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Freelancing in Pakistan, youth and economic growth

Pakistan: Pakistan has seen a significant shift in its job market in the recent years, with many young professionals turning to freelancing as a full-time career.

Even in remote and less developed regions of Pakistan, there is a noticeable surge in freelancing, challenging the traditional reliance on government jobs for livelihood.

This trend is driven by the country’s burgeoning youth population, 70% of whom are under 30 and increasingly tech-savvy, says Ghulam Rehman, a freelancer who has also established a startup in Islamabad.

‘’The rise of freelancing in Pakistan is a testament to the adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit of its youth, who are leveraging their skills in a global gig economy to create new opportunities for themselves and contribute to the national economy,’’ he added.

According to experts, the growth of freelancing among Pakistani youth can be attributed to several factors. The digital revolution has made it easier for individuals to offer their services online, reaching clients from all over the world.

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer have become hubs where Pakistani freelancers can showcase their talents and work on a variety of projects, from web development to graphic design. The flexibility and autonomy that freelancing offers are particularly appealing to the younger generation, who value the ability to work on their own terms and manage their own time.

Education has also played a crucial role in this shift. Many young Pakistanis have received technically-oriented training and education, equipping them with the skills needed to succeed in the freelance market. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend, as it forced many to work from home and explore alternative career paths. Freelancing has become a viable option for those seeking to avoid the traditional 9-to-5 job and the uncertainties of the local job market.

The economic impact of freelancing in Pakistan is significant. According to the Payoneer Global Freelancing Index, there was a 42% increase in Pakistani freelancers since the second quarter of 2018. This growth has not only provided a source of income for many individuals but also brought foreign earnings into the country, bolstering its economy. The success stories of Pakistani freelancers earning millions of dollars during the pandemic have served as an inspiration for many to join the freelance workforce.

However, the journey to becoming a successful freelancer is not without its challenges. It requires dedication, continuous learning, and the ability to market oneself effectively. The competition in the global freelance market is fierce, and standing out requires not just skill but also reliability and professionalism. For those willing to put in the effort, freelancing can offer a rewarding and sustainable career path.

The adoption of freelancing as a full-time job by Pakistani youth is a reflection of a larger global trend towards flexible, remote work. It showcases the potential of the youth to drive economic growth and innovation. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the opportunities for freelancers are set to expand, promising a bright future for the enterprising young professionals of Pakistan.


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