Your Future as a Free Agent


When I look at the DailyWorth team, one thing stands out: Everyone has at least one other job. I still run my Web agency, Soapbxx. MP writes for Money Magazine. Hilary (marketing) and Simon (technology) just hired assistants to take on additional projects on the side. Jen, our email producer, also works for Soapbxx.

In fact, the buzz I’m hearing about employment these days isn’t about how many jobs we need to restore economic health—but about the types of jobs Americans need to prepare for:

  • Contract-based
  • Technology-enabled

What does this “new work order” mean for you, as you create your own jobs forecast in 2011 and beyond? Learn to think like a free agent—because as companies look for ways to cut costs, many are replacing full-time employees with contractors.

Get your CEO on. You’re the head of your own enterprise. Think like one.  

Get virtually social. You need a LinkedIn profile at the very least. Your potential employers will Google you. What will they find?  

Build a bigger project pipeline. Line up more contracts than you need, to ensure that you have enough work. Some deals always evaporate, and some clients won’t pay on time.

Be proactive about cashflow. Managing an erratic cashflow is possibly the hardest part of being a freelancer. It requires constant attention to receivables. Systematize your collections, or you’ll run out of money.

But wait! There’s good news, too. As a freelancer, if you can learn how to generate consistent work, there are ways to exceed the income you made as a full-time employee.

Work out. What changes are you seeing in your industry?