According to estimates, the country has nearly three million freelancers, which puts Pakistan among the top ten countries for freelance work.
No doubt, freelancing offers numerous advantages, such as flexibility and independence.
However, it also has its own challenges that should be considered before starting this type of work.
This article will discuss the pros and cons of freelancing in Pakistan so readers can determine if it is the right choice for them.
You have heard about how your fellow pals make money online without leaving their beds.
But at what cost?
Pros of Freelancing in Pakistan👍
To get you started, let’s discuss the advantages of freelancing in Pakistan.
1. Great freedom of choice in terms of jobs and clients.
Freelancing in Pakistan offers an abundance of freedom and choice in terms of the jobs and clients you can choose from.
You are not restricted to any particular job or industry, allowing you to take on projects that align with your career goals, interests, and skills.
As a freelancer, you have access to a wide range of businesses seeking freelance professionals for their projects.
This gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas and work with different clients who may offer more creative opportunities than traditional employers.
Moreover, as a freelancer in Pakistan, you can decide when and how much you want to work.
You will be able to set your own hours and determine what services or products best fit your expertise.
And if a project does not suit your needs or capabilities anymore, then it is easy for you to end it without any repercussions from an employer.
2. Opportunity for flexible working hours and remote work.
This is especially beneficial for those unable to adhere to traditional 9-5 office hours due to family or other commitments.
Freelancers in Pakistan can create a schedule that works best for them while still taking on projects and getting paid well.
They can work remotely from any location with an Internet connection, allowing them to travel or work from home if desired.
Remote work also means that you get access to a global network of clients by eliminating geographic limitations.
You no longer need to be physically present to conduct business, which creates new possibilities for collaborations worldwide.
On the flip side, the clients benefit as well.
Freelancing opens up talent pools beyond their own country’s borders, thus increasing their opportunities for growth and development as entrepreneurs.
3. Increased earning potential due to no cap on income.
Freelancing offers immense potential for economic growth and success in Pakistan.
In 2022 alone, Pakistani freelancers attracted nearly $400 million export remittances that fiscal year.
According to the official data released by the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT), the remittance inflows in the financial year stood at $397.328 million as compared to $396.243 million recorded in the previous financial year 2020-21.
This reflected a modest growth of 2.74% year-on-year.
But why is that?
Without a limit on income, freelancers are able to maximize their earning potential.
With no upper limit, you can work as much as you want and receive payment proportional to the amount of effort you put into your projects.
No ceiling on how much you can earn😁!
Once established, there is also a greater opportunity for you to negotiate better rates with clients based on individual skill sets.
This makes it easier for those who have specialized skills or experience to make more money than those without such qualifications.
4. Freedom to shape one’s career path without being bound to any organisation or job description.
Another one of the major advantages of freelancing in Pakistan is the freedom to shape one’s career path without being bound to any organization or job description.
See, there are no restrictions on how long you work for someone, what type of project you can take up, or where and when you can take it up.
This means you have tremendous flexibility in choosing your working hours and selecting jobs that best suit your skillsets.
Moreover, you can easily switch between different clients and projects as you see fit😉.
Now tell me, is there anywhere else you can do that?
Furthermore, this freedom gives freelancers in Pakistan a level of control over their career paths which is unprecedented compared to conventional 9-to-5 jobs.
5. Opportunity to specialise and expand knowledge in specific areas of expertise while providing services to clients worldwide.
As mentioned, freelancers in Pakistan have the freedom and flexibility to choose what type of services they want to provide.
For those with certain specialised skills, such as software development or graphic design, freelancing can be an ideal way to hone their craft while providing services.
This allows them to deeply understand their chosen field and become experts in their own right.
Not only does freelancing allow freelancers to build up their specialised skillset, but it also provides them with an opportunity for further growth.
As more experience is gained, freelancers can begin offering higher level services for clients who are looking for more complex work than entry-level projects.
6. Ability to build relationships with multiple clients and increase networking opportunities.
In this industry, your network is your networth.
And freelancing gives you exactly that; a network!
This is a great benefit for those looking to expand their client base or further their career prospects.
It can also be an excellent way to develop contacts and find new job opportunities.
The ability to meet with potential clients face-to-face can be a huge advantage when it comes to freelancing in Pakistan and the opportunity to network with other professionals from different backgrounds or industries.
This can open up new avenues for work and collaborations, allowing freelancers to make valuable connections which may provide future work opportunities or lead to referrals from past clients.
7. Increased job satisfaction due to the autonomy and flexibility offered by freelancing.
As a freelancer, you can choose which tasks to do, when you want to do them, and for whom.
This flexibility allows for improved job satisfaction, as individuals are able to work on projects that interest them and be their own bosses.
Moreover, the freedom from working under a boss allows them to be creative with their approach and have control over their schedule.
Individuals also benefit from increased job satisfaction due to the ability to grow with freelancing.
Working independently means that there is no limit on how far an individual can progress in terms of achieving success or earning more income; this makes it easier for freelancers to set goals and reach higher levels of performance than if they were employed by someone else.
8. Ability to take on challenging projects and gain valuable experience.
Having freelance projects that challenge you can help sharpen your skills and open up new opportunities for career growth.
Taking on a project outside of your comfort zone allows you to learn something new, develop relationships with clients, and build confidence in yourself as a professional.
As long as the project is within your field of expertise and you’re knowledgeable about the subject matter, taking on difficult assignments can be a great way to expand your portfolio.
Moreover, freelance work allows individuals in Pakistan to gain meaningful experience through hands-on learning.
Gives you more control over your own development; you are able to focus more on areas where you would like to improve or sharpen your skillset further.
Related: What Is Freelancing And How Does It Work In Pakistan?
Cons of Freelancing in Pakistan👎
Don’t let the perks fool you.
Freelancing is not all roses and money.
It comes with its fair share of challenges; here are some of them.
1. Lack of a stable income as payment can be unpredictable and unreliable depending on the client’s payment schedule or dispute resolution process.
One major downside to freelancing is that payment can be unpredictable and unreliable.
This is because most freelancers are paid by clients on an individual basis, meaning that it can be difficult to guarantee steady income and you may find yourself without pay for extended periods of time.
As if that’s not enough, clients’ payment behaviour is often unpredictable; some may pay promptly while others may take months or even years before paying what they owe you.
As a result, freelancers must depend on their own resources such as savings or credit cards to manage financial shortfalls until they receive payment from their clients.
2. Limited access to employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement planning, vacation allowance etc.
For many Pakistani freelancers, limited access to employee benefits is a major drawback of the profession.
This includes items such as health insurance, retirement planning, and vacation allowance.
While this lack of benefits might be seen as a burden for some individuals, others might view it as an opportunity for personal financial responsibility and growth.
In terms of health insurance, freelancers are generally responsible for finding their own coverage options.
This can mean researching private insurance plans or taking advantage of government-provided options like SehatSahulat program in Punjab province.
Retirement planning can pose another challenge; without employer-sponsored 401(k)s or other pension plans available to them, freelancers must rely on personal accounts such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
3. Difficulties with taxation include lack of clarity on what taxes need to be paid and how they should be calculated given the dual nature of a freelance career (self-employed/employed).
Another one big issue is taxation.
Unfortunately, freelancers in the country can face uncertainty and lack of clarity regarding what taxes they need to pay and how they should pay them.
For example, while freelancers may be required to register as self-employed, they are not always aware of all their tax obligations.
Further, filing taxes can be difficult for freelancers who do not have access to an accountant or other tax experts who can provide guidance on what needs to be done.
This lack of clarity has caused significant confusion and difficulties among freelancers trying to complete their tax returns correctly.
4. Difficulty in acquiring legal protection against non-payment or breach of contract by clients.
This is a major source of concern for not only freelancers here in Pakistan, but around the world!
Sadly, freelancers in Pakistan cannot access the same level of legal protection as those employed in formal sectors.
As a result, they may find themselves without recourse if their client fails to honor the terms of their agreement.
Legal proceedings can be expensive and time consuming, and many freelancers cannot afford them.
Not to mention, Pakistani courts are notoriously slow when it comes to making rulings on commercial disputes such as these, leaving freelancers with little hope for justice if they do not receive payment for their work.
To protect themselves from non-payment or breach of contract situations, you must ensure that all agreements are clearly outlined in writing and signed off by both parties before work begins.
5. Difficulties in finding jobs, especially for those who are new to freelancing.
If you are new to this field, 90% of the time you will give up before the first anniversary!
The competitive nature of the industry means that experienced professionals tend to dominate job postings, leaving less opportunities for novice freelancers.
Many employers in Pakistan lack knowledge about the freelance market and do not understand how to hire a freelancer or what qualities they should look out for when selecting one.
This makes it hard for newer freelancers to stand out amongst more experienced applicants and find work.
Another difficulty is finding reliable payment methods that are secure and available in Pakistan.
PayPal, which is common with freelancers around the world, isn’t available in the country!
To add salt to the injury, delayed payments or non-payment adds up the payment issues!
Related: 11 Strategies To Find High Paying Clients as a Freelancer in Pakistan
6. High competition as the freelancing market is becoming increasingly saturated.
The freelancing market in Pakistan is becoming increasingly saturated, with more and more people entering the industry every day.
This is creating a competitive environment for freelancers, who must compete with each other to find clients and secure contracts.
This can be difficult for new entrants, as they may not have the same experience or qualifications as those who have been in the business for a longer period of time.
On the plus side, increased competition means more opportunities are available to talented freelance professionals.
As the number of freelancers grows, employers will find it easier to find individuals with specialized skills that meet their requirements exactly.
Due to the high competition among freelancers, prices are often lower than they would be in traditional employment settings.
Related: How to Market Your Freelance Business in Pakistan
7. Limited access to resources such as office space and equipment as most freelancers work from home.
Another one of the downsides to freelancing in Pakistan is that access to resources such as office space and equipment can be limited due to the fact that most freelancers work from home.
This lack of physical workspace can make it difficult for freelancers to stay organized, establish boundaries between their personal and professional lives, and focus on their work without distractions.
In addition, not having access to an office means that freelancers often have to pay for their own equipment including laptops, printers, scanners, etc., which can be costly.
Furthermore, access to a reliable internet connection is essential for those who freelance online but may not be available if they live in remote areas with poor internet infrastructure.
Related: How To Learn Freelancing At Home In Pakistan
8. Difficulty in networking with other professionals as freelancers have few opportunities to meet and collaborate.
As much as we say networking is vital, it can challenge many freelancers in Pakistan.
First, many do not have access to the same resources and platforms as full-time employees, like office spaces or formal events where they can network with potential clients.
As a result, often feel isolated and disconnected from the professional community.
Secondly, freelancers have limited opportunities to collaborate with one another or even form supportive networks.
This can be difficult because collaboration can help create new ideas and strategies and provide additional support when needed.
The lack of these opportunities makes it difficult for freelancers to find work or grow their business.
Finally, many companies prefer to hire full-time employees instead of freelancers because they are more reliable and present fewer risks than hiring independent contractors.
Is freelancing is good idea in Pakistan?
Freelancing is a great idea for anyone in Pakistan who has the skills and resources to do so. It allows people to work from home or anywhere else, and it allows them to choose their own hours and projects.
Freelancers can also take advantage of the low cost of living in Pakistan, making it an attractive option for those looking to make a living without having to leave the country.
There are many opportunities available for freelancers in Pakistan, ranging from web design and development to content writing and graphic design.
With increasing businesses looking to outsource work, freelancers can find plenty of jobs that fit their skill set. Additionally, many websites are dedicated to helping freelancers find jobs in Pakistan and connecting them with potential employers.
It can be a great way for people in Pakistan to make a living while still being able to enjoy the freedom that comes with working independently.
How much do Pakistan freelancers earn?
The amount of money that Pakistan freelancers earn depends on various factors, including the type of work they are doing and their experience level.
In general, though, most freelancers in Pakistan can expect to earn an average of Rs 19,695 per month according to Indeed.com. This range can vary widely depending on the type of job, with some highly specialized tasks commanding higher rates.
Freelance jobs in Pakistan are typically found through online marketplaces such as Upwork or Fiverr.
These sites allow freelancers to showcase their skills and bid for jobs worldwide.
The amount offered for a particular job is usually based on the complexity and duration of the project, so it’s important for freelancers to be realistic when setting their rates.
Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Your Freelance Rates in Pakistan