Need a job? Look for freelance

By Jen Haley, producer

NEW YORK ( -- Traditional full-time jobs with benefits may be a thing of the past. If you are having trouble nailing down a full-time job, here are some tips finding freelance work.

1. Welcome to the gig economy

Tina Brown coined this the Gig-economy ... meaning that a lot of folks are just stitching together a bunch of free-floating projects, consultancies and part-time bits and pieces. In a tightening economy, many companies just can't afford full time employees, so they hire a freelancer for short-term projects.

A recent MSN-CareerBuilder Zogby poll found that 30% of respondents would freelance if they could make as much money as they currently do. An additional 17% of the respondents said that they would freelance in order to be their own boss. There are some obvious pluses -- you might be able to work in your pajamas, you won't have to travel, you can work on a variety of projects and even turn down projects.

But there are other things that you will have to think about: You have to pay your own Social Security tax. You also have to set aside money for retirement and disability insurance. You need to keep track of your expenses, including something as small as picking up a few supplies while you are at the grocery store.

2. Get connected

Start out at Internet sites like or Talk to freelancers in the field. Dig out those contacts you've made over the years. They can be a valuable source of project leads.

People who do freelance or consulting work often are so busy doing the work that they forget to network. A lot of the work in being a successful freelancer is simply getting out there and selling yourself. And cover your bases. You shouldn't have more than 15% of revenue coming from one source say experts.

Talkback: How you landed a freelance gig? To top of page

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