Freelance work is considered exciting as it is considered dubious. Exciting, perhaps, because it offers the leverage to work for multiple employers on temporary or short-term contracts, hence augmenting the overall experience of the worker. Dubious because it is offers no long-term or recurrent confirmations from the employer for the worker.
Differences between ‘independent’ and ‘full-time’ modes of work may be as contrasting as chalk and cheese but it led me to wonder if there were any variations in work ethics and morality when one day, at a social gathering, on hearing that I was working as a freelancer, an associate commented casually: ‘But freelancing is quite different from working at a permanent position; you can walk away scot-free anytime.’
As I walked away that evening, I realized how strong the bromide was – It is no enigma that amongst employers exist many who refuse to take freelancers seriously. What I realized later was that it is because we freelancers rarely take ourselves seriously.
As a freelancer, I strongly feel that if valuing our work is important, equally imperative is to ensure we qualify for that value, hence there are – or ideally should be – no differences in work ethics. Committing to a task on a stipulated deadline with certain quality standards should be treated as an ABSOLUTE priority, for a freelancer as it is considered for a full-timer.
Understanding the importance of work ethics will lead the freelance community to accept their responsibilities. We must NOT, under any circumstances believe, we can GET AWAY.
In my professional career, the first lesson I learned was to ensure that I don’t consider myself a freelancer. I am a professional with a task at hand which is to be delivered on time with the quality that will illustrate my ability at hand. It is a true representative of my character and professionalism and that is something I cannot get away from.
Contributor: Zainab Mansoor is a freelance journalist and contributor to various local and international publications. She is an equally doting mom and strives to strike a perfect balance every day.