Freelancing is a way of work offering attractive benefits, from personalized work hours, to work vacations and control of one’s tasks. However, freelancing is not always what it seems to be, as say many Egyptians who take this path.
Freelancing has become popular in Egypt, and has even been supported by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology with a “Youth Enablement for Freelancing” program. Freelancing has become a common choice of work lifestyle, and several years ago the Egyptian Designers Union released a minimum price list for graphic designers to avoid them being taken advantage of.
While this list may be outdated in 2021, it served as a rare resource in a freelance world that is considered best understood through “word of mouth” according to Freelance Videographer Youssef Ramzy. For many young creatives, the path to becoming a freelancer is blurry, confusing and exhausting. There is little guidance and almost no discussion on rates and expectations, leading many to work beyond their means due to a lack of information, eventually arriving at burnout.
Egyptian Streets spoke to several current freelancers in all different fields to gather an understanding of the current Egyptian freelance market. These freelancers share their insights in the below articles:
“It is a hustle. It is constantly fighting over projects or job options on Upwork, Freelancer, and such platforms. There’s not a lot of available jobs, and it’s very competition-based. You have to hustle to get what you want,” says Laila Said.
“I usually try to finish at my working hours exactly whether at five or at six, I then get a break for an hour, usually on my way home on the bus. Then I start to work till 10 PM on whatever freelance work I’m doing. If you don’t recharge, rest, and recover from the exhaustion of the week, there will come a time when you won’t be able to be creative,” says Sarah Shebl.
“It is possible. Nothing is impossible. I know it sounds cliche. It’s not the safest option. But I’d definitely advise you to take it step by step. Never go full-time if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to do,” says Youssef Ramzy.