Now's a good time to jump into self-employment as an independent consultant -- at least for some professions.
In the continuing effort to comply with laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the health-privacy act known as HIPAA, companies increasingly turn to independent contractors. Plus, companies now see independent pros as a way to fill in talent gaps in their own organizations.
Some companies hire a consultant to get a project off the ground, and then turn over the project's maintenance to in-house employees.
Companies are "buying talent for special projects," says Robert Morgan, chief operating officer of Hudson Talent Management, a unit of Hudson Highland Group, a recruiting and consulting firm in New York.
Mr. Morgan, who is based in Chicago, says: "We've seen a growth in independent professionals... in finance and accounting, in legal, in human resources."