Even though the job situation remains difficult for many freelancers and contractors, we hope that with the New Year, it will be better. In this issue, we have looked back on how the coronavirus affected business life in Hong Kong.
Following that, we will answer a query about why professional project brokers are not allowed to post requests on our platform. Thereafter, a coaching client describes to us how a freelancer (that he found via us) ensured he was prepared for his new professional challenges.
Last but not least, allow us to brighten up your day with our freelancer joke which is about a corporate executive who makes his decisions in a mountain hut.
I hope you enjoy reading this news and enjoy your winter barbecues. As always, I wish you success in business!
We have moved into 2021, with most of last year taken up by adjusting to the new normal. Even though it was a bad year for restaurants and retailers, on the contrary, it was a good year for takeaway platforms, e-commerce and encouraged many businesses to move online.
Daily lives of people from Hong Kong were turned upside down for virtually the entirety of 2020 as COVID-19 raged across the globe, infecting over 8,500 people in the city, and killing more than 135. Everything such as shopping, dining, going to work and travelling, attending public gatherings, church services, weddings and funerals had to be adjusted to the ongoing health crisis and the new normal.
When the pandemic had surrounded the city in late January 2020, as a precaution, the government asked 176,000 civil servants to work from home. After that, the private sector also followed and implemented the same approach. Of course, some people have misused the given opportunity and left their homes despite being requested otherwise. For instance, some Hang Seng Bank staff were caught on social media sneaking out for a bit of fresh air.
For freelancers, this unprecedented situation has brought with it new opportunities. Many employees were forced to resign from their jobs as they did not want to risk leaving their home and going back to the office every day. In turn, this forced companies to outsource expertise from many freelancers. In terms of newcomer freelancer profiles, there is an increase up to 15 per cent according to Freelancing.hk.
Although freelancers often only need a small starting capital for the implementation of their business, the first step into self-employment is always risky. The risks are, for example, the workload, acquisition costs, lack of capital reserves and inability to make payments on time.
If this risk is too much to take in one go, one can also try starting self-employment step-by-step in order to minimise this gamble. After all, no one is obligated to plunge head over heels into cold water!
Being self-employed on the side means slowly approaching your own independence without the fear that you will not be able to pay the rent. Becoming self-employed while keeping your current job is particularly suitable for people who attach great importance to financial planning and security. After all, employment can still be terminated as soon as the appointment list has been filled. Starting self-employment on a part-time basis is also a good way to find out whether you feel comfortable in the lifestyle of a freelancer.
In the beginning, stage, since you are not yet dependent on the income from self-employment, you can also take care of the necessary administrative tasks more easily, from visiting the tax consultant to creating your own website. The part-time self-employment is, therefore, a good way to try yourself out in the entrepreneurial role and to achieve initial success without too much pressure and a good prerequisite for long-term success.
In the past, freelancers have complained about introductions with professional project brokers. Less than 10 per cent of their enquiries lead to a project, which is well below our success rate of 37 per cent. Many project brokers are also in the habit of negotiating for lower hourly rates in order to increase their own profit margin. Since the freelancers pay the introduction fee with us, most of them do not want an introduction to other project brokers and subcontractors.
Having said that, project brokers who are genuinely interested in an introduction with a freelancer at Freelancing.hk can, however, bear the introduction fee in place of the freelancer. The introduction fee is two-hourly freelancer rates.
Normally our freelancers introduce themselves in a short article. This time, however, we have a contribution from our client who has been introduced to one of the freelancers in the trainer category within the Freelancing.hk-Group. Our trainer is specialised in training, coaching, time management and job applications.
After 15 years of working for the same company, I stumbled across a job advertisement that eventually motivated me to apply. However, my last application was a long time ago, so I had difficulties preparing convincing application documents within a few days, especially since the application should also be in line with current practice. Then I came across the Freelancing.hk group in which I was able to contact a trainer in a very short time.
This freelancer, who specialises in the preparation of application documents, was able to work out the most suitable application documents with me immediately. Thus I received an invitation for an interview only 5 days after sending my application. We used the remaining days to develop a strategy to master the job interview. With success! This is how the Freelancing.hk group has helped me to reach new shores.
Two chairmen of the board of directors meet to discuss the company...
'The crisis is putting our company under enormous pressure. I have a very critical decision to make that will determine the future of the company. I will lock myself up in my mountain hut alone on this weekend to think intensively about which freelancer I want to entrust this decision to.'
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