Why this Recession Is a Great Time for New Freelancers

  • April 6, 2009 by Corbett Barr
  • 3 Comments
peeking-over-laptop

(photo by ginnerobot)

Now is your chance to start a career as a freelancer and never look back on that corporate job. As companies scramble to cope with this recession and lay workers off, they are increasingly turning to freelancers to get work done.

This is presenting a huge opportunity for people looking to get started as freelancers. Companies are unable to hire full-time employees because of budget freezes, but still need to get important work done. They have no choice but to turn to freelancers and contractors.

According to a survey issued by oDesk, more than 40% of small businesses are planning to outsource more during this current recession. And they’re outsourcing more functions than previously. Almost one-third said they are now outsourcing something that they previously thought they couldn’t.

It may be too early to say if these new attitudes are part of a permanent shift towards greater acceptance of contract work among corporations and small businesses. If you have recently lost your job, however, this may be the perfect opportunity to explore freelancing and decide if it would work for you in the long run.

Are you thinking of getting started as a freelancer? Is it because you recently lost your job, or are you thinking of quitting for some other reason? Let us know in the comments.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Tim Denison April 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Word. I’m a “freelancer” due to having been laid off. Now I’m “freelance teaching” (a.k.a subbing), and doing the occasional video project, while trying to build a freelance photography and web development career (these are based on interests and potential…not experience).

It’s slow going (and depending on the grace of others in the meantime sucks), but the potential freedom in the future is worth the risk and effort.

Corbett Barr April 7, 2009 at 9:40 am

Hey Tim, it’s interesting to hear that you’re juggling a few different freelancing opportunities at the same time. I wonder how many people out there do something similar. How have you found competing as a freelancer in areas you don’t have much experience with? Best of luck with all your endeavors and thanks for reading.

Tim Denison April 15, 2009 at 11:31 am

Hey, Corb. Of the three non-teaching freelance opportunities I’m working on, the one I have actual experience with, video, happens to be an area that where everyone is canceling projects to weather the current storm. Of course, while I have some experience in the field, I am far from a grizzled veteran, so my opportunities are rather limited. (I am, however, currently involved in a moderately-sized project now which will be great for the old portfolio).

As for competing in areas which I have no experience (web design and photography), I would not say I am at the competition stage yet. I’m still in the education phase, and will cut my teeth on a few upcoming pro bono projects before I start marketing myself in earnest. I’ll let you know how that goes, when it actually starts going.

Oh, and let’s not forget the short stories, screenplays, and eventual novels that will one day be pulled off the back burner and come to the forefront. It’s cliche, I know, but there you go.

It’s true that there is a bit of juggling going on, but I have come to recognize in the past eight years that I bore quickly and it’s good to have several different things going so that nothing gets stale. Call it Occupational ADD.

Take care.

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