By Sharon Davis
Every day, I'll get an email that goes something like this: "I've been looking for a homebased job for x number of months now...with no luck. I just want something I can do in the evenings or on weekends so I can supplement my income. Can you help me?"
You might be thinking, "Yeah, I'd like that too... can you help?"
Well, I just might, though my suggestion might not be exactly what you had in mind.
A lot of the peple who email me have marketable skills. Skills like typing, word processing, accounting, human resources, transcription..the list goes on. Here you are working all day long, then spending all this time searching for that ever-elusive telecommute job. Well, there may be another option- freelancing.
You might say, "Me? A freelancer? I don't think so. I don't have the time to go out drumming up business."
I say, "Oh, but you do!" Among all the other nifty conveniences the Internet has given us (Finally, a place where I can get garden gnomes 24 hours a day!), there are now "Freelance Marketplaces". These are sites that enable the freelancer and the employers who need freelancersto hook up.
Most of these sites work something like this:
ABC, inc. is a relatively small company that doesn't have a Human Resources department (or Accounting department or Transcription department). Rather than take on the expense of creating an in-house HR department , they want to contract out their HR related projects. They go to a Freelance Marketplace, post their projects and then wait for the bids to roll in.
This is where you, being the consummate Human Resources Professional (or Accounting Professional or Transcriptionist), will go and post your bid for the project..and voila! You're a freelancer.
Some sites that offer this type of service are eLance.com and Ants.com. While both registration at both sites is free, Ants.com charges a fee of 5% for all jobs completed by you. eLance.com is currently offering their services for free during the Beta period, but it is clear that this will change at some point. At eLance.com, freelancers (or e-lancers) can leave feedback regarding project posters. This is a handy feature that can help you to decide who you want to do business with.
The beauty of being a freelancer is that you can often do your work on a part-time basis- at your convenience. The bottom line is that you will typically have a deadline to meet, so when you do the work is flexible. Another benefit to this is that as you build your clientele and your reputation as a freelancer, you may find that you have enough business to freelance full time.
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