first virtual job fair in MENA region, aiming to become the biggest and the main headline for employment in 2020. A 2-day online event enriched with various developmental, networking activities beside the main objective of the day to reach out and hunt your dream job and the next milestone on your journey.

Today, due to the reasons mentioned above, more people are turning to freelancing by developing their own skills and learning new ones. Also, more companies are open to outsourcing people of talents and a wide range of experiences, paving a path of societal acceptance towards freelancing. So don’t hesitate to take the chance and explore that road you have always yearned to walk down. Start small and grow from there.

It’s never too late to try!

Written By: Ms. Mayada Mohsen