Freelancers bringing home the bacon

No more discounted dental or a 401k match. No more access to an office vending machine selling Coke for 50 cents. And bye-bye color copier.

Those were the days working full-time at Thestreet.com. Since getting laid off in March it's been hard to say goodbye to those lovey-dovey corporate perks.

But don't feel sorry for me. As a new member of the freelance economy I am actually working more now and even (don't hate me for saying this) turning down some projects.

I've gone from unemployed to self-employed. I'm happy. And I'm not alone.

Sarah A. Needleman's great piece in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) today about "Negotiating The Freelance Economy" captures the big picture. She describes the fast rise in freelance opportunities in the recession, since it's cheaper to employ part-time or contract workers without health and retirement benefits.