Multitasking Perfectly: Interview with Freelancer Aisha Hassan

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The Working Woman

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Multitasking with Perfection: Aisha Hassan, Freelancer

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[fusion_dropcap]F[/fusion_dropcap]reelancing is the newest trend in the professional world, especially when it comes to Information Technology. The power of the internet has made it possible for individuals to work right from the comfort of their homes. As this idea gains more attention, many think this is a very easy feat to accomplish. What goes on in the life of a freelancer? Is it all really as easy going as it seems? Today we are interviewing Aisha Hassan, who is a full time Software Engineer freelancer as well as a full time mom. She will discuss how she juggles up work and home life and some tips for women who want to make the switch to freelancing.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your work and experience?

I started working as an Associate Software Engineer after my CS degree back in 2008 and since that day I am working. So it’s the journey of almost 9 year today. I have turned from an Associate Software Engineer to having a small Freelance Setup on my own. In these 9 years, I have switched two companies, I am blessed to have gotten a chance to work with good people, including my husband, who was also a colleague. We met each other during our struggling job years in my first company. He has been a great support in my career.

Q. You have been a very successful IT professional before and after marriage. Do you think it comes with a price especially when you have additional roles as a wife and/or mom?

You have to pay for everything you gain, I believe. It was not easy whatever I earned today but things become easy when you find a good support system that has your back. You know, software development is very different from the usual office jobs where you go at sharp 9 and return at 6. This drains all of your mental energy, and sometimes it can take a lot of time if you get stuck in some technical issues (it happens in every company). So the late sittings are very common. In our culture, you know how they treat working women and especially the ones who do late sittings. Everyone keeps an eye on them. In these cases, a good support system is the only cure you can have. Things definitely change after marriage and kids; you have to be more responsible, you have to make time for family, listen to them, share with them, etc. Your list of responsibility gets really huge and that’s why not everyone can manage this pressure.

In my case, I am blessed to have very cooperative parents/in-laws, a understanding husband and a naughty yet obedient son. I worked 3 years even after having my son, leaving him to my mother daily; that time was not easy for me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I always felt guilty for not giving my 100% to being a wife and a mother. So yes, nothing is free in this world and this is what I learnt at the end.

Q. What difference do you feel between working in an office environment and working at home?

Working at home is not easy if I specifically talk about just work. You’ve to build all your motivation and courage, every morning that you’re at home but still have to work. But life becomes easy in many other ways, for example, you don’t need to be answerable to someone when you need to make a long trip out, or you can take power naps in between too! Best of all, you have your family around.

“I am very happy that I can take care of my family while working, or do multiple activities with my son.”

If you ask me, I am very happy that I can take care of my family while working, or I can cook anytime, do multiple activities with my son and all those things that I couldn’t do in the last 8 years because of following work place protocols.

Q. Being a wife and mother, how would you describe this transition in your work life?

This becomes funny sometime. You’re having some high-end meeting someday and watching your kid doing something naughty and you can’t do anything. Remember the video that went viral on BBC? It’s pretty much like that. It’s a funny version of a mom being in same the situation.

Q. If you can give tips and suggestions for other working moms in balancing their work and home life, what would those be?

When I was working in my first company, I got one advice from my manager, which I have always found very useful. He said “Family comes first, don’t ever sacrifice your family for your work” this is the key to balanced life. I have found that till you don’t have a satisfied family life, you cannot have a satisfied and successful working life. So always keep your loved ones on priority and rest of the things will fall into place automatically. Other than this follow these four rules:

  • Don’t overburden yourself, you’re a human not a super computer.
  • Prioritize your daily tasks beforehand.
  • Talk to your family and in their time, clear your mind from all workload.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, spare 30-90 minutes just for yourself. Give yourself some boost and motivation on a daily basis.

I have found that till you don’t have a satisfied family life, you cannot have a satisfied and successful working life. So always keep your loved ones on priority and rest of the things will fall into place automatically.

Q. There are many women who cannot go out and work because of their commitments at home. Freelancing is a relatively new idea in Pakistan. What tips will you give to women who wish to start freelancing?

Indeed, freelancing is an amazing idea for Pakistani women, who want to earn some extra money without going out of home. I am glad that even our government is doing some programs which are hiring people for freelance work. Actually, here we assume a freelancer is just someone who’s working on computer. This attitude need to change first. Just use your own skill, realize your abilities and put them into action; this is all you basically require to be a freelancer. You don’t need to have a computer to start, you don’t need to be a coder, designer, software engineer, tester etc. Even if you just have a board and marker, start a small freelance class of your skill; if you are not well educated, start freelance cooking/stitching business. You can start a blog, write something for a digest. You have so many options to earn without going out. It is all up to you how you are going to discover your strength and interest.

Q. In our society, women are not encouraged to work if the finances can allow them to stay at home. At the same time, a growing number of families are supporting them to go out in the world and follow their dreams regardless if this is a need or not. What do you feel about this new women empowerment in Pakistan?

Women empowerment is the least talked about topic in Pakistan. We present our women as a show piece only. We don’t provide them good opportunities to open their wings and to follow their own dreams. This needs to be done. Give them equal opportunities and start doing that in your own home; practice equality between your daughters and sons, make your daughters powerful for the sake of their strong future and for a strong, better and safe Pakistan.

You don’t need to have a computer to start, you don’t need to be a coder, designer, software engineer, tester etc. Even if you just have a board and marker, start a small freelance class of your skill; if you are not well educated, start freelance cooking/stitching business. You can start a blog, write something for a digest. You have so many options to earn without going out.

Q. According to you, how does a husband role come into play when a woman pursues her career. Is there anything you would want more and more husbands to understand for their wives who wish to build careers and be ambitious?

“Household, kids, in-laws are important areas of a married life but following dreams and passion of a woman is equally important. A happy woman makes a happy home.”

They say “Behind every successful man there is a woman” I don’t know if it is true or not, but every successful woman, there is a man who can be a father, brother or a husband. Yet, for husbands, this frame of mind does not come easily as it does to a father or a brother. Most women can’t work because they’re simply not allowed, however, if allowed, they can earn a respectable job which can be sometimes better than that of their husbands. I agree household, kids, in-laws are important areas of a married life but following dreams and passion of a woman is equally important, not just for her survival, but for your healthy and successful married life as well. A happy woman makes a happy home.

Q. If you can share one basic rule that can make you into a good, professional freelancer, what would that be?

I would say;
  • Be on time
  • Be ready 24/7 for work
  • Make your schedule and follow it strictly
  • Work on what you need to present and what you need hide.
  • Don’t forget to take small breaks without telling your clients, check your kitchen and kids.
  • And don’t ask for holidays *lol*
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About Aisha Hassan:

I am a Software Engineer and a full-time mom who love to dress up, collect shoes, bags, makeup and accessories. I love to cook and that too in huge quantities; I am a fitness freak and somehow know a little about it too. I live life to the fullest, Alhumdullilah!

You can reach Aisha Hassan at her LinkedIn profile here:[/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/aisha-wakeel-8b674115/” title=”” target=”_blank” link_attributes=”” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”default” button_gradient_top_color=”” button_gradient_bottom_color=”” button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” type=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”large” stretch=”default” shape=”” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]LinkedIn: Aisha Hassan[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Mehreen Farhan

Blogger. Technology Enthusiast. Community Builder. Book hoarder. #TeamWordpress. Aspiring Moodler. 🚀