Other ways to work

Workers thrown out of jobs and unable to land another fulltime position in their field sooner or later run into employment arrangements they never knew existed. It's important to understand how these different employment arrangements work.

Negatives define these so-called "non-standard jobs." Typically, they are not full-time, not permanent, they have no benefits and no job security. These positions can include independent contract work, temporary employment, part-time work and freelancing.


Independent contractor

An employer typically controls where and how a full-time employee works. But an independent contractor calls the shots about how to get a job done, sets his or her own hours and is free to work with a number of businesses.

A contractor may go to work at an office every day, but his or her relationship with a company and the terms of employment are different from a regular employee. The company a contractor works for does not withhold income taxes or pay Social Security Medicare taxes or unemployment tax on a contractor's wages.


Temporary

A temporary worker works alongside regular employees but is not on that company's payroll. Staffing firms such as Kelly Services typically employ temp workers. An unemployed person interviewed by a staffing firm may not find out where they will work until they are hired. Their paychecks will come from the staffing agency. An up tick in temporary employment is considered one of the first indicators of a rise in overall employment. Businesses that cycle through busy seasons and down seasons typically rely on temporary workers.


Part-time

By custom part-time work is 35 hours per week or less. Company policy rather than government rules set standards for these workers. The ranks of the involuntary part-time workers - those who want full-time jobs but could not find them - swelled during the recession. In February 2011, the number of involuntary part-time workers stood at 8.3 million, unchanged from the previous month.


Freelance

A freelancer hires himself out for a specific project. A graphic artist may design only one ad for a business. Freelance work has exploded during the recession. Dislocated workers struggling to find full-time work can make money by doing jobs on a freelance basis. Freelancers are paid a negotiate sum per project. Online markets for freelance workers, such as elance.com, offer freelance workers global opportunities at the click of a mouse.

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