As a busy executive at a top IT firm in Chennai, Prasanna was always quick to deny assumptions that she’d eventually resettle at her home town in Madurai. “Initially, I’d be a little surprised by the way my peers in Chennai dressed and interacted with each other. Any time I expressed my thoughts however, my colleagues would tease me and tell me that they’d find me a ‘good boy’ so I could go back to Madurai. I always denied this because I was serious about being a career woman. Though I am conservative in certain ways, I’ve always believed that women should be financially independent.”
The predictions however did come true, partly. It has been two years since Prasanna relocated to Madurai.
“And it wasn’t for marriage!” she emphasises. “My parents were getting older and they needed to take care of their parents who’re still alive and bedridden. Every time I spoke to my mom, I could sense her struggle. I moved back so I could support my parents emotionally and physically. The best part was that I did not have to give up on my career.”
Prasanna is one among the many millennials who are discovering that metros are not synonymous with career breaks. According to a NASSCOM report, India is the third largest start-up hub globally and tier II/III cities account for more than 20% of the start-ups.1 This new trend is only expected to increase as technology, premium resources and internet connectivity become increasingly decentralized.
“From ideation to collaboration to development and marketing, almost everything can be done online today,” says Prasanna. “As an independent freelancer, my learning curve has been steep—I’ve learnt more in these two years than I did in the four years I spent at my corporate job. My income is competitive and considering living costs in Madurai, my savings are much higher.”
‘The Future of Jobs in India: A 2022 perspective’ corroborates Prasanna’s observations, noting that “urbanization is not limited to metropolitan cities such as Delhi or Mumbai” and that in the “Start-up India, Stand-up India” initiative, it is the tier II/tier III cities that are gaining maximum traction.2
Migrating to metros is no longer a prerequisite to having a meaningful career. One reason for this changing trend is the internet, which has brought forth a host of opportunities that were once available only in cities. Today, people are able to gain their life and career goals by staying in tier II and tier III cities. For some like Prasanna, it could be commitments at home, for others it is the desire to begin a start-up with lesser operational costs and for still others it could be the lure of a quieter life.
Anila and Jacob, a Bengaluru couple, relocated to Ooty so their children could study at their alma mater! Both husband and wife do online freelance work from home—Anila writes for technology magazines while Jacob, a SAP consultant frequently travels across the country on work. During the weekend, both of them pursue their new found passion for raising honey bees!
“The flexibility of freelancing, combined with our move to a quieter place, has helped us to reconnect as a family,” says Anila. “Earlier, when we were living in Bengaluru, we barely got an hour together at home, as we ran helter-skelter, managing work, home and school.
With the boom in freelancing platforms, finding work from home freelance jobs are easier than ever before. If you’re interested in freelancing from home, get started by participating in this contest!