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 outsourced call center services.
Freelance opportunities available: Virtual call center agents.
Requirements: Must have good basic computer skills, high school diploma or GED and have a pleasant, professional phone manner. Also must have a high-speed Internet connection.
Hours/Pay: Agents set their own schedules and aren't required to work a minimum number of hours per week, but must set their schedule two weeks in advance. The company pays on a per-call basis. The minimum of paid calls per hour is four, so you will be paid for at least that number even if you receive fewer than that, as long as you were available to take calls. Rates vary, but the current average is $1.40 to $1.70 per call.
Other info: The company especially welcomes applicants who are veterans, disabled or housebound, but specifies that you must have "normal hearing and the use of at least one arm and hand."
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