Image: SeanZeroThree/ iStock

Freelancing is the way to go for a lot of professionals. Though an in-house, staff job can provide a stable salary, security and benefits, many people enjoy the freelance life for its diversity, flexibility and control. But finding enough work can be a challenge for many freelancers. A new report from job search site FlexJobs highlights the 30 best places to find freelance work and offers tips on how to get started as a freelancer.

SEE: IT pro’s road map to working remotely (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

An August 2021 survey conducted by FlexJobs asked more than 800 freelancers why they pick freelancing over traditional employment. The top reason was work-life balance, as cited by 81% of the respondents. Other factors included family, commute stress and time savings.

Some 66% of the freelancers surveyed said they’re optimistic about their job situation over the next six months, compared with 61% of regular employees. And 78% of the freelancers said they “want to work” or “want and need to work,” versus 70% of traditional workers.

Freelancing is also on the rise. By 2027, 50% of the total US workforce could be composed of freelancers, according to Statista, adding up to 86.5 million workers.

Looking at job postings from more than 57,000 companies between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31 of 2021, FlexJobs came up with a list of the top 30 companies with the greatest number of freelance job postings for the year. Many of the firms on the list are staffing or recruitment agencies. Some are full-service and deal with a variety of jobs, while others focus on specific roles and industries.

The following companies are listed in order from the greatest to the least number of remote job postings:

  1. Robert Half International
  2. Kforce
  3. Kelly
  4. Accounting Principals
  5. Ajilon
  6. Randstad
  7. CyraCom
  8. Collabera
  9. Bilingual Therapies
  10. Planet Group
  11. Profit Factory
  12. Motion Recruitment Partners
  13. Welocalize
  14. BELAY
  15. Solomon Page
  16. Beacon Hill Staffing Group
  17. CSI Companies
  18. Stride, Inc.
  19. ModSquad
  20. Expert Business Development
  21. Stage 4 Solutions
  22. VIQ Solutions
  23. Aquent
  24. FlexProfessionals
  25. Tava Health
  26. Russell Tobin
  27. Avispa Technology
  29. 24 Seven
  30. Varsity Tutors

FlexJobs also singled out the following top 10 careers and professions in need of remote freelance workers for 2021:

  1. Accounting and finance
  2. Administrative
  3. Computer and IT
  4. Customer service
  5. Writing
  6. HR and recruiting
  7. Medical and health
  8. Project management
  9. Bilingual
  10. Education and training

Combing a job search site for freelance roles can be tricky as they often go by different names, such as contractor, consultant or contract-to-hire. Those of you seeking a freelance opportunity should keep in mind the following terms as defined by FlexJobs:

  • Freelancer: A self-employed person who works for themselves rather than for a company.
  • Contract worker: Someone who works as a temporary contract worker, or a temp, rather than as a permanent employee.
  • Independent contractor: A term defined by a contract with another company or individual and the way the IRS categorizes this type of work.
  • 1099 worker: An IRS term used to describe an independent contractor based on the 1099 form.
  • Contract consultant: Someone hired for temporary consulting by a company.
  • Contract-to-hire: A job that starts off on a freelance and independent basis but could become a regular in-house position.

Finally, FlexJobs offered some tips to freelancers, especially those just starting out.

  • Know the market. Before you quit your regular job and dive into freelancing, conduct some research to make sure there’s a demand for your field, the service you offer and the competition you might face.
  • Establish your brand. Devise a strong personal and professional brand to help potential clients understand what you do and why they should hire you. What are your unique skills and abilities?
  • Grow your nest egg. Freelancing can often be feast or famine. Sometimes you have too much work, other times you don’t have enough. Some financial support in your bank account will help you get through the down times.
  • Handle administrative tasks. Remember that freelancing is much more than doing the actual work. You need to find time to deal with health insurance requirements, retirement planning, and self-employment and estimated taxes as well as ordering office supplies and managing your time.
  • Connect with a mentor. A mentor with experience in freelancing can often help you learn how to better juggle your freelance life.

Subscribe to the Executive Briefing Newsletter

Discover the secrets to IT leadership success with these tips on project management, budgets, and dealing with day-to-day challenges. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays

Subscribe to the Executive Briefing Newsletter

Discover the secrets to IT leadership success with these tips on project management, budgets, and dealing with day-to-day challenges. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays