Last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated at this time that 15.5 million people in the United States were self-employed. By 2020, that number is expected to skyrocket to about 60 million, or more than 40 percent of our country’s workforce.
The rise of the autonomous economy is tangible. Coffee shops and co-working spaces are full of freelance connecting to their laptops, and office spaces are becoming increasingly empty as the best and brightest leave traditional work behind to claim more flexibility and autonomy in their work.
Whether you want to make some extra money, turn a hobby into a part-time job, or work full-time as a freelancer, there are some incredibly helpful resources at your disposal. These are the seven best sites to find a freelance job today.
In 2014, two leading freelance networks, Elance and oDesk, merged to form Upwork, which is now by far the largest network for freelancers. With more than 10 million registered users, four million clients, and three million job openings per year, Upwork has something to offer everyone from writers and architects to paralegals and photographers.
You can apply for short or long-term projects and choose to work part-time or get paid on a per-project basis. The site includes a user-friendly chat function, time tracking, and a payment protection plan to facilitate communication and collaboration with your customer.
99 Designs is a freelance workplace with a twist. As the name suggests, the platform is exclusive to designers and each member’s work comes in the form of a competition.
Rather than flipping through a catalog of portfolios and resumes, clients are asked to jointly organize their projects, budget, and provide instructions, then allow designers to submit work based on the project brief. At the end of a week, the client chooses the best design and that designer receives a fee. This is a great site for designers who really want to test their talents and change their workflow.
Toptal is an independent network of elite software engineers and digital designers from more than 100 countries around the world. The company’s selection process eliminates all but 3 percent of the best talent in various categories, which means that once accepted, you join an exclusive community of experts.
With Toptal you can decide whether you want to work part-time, part-time, or full-time, and you set your own rates so that you never end up in a bidding war. What might be best for freelancers is that Toptal also evaluates clients and partners with leading companies such as Airbnb, IDEO, and JP Morgan, so you always have a constant supply of interesting projects and clients who appreciate the value of your work.
With more than 420 million members in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is without a doubt the place to learn all about work. Recently, LinkedIn decided to kick off its foray into the freelance economy by quietly launching LinkedIn Profinder, which helps freelancers find their next job.
Due to the vast amount of user data, LinkedIn can quickly connect freelancers with strong leads based on their keyword searches and followed companies. Profinder is a great option for skilled professionals in many fields.
FREELANCE WRITING GIGS
Freelance Writing Gigs is a job board that is updated daily with new writing assignments and freelance blogs. The offerings range from technical writing positions to prescription writing, photography, and healthcare making it a great site for writers looking to test their skills in a variety of professional writing.
Whether you’re an accomplished programmer looking to get out of the office world for good or an amateur photographer looking for hourly gigs, this list has something for you. Visit these sites to join the fast-growing autonomous economy!