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Earlier this week, Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup oDesk announced a new service called oDesk Staffing, which gives U.S.-based freelancers access to benefits (including health coverage, retirement plans and education savings accounts), along with other services. This move by oDesk, which describes itself as a marketplace for work, is a smart one, as it positions the company to take advantage of a major societal shift.
IT contracting and freelance work is up in 2009 mainly due to layoffs, pay cuts and other economic realities beaten to death in the media. The good news is there is no shortage of IT contracting and freelance technology work websites that let you advertise your skills, compete for work and build client reference lists.
IT professionals are increasingly turning to online freelance marketplaces such as Elance and oDesk to start new careers as full-time IT contractors or to supplement their incomes. The CEOs of Elance and oDesk, along with IT contractors using those sites, offer 13 practical tips for getting started in the online freelance marketplace and for standing out in a sea of global competition.
Futurist Ross Dawson says: “Online services exchanges are places where anyone anywhere can get people to perform services; it’s about the development of a global talent economy. Some services are commoditised – you might want someone to count the number of tennis balls in a photo for the lowest price possible. But they also allow you to find the best person for the job and price isn’t always the primary factor why you hire someone, sometimes it’s more about finding talented people. I use odesk and the last person I hired wasn’t in Egypt or Latvia - he was in New York.”
"The Future of Work" is an online presentation developed by oDesk, a global online platform that connects freelance talent with businesses of all sizes, to help workers consider how the shifts in business and technology are changing the way the world works, and how you can best position yourself for success. oDesk CEO Gary Swart shares some of the highlights, which should get you thinking about freelance opportunities and the way you work.
Can you imagine how simple your life would be if you never had to drive to work? If you have the self-discipline to work from home, the right opportunity could help you get back those commute hours and gain some extra time each day to do whatever you want. If you're wondering where you can find such a job in a waning economy, here are seven companies hiring for work from home right now.
oDesk lets the marketplace determine freelancer value. That decision will translate to an estimated $66 million in wages paid in 2009, of which oDesk takes 10 percent. And the numbers are steadily increasing. Large companies like Network Solutions are using oDesk to hire, and others like Yahoo and Salesforce.com are certifying freelancers to do third-party work. Revenue was $520,000 in 2006 and is projected to be $6.6 million in 2009. For oDesk, the recession has spurred growth on as companies look to freelancers to cut costs.