Freelancing in a Digital Age

Written by Albert Hermo

Riki Wei is a final-year student majoring in Business and Media Communication studies at QUT. Riki is currently working in the fields of social media management and content creation. In a recent interview with her, I was given the chance to enquire about her transition from university into the workforce.

I started by asking her on the type of experiences she had developed throughout her university degree. She told me she had gained a plethora of experiences beneficial for work through her studies in hospitality, banking, finance, social media management, and content creation; all being vital to take on board in “the real world” as a professional in media design. Riki remarked that she also learnt a lot more about cooperation, interpersonal skills, professional skills and time management from working in this industry. When asked if it was challenging to find opportunities, Riki responded with a definite yes, saying it was especially challenging to start afresh in a new industry. Adding on, none of her previous freelancing or internship experiences opened new doors, as she is always sourcing for opportunities by herself. From what Riki has gathered, competing for jobs can be even more difficult as there are many freelancers in the media industry.

Riki told me that it was all by chance that led her down this line of work when a friend recommended her to this career path. There were many options in advertising from physical marketing with mail, pamphlet and events, to digital marketing with social media; and finally media marketing through television and radio. She had worked in a few of these fields before but decided to go with skills she developed throughout her internships and uni, such as photography, styling and social media skills; that way it was a natural transition for her when she first started balancing the workload. As a digital freelancer, Riki would like to explore more opportunities and never wants to stay at the same level for each job. Currently, she is a digital advertiser that caters towards Asian demographics. She works in a team of 10 people using social media as well as the companies personal marketing channels, however, her work has largely consisted of individual work. She stated that she had a large amount of creative freedom to play with because of which she has developed the mindset of keep creating, keep an open mind and aesthetic, aesthetic, aesthetic.

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She also feels like there are a lot of challenges based on her own work. However, Riki has learned how to organize her time a lot better through freelancing due to different tasks and schedules each week. This has helped her know how to balance her life with her study and uni. One of her most favourite and most challenging parts of her work is taking photos. She commented on how difficult creativity is within the workforce as there are many types of photos on the internet that are bland or beautiful. 

“Finding the perfect style for the customer” is often challenging as your personal preferences may differ from her clients. “It’s the toughest and most challenging job I’ve ever had. But it’s fun. If you have a big dream and ambition please do without hesitation. I still believe this industry has a brilliant future based on my experience.” 

I questioned her about what type of work did she see herself in the future with her answer being,

“We never know. All the works and opportunities are changing once you stepped in one industry. There are so many positions in one industry. I’m never going to say which position or what kind of job I’ll end up doing in the future. I like to challenge myself and try and learn different positions depends on opportunities. Overall I believe this will help me build up a well rounded ME”.

Her final words at the end of the interview was that she truly enjoyed every aspect of her job, it was definitely challenging especially as a freelancer but she’s enjoying every experience and looks forward to whatever the future may bring.

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