What is a Freelancer?
When do you call someone a freelancer? Who is considered self employed?
A person who works or pursues a career without a long-term contract with a particular employer is self-employed. It offers services to collect without permanent affiliation with its clients. A freelancer can perform tasks for multiple employers, clients, or clients in a given period of time. Some freelancers work with written contracts, but most of the time they are not necessary. Others would settle for verbal agreements with their clients.
If you are self-employed you can work part time or full time. You cannot be considered an employee because you work for an employer without benefits, health insurance, vacation pay, bonuses, and other benefits to which a regular employee is entitled. There is no limit to the working hours that always extend beyond the regular business hours.
Some freelancers work for the same client for an extended period, probably because their jobs are good enough for the clients’ interests. They are called “permalancers”; with a full-time job as a regular employee but without the benefits of one.
Payments vary according to the terms of the agreement established between the client and the freelancer. A client may pay by the hour, by the day, or by the project. For example, a writer may charge a fee per page for what he writes. He may require a deposit from clients and sometimes provide clients with work estimates.
Areas of Work – There are countless fields and areas that can showcase the skill and talent of a freelancer. Here are a few:
- book publishing
- copy editing
- computer programming
- graphic design
- job consultation
- Language teaching and translation
Common areas for freelancers are software development, website design and development, advertising, and information technology. A substantial career is waiting for designers, bloggers and social media experts. Areas that have skills shortages prefer to outsource the services of freelancers and benefit from their input. Freelancers often fill roles in the media.
Being self-employed is basically an optimistic job, even in an economic downturn. Most people come to web work because they have no other options. Someone may have been transferred to a remote work area at their current job or an existing contract is about to end and finding another full-time job is not easy. One must be able to define their strengths and weaknesses before diving into this type of business.
As you progress, you can choose the projects and revolve around the area of your expertise. Since the prefix says ‘free’, you manage your own time, type and place of work, making self-employment a very attractive field of work.
Here are some useful websites for both freelancers and clients:
- Freelancers.net contains details about job seekers as well as freelance job opportunities.
- Smarterwork.com will help you verify if your skills are marketable and identify freelance opportunities.
- CWjobs.co.uk for IT contract opportunities.