Making The Freelance Power Play
More American workers are turning to freelance work to make ends meet. There's more help available than ever before to help structure your freelance career.Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM DESERT - Finding a steady stream of income isn't always easy. Neither is finding affordable benefits. This is a common problem for the 42 million independent workers in this country. That's roughly 1/3 of the U.S. workforce, an area that's seeing growth, despite the recent recession.
But now, a slew of organizations and web sites are offering perks and resources. When you're a freelance worker, it's easy to feel "on your own." in reality, you're part of a nation of millions! Now, "free agents" are making a power play for things like health insurance, guaranteed pay, and VIP discounts.
The Freelancers Union offers cost-effective retirement plans, as well as dental, disability, and life insurance. On the hunt for more affordable healthcare? Web sites like elance and odesk offer access to discounted rates.
If you're job searching, a growing number of sites not only advertise freelance gigs, but help you build a profile. Many, like odesk, also have feedback systems in place. These sites also act as virtual workspaces, complete with things like time sheets, status reports and digital to-do lists. Some even make sure you see a payday.
Other perks you can find include tax help, networking webinars, and product discounts.
Membership to the Freelancers Union is free. The organization is actively fighting for things like unemployment insurance, payment protection, and fair taxation.
Web sites like odesk and elance are also free, but take a small cut of the money that you earn.