Magazine article PM Network

Freelance for Hire

Magazine article PM Network

Freelance for Hire

Article excerpt

In the not-so-distant future, the majority of employees may be freelancers, consultants and independent workers. The ranks of the unaffiliated are growing around the world, no longer limited to creative careers such as writing or graphic design.

A recent report by business-services firm MBO Partners showed that half of the U.S. workforce may be made up of independent workers by 2020. There are currently more than 16 million independent workers in the country - a number the report expects to reach 70 million in the next decade.

For most workers, whether they become freelance by choice or because of a down economy, the transition isn't short-term: Only 13 percent of independent workers plan to return to a staff position in the next two years, according to the MBO survey.

Rachel Phillips, PMP, a project manager and digital strategist based in New York, New York, USA, exemplifies this accelerating trend. After losing her full-time job five years ago, she began freelancing while still hoping to return to a full-time position. Instead, she was surprised by how satisfying the short-term work was, she says.

She's since worked on web-development and media projects with American Express Publishing, Victoria's Secret retailers, Milliman actuarial services and dozens of other companies- and plans to continue on the freelance track.

"Your portfolio and your credentials matter a lot as a contractor," Ms. Phillips says. But once you've landed the gig, "it's great money."

A January 2013 analysis by Forbes magazine showed that project management is the second-most lucrative job in the freelance arena, paying an estimated US$34 to US$46 an hour on average. …

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