I never thought I would engage in full-time freelancing! 

My name is Ruchi Jaju and I am a sales and marketing professional with over 8 years of work experience. I did my graduation in B.Sc. in Computer Science and eventually did my MBA in finance and marketing. After finishing my MBA, I got placed in SuperMax Personal Care Pvt. Ltd. and started off my professional journey as a Management Trainee.

After undertaking multiple projects in finance, operations, and marketing, I realised that I wanted to advance my career in marketing. And so, I joined the marketing team and started assisting a category manager there. Eventually, I realised, in order to be a good marketer, you need to have sales experience first. So, I decided to shift from marketing to sales and gain some on-ground experience.

That’s where I switched to Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in Mumbai and strengthened my sales knowledge and gained experience. Being in HUL, was a dream come true. I always wanted to work there. I was handling Institutional (B2B) Sales in HUL and was the top sales performer for three consecutive years there. Everything was going fine and I was super excited to venture into marketing in HUL after my sales stint but life had its own plan.

My husband had got a job in Luxembourg, Europe and we had to move there. Unfortunately, I had to resign from HUL and find myself some luck in new geography. I applied for multiple jobs but never found luck with any job offer. Not that I was incompetent; work permit became the biggest roadblock for me.  Then I thought, if I am not able to reach recruiters this way, then there must be some other way. And that’s where I started sharing my experiences on LinkedIn via articles and posts.

I started gaining traction and also got introduced to the world of writing. I got my first writing gig through LinkedIn. Here again, I never thought this is something I could make my career in. But guess what, I am a freelancer now. I am now into content writing, sales and marketing consulting and strategy. You can have multiple degrees, certifications, diplomas, etc. But they are only as good as your implementation of soft skills.

Did my traditional education help here? I would say yes, 20% for the subject matter knowledge. But rest, the skills which actually helped me getting work are –

  • Relationship Management
  • Communication & Presentation
  • Ownership
  • Self-starter attitude
  • Writing

 

You can have multiple degrees, certifications, diplomas, etc. But they are only as good as your implementation of soft skills. From a full-time job to full-time freelancing, life has been unpredictable. There’s no point in restricting your options thinking how can you do something that you haven’t done before.

Future Ahead

With the COVID pandemic, employers across the globe are now more open to having remote workers or freelancers. The gig economy is on the rise and hopefully here to stay for a longer time.

As freelancers, the following attributes have helped me grow professionally –

  • Professionalism
  • Impeccable client servicing
  • Transparency in dealings
  • Flexible approach
  • Recommendations from others

No matter whatever work you do as a freelancer, the above points will always make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. In the years to come, I will continue freelancing and try to maximize my earnings from there. For any questions or queries, you can connect to me via LinkedIn.

Thoughts shared by Ruchi Jaju.