For this week’s Humans of TapChief, we sat down with Rashi Srivastava, a 25-year-old Graphic Designer from Ghaziabad who was also a part of the 9-5 grind just like many of us but decided to step away from it and start working on her own terms. The fixed hours, the politics, the pressure, the inability to determine or have any say in what you get to work on – these are common complaints amongst office-goers and Rashi faced the same problems until she decided, not anymore.
Rashi started working as a Graphic Designer since 2014. However, she had to change organisations multiple times because she felt restricted. This prompted her to take the plunge in June 2016 and start working independently.
Today, she is a successful freelancer who has worked on a wide range of projects for clients such as Manipal Prolearn, Vatika Business Centre, and Bump to Bunny to name a few and takes care of all her business needs end-to-end.
Rashi has had a creative mind since childhood. She was always into arts, making crafts, and doodling.
Rashi knew the mainstream career choices of Engineering or Medicine were not for her. She wanted to be in the creative field. So, after her schooling, she pursued 3D Animation and Visual Effects for her undergraduate degree from MAAC, Delhi.
Rashi is someone who likes to learn and grow all the time. So after graduation, while hunting for jobs, she decided to learn graphic design. It started as an effort to upskill, but she fell in love with it so much wanted to pursue it as a career.
She proceeded to do some internships in graphic design and then started working as a full-time designer at a start-up.
Rashi was quick to realise that although she loved the art itself, she wasn’t enjoying her job very much. She felt out of place. Rashi tried changing jobs multiple times, hoping if there were a change of environment around her, she’d enjoy her work more. But, she soon realised that it was an endless cycle.
I love Graphic Design and having the ability to create visuals, but I realized that I just wasn’t cut out to work in a regular 9-5.
For one, spending time with my family is very important to me and I was barely getting any time with them. I wanted to be able to have some balance between work and my personal life, and have more time for myself.
Two, there wasn’t much flexibility. It got frustrating sometimes. I also wasn’t a big fan of the pressure or politics that are there in a workplace.
The problems remained the same. Rashi wasn’t enjoying the work she was doing because she didn’t have much of a say in choosing it. She wasn’t a fan of the pressure that comes with working in an office, or with having no control over her own time.
Rashi understood the kind of comfort and security a full-time job provides, but she didn’t want to remain stuck doing things she didn’t love. Freelancing as a career option was just starting to pick up in India. So she decided to put down her papers and proceed as an independent professional.
Working full-time at an agency had definitely given me a bit of an advantage. I understood the industry quite well, I had developed my skills and I knew I could meet the expectations of prospective clients in terms of work.
Unfortunately, immediately after she left her job, Rashi fell very sick. She was advised to be on bed rest for a few months. Most people get disheartened and start feeling sorry for themselves. But, Rashi didn’t let her illness deter her. The minute she was better, she decided to take up some small projects and started looking for remote work opportunities online.
After scouring through many websites and approaching many of her connections online, she got her first project opportunity with CPO India. She hasn’t looked back since and loves her new lifestyle.
Journey As a Freelancer So Far
Her journey as a freelancer wasn’t without its challenges.
The main challenge I faced was finding relevant projects. I still do sometimes, but I know now that it’s a part of freelancing when you’re just starting off.
For finding projects, Rashi mostly relies on her existing clients and their references, Facebook Groups, and TapChief.
It’s important to stay active in these platforms, so you can apply to projects relevant to your niche.
Keeping track of different clients was also really difficult as I’d have to take care of everything myself – be it promoting my work, finding and closing new clients, finishing the work and getting payments cleared.
I like Tapchief a lot because of the good quality projects they put up. I also like that both the clients and the professionals are treated with equal importance. The process is smooth and I can focus fully on the work and not spend my energy on things like negotiations, invoice clearance, and such.
Through Tapchief and with her own network, she started getting good projects and a steady income again.
Few clients I’m proud to have worked with are Vatika Business Centre, Manipal Prolearn, Enviro, CPO India, Bump to Bunny, XORISK, Smart Homes, Turkish Homes and Box Charm.
My favourite project was creating a Pregnancy Journal for Moms-to-be for Bump to Bunny.
These days, Rashi works with about 3-4 clients simultaneously for social media communications, emailers, logo designs, infographics, and more. Her favourite project was a Pregnancy Journal for moms-to-be for Bump to Bunny.
I find that having a fixed schedule not only helps me complete my work well before the deadline, it also helps me ensure I’m giving my 100% to whatever I’m working on. My clients love this and often give me references for more projects.
Plans for the Future
Rashi wants to expand her portfolio and develop her skills further. She also intends to publish original illustrations and infographics. Her passion for design and the very act of creation constantly keeps her motivated.
This article is part of our Humans of TapChief series, where we highlight the inspiring stories of TapChief community members who choose to live and work on their own terms.