Companies are smart – they know that we’re living in uncertain times and they aren’t going to overload the payroll so soon after the recent recession. They have discovered the benefits and beauty of the “contingent worker,” and it’s no surprise these temporary and contract workers are the new face of employment. At first blush, these temporary or contract workers appear to be getting the bad end of the deal – they work for three to six months at a company. They have no benefits, and they don’t have the relative security of employment.
But two can play this business game. If you’ve been billed as a contingent employee, you’re really just a contractor and you hold a lot more of the game cards you than might image.
Consider the real message here. Companies have work that needs to be done. They don’t want to risk hiring people during uncertain times. They are willing to pay people to do the work so long as they don’t have to hire them and arrange benefits.
Enter the freelancer. (That’s you.)
Maximize Your Potential
Let’s make the bold assumption that you knew a great deal about what you do. Let’s also assume that the skills you have are ones that are currently in demand. That means the only piece left of this equation is how to bring your skills to the people willing to pay money for them. You have a few options. Most people fill out application after application in hopes of being hired full-time for a single company. But companies aren’t looking for full-time employees. They want temporary workers.
You can do the resume thing, or you can approach the companies and offer to take on a portion of the work on a contract basis. Prove to the company that you can do what they need done and you can write your own ticket as far as work terms in many conditions. You might be able to work at home, you can work unusual hours and most importantly you aren’t limited to working for a single company.
Scale Your Opportunities
If you focus your efforts on a single portion of your skill set, perhaps technical writing or project management software, you can offer your service to more than one company, making far more than you could as a generic employee. You can create your own business, work from home and become your own boss – doing the exact same thing you were doing for your company.
As your own boss you won’t be bound to non-compete disclosures and you own any ideas you might have about how to improve on what you do or any new innovative ideas for the market. Find a way to show companies what you can do for them, negotiate your rates and the company will likely jump at the opportunity to get a specialist on board who can take care of particular projects in a streamlined fashion. It’s more affordable for the company and gives you more freedom.
Pick Your Location
If you’re working for yourself selling a skill or service to companies, you probably have a great deal more flexibility about where you live and how you arrange your schedule. If you’re working with a particular industry, you have the option to move closer to the area where those companies are located. Then you can arrange hours at the sites as necessary. If, on the other hand, you’re working with companies primarily through email and online means, you’re at liberty to move anywhere you want with working internet – a huge savings on housing and commute costs.
If you do decide to re-enter the market as a full-time employee down the road, you’ll likely have your choice of spots thanks to the contacts you’ve developed as a contractor and freelancer. You’ll be the first person employers think of when there’s an opening, and you’ll be in a far better negotiating position since the company comes to you first, already familiar with your work and what you can offer. Granted, many entrepreneurs decide to stay out of the traditional workforce once they discover how much more freedom they have working on a freelance or contract basis.
Contingent workers may be the wave of the future, and it’s those who can ride the crest of the wave who will find the greatest success.
Rebecca Garland is a professional freelance writer working hard to populate the internet with meaningful, interesting content. With advanced degrees in information science and business, Rebecca enjoys a variety of topics ranging from the current state of the economy to the immense benefits of exploring exciting new business opportunities. Learn more about Rebecca on her professional website, www.internetauthor.net.