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Freelance verses Contract Employment - Which It for You?

There is a rise in the U.S. of the independent worker and the decline of the full-time employee. This paradigm shift is making more and more of us into realists when it comes to looking for employment. Due to this shift the chances of us having an employer who will manage our career path is becoming less and less.

“Today, about one-third of U.S. workers belong to a growing sector of the labor force that is comprised of contractors, consultants, part-time employees, freelancers and the like, and this group is expected to grow at three to four times the rate of traditional workforces. In addition, the number of people doing more than one job is on the rise. In this emerging reality, people are networking with other people and employers to pursue the work they want to do for who they want, when they want and how they want.”

By Rudy Karsan, Co-founder and CEO of Kenexa (www.kenexa.com), an IBM company, Nooruddin. Karsan built the company to its current standing as a leading global provider of business solutions for human resources. He firmly believes in the power of continuous learning, and Kartasan’s blog is his personal platform for sharing his views on a wide variety of topics.

Let’s take a look at two forms of Independent Employment that may be of benefit to you, your talents and circumstances: Freelancing and Contracting Employment.

  • The common values offered by these two opportunities are Freedom and Flexibility!
  • In addition, you must really enjoy the work that you will be doing and be willing to more actively manage time, money and networks.
  • You must have a super understanding of your knowledge, skills abilities in order to choose the independent employment path best suited for your “style.”
  • Freelancers must be more enterprising, want to work with small or medium companies or organizations, be a self starter and already have a high potential of clients or customers.

    In comparison, if you need to get income quickly you may want to research contracting work. With this opportunity you don’t have to be as much of a self-starter, will want to work for a larger company and work on site, and be more technical/scientific in your work (less people oriented).

    Both of these types of Independent Employment require a positive attitude and more self-management such as time, benefits, and $$. Freelancing will also require management of your client flow.

    Why should you look more closely at Freelancing and Contracting Work?

    1. Temp/staffing recruitment agencies now provide organizations with workers in all skill levels for short-term work
    2. Contract jobs have made up almost 25% of the jobs that have been created since 2010
    3. Of the big U.S. firms, 34.3% said they expect more temporary and contigent workers in the next five years (McKinsey Global Institute Job Creastion and the American Future, 2011)
    4. Analysis of the growth in the staffing industry indicates that it may be poised to add to its overall portion of workers employed nation-wide which currently is 3-4%
    5. Freelance work opportunities are also increasing: 57% of freelancers on-line reported that their income increased last year with 19% saying it doubled 43% expect to earn more in 2013 with 35% experiencing between 20-40% more money (2012 Elance report)
    6. A nation-wide survey of independent workers by MBO partners in 2012 found that almost 17 million met their definitions of independent workers (i.e., working at least 15 hours in “non-traditional, non-permanent full or part time employment)

    Resource: Sally J. Power Ph.D


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