If you need extra money but don't want a staff job, freelance work may be the answer. These days, companies hire freelancers for everything from writing and design to delivery and sales.
Pros and cons: You usually don't get benefits, but can often set your own schedule and may even be able to work from home. The pay is self-employment income, and is viewed differently than normal wages by the IRS. You'll need to file specific tax forms with your annual return — and, depending on what you earn, you might need to submit quarterly tax payments. On the plus side, you can deduct many of your expenses, and may qualify for the home office deduction.
Here are three companies hiring independent contractors right now.
What they do: Provider of call center outsourcing services.
Freelance opportunities available: Call center agents.
Requirements: Previous call center and/or customer service experience preferred.
Hours/Pay: Agents choose their own schedules and can work as much or as little as they want. Pay rate/structure varies by client. Some pay by the minute (with an average rate of 25 cents per minute), while others pay a base rate plus commissions. The company says the average agent in 2009 received four calls per 30-minute block, at a rate of $1.57 per call, including sales incentives.
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