InstaOffice Introduces Shobhika Puri
Gig economy is the rage right now and for all the right reasons. This very interesting shift in the economy worldwide brings the need to get an insight into the workings of it all, directly from a freelancer.
InstaOffice introduces you to Shobhika Puri. Shobhika is a Freelance Writer, Editor, Instructional Designer, and Facilitator. An IIM-Lucknow (Noida Campus) and Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi) alumna, she has been working closely in the fields of education, communication, and technology throughout her career.
After working at some successful corporate jobs, Shobhika made the decision to take up the life and challenges of a freelancer.
Her Journey & Challenges
“My career as a Freelance Writer, Editor, Instructional Designer, and Facilitator has been nothing less than satisfying”. However, one of the challenges she has to deal with is that freelancing as a career choice is not taken seriously even to this day.
An oft-repeated comment that she hears when she tells somebody about her career is, “Oh, it’s a good way to pass your time and keep yourself busy!” She was laughing while sharing her experience and added, “Some people could possibly be thinking that it is my husband who is paying for my office rent just to keep me gainfully occupied.”
“People around me usually think that as an editor, all I do is improve the English language and grammar. There is a lot of ignorance around what my job as an editor really is. “Correcting English” is possibly the last thing I do.” What Shobhika does is developmental editing that involves looking at the overall structure of a script and adding value to the content, so that it meets its desired objective.
The terms and rates of payment are a big challenge for a Freelance Writer. Shobhika says, “A big challenge that exists in the field of freelance writing is that the projects are relatively low-paying. The kind of money that you would make working as much as you do as a freelancer, is definitely less than what you would make in a big corporate. This is even true for the workshops that I conduct.”
“Tight deadlines is another big challenge that freelancers face. You have to work on deadlines which are almost always ‘yesterday’. Moreover, management of multiple clients is not always easy.”
We asked her if she feels it is a challenge being a woman in the freelancing world. She says, “No discrimination or hiccups exist for women freelancers in the market. In fact, most of the freelancers today are women, owing to the flexibility of time and work.”
Shobhika says she has learnt a lot about her skill on the job. After getting an English (Hons.) degree and doing a BCA, she tried her hand at Technical Writing on the suggestion of a friend. Since then, there’s been no looking back. Writing and communication have been the underlying themes of all her full-time jobs across industries.
Why the switch-over
One question that she is frequently asked is what made her take the bold decision to switch over from a full-time job to freelancing.
Her want for a work-life balance was the sole reason that led her to make this decision.
After her experience in full-time writing jobs, she was not only looking for the flexibility of time, but also the flexibility of work. “Choosing the life of a freelancer has been great for me as now I get to pick the people I want to work with and the projects I want to work on.”
Corporate vs Freelance – Impact on Career Growth
One of the obvious questions that might come to you about the gig economy is regarding the impact of freelancing against a full-time corporate job, on career growth.
“There may not be certainty of work in freelancing, however, there is absolutely no shortage of good work in the market. If you maintain the quality of your work and meet deadlines, freelance writing has a high potential of growth in the long run. However, networking is the key to landing such jobs. ”
Tip for Freelance Writers Out there
It is vital for a freelance writer to stay updated with technological developments and to be professional at all times. Shobhika has been on the other side in a full-time job where she worked with freelance editors. She shares that sometimes freelancers would just disappear without notice or not be very professional in their commitments.
One important tip from Shobhika for all the freelance writers is, “Focus on quality! Do not plagiarize, and meet your deadlines. These three things are vital to the success of a writer, and can go a long way in helping your career grow.”
Her Success Mantra, Current Projects & The Journey Ahead
Her journey as a Freelance Writer, Editor, Instructional Designer, and Facilitator continues to be filled with growth, opportunities, and work satisfaction.
Ethics play an important part for Shobhika when it comes to picking up her projects. “There have been times when I have been offered to do project work for students in exchange of money. I always outrightly refuse take up any such work. The idea goes against my work ethics.” Also, she never shares any content or confidential information of one client with another. She adds, “Whenever there is an overlapping of industries or domains, I always keep the clients informed.”
Unlike many freelance writers out there, Shobhika does not charge her clients on a per word basis. She believes in charging for and delivering the project as a whole. She says, “Making the project a success, is my ultimate goal.”
Shobhika Puri is currently working on a number of great projects. On one hand, she is writing storyboards for an e-learning company, while on the other she is designing training modules on varied topics ranging from microfinance to customer advocacy. It doesn’t end there. She is even evaluating entrance exam sheets for a leading management school in Delhi. It is the richness and variety of her projects that keep her motivated.
Five years down the line, Shobhika sees herself continuing to focus on the kind of projects she takes and delivering credible work.
The variety of projects that she takes up shows her versatility as a writer, editor, instructional designer, and facilitator.
You will find Shobhika at our InstaOffice Centre in GECC, Gurgaon.
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