Contract work opportunities can be found in many of the same ways as traditional job opportunities are found: networking, online job boards, and direct contact with prospective employers.
When searching for contract opportunities online, look to the traditional large job boards such as Indeed.com,SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder.com, Glassdoor.com, and Monster.com. Use search filters to identify contract and temporary roles (not all job boards offer “contract” or “temporary” as search filters, but many do).
Also consider specialized marketplaces, like FlexJobs.com, Outsourcely, WorkingNomads.co, or industry-specific job sites like Mediabistro, ProBlogger.com, Dribble.com, or Authentic Jobs (for creative and media opportunities) or Dice.com or Stack Overflow (for technology positions).
You can also find online job boards specifically for remote opportunities.
Some of these sites require a subscription to access job opportunities, but may also offer benefits, such as access to education and training.
Not familiar with marketplaces in your target industry? Search for “contract work” + your industry or “freelance jobs” + your industry and see what comes up. For example, a search of “contract work” + public relations yielded several online sites, including RemotePRJobs.com (a subscription site) and PeoplePerHour.com.
There are also online marketplaces to match freelancers with opportunities. These include sites like Guru.com, Freelancer.com, and Upwork.com. Some of the gigs posted are extremely short-term (a one-time project, or a one-week project), while others are contract opportunities lasting 3 months, 6 months, or longer.
Search LinkedIn for contract work opportunities. One of the search criteria is “Job Type” and both contract and temporary positions are available in the search. (If applicable, also choose the “Remote” search criteria to expand beyond your current geographic area.) You can also check out Company Pages on LinkedIn and see what other companies LinkedIn recommends you connect with or follow.
Word of mouth is consistently reported as one of the top ways to secure contract work. Staying connected with previous co-workers and supervisors on social media ensures you are top-of-mind when a contract opportunity comes about. If you are unemployed, be sure to let your network know you are open to contract work opportunities.
Another source of contract opportunities is previous employers. This is especially relevant if your current position was eliminated due to an economic downturn. Your previous employer may be interested in hiring you as a contract employee. The funding for this work may be available from a different budget line item. While you may not be able to get as many hours as you would as a full-time employee, you already know the job, and that makes this option attractive to your previous employer too. And you’ll be in a position to be re-hired full-time in the future if the economic situation changes.
There are a number of agencies and consulting firms that help connect contract workers with employers. Some of these specialize in particular industries, while others serve a wide variety of independent workers.
Business management firms for contract workers, such as MBO Partners, can not only help facilitate a match between a contract worker and an employer, but also help handle billing and paperwork related to contract employment. Some even offer the opportunity to participate in benefit programs, such as health insurance and retirement plans and/or offer liability insurance.
Some possible sources include:
Other firms act as the “Employer Of Record” (EOR) for companies, handling the administrative, compliance, and financial logistics for employing contract workers.
Some of these firms include: