Happy International Freelancers Day! Here’s How to Kick-Up Your Heels and Celebrate.

Hey, it’s officially Friday, September 21st in the world. Which means International Freelancers Day is here. Woo-hoo! While there won’t be cake and ice cream for everyone (Boo-hoo!), there will be a world of activities happening all day long.

Start by visiting the International Freelancers Day website. Among other things you’ll find 13 free webinars beginning at 10:00 am (Eastern time) and running throughout the day. The list of topics and presenters is pretty inspiring.

Speaking of inspiration, inspire us with your story and win great prizes.

Celebrate International Freelancers Day. Share Your Story And Win Prizes (Plus Connects).

Put on your party hat and dust off your dancing shoes. International Freelancers Day is Friday, September 21. If you’re like us, this grand holiday ranks right up there with New Year’s Day, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah and Oktoberfest. OK, maybe a touch below Oktoberfest, but darn close.

Whether you’re a freelancer or work for a company who uses freelancers, International Freelancers Day is your time to celebrate all things solopreneur. We may be preaching to the choir here, but freelancing really does bring wonderful opportunities to people around the world – putting food on the table, parents on time for school events and skills on track for what people love doing most.

All kidding aside, there truly is reason to celebrate this Friday and beyond.

So inspire us with your story, and win great prizes.
To celebrate International Freelancers Day we want to inspire others. You can help by sharing your story. It’s easy and fun, here’s how:

1. Tell your inspirational story about freelancing. It can be as simple as a sentence, or as state-of-the-art as a video, animation or whatever. Just be sure it speaks to our theme: How Freelancing Has Changed How I Live And Work.

2. Post your story or shoot us a link to your story on our Facebook Page, or send us a tweet @elance with hashtag #Efreelanceday. Stories must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on September 30, 2012. As the celebration continues, we’ll be highlighting stories on the Elance Blog and Elancer newsletter.

3. Everyone who shares their story will receive 10 Connects in September and an additional 10 Connects in October!

4. Our team will view all stories and award prizes for what moves us most. Here’s what winners will receive:

Introducing Opportunities: Your Central Page for Recommended Job Matches (Also New!) – and Lots More.

Wow, with a blog headline that long, you gotta figure something pretty meaty is being unveiled. Right you are. Elance is proud to announce a dramatically easier way for freelancers to land perfect jobs – plus keep those jobs close-at-hand.

Meet your new Opportunities page. And believe us, the page is much easier to use than it is to write headlines for.

Your Opportunities page is where we’ll begin sending you recommended job opportunities daily. Part of your existing Home page, simply select the Opportunities link to toggle over at any time to see new job matches from Elance clients. Now in Beta, we’ll be refining and perfecting your recommendations as we make your Opportunities page even better in the days to come.

At This Week’s GOP Convention, Jobs (and an Elance Client) Took Center Stage.

With the Presidential election just weeks away, folks at the Republican National Convention are talking jobs, jobs, jobs. Except of course for a large number of GOP movers & shakers, who were actually listening – to a seasoned Elancer talk about (you guessed it) … jobs.

Specifically, during the GOP convention people turned a keen ear to Elance client Chris Abbott. Chris was front-and-center in the Huffington Post-sponsored Entrepreneurial Expo held Wednesday in Tampa. Co-sponsored by Microsoft and NBC News, the Expo allowed people in search of job solutions to circulate among select entrepreneurs, discussing “What is Working” on the American job front. Huffington Post Editor In Chief Arianna Huffington and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue were among the many dignitaries who gleaned insights from Chris at the Expo Wednesday.

Owner of CV Jones and an Elance client for several years, Chris had much to say to Arianna and others about what’s possible when the right jobs are matched with the right online freelancers. Chris was able to enlighten many political and business leaders on the advantages of hiring online workers to spur job growth in America.

Elance Partners with Huffington Post, Pledges $1 Million to New Jobs Initiative.

Getting Americans back to work is priority #1 for this country. That’s why Elance is pledging $1 million to support Opportunity: What Is Working – a powerful new effort spearheaded by our friends at The Huffington Post.

So where’s Elance’s cool million going? To Congressional Sub-Committees? Nope. Lobbyists? Yawn. Leading economists funding annual conventions in Hawaii? Not a chance. This money is going straight to American businesses that hire American workers. Here’s the nitty-gritty:

For every U.S.-based business that registers for the first time at Elance and hires their first American freelancer, we’ll pay the first $75 of the bill. Doing the math, that’s in the neighborhood of 13,000 palms we’ll grease to stimulate hiring. Register your business at Elance to hire online freelancers.

“My Contractors” Now Available on Client Home Page

Over the past few weeks, we have shared some of the customizable features available on the new My Jobs page. We just rolled out the latest round of enhancements on the client side.

New Home Option for Clients
For clients wanting faster access to “My Contractors” and easier management of jobs, you can now set “My Contractors” as your default home page. Simply click the Settings icon to select this option.

With “My Contractors” front and center, it’s simpler than ever to contact, review and re-hire your favorite Elancers right from your home page. There’s also a new search feature to quickly find contractors or jobs by name or tags (a feature requested by many of you).

You’ll also find a new summary panel has been added to “My Contractors.” This dashboard gives you a quick glimpse of current jobs and their status. Simply hover over your job or Elancer and a panel will pop up with additional details.

Elance Job Report Shows Upswing In “Creative Economy”

We have great news for “right brain” thinkers everywhere. While job demand rose to record levels in many areas – including most technical fields – our Q2 Global Online Employment Report also points to a dramatic rise in demand for creative skills. For the first time ever the “Creative Economy” is outpacing demand for technical talent. These findings show that companies are now looking for new way to attract and engage customers.

The chart below shows the percentage of jobs posted by category, indicating Creative took the lead in Q2:

Two More Time-saving Enhancements to the My Jobs Page

Last month, we released a friendlier, more customizable My Jobs page. We're thrilled with the response and are back with a couple of new enhancements in response to your feedback.

New Compact View of My Jobs
When we first released the new My Jobs, we introduced a default view that showed you a thumbnail picture of the client or contractor, or job status (if the job isn’t active yet) linked to your jobs. While this view works for some, others requested a more compact view without any images. Starting today, you can change the default view of your page simply by clicking the settings icon and selecting List Style/Compact. Try it out, and choose the view that works best for you.

New Broadcast Messaging to Your Workrooms

The New My Jobs Page is Here. Test it Out!

If you’re like 90% of our users, you use the “My Jobs” page as your Elance homepage. Based on your feedback, we’re simplifying this page while making it more powerful and customizable – so you can work more efficiently and in a way that makes the most sense for you.

Starting today, you can opt-in to the new My Jobs look. Here’s what you’ll find:

Act on a job directly from My Jobs
We’re taking some clicks out of the equation. With this new interface, you’ll be able to send messages, view key job information and perform other important actions such as editing terms & milestones directly from the My Jobs page.

Have Windows Developer Skills? Join Our New Microsoft Developer Groups

In the freelance economy, your skills determine how often you are hired and how much you earn. You can demonstrate these skills to prospective clients by taking one of our many skill tests or, starting today, by joining our expanded Microsoft Developers Program that matches certified Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Azure and Microsoft web developers with businesses searching for expert talent.

Today marks the launch of four new Microsoft developer groups where businesses can browse and hire technical experts on demand. The new groups also feature a “Jobs” category that allows freelancers to submit proposals to new projects with a single click.


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