The tight full-time job market has put considerable pressure on the once booming freelance marketplace.
About two years ago, a friend who left a corporate job to do freelance PR told me that he was able to top his full-time salary thanks to several steady freelance gigs. Today, his assignments have slowed to a trickle and he’s thinking about returning to a full-time corporate or agency job when the opportunity arises. He’s not alone. The freelance pool has gotten much deeper with talent due to the economic recession.
In March 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 622,000 self-employed U.S. workers. In just a year, the number has almost doubled to nearly 1.1 million. This is a sobering development for anyone contemplating a more entrepreneurial, freelance career.
Although not specifically focused on PR freelancing, today’s New York Times Magazine carries an excellent article about the “self-employed depression.” Anyone considering a freelance career will get an good reality check in Emily Bazelon’s article entitled, “What happened to all those liberated, self-reliant, self-balanced free agents?”
For those pursuing freelance opportunities, check out this list of freelance job sites. Some 83 job sites carry a wide variety of openings ranging from graphics arts to writing assignments. So, there are opportunities out there–just a lot more competition pursuing them.