The world is witnessing rapid developments and changes in societies and their way of thinking about work. Young people are witnessing through the passage of years a significant lack of career opportunities compared to the huge number of graduates in Palestine, in general, and in the Gaza Strip, in particular. Hence, the fresh graduated young people have already started by heading towards “freelance work” due to the lack of job opportunities that would provide them with a decent life in exchange for their efforts during their university life, hoping they get a job that fulfill their dreams in the besieged Gaza Strip for more than fifteen years.
High Youth Unemployment in the Gaza Strip, 2021
The results of the Palestinian Census of the Labor Force Survey in 2021 indicated that the unemployment rate among young people (19-29) years of graduates holding an intermediate diploma or higher reached 53% (and they constitute 27% of the total unemployed). At the level of gender, it reached 66% for females, compared to 39% for males. At the regional level, the unemployment rate for young graduates in the West Bank was 36%, compared to 74% in the Gaza Strip.
The Key to Overcome Unemployment
Most of the young graduates turned to join business incubators to create their own companies, or work directly on the Internet by marketing the services they provide through social media sites and offering services such as translation, Web development, and graphic design. These fields are the most areas in terms of providing jobs for freelancers on the Internet. Likewise, young people tend to register on freelancing sites such as Upwork, Ureed, Fiverr, Mostaql, Khamsat and many more sites that allow individuals and employers to register on them.
Inspiring Freelance Success Stories
I was a university student trying my best to afford the high university fees. At the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl I love. So, I started looking for a way out! I was very good at translation and writing; however, I didn’t know the best practices to employ the skills I had. I joined Gaza Sky Geek’s Freelance Academy. I finally learnt how to start working online and providing translation services. I started searching for jobs fit my skills and working day and night with no rest. After mainly 3 months of training, I managed to handle 40+ projects on different platforms and earned USD 5K.
26-years old me!
I am a husband, a father of two lovely kids “Yhia & Abdulrahman”, and a freelance MENTOR with Gaza Sky Geeks, BTI, and G-Gateway. I have built my own beautiful nest straw over straw.
I have achieved 800+ projects with 370+ clients all over the world. I have earned USD 100K+ working on platforms (USD 60K only on Upwork). I mentored over 800 graduates with great skills and helped them to start working online independently.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The good thing is yet to come.”
“I started working on freelance platforms two years ago. I did the first job on the Fiverr platform with an excellent review. I heard a lot about the Upwork platform, so I started to learn more about it and registered on the platform. But I was not able to gig jobs or even invitations.
Once I was participating in training, and some participants in the “She Rises I” camp told me about Upwork and advised me to register on it. But the problem was that the camp was in Khan Yunis city, and I am a resident of Beit Hanoun. I thought a little about the matter and concluded that it was not a problem because it was a challenge for me. I registered in the camp and learned how to apply the correct ways to get jobs, and how to negotiate with clients.
After four days of registering on Upwork, I hadn’t got any opportunity. On the fifth day of the camp, I was able to get three jobs, and the client was very satisfied with the job and offered me an ongoing job.”
“From Translator and Content Writer to Global Marketing Manager..”
“I started working as a freelancer by joining Gaza Sky Geeks Freelancing Academy, the first cohort in Hebron, West Bank to enhance my skills and get the guideline of how I can start in a perfect way without wasting time and effort. I wanted to grow, gain international experience and exposure, and ultimately become financially independent. I have been working as a content writer and translator; then I shifted my career into a project manager. Now, I’m working as a Global Marketing Manager at Furni. ae.
The challenges I have faced as a freelancer are how to win projects: It is not easy to get a job from the first time. You need to be online 24 hours and start searching for online jobs day and night until you get first job. When I got my first online job, the pay was very low, but I knew that successfully nailing my first gig would open doors to other potential clients. The time zone between countries is another challenge. Moreover, the method of exchanging money is another challenge, as there are some exchange stores impose a large commission that deducts from the amount you exchanged. This commission increases with the increase in the exchanged amount, especially if you have a PayPal account and you want to transfer your money from it to another PayPal account that belongs to the exchange store you go to.”
At a glance, success stories are endless, and they talk about a generation of Gazans. The generation who firmly believe in their own potential, and they know that they deserve more than what their current reality offer. They are looking to make their dreams come true and may pleasantly discover that: Through freelancing, the journey to their destination could be just amazing.