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The World of Freelancing: A Business of Freedom

Jun 6, 2008
Freelance jobs are becoming popular nowadays due to the emergence of many technological advancement in terms of communication.

The Internet has opened a lot of opportunities to freelancers, and it has contributed to sector growth in terms of service in many economies. Outsourcing is heavily dependent on the Internet as it provides access to freelance workers and also for companies looking for services it need. Because of the Internet, it has also become very easy to self-advertise. This means that a person can sell himself to any prospective employers looking for quality service.

In sites that allow you to post freelance jobs, two-way communication between the freelancers and the companies is possible. The Internet has really changed the way people work, and has opened a lot of opportunities to people who want to do freelance job. The good thing about freelancing is that a person is free from any time restrictions required by a full-time job. This also gives someone the opportunity to work with as many clients as he/she wants, as long as the service he/she provides has good quality.

Also, there is a lot of freedom in being a freelance professional. The person can choose projects that are within his field of expertise. If someone is aspiring to be a freelancer, he/she must follow these guidelines:

* Be sure of the objective. Consider your future plans. Have a clear goal with the chosen career. Always bear in mind that being a freelancer means you are on your own boss, this means that every work is your own responsibility. As in this kind of arrangement, you have no co-workers or bosses. You literally do all the workload alone.
* Make yourself attractive to the clients. Having a good portfolio will make you more appealing in the eyes of prospective clients and companies. If you are a writer, published works will definitely give an impression that you really do excel on the job. Also, a good educational background will give you an edge.
* Make yourself available. This means that you have to make sure that prospective clients can easily spot you. If you have a website, make sure that companies can contact you in case they are interested to work with you.
* Be professional and work with ethics. Always remember that freelancing means you still have to be responsible. This means you must provide quality work and not a mediocre service to anyone, as this can ruin your reputation. Remember that words can spread faster than you might think.
* Work with respect. Freelancing means that you rarely see your clients in person. In some cases you may not even see the person you are working with. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have good working relations with them. As work relations require trust and respect.
* Be assertive. You have to be assertive as the relation between you and the person you are working with is like partnership (meaning there is really no boss between the two of you). If your client keeps on dictating what he/she wants, listen to him and gauge his thoughts. If you think that he/she is out point, make him/her realize that you are an expert in that certain field the whole reason why you are hired in the first place.

Generally, freelancers enjoy much greater variety of assignments compared to full-time workers. And one thing for sure, they can choose their work schedule and can work from their home. This practice also results to a broader portfolio. If the client is very happy with the service, there is even a great possibility that the freelancer will be hired.

But freelancing doesn't come without drawbacks. The person who engages in this practice lacks company benefits such as health insurance, pension, double-pay, and bonuses. Another downside of freelance profession is that a person may handle almost anything that is related to his/her work. He/she must handle legal issues, contracts, marketing, accounting, and other responsibilities by himself/herself alone. Also, working hours can even extend beyond the usual time which means that a person has to expect sleepless nights when doing some rushed work.

The payment for freelancers varies. They can charge their clients on a per-project basis, per hour, or per day, depending on the arrangement they had agreed upon. According to the US Department of Labor, 7.4 percent of the US workforce is made up of independent contractors.

If a person has already had chosen his/her client, take this into consideration:
* Know the terms and conditions of the client.
* Be sure that you are working with a legitimate deal, as there are many scams trying to take advantage of people doing freelance jobs.
* Come up with an agreement on how the client will be able to pay you. Nowadays, there are many Internet money transactions to choose from, just be sure that you register in legitimate and safe dealings.
* It is also advisable to know the client's background and the company he/she is working with.

Freelance professional would be more advantageous to someone if he/she knows and understand the ramifications associated with it. In doing this practice, a person must be equipped with the proper knowledge in order to avoid scams.
About the Author
Ant Onaf is a content producer in association with RemoteGurus.com (http://www.remotegurus.com), a freelance job board for finding and posting freelance programming jobs, web design jobs, writing jobs, SEO jobs, etc.
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