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Freelancing blooms amid Vietnamese young people

Freelancing blooms amid Vietnamese young people

Saturday, September 23, 2023, 11:41 GMT+7
Freelancing blooms amid Vietnamese young people
Many young workers opt for a café as a favorite place to deal with their multitude of tasks. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

More young Vietnamese professionals are quitting their full-time jobs and becoming freelancers to earn more income and knowledge, reflecting a global trend.

Inside a café in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District, dozens of young customers hunch over their laptops to plow through a pile of work though the clock is striking midnight.

Freelancing to blossom among the young

The trend peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to thrive as the economy recovers.

Working on more than one task simultaneously results in learning more skills but also comes with a lot of pressure.

A regular customer of the café, H.P., has been working as a freelancer since he was 17 after abandoning jobs at convenience stores as “they are restraining and monotonous.”

Grasping the market demand for designers, P. signed up for short-term training courses on the Internet while still studying at high school.

After a year, he commenced taking jobs home which are said by P. to be “well-paid.”

P. is majoring in information technology at a university in Ho Chi Minh City and usually works on his tasks, like interior design, movie editing, and game testing concurrently.

P. finds this form of job gratifying because he has full control over his time and is proactive about where to work, but mostly on account that he can choose his desired job, meaning that freelancing offers the young man mental comfort, freedom, and creativity optimization.

“I don’t make a fortune due to having only three jobs, but my acquaintances who are working five jobs at a time always earn above US$3,000 per month,” said P.

Pros and cons

Meanwhile, K., a software engineer and also a graphic designer residing in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7, takes up to four commissions at once, and up to six during the peak season.

Apart from being an official employee at a technology company specializing in website design and programming, he also takes on many tasks outside his main job, such as game programming, graphic design, software error identification, and occasionally running ads on social networking platforms.

Due to the high salary, K. has to spend more than 14 hours on his heavy workload, so he barely has any breaks, except for eating and sleeping.

Hardly a day goes by without him dealing with an amount of work on a tight timeline.

“No matter what time it is, whether in the middle of the night, eating or even going to the bathroom, the customers’ demand must be fulfilled immediately,” K. said honestly.

A 28-year-old woman named Tram, dwelling in Tan Phu District, takes pride in her decision to have left her full-time occupation as a deputy head of communications and foreign affairs department from a large corporation based in District 1, in order to work three freelance jobs at home.

Her previous job not only took almost every day excluding Sundays but also came with a lot of pressure and responsibilities, still her after-tax salary was only about VND15 million (nearly $630) per month.

Since the beginning of March, Tram has been working three jobs at once namely telephone operator, communications staff, and designer, yet she is “happily living in the present moment” as her income is increasing by half.

In the past, Tram had to wake up early and drag herself from Tan Phu District to District 1, but now she can sleep like a log instead. 

“It’s busy being a freelancer, but I’m still pretty happy about it, for I can both travel and deal with work on my laptop,” Tram said.

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Minh Chau - Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre News

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