Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Too many moonlighters compete for freelance jobs?

According to last week’s News of the World – the number of Brits taking second jobs has jumped by 90%.

Most ‘moonlighters’ were using the extra income to pay for treats but many relied upon this second income to meet bills that, up until the recession, they easily covered with the earnings from their employer.

The popular freelance website, PeoplePerHour.com, was cited as one source to find freelance jobs, (we are actually sitting on a prime freelancing, job-hunting platform here!). As an ad-hoc user of PeoplePerHour.com, I’ve felt for a while now that the increasing amount of moonlighters is affecting the site.

Moonlighters, all around us

Sure, it’s great news that more and more people are using their skills by freelancing – but, if they’re already employed and receiving a wage their hourly rate is just extra money, and they can afford to bid and earn much less than someone who needs to earn a set amount to cover business costs, i.e. fully solo, self-employed freelancers. Therefore, the price of the work is driven down or not won by the fully solos at all.

What I’d be interested to know is: is this just typical of the ‘bidding’ nature of PPH, or is this a problem nationwide?

Have you, as a freelancer, found increased competition for work from those rushing to earn a bit extra on top of their monthly wages? Has this affected your business, or have you thought about turning the issue on its head and obtaining a part-time, employed job to secure some regular income?

Should we compete?

I’ve actually stopped using the site for a while, simply because I don’t need to find more work as things are panning out quite nicely for my business. However, in the past year, and whilst solo, I have used it at couple of times when work has been particularly quiet, and accepted work for a rate much lower than my norm.

It didn’t turn out to be the ‘quick income fix’ that I thought it would – for me, at least.

Projects take time to discuss and materialise, and by the time they’re underway, I’ve had more lucrative work arrive at my laptop. This has seen me committed to the lower paid job at a time when I’m juggling to fit everything in.

I’ve done the work, but I won’t deny that I felt incredibly frustrated and less patient with the client paying me a third of what I’m worth, even though it’s my fault as I accepted the job knowing that would be my fee.

If that sounds like I’m whining, it’s not meant to; I’ve learned that these things happen in business and therefore, have taken the conscious step not to look for work on PPH, even when quiet.

Perhaps others have found they can still win work on their website whilst charging their normal rate – I’d be interested to find out how they did it.

Competition is often described in business as healthy – which it is in many ways – but with more and more freelancers clamouring for the same amount of work, this surely has to have consequences.

I’d love to know how you view this subject, and whether you’d love to see even more people moonlighting. Perhaps you see a benefit to this influx that I’ve missed.

What are your thoughts?

See our recent article – are freelance job databases bad for us

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Written by Editor on June 19, 2011 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Freelancers, News, Opinion , ,

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