Freelancing 101

How to Explain Freelancing to Relatives

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 21/04/221 min read
How to Explain Freelancing to Relatives

Here is a conversation we overheard at the Pepper Content HQ recently:

Writer 1: What do your parents think of you being a full-time writer? 

Writer 2: They don’t believe me when I say I’m a writer. 

W1: What? Why is that so hard to believe?

W2: It’s because, when I say “writer,” they think I’m a novel writer! 

If you read the above conversation and thought, “That’s so relatable,” we’ve done some digging for you. 

Being a creator in India is hard for many reasons. Not enough people understand the creative job market, nor are they willing to pay adequately for its offerings. Not to mention, the gig economy is one of the most confusing segments to explain to our relatives. 

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We spoke to some freelancers to find out the best way to describe their jobs to the older generation. 

4 Tips for Explaining Freelancing to Relatives

We’ve put together a few tips for hyping up your freelancing career choice at the next social gathering you’re dragged to.

1. The show, don’t tell

The best way to explain is not to explain. Point your relatives to work that is already out there and give them a better perspective. As a content creator, you can show them a website or a blog, and explain how it takes a village to create and maintain it. It’s the simplest way forward. 

2. Explain like they are five

Slow down, be imaginable, and paint a picture. Imagine the oldies are your children, and you want to explain the solar system to them. Trust us, it works! The aim here is not to be condescending but compassionate. For instance, if you’re a podcast host, you can tell them podcasts are like radio shows, but on the internet. 

3. Stick to the bare minimum 

Don’t explain things that don’t hold any relevance. Don’t dive deep either. This is not a thesis; it’s just a chat. If you are a writer, don’t go into the details of the editing tools you use or how you optimize your writing for SEO. More information will simply confuse them.

4. Show them the money

The only reason for your relatives’ skepticism is the uncertainty of the job market. Explain how your job pays you well, and that you can make ends meet (that, too, by doing what you love). Tell them that more people are doing this and building a solid career out of it. 

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You can go a step further and explain the benefits of freelancing: such as flexible work timings, diverse clients, etc. Once they see you pay your bills, they may not question your professional path. 

While your family members have your best interests at heart, they may not always get why you’re doing what you’re doing. That is because they grew up in an age when the internet was not even a reality. So, the next time a relative expresses concern or interest in your career, deal with them with ample patience and tact.

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