If you have good office-management and computer skills, you might consider looking for contract administrative jobs. As a general category, this includes word processing, data entry, calendar or appointment planning, basic billing and other administrative support tasks. If you have administrative experience, then all the better for showing prospective employers that you are knowledgeable and reliable.
Your first step to finding contract administrative work is to craft a list of services. Write something up yourself, then research job listings to get ideas about services to add to your list or other ways to word your offerings. The goal is to present a comprehensive list of services that leaves no questions in the reader's mind.
Once you have this list, you can add your hourly fees. If you're unsure what your rates should be, call several local temp agencies to learn what they charge their clients. You can also use the salaries in online salary tools as a guide -- simply divide the annual salary into an hourly rate.
You'll also need a current resume. Even if you go through temp agencies or Web sites to find work, having both a resume and a list of services will help you look professional and easily fill out all the forms and paperwork.
Where to Look for Work
There are many sources for finding work. You may want to target one source at a time, or make up lists of companies from all sources and start with a few from each. Either way, you will be making lots of phone calls and visiting lots of local businesses to make your pitch.
- Past and Current Employers: Talk to any previous employers, and let them know you are contracting. Contact the HR department, since the folks there are the ones who arrange for consultants or temp workers. If you are working now, consider starting your contract business on the side and working slowly toward independence. You may even be able to get contract work from your company.
- Local Businesses: Do some research at your local library, the Chamber of Commerce and through the local paper to target small businesses that might need occasional or ongoing part-time work. Small operations such as landscaping, construction, food or catering, and painting are sometimes too small to pay for a full-time office helper and too busy to do the work themselves. These companies could use someone in the office for a few hours a week or a monthly billing session.
- Temp Agencies: Register with local temp agencies. Even if they won't arrange to pay you by 1099, you will be getting work from companies that use temp workers, and you can ask them to keep you in mind for possible future work.
- Web-Based Services: There are many Web sites, including Monster, where you can look for work -- either office-based or remote contract work. Just beware of anything that costs money up front, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Newspapers: Don't forget the traditional newspaper job search. Especially check the local newspaper, since local small businesses are more likely to advertise there for part-time help. Even if you see a part-time office-based position, don't rule it out. You may be able to persuade the company to let you work some hours at home.
No matter where you get your work, remember that your performance will impact whether a company wants to hire you again and recommend you to other people. Word-of-mouth is an important resource for getting work, so make the best of any work and networking opportunities.