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Telecommuting As A Freelancer

Dec 10, 2007
Because of the greater capabilities of communications technology, and specifically the internet, it is becoming easier and easier for people to work from home, and many people are taking their companies up on the offer. They are doing something called "telecommuting", which is a fancy way of saying that they are doing their normal job at home, on their own computer.

Many large corporations are offering this kind of position for jobs involving data entry or research, especially if there is little reason for the person to actually be at the office. It saves the company space in their corporate office and money on supplies, and gives the telecommuter the advantage of eliminating their commute, and allowing them some flexibility, especially if they have young children.

The unfortunate part of telecommuting is that these jobs are in such high demand, it is very difficult to find open positions. When you do find a position, the salary is often far less than desirable. There is so much demand for these jobs that the company knows that they can afford to pay you less given the high number of people willing to take the job regardless of the salary.

Where then, does this leave you? Well, one of the other methods of telecommuting is to avoid working for the large corporations, and to take on work as a freelancer. This way, you can still work from home, and you can name your price. Certainly, you may find less options at a higher price level, but the option is still there.

While many people think that freelancing is just for those individuals with exception skills, whether at computer programming or graphics design, this is a myth and a rumor. While the highest paying jobs will certainly be in these niches, there is plenty of work for people with other skills as well. One of the jobs with the highest demand is article writing. Many people need content for their sites, and are typically willing to pay between $2 and $10 per article depending on the quality and the length. If writing isn't your thing, then there are many data entry jobs and link-building jobs which involve a simple, repetitive process. While this may not be the kind of job that you enjoy doing, it's a great way to earn money in a crunch.

There are other advantages to freelancing as well. With many corporations, they will require you to be active and working on their hours, which eliminates your flexibility. With a freelancing position, very rarely will you ever be told how to work, as the hiring manager who assigns your project is more interested in the project's completion.

You will almost certainly be required to supply your own software as a freelancer, but with the number of open-source and free applications available on the internet, you don't always need to invest in expensive software like Microsoft office (which can be replaced by Open Office quite easily).

Freelancing's biggest benefit, however, is that you can become your own boss. You can create your own future, and not worry about what your boss decides you should be doing. If you don't want to do a project, you just don't bid on it, and you find something that fits your unique talents and interests.
About the Author
Robert Watson is a high school mathematics teacher and professional freelancer. When you sign up for his free newsletter at telecommuting 101.com, you get a free guide to getting off your feet as a work-at-home professional.
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