Will we all be freelancers soon?
While permanent, full-time work is becoming harder to find, marketplace trends are making it easier for workers in some fields to make extra cash.
This post comes from Kimberly Palmer at partner site U.S. News & World Report.
As the world of work changes, employment histories are looking increasingly like patchwork quilts made up of various types of jobs. People and companies increasingly opt for (or are forced into) constantly shifting, project-based relationships instead of more permanent salaried ones. That news might be unsettling for those who prefer stability (and the related benefits), but Fabio Rosati, president and CEO of Elance, a freelancing website, sees opportunity in that constant churn, and he thinks you should, too.
"We've never had such flexibility and immediacy in the workforce," Rosati says. "Technology helps create matches. The moment an employer posts a job, you get an alert." Other factors, including Obamacare and shrinking corporate budgets, have also conspired to push more people into the freelancing marketplace.
A report released last week by Tower Lane Consulting and commissioned by Elance found that 6 in 10 companies have plans to hire more freelancers in 2014. Companies report that they do so because it gives them the flexibility to rely on different skill sets as their needs change, and using temporary workers also allows them to spend less money on employee expenses. So-called "knowledge workers," including people who work in sales and marketing, design, writing and information technology are among the most in-demand freelancers.
Those trends help explain why Elance reports that in the first half of 2013, 170,000 new businesses joined the website, 600,000 new jobs were posted and freelancers earned $130 million. Information technology and programming jobs have long made up the bulk of Elance's earnings, followed by creative and marketing jobs. Meanwhile, writing and translation, sales and marketing, and finance and management jobs have been among those growing in earnings the fastest.
Many of those freelancers also hold down full-time jobs. According to Elance's 2012 Freelancer survey, 1 in 4 freelancers on the site also has full-time employment. Their freelance work allows them to bring home additional money while keeping their skills sharp – and perhaps testing the waters for eventual self-employment.
Here are five tips on how to make the most of this new world of work:
No. 1: Constantly renew your skills
No. 2: Take advantage of technology
The Internet makes it easier than ever to connect with potential clients throughout the globe. In addition to Elance, which posts jobs from 800,000 clients and has 3 million freelancers signed up, websites such as Fiverr, Odesk and Amazon Marketplace also make it possible to sell products and services from anywhere, as long as you have a computer (or mobile device) and an Internet connection.
No. 3: Protect yourself
Without benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings accounts, freelancers can stumble financially if they suddenly face a health crisis or are unable to work. "The Affordable Care Act is good for our community. We often hear freelancers say health insurance is the reason they're holding onto their day jobs. This will help them take more risks with their career or start their own business," Fabio says. Freelancers can also save for retirement with IRAs and Roth IRAs, for example, and they can take out life and disability insurance plans directly through insurance companies.
No. 4: Learn how to get word out about your skills
While clients can find freelancers through the search function on Elance, freelancers can also rely on social media, worth of mouth and their own professional networks to land more work. The 2012 report from Elance also found that while 1 in 4 freelancers found work within one to two weeks of joining the site, it took eight weeks or longer for 17 percent of freelancers.
No. 5: Join teams for steady work
Last week, Elance launched a new "Private Talent Cloud," which lets companies manage their freelance workforce through the website. It allows clients to manage vetting, contracts and payment of freelancers. Companies bring their own freelancers with them to the site, as well as hire additional freelancers on there. Freelancers who get high satisfaction ratings increase their chances of being asked to do more work for clients, thus boosting their earning power.
More from U.S. News & World Report:
....yeah that's right - unemployment is actually good for us - it presents opportunity - ........after all, job security is very restricting; and a steady paycheck is in fact bad for you!
Lets make everyone independent contractors. No pensions, no 401K's, no medical insurance, no unions, no sick days, no holiday pay, no employer social security or medicare costs, no employer responsibilities toward workers. This is exactly the working relationship corporations wants with employees. A dream come true for the rich. Add the elimination of taxes on business and all those outsourced jobs would come back here. And if you don't like those terms, the business spin will be your a scumbag freeloader whiner looking for a handout.
Thanks to the great Obama, no one will actually HIRE anyone. And, when they do, it will be 3 part timers to do just one full time job in order to avoid what Obama is shoving down the employers throats.
Worst president ever--- B H Obama.
Well, idiotic Obamacare will contribute to there being fewer full- time positions so this trend will increase
However, before we could ever get to any freelance society, the Global Elite will push for their One World Government and One World Currency.
private research has military off the record 75 -25% for the American people. Why do you think they won't allow soldiers on bases to be armed.
God help us all! The teabaggers are ruining this country! They are uneducated, racist, fools that follow Rush, Glen and Hannity off the cliff!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
PCs and travel are hot, big-screen TVs and Apple aren't so much, in our August Buying Guide.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'