Tips For Finding Extra Work and Hiring Help On Virtual Venues
As summer approaches, you may be looking forward to a well-deserved break. Or maybe you are planning to reignite the engine on past projects that you just couldn’t complete during the school year. Or maybe you are looking to advertise skills and get hired by someone as a writer, designer, editor or consultant. Whether you are looking to hire or be hired this summer, you can join the many seeking jobs online, working from home, with no formal wear needed or outside office required. Here are a few tips on working with virtual venues.
If you are looking to stay at home and work a flexible schedule, you may have already seen ads for Demand Media Studios. There’s also Elance.com or Upwork, formerly ODesk. You may be a typist (people still apparently need to hire people to fulfill that age-old task), virtual office assistant, logo designer or application developer. You can bid on various projects from around the world, and consider your own rates and time for completion. So essentially, you can wear almost any type of hat, find work, set your hours and get paid via the websites. You don’t have to be an expert and can get your feet wet in new areas, just as you are preparing yourself to refresh and reset for another school year.
The Pros and Cons
For one, the work is rather flexible. But you might feel like you are working for a “content mill,” creating quantity of work over quality. With various other individuals betting on projects from all over the world, at often significantly lower rates, you may lose out on projects to the lowest bidder, or to one who has already established a track record. Then there are the site fees, which can take up to 10 percent of the cut and accounts that get frozen for vague but “suspicious activity,” leaving a few job seekers and virtual employees frustrated in the process. Although it could be risky, starting out slow and adhering to the terms and conditions of the contract, can be an effective way to get some extra work. You never know what new connections you may make in the process!
Making Sure You are Getting Paid Fairly For Your Own Work
Like to write? My journalism friend at Fortune magazine heartily recommended Who Pays Writers? as an extremely handy tool for comparing rates on major as well as lesser known publications, for the most serious of writers. The Freelancer’s Union has tons of tips on how to navigate self-employment with more success, as they advocate for more and more people going this route. Additionally, you may want to check out their tips in time for next year’s tax season.
Looking For Work Options With Added Adventure
This Forbes article, mentions several interesting and alternative workplace options. Check out their mention of BackDoorJobs, with work that’s even appropriate for the mid-to late-year crowd. Consider signing up for a trip where work meets cool travel opportunities. If there’s still space available, that may be just the key to getting away during your summer vacation.
And If You’re Seeking To Hire Someone To Help Build Your Business…
You can use the same freelancing sites mentioned earlier to help build or grow your own business. If you have a lot of mundane work to do or a website glitch you would just like to see fixed, you can advertise just for specific tasks. You can also see examples of the prospective employee’s work, reviews of previous work and their rates per project or hour. So there is less of a heavy commitment of just keeping with one individual. In fact, you can use various “employees,” or pool a talented team of individuals together.
But beware – some employers said they hired people who ended up flaking on projects, or stealing their intellectual property. But do your homework, get a feel for an individual before you select them for the task and take advantage of having the escrow in place to avoid disputes down the line. For more guidance on how to avoid trouble hiring freelancers check out this post by Matt Faustman, from UpCounsel.
While the Internet seems like an increasingly novel place to learn, play, and find work opportunities, just remember to review all the fine print, and read reviews and tips before your forge ahead with work, or before you consider hiring someone to do the task for you. Teachers, are you planning to find work or hire someone online this summer? Tell us at TeacherCents.
Melissa Heule, Freelance Writer