If you can’t find the right position, your skills may still be valuable in the marketplace for short-term projects as a freelancer or independent contractor. This could be a full-time business or a way to make extra money on the side.

Whether you use the term freelance or independent contractor usually depends on the industry. Freelance is a term often used in the advertising industry for graphic artists, photographers and other positions. In the music industry, you would be called an independent. Marketing, finance, technology and business people might be called consultants.

When you’re brought on by a company in this capacity, you might be a contract employee or an independent contractor. If you’re a contract employee, you will usually be brought in through an employment agency who is your employer and actually pays you. As an independent contractor, you’re more like a small business with the company as your client. Either way, you should consult your accountant and the IRS for the different legalities and tax implications.

Freelance your skills as an alternative to traditional employment

No matter what terminology you use, the characteristics are the same. You will be a cross between a temp employee and a small business owner. Where you fall on that continuum is up to you and the situation.

The easiest way to find contract situations is to go through an employment agency. Companies use agencies for contract positions for numerous reasons including payroll administration and the ability to let contractors go at anytime. The best method to find these opportunities is to contact recruiting firms that specialize in your industry.

But if you are truly looking to freelance your skills, you’re going to have to market your skills like a business. You actually are starting a business. So, you will likely want to have a web site, business cards and other marketing materials. You should also check into required licenses and other laws surrounding your industry.

Freelance your skills as an alternative to traditional employment

Of course, this is just a brief overview only meant to get you thinking about alternatives in your job search. Either way, we wish you the best of luck in your quest.

Once you have opened your business and built your web site, be sure to submit your profile to us on the site for your industry so we can publicize it.

Do you freelance? Contact us about posting your information in our freelance directory.

Employment agencies – Do you offer contract services? Contact us about posting your firm in our recruiter directory.