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A Resource For Finding Steady Freelance Work
Steady freelance work may be a bit of a misnomer. Freelance work is, almost by definition, rocky, unstable, and tenuous, especially when you’re just breaking into the field. Generally you just pick up a job, finish it, and move on to a new one. Every now and again you get a contract with a company that gives you fairly regular freelance work, but even then there are weeks or even months when no new projects come your way. That’s just the way freelance work is.
But if you’re like me you’re interested in not only making a little bit of extra money by freelancing, but also possibly financing your life. Personally, I want to use freelance work to gain location independence and start traveling. You may want to use it to spend more time with your family. Whatever your goals, finding steady freelance work can be a challenge, and it’s one that I haven’t quite mastered.
I have, however, found a pretty good resource that may help you find steady freelance work. At least, the work is as steady as any I’ve encountered in the beginner’s freelance realm. Obviously if you’re an established freelancer with a list of clients this won’t help you, but if you’re just starting out it’s something to look into.
The resource is a job search website called FlexJobs.com. FlexJobs is a site that specializes in finding legitimate employment opportunities that allow for flexible schedules. A flexible schedule can be comprised of anything from part-time work to temporary work to telecommuniting jobs. The telecommuting jobs are what I’ve really been interested in, and what most people looking for regular freelance work will probably want to look into as well.
FlexJobs will find jobs with these flexible work options and post them. Jobs are grouped regarding how many hours of work they require (part-time vs full-time) as well as their degree of telecommuting, their location, and their industry. You can search any of these categories to find jobs that may fit your needs.
Now, the reason why FlexJobs is such a great resource is that it does specialize in telecommuting jobs, which are often independent contractor or freelance jobs. FlexJobs is particularly good at finding these types of jobs in the writing, editing, transcription and translation industries. There are also a fair number of computer based positions.
Unlike other freelance sites, the positions posted by FlexJobs also often end up being more stable freelance work positions. I’ve found two positions on FlexJobs that give me assignments throughout the year. Both have their downtimes, but overall I know that I can expect fairly regular freelance work from both positions. From what I’ve seen that’s rare when people are just breaking into the freelance field. It’s certainly rare when you consider the way freelance websites like Elance and oDesk operate.
FlexJobs also has the additional benefit of weeding out the scams for you. I’ve yet to apply to a position on FlexJobs that has been fishy, and every position I’ve taken from them has ended up with me getting paid exactly what was advertised when I was offered the position. With FlexJobs, you won’t need to weed through the scams. FlexJobs is even a member of the Better Business Bureau, which gives it an extra level of credibility.
Unfortunately FlexJobs also has a few downsides. The main one is that FlexJobs is a subscriber only service. You will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the service, but it’s nothing unreasonable, and I’ve made my money back many times over with the work I’ve found using the site. For a year’s subscription I paid somewhere around $35. That’s a discounted rate that I got by searching the internet for a coupon code. A discount popped up in the first five Google results. For an avenue to potentially steady freelance work, that’s a great deal.
With FlexJobs you’ll also have to wade through jobs and application processes just like you would on any other job site. That’s the second downside to a site that might be able to find you regular freelance work. FlexJobs is by no means a quick fix, or a super fast way to find work, it’s just a way to make finding potential jobs easier. You’ll still have to apply to each company individually, and go through their application process. I spent two months applying for every position I came across before someone finally responded to me. That person also ended up hiring me though, so in my opinion filling out all those applications were worth the effort. Basically, with FlexJobs you’ll end up applying for a lot of positions while on freelance sites like Elance and oDesk you might end up simply bidding on projects. It’s a lot of work that involves different kinds of competition either way.
If you’re up for all those applications and a minor subscription fee, FlexJobs is a great resource for steady freelance work. I can’t promise that it will find you completely steady work, or even work at all since you’ll be applying for individual companies, but it does make searching for and finding steady freelance work and telecommuting jobs a lot easier. No scams and no bidding on projects, just up-front resumes for companies that are usually looking to hire someone on a relatively regular basis.