When it comes to work, there’s a new game in town. Freelancing is sweeping across the world. People everywhere are saying farewell to their brick and mortar jobs. The new trend is freelance, virtual work, or work from home jobs. Whether you’re looking to freelance part-time to supplement a regular job or to earn a full-time income, there are multiple ways to structure it. Third party freelance sites and job boards are just some options for finding work.
Telecommuting, remote work, and even freelancing are not new by any means. But statistics show demand for this work is more prevalent today than ever. And thanks to the advancement of technology, you can find work, interview, get hired, and get paid, without leaving your living room. In fact, you’d be surprised at the variety and strange jobs you find on Upwork and other portals today.
For example, freelance writers can get paid to write about subjects from termites to car insurance and from babies to marriage and more. If writing is one of your talents, you can get paid to write blog posts, articles, white papers, website content or sales copy. Writers with an interest in sales can help consumers sort through a plethora of products, by writing product reviews for everything from exercise equipment such as elliptical trainers (find out here how varied this job can be) to electronics and personal hygiene items. Writers with business experience can get paid to write business plans or do other tasks for startup businesses.
Some companies even hire freelancers to sift through content to look for and remove any inappropriate content. Businesses know the wrong content can devastate their brand. Can you imagine getting paid to look for and remove nude photos all day? I’ve also seen online jobs for people to sell hair, rent a friend, or talk to dead pets. You can also find jobs posted for someone to tweet for Miss Piggy, manage Facebook pages for the deceased, or evaluate search engines and webpages. There are also freelance jobs for translators, web designers, graphic designers, data entry, customer service, and much more.
Places to Look for Online or Remote Jobs
But along with the strange jobs you find on Upwork and other portals, there are good ones too. But finding the gems hiding among the rocks takes effort and skill. With persistence and patience, you can learn to quickly identify and weed out the low paying jobs and scams. Many people have already replaced or even surpassed their full-time job income by providing virtual or freelance services. Whether you’re looking for one of those strange jobs you find on Upwork and other portals or just some plain old customer service, or sales work, below are some places to consider.
Industry Specific Job Boards
These are job sites that contract directly with employers to list the jobs they have available. You may apply for the job through their site, but you go through the same hiring process with the company as any other employee. You typically have no obligation to the job board and are not charged a fee or asked to enter any kind of contract. The interview and hiring process is all handled by the client company. The difference between industry specific job boards and job aggregator sites is the direct contact with employers and the narrow industry focus.
● Stack Overflow (programming jobs from Twitter, Amazon, The New York Times)
● Authentic Jobs (for hackers, creatives, and designers)
● AngelList (jobs with startups)
● Dribbble (for visual creatives)
● Krop (for product managers, copywriters, social media managers, etc.)
● Women Who Code (caters to women looking for tech related jobs)
● Mediabistro.com (social media, PR, TV, radio, advertising, and publishing)
● OneWire.com (financial services, tech and consulting firms, insurance, accounting)
Third-Party Freelance Sites
These sites act as a middleman between the client or employer and the employee or independent contractor. They provide an online platform where employers can post jobs and freelancers and job seekers can search jobs. These sites usually require all earnings to go through their site and they take a percentage or charge a fee to both the freelancer and the employer. By using the platform, both the employer and the freelancer enter into a contract agreement. The third-party site handles all invoicing and collection of funds and may sometimes charge a membership fee or have a buyout fee for freelancers who want to work with their client outside of the platform.
Aggregate Job Listing Sites
A job aggregator is like an automated Google search focused on job postings. When you sign in to these sites, you can put in your search criteria and the job aggregator pulls jobs from many different job boards and sometimes even company websites and lists them for your to view. The aggregate site typically has no connection with the companies or any additional details about the job. In fact, some jobs may be outdated or no longer available but still show up in the search.
Professional Networking Sites
The largest of is of course, LinkedIn.com. Professional networking sites are designed to facilitate connections between colleagues and professionals with similar skills and interests. These sites allow you to create a profile and then connect to people you work with or have gone to school with or otherwise have a relationship with. The idea is that the more people you network with, the more people who know your skills, the more likely it is that they will think of you when a job becomes available.
● Visual CV
● Plaxo (integrates with Simply Hired)
So, if you’re itching to break out of the 9 to 5 rat race inherent to most brick and mortar jobs, freelancing or virtual work might be the ticket. Or if you’re not yet ready to make that leap, consider including some third-party platforms or networking sites in your next job search plan. If you’re looking specifically for online or remote work, most job boards and aggregate sites include advanced search filters or categories that are helpful. Use categories or filters such as freelance, virtual, remote, flexible, and off-site will narrow your search results to companies who are amenable to virtual workers.
In today’s hire and fire at will job market, it certainly doesn’t hurt to begin building and nurturing your professional network. If you start now, you can relax a bit, knowing it’s there if you ever need it.