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Unemployed because of coronavirus? How to make money from home right away – USA TODAY

If you know your way around a sewing machine, can quick-fix a washer/dryer, fridge, boat or car, have an eye for antiques or possess some other random – even quirky – expertise, you could make tens of thousands of dollars working from home within the next month or two. True story. 

Unemployment rates are at the highest peak in decades, and 1 of 6 people in America are out of work. Families are trying to figure out how to survive the pandemic and look for a new job. Here’s something very few of the newly unemployed realize: There’s work out there. A lot of it. And it might be just a few clicks away. 

Shopping reinvented: America’s stores, malls reopen with masks, curbside pickup and closed fitting rooms

Wearables as first line of defense? Tests expand on whether Fitbit, Apple Watch could predict coronavirus

In-demand experts earn as much as $60K a month

A handful of experts at a website called JustAnswer – a site where people can ask questions that they need skilled professionals to help with – broke all kinds of records last month. The average payout to JustAnswer freelancers for the month of April was $2,700 – 23% higher than any previous month. Some of the most prolific experts, including lawyers, auto mechanics, and antique appraisers, made as much as $60,000 in one month.

Normally JustAnswer experts field questions around technical, legal, medical and other common topics. People who use the site say they don’t want to roll the dice with an answer through a Google search or YouTube tutorial and often need more personalized real-time help. For that service, site users pay $5 to $40 a month to save time, hassle and money versus going in-person to a lawyer, accountant or other pros.

“Question volume has more than doubled since the pandemic started, and we continue to see a meteoric rise in the number of people seeking expert advice,” JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig said. “May is once again poised to eclipse April, which featured our highest question count in 16 years by a significant margin.” 

As a result, the site needs to fill expert spots – fast. 

JustAnswer signed on more than 800 freelance experts in April, and Kurtzig said May is on track to blow right past that figure. He said the site needs experts – with at least five years of experience – in DIY appliance repair, home improvement, sewing machines, veterinary medicine, mental health, boat and car mechanics, technology and personal effects appraisals. As long as applicants pass a stringent vetting process and background check, new experts can start earning money in less than two weeks after they apply. 

“We expected to see medical, health-related and finance questions skyrocket during this time, and they have,” Kurtzig said. “But it’s a surprise to see an 800% increase in questions around boat repairs, or get a few thousand more questions a week on how much an old family heirloom might be worth.” 

Apparently, the masses sheltering at home are having a tough time fixing appliances that go on the blink, setting up home offices without the help of the IT department and are desperate to make some real cash selling treasures they uncovered during spring cleaning. 

Grocery and meal delivery people go into the pandemic and provide their own car to make approximately $15 an hour. JustAnswer experts sit in front of a computer at home earning $2,000 to $60,000 a month. 

The freelance fix

JustAnswer isn’t the only company looking for more workers. There was a 24% increase in freelance jobs available from March to April, according to FlexJobs, a job search website that specializes in remote, part-time and freelance positions. 

“Although the pandemic has driven overall unemployment numbers up dramatically, that’s not the case with remote work,” FlexJobs Career Development Manager Brie Weiler Reynolds said. “Across the board, remote jobs are really strong. Freelancers let companies fill a need that may be temporary or project-specific, without having to take on the added expense of a long-term employee.”  

FlexJobs analyzed its database of more than 54,000 companies that offer remote work options to highlight the companies with the most job postings as of May. Reynolds said there’s a major hiring surge in customer service jobs, which are often a natural fit for people with experience in the pandemic-leveled travel and tourism industries.

“Those skills translate really well over to freelance customer service and sales work,” Reynolds said. “Those are two avenues for the unemployed to pursue immediately because they require similar communication skills, relationship-building and the ability to problem-solve.” 

Other sites that help you sell your skills and work from home include WFH Pad, which has vacancies for app testers, translators and online jurors. Anyone with fast fingers on a keyboard can earn money transcribing recorded conversations or adding captions to videos online at Rev.com. 

Upwork and PeoplePerHour match your skills with businesses and employers looking for them – and handle everything from your profile setup to making sure you get paid. Clickworker connects you with some jobs you can do from your smartphone, and massive job marketplace Indeed has plenty of work-from-home jobs as well. 

“A lot of people don’t realize that freelance salaries are often higher than full-time jobs,” Reynolds said. “Most of these entry-level positions right now are in the $12-$20-an-hour range and higher, depending on where you live.”

Sell your stuff

Another area where people are making money is by selling their unwanted stuff. A survey by tech resale sight Decluttr shows Americans are holding onto about $43 billion worth of old phones, DVDs and other unused old gadgets in their homes. According to the survey, the average person can make nearly $200 just ditching that trash for cash. 

“Americans lose money by sitting on so much dormant tech at home,” Decluttr CMO Liam Howley said via email. “We encourage people to go through their homes and round up their unwanted tech, as they’d be surprised how much cash they could get back by trading it in.”  

It’s not just tech and gadgets. The site sees a lot of people stumbling across hidden treasures. “People have a lot more time on their hands, and they’re finding really valuable things they didn’t even know they had,” said JustAnswer appraiser Judith Katz-Schwartz. “I’m also hearing from a lot of people who’ve lost their jobs and need to sell things in order to get by.” 

Katz-Schwartz said she fields a lot of questions about old pianos, costume jewelry and rare books. Other artifacts experts on the site see a massive uptick in queries about antique dolls, artwork and coins. Site moderator Josie Taylor fields most of the 4,000 appraisal questions coming in each week. She said she’s seen such treasures as a 17th-century “Old Masters” painting potentially worth $3 million and a rare book potentially worth $45,000. Both of the people who inquired about these goods were shocked. 

Depending on what you’re selling, Katz-Schwartz recommends a variety of online sites: Tradesy for designer clothing; Mercari, 1stDibs, Decluttr, Bonanza and eBay for just about everything else. Pamono and Chairish are great for selling vintage furniture and home goods. Online classifieds include VarageSale, letgo, Facebook Marketplace and 5miles. For fine china and more valuable collectibles, she recommends Ruby Lane, Replacements, Invaluable, LiveAuctioneers.com or AuctionZip.com, where she said to “search the directory for an auction house near you and consign to them.”

To help people get started selling online, eBay offers new sellers an extra 200 free listings per month through July. In an email, a site spokesperson said what’s really hot  are video games, puzzles and at-home training equipment. Searches for gaming consoles are up 365%, while demand for breadmaking machines rose nearly 800%, and there’s an almost 600% surge in swimming pool sales.

Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech contributor. Email her at jj@techish.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferJolly.

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Freelance jobs Online

ITIDA, Udacity offer free virtual academy to help Egyptian youths gain digital skills, master remote freelance jobs – Egypttoday

CAIRO – 30 May 2020: The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) today unveiled an online training initiative to scale up Egyptian youth’s tech skills through Udacity; the global online learning platform that trains the world’s workforce for the careers of the future.

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The online scholarship is free to 100,000 Egyptians in a move to help them master the latest tech fields and brush up on the core skill sets especially those in demand in the job market.

The initiative comes as part of the Egyptian CIT ministry’s ambitious strategy that invests heavily in building the local talent and reinforces the country’s huge and well-educated workforce.

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The technology training program aims to equip the youth with the necessary tools and skills of the freelancing market, help them master remote work, and excel in the future digital jobs.

“With the strong momentum towards going all-digital, we offer our youth a unique virtual academy with free Nanodegree programs.” Hala El-Gohary, CEO of ITIDA commented.

HalaITIDA
Hala El-Gohary, CEO of ITIDA

“It has never been a better time to launch such initiative as the Covid-19 is expected to make the freelance market grow rapidly, and will push organizations and governments to accelerate the adoption of digital services, thus the demand for gigs and remote work opportunities will soar,” she said.

The 18-month scholarship program titled “Future Work is Digital-fwd” is focused on teaching web development, data analytics, and digital marketing.

Egypt FWD provides the learners with an integrated learning and upskilling experience which includes access to Udacity online learning classroom, hands-on-practice, expert-reviewed projects, online support webinars, professional industry mentors, interactive peer-to-peer community and continuous coaching.

The educational initiative offers four scalable tracks in each specialization starting with the Challenge track and takes the learners on a journey of upskilling capabilities through the tracks of Professional, Advanced, and outstanding.

Learners will be able to access and register for the scholarship through a dedicated website that ITIDA has launched to help them navigate the tracks and choose the appropriate training course according to their skills level.

 

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Kickstart your freelance career with the help of these online classes – Boing Boing

With millions out of work, the global economy in a sharp recession, and legitimate fears for the future abound, you might think this is absolutely the worst time to strike out on your own and be your own boss as a work-for-hire freelancer.

But according to numbers compiled by financial services company Payoneer, the current state of the freelance market might not be as dire as you think. While some freelancers have reported a downturn in demand, almost 40 percent said they’ve seen no change or even an increase in business over the past three months. A resounding 75 percent said their rates were still unchanged by the pandemic; and the average 2020 freelance hourly rate remained higher than it was just two years ago.

If you can get past the fear, the opportunity is still there for those looking to make it on their own. 

And the training in the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle can help you chart your path toward independence and prosperity working remotely as a skilled freelancer.

Over these eight courses, students earn a thorough understanding of what it takes to carve out a profitable living working for yourself as well as step-by-step guides and tips on launching a fulfilling freelance career.

The Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love and Sales and Marketing for Freelancers courses cut right to the heart of the matter by laying out how to achieve the twin pillars of a successful freelance lifestyle: handling assignments and clients like a true business, and forging the right mindset to succeed in that often competitive space. Students also learn the basics of a marketing plan to find and land new partnership accounts.

Meanwhile, the Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick and Easy Guide and The Complete Freelance Writing Courses dig into the specific considerations of these two large freelancing groups, offering guidance on creating a winning portfolio, building a reputation and experience, increasing income and staying on task without getting overwhelmed or succumbing to fear.

Of course, part of succeeding as a freelancer is succeeding in the arenas where freelancers are found. With How to Win Jobs Freelancing On UpWork, Kickstart a Freelance Editor and Proofreader Career on Upwork, and Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today, the coursework examines how to navigate popular freelance job venues like Fiverr and Upwork. This training explains how to put together successful bid letters, find jobs that speak to your abilities and interests, and forge lasting and profitable relationships with clients.

The course package usually runs almost $1,600, but right now, the whole collection is on sale for a fraction of that total, just $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.

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Why You Should Launch an Online Business Amid the Coronavirus Shutdown – Business 2 Community

I’m going to state the obvious: it’s a stressful time for most people around the world right now. Small businesses are closing for good, restaurants are barely making end’s meet offering takeout, and event venues are wondering if they will ever be able to host concerts again. On top of all of that, many individuals are grieving the loss of a loved one, or weathering their own COVID-19 diagnosis.

The economic numbers are certainly harrowing in the United States: 26 million jobs have been lost over the last 5-weeks due to coronavirus. Even worse, as of earlier this month, 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment, making it the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

You’re probably saying to yourself: “how on earth could I potentially launch a business in the middle of all of this?” That’s exactly what news outlets and doomsayers want you to think – that there is no opportunity for a fresh start in the midst of a pandemic. I am proposing quite the opposite.

The Online World is Bustling as We Speak

If you don’t believe me yet, just think back to last month when Amazon announced they were hiring 100,000 new workers to accommodate for their surge in product demands. Walmart also hired 100,000 new workers amid product requests, with other companies like CVS posting 80,000 new available job openings. Other e-commerce companies across the board are presently experiencing a surge in their products, as shopping online has become the only way to get our hands on the products we love the most.

Recommended For You Webcast, June 2nd: How to Modernize Content Production and Data Collection to Drive Faster Growth
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Moving into the world of freelancing, many assume that freelancers and online gig workers have suffered a blow throughout this pandemic. Think again. Forbes highlighted that freelancers are experiencing increased demand in their digital services for the new companies pivoting online. Companies once only accessible through brick-and-mortar now need websites built, pictures taken, copy written, and videos edited. Instead of hiring a person that costs them $60,000 per year, they can outsource all of it to freelancers happily awaiting their orders on the likes of Fiverr.com and Upwork.com.

So, although the physical world may look like a ghost town, product demand, service offerings, deals, and discounts didn’t disappear. In fact, they’re all still there! You just need to go online.

Get In on the Action Before It’s Too Late

Millions are pouring online to launch their online version of their business today. Traditionally in-person industries, like personal training and dance lessons, are also pivoting online using video streaming software. Many personal trainers are offering one-on-one Zoom lessons, as well as nutrition consultations. And don’t forget doctors – the telemedicine advancements have been astronomical. Every single industry could benefit from leveraging the internet.

Right now is the perfect time to launch a freelancing profile, an online business, or a service-based streaming site. People are looking for their same beloved products and services today, even if they have to stay at home. If you don’t get online and accommodate the change, someone else will.

Before I wrap this up, here are 4 more reasons why you should finally make that business dream a reality through your laptop:

  1. Many Sites Are Offering Discounts Today: Businesses are ready to negotiate right now. The uncertainty of the future has many big name companies, like WordPress or Squarespace, willing to offer their usual website packages for less money if you sign up with them for 12-24 months at a time. Be sure to call these companies in advance and ask for deals.
  2. There is Demand for Your Services: Whether you want to freelance write or sell a product, the statistics above don’t lie: there is a lot of demand for what you could be offering.
  3. Accumulate Reviews Before Your Competitors Do: On most freelancing sites, user profiles come with reviews as social proof. The more reviews you accumulate, the more people will readily buy from you. If you get started amassing these reviews today, you will be that much farther ahead of the person who decides to freelance one year from now.
  4. Digital Immersion is the Future: The world was already heading towards total gig economy immersion. Coronavirus has just confirmed it. Previous studies estimated that 60% of the U.S. workforce would be in the gig economy by 2027. I say that number comes much sooner after this pandemic.

What are you waiting for? The beauty of launching an online business is that it costs much less than opening a retail store. You just need internet, a laptop, and the desire to make it happen. Get in on the action before it’s too late.


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How to Build a Successful Career as a Virtual Assistant – IMC Grupo

Thinking outside of the box is essential for a business owner who is trying to expand the size of their team on a budget. Studies show that hiring virtual assistants in lieu of traditional full-time employees can cut business operating costs by nearly 78%.

If you are thinking about a career as a virtual assistant, now is a great time to start your journey. While there are a number of virtual assistants in the world, there are things you can do to set yourself apart from your competition. 

Before you start a career in this exciting field, you need to realize that lots of hard work and stress come with the territory. The challenges you encounter in the beginning stages of your career will teach you valuable lessons. The longer you work as a virtual assistant, the easier it will be to make a good living doing something you actually enjoy. Below are some things you should consider when trying to build a successful career as a virtual assistant.

Table of Contents

Getting the Tools of the Trade

Working as a remote employee can be beneficial. The main thing you need to do when trying to start a successful career as a virtual assistant is invest in the tools of the trade. In most cases, the businesses you work for will need to send documents to you online.

Allowing clients to do this will be much easier if you invest in the services provided by eFax. Not only will you be able to send and receive faxes online with this service, but you can also digitally sign documents if needed.

You also need to make sure you have a reliable laptop or desktop computer to use in your new job. Investing in a high-speed Internet connection is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for your productivity to suffer as a result of subpar tech tools. This is why spending money on top of the line technology is beneficial.

Find A Niche to Work In

Some newcomers to the world of virtual assistants fail to realize just how many different industries use this form of freelance help. Rather than making your virtual assistant services generalized and broad, you need to identify a niche to work in. The niche market you work in will depend on your previous work experience.

For instance, if you worked as a real estate agent in the past, you may want to think about offering your virtual assistant services to people working in this industry presently. By offering industry-specific virtual assistant services, you can grow your client base easily.

Learn How to Market Yourself

Another skill you need to develop when trying to have success as a virtual assistant is the ability to sell yourself. As a freelance worker, you are responsible for finding employment opportunities. There are a number of online forums dedicated to helping freelance workers land jobs. Simply posting your resume on these platforms is not enough to help you land your dream job as a virtual assistant.

Networking on popular social media websites like LinkedIn is a fantastic idea. Most of the people on this platform are business professionals, which means many of them will need to use your virtual assistant services.

A Challenging and Rewarding Career Choice

Working as a virtual assistant can be very rewarding. Having success in this line of work will require lots of persistence and the ability to go the extra mile for customers.

Jenna Walter

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Under a COVID-19 Cloud, China’s Gig Economy Comes of Age – The Jamestown Foundation

Introduction

In late April, as residents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began to adjust to a new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, Ele.me—one of the country’s biggest food delivery platforms—unveiled its latest innovation. In a viral post, a delivery man clad in Ele.me’s bright blue uniform steps into a steel-reinforced full-body “exoskeleton.” Three food crates, weighing over 100 pounds, are strapped to a metal rod that runs the length of his spine. Hiking up his face mask and adjusting his helmet, he takes his first tentative steps, mechanized joints straining. Surrounded by reporters and delighted onlookers, the delivery man’s stride grows quicker and more confident as he makes his way across a city square (Baidu, April 23).

The video spurred an outpouring of online commentary. Observing that the delivery person looked “barely human,” some netizens deemed the suit “overkill,” while others suggested such technology would be better utilized in medical or military capacities. But most remarked favorably on the advanced technology, likening the suit to those worn by characters in the popular new video game Death Stranding (Lei Feng Net, April 23; Phoenix Weekly Weibo, April 23).

Ele.me’s official social media accounts announced that the suits will allow delivery workers better access to elderly communities notorious for their lack of elevators, as well as neighborhoods that do not allow motorbikes. Touting their partnership with a prominent robotics lab, the company proclaimed that the prototype represents the next step in “inevitable trends of social development” (社会发展的必然趋势, shehui fazhan de biran qushi ) (Zhihu, April 22). Converging at the intersection of the technology industry and labor markets, this innovation is representative of the rapid transformation of China’s explosive gig economy.

The coronavirus epidemic of early 2020 has cast a brighter spotlight on gig workers, particularly couriers and food delivery people. Although people and government have recognized their vital logistic role in the throes of the pandemic, the daily perils they face has brought their plight into clearer resolution. In March, the PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the PRC General Administration of Market Supervision, and the PRC National Bureau of Statistics jointly named sixteen official new occupations: among them, “online delivery people” (网约配送员, wangyuepei songyuan) (People’s Daily, March 4). Though increased recognition from the government and the public are steps in the right direction, without substantive changes to China’s labor laws and broader employment landscape, gig work will become both more expected and more dehumanizing.

Human Engines for China’s Economic Growth

China’s gig economy (零工经济, linggong jingji) has grown at a shocking rate in recent years. Confronting slowing economic growth and a looming demographic crisis, China’s leaders are striving to transform the economy from a low-cost, low-skill, low-tech manufacturing model to a modern service-based market. To address these challenges, Beijing’s top leaders have identified the digital sector as a “new engine for economic development” (State Council, 2015).

The manifestation of top-level directives and global technological advances is conspicuous in Chinese cities. Mobile payments made via WeChat Wallet and AliPay have rendered cash all but obsolete. It is difficult to hail a taxi without ride-sharing app DiDi Chuxing. Sidewalks are strewn with dockless shared bicycles from Mobike and Ofo. Food delivery workers for Meituan and Ele.me weave through traffic to reach their destinations. In rural China, e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and JD have connected remote communities with consumers around the world. The transition to a digitally-driven economy has opened a new, loosely-regulated frontier for the Chinese state, firms, and workers.

The proliferation of short term and freelance jobs has fundamentally changed how workers relate to the workplace. According to Zhaopin.com, China’s largest online recruiting firm, demand for part-time or freelance jobs has consistently outpaced growth for full-time work. At present, 20 to 35 percent of the working-age population already make a living through flexible employment—but this number is expected to skyrocket (SCMP, February 26, 2017). A recent report from the Ali Research Institute predicts that as many as 400 million people in China may be gig workers by 2036 (Sohu, June 17, 2019).

But with opportunities come challenges. The explosive growth of the gig economy has raised pressing concerns in China, as in other countries, about workers’ access to the benefits—such as social insurance, compensation, pensions, and health care—that come with a formal labor contract. Mistreatment of gig economy workers is well-documented (Hebei Youth Daily, May 13; E-Commerce, May 15). Chronically overworked and underpaid, migrant workers from China’s countryside, who lack proper documentation to work and access benefits in cities, have pushed back. Approximately half of all protests in early 2019 occurred in the service, retail, and transportation industries—sectors now heavily dominated by internet companies that offer gig work (China Labor Bulletin, May 15, 2019). Widespread strikes among e-commerce couriers and delivery drivers have, in some cases, seriously disrupted normal business operations (Linyi Hedong Net, February 22, 2019).

China’s primary pieces of labor legislation—the Labor Law (1995), Labor Contract Law (2008), Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Act (2008), and Trade Union Law (2001)—have yet to catch up with these seismic shifts. Though “flexible” and “informal” employment were first officially recognized as early as 2001 in the 10th Five Year Plan, real structural changes and protections for gig economy workers have yet to be implemented.

Gig Economy Drivers Go Viral

The COVID epidemic of early 2020 brought the plight of gig economy workers to the fore of China’s social and political discourse. As Chinese families quarantined and businesses shuttered, delivery orders soared. Since the outbreak, Ele.me competitor Meituan Dianping has reported recruiting nearly half a million new riders (Zhihu, April 20). E-commerce platform JD.com saw online grocery sales more than triple year-over-year during a 10-day period between late January and early February (Vox, March 25).

In addition to increased work demands and the risk of exposure to illness, China’s millions of gig economy drivers have also been forced to adjust to more stringent health and safety protocols. Companies such as Yum China’s KFC, Ele.me, Meituan, and JD.com have implemented “contactless delivery,” and some meal deliveries come with notes detailing the temperature readings of the workers who prepared and delivered the food (Reuters, February 9). Drivers for ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing must post their body temperature and upload a video to Didi’s internal platform each day to show that they have sanitized their car (New York Times, May 12). As public transportation systems shut down, many delivery people faced long and circuitous commutes from the suburbs into the cities they serve. As expectations are raised on both sides and gig work becomes increasingly structured and socially vital, a tacit quid pro quo emerges: if workers are held to higher standards, they also must be afforded certain protections and benefits.

The bravery and sacrifice of delivery drivers has been highlighted in Chinese and international media, with a Meituan driver even appearing on the cover of TIME magazine (TIME, March 19). Tributes to heroic drivers braving the virus to deliver food and medicine to shut-in families have circulated widely (iFeng, March 31; Tangqi qisheng shenghuo shuo, March 13). These stories have drawn attention to the essential yet precarious role of gig economy drivers, prompting for the first time an outpouring of public support.

In the wake of the epidemic, prominent journalists and public figures have come out as advocates for policy changes around gig economy drivers’ employment status. Tu Yongqian, a researcher at the National Development and Strategy Research Institute of Renmin University, argued that: “the employment opportunities provided by the gig economy—especially during the epidemic period—are essential…traditional labor laws passed during the factory era must be appropriately expanded with the development of labor and employment, and the social security law must continue to eliminate the differential treatment workers based on identity” (Peng Pai News, April 28).

Similarly, a China Youth Daily columnist wrote that “part-time workers under the impact of the epidemic cannot be ignored…it is necessary to clarify the nature of the labor relationship in the gig economy at the legal level, so that it can be included in the scope of social security and management” (China Youth Daily, April 24). Another state media op-ed called for relevant government departments to provide gig economy workers with “diversified employment services such as vocational training, supply and demand matching, social security services, and commercial insurance” (Beijing Evening News, May 13).

Local governments and organizations have also been spurred to action. In Chongqing, a branch of the municipal government established the first ever legal service group to help delivery drivers navigate licensing and appointment issues (Chongqing Morning Post, May 13). In Hegang (Heilongjiang Province), the local Communist Youth League launched a volunteer program to support delivery workers through online advocacy and by donating supplies (China Youth Daily, May 13). And in Baicheng (Jilin Province), local authorities and company representatives engaged in much-needed conversations about driver safety (Peng Pai News, May 14).

Though these measures mark a step in the right direction, it remains unclear what long-term effect—if any—they will have on the employment status and livelihood of gig economy workers. What is clear is that takeout and delivery services will become increasingly essential as China, and the world, recover from the coronavirus epidemic. Reflecting the mainstream status of gig workers in the hearts and minds of the Chinese public, one netizen opined that “as long as you see the deliverymen still running, you know that life continues” (Sina, April 26).

The Road Ahead

China’s food delivery services alone have developed into a $46 billion industry—the largest in the world and twice the size of that of the United States. More than 400 million people (about half of China’s internet users) have ordered food deliveries (Zhihu, April 28). Among young, urban white-collar workers, “delivery brothers” (外卖小哥, waimai xiaoge) are fondly referred to as yishi fumu (衣食父母), an idiom that literally translates to “food and clothing parents”—the people one relies on for care and sustenance.

Aside from being a critical means of keeping China’s city-dwellers fed and clothed, the gig economy represents an important source of employment in the new, service-based economy that China’s leaders are working hard to promote. The gig economy has absorbed millions of laid-off workers from China’s manufacturing and industrial sectors, thereby heading off potential labor unrest. Nearly one-third of Meituan’s riders used to work in factories, and in 2018 the number of migrant workers engaged in the service industry surpassed the manufacturing industry for the first time (Zhihu, April 28). It is also becoming a more viable profession for young, educated people seeking flexible employment: a recent report released by Alibaba, Ele.me’s parent company, showed that around half of their delivery drivers were born post-1990, and identified as “slash youth” (斜杠青年, xiegang qingnian)—meaning they have multiple jobs (e.g.,  delivery driver/student/artist). In a difficult job market, college students comprise about 20% of the drivers (Sina, April 26).

While increased recognition from the public and central and local governments has shone a positive spotlight upon gig economy workers, larger, structural and institutional changes to labor laws and regulations are necessary in order for real change to be affected. The coronavirus epidemic has expedited the urgency of these changes, and China’s labor landscape must update to reflect the reality of a post-COVID-19 world. If it does not, the consequences could be dire—not only for gig workers themselves, but also for urban residents dependent on gig economy labor, and for China’s broader economic transformation.

Viola Rothschild is a PhD student in political science at Duke University. You can follow her on Twitter @vrothsch.

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Online Jobs for College Students That Pay More Than minimum wage | – University Magazine

6 Ways to Make Extra Money With Your Phone or Computer
6 Ways to Make Extra Money With Your Phone or Computer

Working through college is a good way to offset the high costs of the school. But it can be tough to find a decent-paying job you can balance with classes and extracurriculars.

Instead, look into legitimate ways to make money online for a more flexible source of income. For a regular paycheck and work-at-home schedule, check out these 10 online jobs for college students.

Online Jobs for College Students That Pay More Than minimum wage

10. PowerPoint Presentation Designer

Pay: varies, approximately $10-$20 per slide

Did you master PowerPoint for a project last semester? Turn that skill into a moneymaker!. When businesses or keynote speakers don’t have time to create presentations for their events, do it for them.

How to Get Started

Set up your own virtual storefront, like this list your services on freelance sites like Upwork or Freelancer. Fiverr

9. Virtual Recruiter

Pay: $20-$30/hour

Put your skills and connections in your industry to use by connecting employees or freelancers with the right jobs.

As a virtual recruiter, you’ll work as a liaison between a company and potential new hires. You’ll do things like post available jobs, screen resumes, conduct preliminary interviews and negotiate salaries.

Work can pay around $50,000 per year for full-time employees, $20-$30 per hour for contractors or employees, or on a commission rate, you set as a freelancer.

How to Get Started

This is freelance work, so you can start by perusing virtual recruiter job listings on LinkedIn or these freelance sites:

8.Micro-Freelancer

Pay: $5-$50 per gig

Could you really cut into your debt, or even make a living, $5 at a time? If you get creative, you might be able to do just that with Fiverr.

Turn your weird ideas and unique skills into gigs on Fiverr. One woman used Fiverr to market her resume-writing skills and has since earned more than $2 million!

If you don’t want to wait for takers, look for a requested service, and pick up a few bucks from someone who needs help with a quick, simple task.

Copycat sites offer similar opportunities.

TaskRabbit also connects you with real-life and virtual odd jobs that can bring in extra cash or even become a full-time job.

How to Get Started

Read our overview of what you could sell on Fiverr to get an idea of the hidden gems and talents you might possess! But make sure you’re valuing your time; if you’re only earning $4 an hour, it might not be your best bet.

7. Freelance Writer or Editor

Pay: varies; $50+ per article

This is how I made my living for four years while I travelled and moved around the U.S. It can be lucrative, flexible work.

You can make your own schedule, pick your own gigs and set your own rates. The best part is you get paid to write about almost anything!

Making money researching and writing about your existing hobbies and passions beats a barista gig at the campus coffee shop, right?

You can also try freelance proofreading. These gigs are good ways to keep your foot in the door of the writing world when you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to composition.

Try Proofread Anywhere. It offers a free introductory workshop so you can see if it’s the right way to go. If you follow through, it teaches you how to start your own business, so you can craft a schedule that fits your semester workload.

6. Niche Blogger

Pay: varies

Choose a topic that offers clear value to readers. By focusing your efforts on becoming an authority, you can make money blogging.

If you create a go-to source of information in your niche, you can earn money through relevant advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts.

With good planning and time management, you can write for and promote your blog in your spare time, and earn passive income all day when readers visit your site.

How to Get Started

Your first step is to create a website. You have a number of hosting options, one of the most popular being Bluehost. You’ll have to pay a little — just $2.95 a month — but it’s integral.

5. Search Engine Evaluator

Pay: $12-$15/hour

Earn up to $15 an hour cleaning up search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Despite constant updates to their algorithms, search engines are still riddled with errors. They rely on real humans to look at search results and offer feedback on quality, accuracy and usefulness. That’s where you come in.

How to Get Started

Find search engine evaluator jobs through these sites:

4. Resume Writer

Pay: $15-$25/hour

Know someone about to graduate or looking for a new job? Offer to help polish their resume to make it job-search-ready.

How to Get Started

Find online resume writing jobs through these sites:

Note that you’ll face a lot of competition and submit many unanswered applications.

Instead, try reaching into your existing network for potential clients, like friends looking for summer jobs and internships.

3. Data Entry Clerk

Pay: $9-$16/hour

These aren’t the best-paying online jobs, but they also don’t require a ton of skills or experience. Typically, all you need is a computer and an internet connection.

How to Get Started

Find online data entry jobs through these sites:

  • Clickworker

2. Online Tutor

Pay: $13-$20/hour or more

Take your academic strengths and knowledge online to start your own tutoring business. Offer peer tutoring for fellow college students or connect with K-12 students in home-school programs.

And it’s not just academic: Focus on your extracurricular talents, and offer to tutor or consulting in things like music, art, social media, fashion or nutrition, too.

How to Get Started

Market your tutoring services online at sites  Or apply through one of these online tutoring companies. Or, do all the work upfront and create an online course to sell through Skillshare, Udemy or your own site.

1. Social Media Manager

Starting Pay: $15-$40/hour

Managing a company’s social media accounts can be a fun way to make money on a flexible schedule. It’s also a cool way to connect with the businesses you love.

A social media manager serves as the voice and face of a business on a number of engagement platforms. You’ll promote deals and content and interact with followers.

How to Get Started

You could post your resume on random job boards, but it’s better to contact local companies directly. Better yet, connect with a business you already patronize.

Focus on social platforms you love and know inside out to boost your pay. If you’re a Twitter fiend, talk up your experience. If you spend all your free time on Pinterest, put your pinning skills to use.

Then, get creative: Outline a plan to connect with customers via Snapchat or Instagram. Smaller companies might not have thought about exploring these platforms, making you an integral part of the team.

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Want to thrive as a freelancer? This online guide is 98% off. – Mashable

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Learn how to stand out from the pack with these courses.
Learn how to stand out from the pack with these courses.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: Kickstart your freelance career with this course bundle for $29.99, a 98% savings as of May 29.


Not to alarm you or anything, but it’s a rough moment to be looking for a new gig. If you’re struggling to find work or searching for an additional stream of income, you may want to look into kickstarting a side hustle or pivoting to a freelance role and working for yourself.

If you have a marketable skill perfect for freelancing (think copywriting, web design, digital marketing, and coding) but don’t want to enter the freelance world blind, the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle will show you the ropes. For just $29.99, you’ll receive eight courses, all of which are designed to help your freelance career thrive. Here’s a sneak peek:

Kickstart a Freelance Editor and Proofreader Career on Upwork

Upwork is pretty much the Facebook of freelancing — it’s the biggest platform there is. If editing and proofreading is your thing, this course will teach you how to create an effective cover letter for editing gigs. You’ll learn the most effective bidding principles, and how much to bid to score as many contracts as possible. To hone your skill, it also offers bonus tips for editing and proofreading that can result in a 97% client satisfaction rating for your profile.

Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today

Another renowned freelancing platform is Fiverr, and with this course, you’ll get an insider view of the site. Think of it as a roadmap for gaining a competitive edge against other freelancers bidding for the same jobs. You’ll receive tips on how to identify skills that you can sell, create Fiverr gigs that match your interests and values, as well as gain access to resources that will make you profitable on the platform. 

Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick and Easy Guide

Whether you’re a designer, illustrator, multimedia artist, or filmmaker, this course will fill you in on the tried-and-true best practices for clinching repeat clients. You’ll learn how to deliver your best work and excellent customer service to make any client want to hire you over and over again. You’ll also get tips on how to best build your portfolio, create a stellar reputation, set your prices so you can rake in more profit, piece together rock-solid contracts, and so much more.

The Complete Freelance Writing Course

Word wranglers out there will benefit from this course, which offers a step-by-step actionable roadmap that teaches you how to build a freelance writing business and secure your first paid writing gig ASAP. You’ll get help on finding a freelance writing niche that you’ll thrive in, and receive instruction on how to build a portfolio that clients will find a hard time saying no to. You’ll also learn how to craft a compelling pitch that will help you stand out against other writers. 

Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love

Working for yourself and starting a business that capitalizes on your skillset may seem daunting, but this course takes all the guesswork out of freelancing, so you can maintain a business you love. You’ll learn how to build an effective website from scratch, discover the best moonlighting best practices, gain valuable business and tax tips, and more. 

Sales and Marketing for Freelancers

For newbie freelancers, this course will teach you how to find your first clients. It will train you on how to win contracts with better quality clients over time by imparting with you actionable tips on marketing yourself not only as a freelancer but also as a full-blown entrepreneur. 

Freelance Wealth Kit: Get Started Freelancing

This course is designed to give you a bird’s eye view of the freelancing business as a whole. It will teach you why thinking in terms of $/hour will only limit your growth, fill you in on internet marketing strategies that can secure sustainable leads and clients, dispense tips on streamlining your sales and operations process, and impart with you the steps to acquiring passive income assets.

How to Win Jobs Freelancing on UpWork

With so many freelancers fighting for the same jobs as you do, it can be hard to stand out from the pack and win contracts. This course aims to teach you how to create a profile that potential clients will love, how to make your skills shine with Upwork tests, and how to apply for gigs in a way that will make you an instant hire.

When bought separately, the courses in this bundle would set you back about $1,500, but for a limited time, you can get everything on sale for only $29.99.

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Freelance jobs Online

Freelancing could be the way forward for thousands of Americans. Here are some points to consider – The Next Web

TLDR: Want to work doing what you love as a freelance professional? The Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle has some ideas for making that happen.

If your time at home the past 10 weeks or so has made you appreciate the idea of never fighting traffic or trudging into the office every again…you aren’t alone. This WFH era has started the wheels spinning for thousands of Americans about the type of day-to-day work life we’d each enjoy.

Of course, most freelancers have been big fans of the remote work model for years. In fact, 70 percent of independent freelancers say they’re highly satisfied in their work, a marked improvement over the 54 percent mark when you ask that same question of all American workers.

But it isn’t all lounging around and watching paychecks roll in. With the training in the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle ($29.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals), you’ll learn everything you need to know to stop working for The Man and start working for yourself.

This training package features eight courses that offer anyone thinking of hanging their own shingle and embarking on life as a skilled freelancer a solid roadmap for joining the gun-for-hire business model.

Since freelancing is first and foremost a business, two courses — Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love and Sales and Marketing for Freelancers — not only give you the template and proper mindset for running a successful freelancing operation, but also the marketing strategy to forge those new business partnerships.

Artists and writers can slide naturally into the remote worker mode, so Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick and Easy Guide and The Complete Freelance Writing Course explain how these talented pros can best build your portfolio, reputation, experience, and income while also staying motivated and overcoming fear and uncertainty.

Finally, knowing how to use online freelance hubs like Fiverr and Upwork is key. How to Win Jobs Freelancing on UpWork, Kickstart a Freelance Editor and Proofreader Career on Upwork, and Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today each present useful tactics for creating effective bid proposal cover letters to attract clients, winning contracts through smart bidding, finding gigs that match your interests and values, and more.

Each of these courses retails for $199 on its own, but by getting this entire bundle now, the whole package is only $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Read next: How the Dutch government uses data to predict the weather and prepare for natural disasters

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For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.

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Laid off during the pandemic? Honing these skills can boost your job prospects – CNBC

A store stands closed near Wall Street as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 08, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

For the past three years, Josh Freeman, 26, has been a bus driver in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But like many other school districts, his employer transitioned to virtual learning in March, and Freeman found himself out of a job.

“I went on spring break, and I’m still on spring break,” he says. “But I’m trying to make the most of it.”

After the first week without work, Freeman signed up for Merit America, a program aimed at helping adults without bachelor’s degrees transition into skilled careers. Freeman is about halfway through a training program to become a full-stack Java developer. In addition to skills development, Merit America is providing Freeman with career coaching and other support.

“I’m hoping to have a job before I finish the course [in July],” he says. “In this particular career field, you have a lot more options to work more remotely. With Covid, that’s definitely a benefit. Knowing that if things get locked down again, you still have a job and work you can do from home.”

Freeman is among millions who have found themselves abruptly out of work and reconsidering their next job move. The unemployment rate reached 14.7% in April, but in May the Labor Department revealed that rate is inching up, with 36.5 million Americans now unemployed.

Even as some states such as Georgia and Texas start to lift shelter-in-place orders, the near-term prospects for workers in some industries — such as hospitality or retail — remains bleak as the demand for their services appears unlikely to return any time soon.

“The biggest challenge in this job market today is that no one has any idea what the state of the job market is right now,” says Greg Moran, CEO of Outmatch. “We don’t really know where the bottom is. We are at this point where we are seeing unemployment claims coming in on a weekly basis in the millions, and we’ve never seen anything like that before.”

There are job opportunities available today, experts say, but job seekers may need to take a different approach to finding their next career move than they have in the past.

Think skills, not job titles

“With hiring declines across industries, job seekers may feel uneasy about their prospects of finding a new job,’ Glassdoor trends career expert Sarah Stoddard. “It’s key to remember that there are still open jobs around the country, so it’s worthwhile to stick to your search. Now, more than ever, is the time to consider how your unique skills and expertise could make you qualified for a wider range of roles you may not have considered before.”

 Even before the coronavirus crisis hit, employers were increasingly looking for workers who could bring the necessary skills to a specific job, even if that worker didn’t have the exact work history in the field. As automation trends continue, soft skills, in particular, have become even more valuable.

Mastercard, for example, has in recent years hired several employees from unexpected backgrounds, including a nursing student, an army diesel mechanic, and an English teacher into its cyber-security technology teams. The hires came through partnerships with programs such as LaunchCode, a non-profit that educates people to work in technology.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a four-year degree,” says Mastercard Chief People Officer Michael Fraccaro. “There is a lot of accessible learning that’s available online. We have knowledge requirements, but what really stands out for us is people who bring personal drive and deep curiosity.”

 In addition, Mastercard looks for employees that demonstrate motivation and an attitude that fits with the company’s mission, values, and culture, he adds.

“How you get things done is just as important as what you’ve done,” Fraccaro says.

The growing interest from employers in such soft skills is good news for job seekers today, since soft skills also tend to be more transferrable than some harder skills. A bartender that’s sociable and has a strong service-oriented mindset might succeed in telemarketing or as a sales agent, according to an analysis by Outmatch. A first-line supervisor such as a shift lead or assistant manager might do well in a warehouse or production environment, the analysis found.

“It’s about understanding how to translate your capabilities into something that’s current and in demand,” says Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “This is the time to reimagine what you want to do. Look at what you’ve done in the past and how it translates into the future.”

Take it for a test run

Short-term gigs not only keep a resume fresh during periods of unemployment, but they also give workers an opportunity to gain new skills or try out a new industry. Plus, companies may be willing to give a less experienced worker a try if they can do so without a long-term commitment.

“A short-term or part-time role may get you back to work a little bit faster,” says Brie Reynolds, a career development manager at FlexJobs. “Usually those roles tend to hire more quickly, because there’s a short-term need and they need someone right now. Even in the best economy, long-term jobs can take months to fill.”Another benefit of taking temporary work during this downturn is the pay. Four in 10 freelancers say that demand for their services has remained the same or gone up since the pandemic hit, according to Payoneer.

You can find short-term roles by searching freelance-focused sites like FlexJobs or Upwork. Update your resume to make it clear that you’re open to freelance work, and to include any recent gigs once you have one.

“Once you establish some initial business, it’s important to perform well with your clients and network effectively to maximize referral opportunities,” says Jennifer Sethre, CEO of Intry.

Take advantage of the shift to remote work

 In April, nearly a quarter of open jobs were roles that could be performed remotely, up from 8.6% a year ago, according to ManpowerGroup. As more jobs go virtual there’s less imperative to find a job within an easy commute of your home. Most office-based work has gone remote, so companies are more open to hiring non-local workers.

 “COVID-19 has expedited the move toward technology enabled, remote delivery of services in many industries—healthcare to auto sales,” says Nicholas Wyman, CEO of the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation. “To keep up workers need to upgrade their digital literacy skills and master digital platforms.”

While those skills will likely vary by industry, workers across the board should be able to navigate a virtual world, communicating effectively with both colleagues and clients remotely.

Ryan Mohoric, 31, who lost his job as a marketing and CRM director for a global hospitality and nightlife company in Las Vegas, says he’s been applying to some jobs that don’t explicitly say that they’re a remote opportunity.

“I figure this is a good time to try it out,” he says. “Even if you get hired, no one is having you come into the office for a couple of months.”

Put technology to use

Mohoric is looking to transition his skills to a job in the tech sector, since that has more growth potential in the near term than hospitality. He’s regularly looking for jobs on a variety of job boards, including one called LayOffer.com, which aims to match displaced workers with recruiters.

There are more tech tools, such as EdApp, Udemy and SkillShare, than ever before available to workers who want to improve (both hard and soft) skills. There are free and paid online classes that learners can take to brush up on skills and even earn certifications that could help in the future.

Some online tools aim to help those looking to transition their careers. Career Test, for example, uses artificial intelligence to measure applicants’ personality traits, salary history, and experience, to match them with jobs where they can be most successful. Another good resource for those looking to switch careers is CareerOneStop.org, a Department of Labor web site that can evaluate your skills and connect you with training opportunities.

Tap your (virtual) network

While meeting mentors or former colleagues for drinks or coffee may not be feasible right now, it’s still possible (and important) to connect with others who might be able to help you plan your next career step. Just checking in via phone or email can go a long way in these times to build relationships, and since more people are working from home they’re open to a quick virtual catch up.

LinkedIn is a powerful way to connect with both your professional network and with your personal network on a professional level. It’s a great resource for finding out whether you know someone at a company that has a job for which you’re applying. More than 30% of workers say that they landed their most recent job through someone they knew, according to a survey by CivicScience.

 “What we are seeing right now is the best of humanity, where if you ask, people will help,” says Jennifer Sethre, CEO of Intry. “There are so many people and corporations who want to help people who are looking for a job. You just have to ask and start networking. You never know who knows someone who knows someone.”

There are also lots of opportunities now to connect via virtual events. Keep an eye out for virtual happy hours hosted by your college alumni network or industry associations, as well as for seminars or conferences that may have gone online this year.

Audrey Bareham, 30, an out-of-work Lyft driver in the San Francisco Bay Area says she’s tapped into a local professional women’s group for online meetings, and she’s getting virtual career coaching, resume help, and mentorship through the organization Dress for Success.

 Bareham is hoping to transition to administrative work that she can perform online.

 “I’m still a little bit afraid to have a job out in the world,” she says. “I’m worried about getting sick and bringing it home to my family. I think a lot of people are feeling the same way, too.”

 

Prep for a video interview

Many hiring managers now are conducting interviews via video conference, which requires a new set of skills for job candidates–one that’s important to master in a new world of remote work.

 Find out which platform you’ll use (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.), and test it out before your interview.

“The best way to prepare for a virtual job interview is to practice,” says Mike Lang, director of employment services for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “Find a friend or a family member who can give you honest feedback.”

Work on looking at the camera, rather than your screen, which gives the illusion of eye contact, and making sure that you have a professional-looking space with good lighting from which to log on.  Do your research and learn as much as you can about the company and prepare some questions for the interviewer.  Recruiter also recommend that you dress for the interview just as you would if it were occurring in person.

Consider each interview an opportunity to hone your virtual communication skills, and don’t’ get discouraged if you don’t land a job right away.

“If nothing else, stay in the practice of looking,” Moran says. “It may take longer than you’d like, but companies are going to start to hire again, and when they do it may be at an accelerated pace.”