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Crowdsource yourself a new job

Don't just sell yourself by the hour, says freelancer.com CEO

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Crowdsourcing is a chance to create yourself a new job, rather than just raise some cash between gigs or while slacking, according to Matt Barrie, CEO of boom site freelancer.com.

While many users of crowdsourcing sites like freelancer use them to find low-cost labor, Barrie says the site works best when workers use it as a stepping stone towards building a business.

“Don't take a job, create a job,” Barrie told a media event in Sydney today, as buyers on his site don't always want guns-for-hire and may instead be looking for someone they can trust to take on a wide portfolio of work. Simple gigs that start with one person can therefore be a gateway to engagements that become far deeper and broader.

Networking with other providers of similar crowdsourced services can help you to find a workforce for your growing company, he added, while other crowdsourced service providers can help to build the things every business needs, like .

Barrie of course has an interest in promoting people taking the crowdsourcing route as his site takes a cut of fees for projects arranged through his site.

But another crowdsourcer at the event, Designcrowd.com founder Alec Lynch, said “Lots of people see crowdsourcing as lead generation. They start online and then continue the realtionship offline.”

Ross Dawson, a futurist who hosted the event, opined that IT workers need not fear crowdsourcing's potential to threaten their jobs, for two reasons.

The first is that true experts will always be in demand, and perhaps even more so thanks to crowdsourcing. Dawson says he works with an API programming expert who resides in Vladivostok, Russia, because comparable expertise at any price anywhere else.

His second reason to sleep well at night is that many business IT jobs cannot safely be sent offshore or to outsiders for reasons of security or confidentiality. But he also warned that if offshore workers see potential for a lucrative livelihood providing their skills online, barriers like the cost of acquiring vendor certifications to fill roles in IT will not deter workers in poorer nations investing in their skills to create themselves a job. ®

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