The Challenges of Freelancing and Employment in Kenya

The Challenges of Freelancing and Employment in Kenya

Most freelancers perceive this role singularly. However, is it possible to pursue freelance gigs and be a regular employee in Kenya?


Most Kenyans have settled for employment and “hustle on the side.” This approach is fairly common. In fact, it may be Kenya’s standard model. Even the doctor in the government hospital has his side clinic. What we have to think about is the significance of this choice on our work quality and efficiency. Some of the issues we must confront include:


Time limitations are some of the broadest challenges that this approach to work presents. If you have the usual 8-5 job, it means you never leave until evening. If you aren’t offering your freelancing services online, this is the time you begin your other gig. If you are online, it means you had to sacrifice part of your day job to meet these demands. Few people can manage the toil of this arrangement.

Conflicts of Interest

Some career areas have significant requirements for non-disclosure or navigation stakeholder interests. Consider, for instance, you are an accountant in an auditing firm with business on the side. What will happen when your employer potentially becomes your other clients’ auditor? It may be equally hard when you have a gig that is the same as what you do as an employee. Do you find yourself stealing ideas? Have you “borrowed” materials occasionally?

Client Engagement

As a freelancer, you need continuous engagement with your customers. You must be able to answer their questions, address emerging problems, and provide assurances and feedback. Sometimes this client will call when you are at your day job. Then you have to make a choice, between what you are employed to do and what you do at your job.

I know, this sounds like the report of doom. However, do not imagine that you cannot serve both roles. In the next issue, we talk about the strategies to navigate these issues.

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