Posted January 28, 2011 by

Many Turn to Freelancing as a Way to Cope With Job Losses

While some people saw being laid off as an opportunity to pursue their dream jobs, others saw it as an opportunity to pursue new careers. Sites like Elance.com, Odesk.com, Guru.com and Sologig.com have seen a marked increase in the number of freelance job postings on their sites in recent months, according to Sarah E. Needleman in her article, Negotiating the Freelance Economy.
Interestingly, as the number of employees working through freelance job sites increased, the number of people working for temporary agencies decreased. Employers, Needleman says, are trying to cut costs by hiring freelancers, who work on an as needed basis, saving employers money on things like wages, benefits and training.

Many people who turned to freelance work did so with the intention of working steadily, as they had when they were working full time. as a result, some have postponed their job searches, while others have turned to freelancing as a permanent gig.
Freelancing is great, but it does have some drawbacks like lack of healthcare coverage, pension plans or retirement savings plans. Freelancers also have to constantly sell themselves to potential clients and protect themselves against being scammed. If they need special equipment, like fax machines or special software, they have to pay for it out of their own pockets; however, many business expenses that freelancers incur can be deducted from their taxes at the end of the year.
For anyone considering turning to freelance work, Needleman advises that they be specific about their skills and qualifications and that they research what other freelancers have charged for similar jobs, so that they know what to charge their own clients. Offering to work for a potential client for a few hours and discussing projects over the phone, rather thatn by email give a freelancer a chance to prove his abilities and to build a trusting relationship with potential clients.

Originally posted by Candice A

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