Going Solo: The Trend Toward Freelancing

Imagine a workplace where you set your own schedule and choose what projects you work on, where you work and how much you’re paid. No one is watching you, monitoring your inbox or taking note of the time it takes you to eat lunch.

For some, this is a work life they can only dream of. For others, it’s already a reality. In light of rising bankruptcies, bailouts and pink slips, living the “1099 life” — 1099 being the income reporting form used for independent contractors — seems to be a scenario more and more workers are considering.

“You really have to take into consideration the economic times — that’s what is driving it,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, referring to the trend of workers turning to freelance and short-term contract work.

Going it alone can provide myriad benefits, such as greater day-to-day flexibility or increased pay. And the fact that the unemployment rate in the U.S. alone reached 9.4 percent in May, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, means more dislocated workers also may consider going solo.

But, along with the above-mentioned pluses, some caveats need to be considered before deciding to become an independent contractor. For those not accustomed to taking on multiple job roles, the number of hats a sole proprietor dons on any given day can be eye opening.

Further, health insurance alone can sometimes make a less-than-attractive pay package worthwhile. Take that package away and…


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