Thursday, July 17, 2008

Work from home, make $$$

Everyone has seen those emails--and the classified ads in local newspapers, if you are old enough to remember reading a newspaper--which included advertisements to work from home. Some of it was telemarketing, some of it was shilling pills or other products and some of it was send away for our information package--And the only people who made money on the last were the people selling the information package. Now, you can find work from home or telecommuting positions listed on job boards, as well as "freelance" work specific job boards, such as eLance.

I'm pretty skeptical, but the WSJ decided to see if any of these sites were legit and if people actually made money. On the whole, their article is appropriately critical and gives you the lowdown on the sites, with one exception: these legit sites may ask you to pay a subscription fee to bid on or apply for the jobs. Therefore, you must score a job that at least has the potential to pay your subscription fee--and you must actively bid on work, a time-consuming process. 

Here are some good reasons to use these sites:
  1. You have an in-demand skill. Programming, editing and writing, especially if you are a subject specialist, appear to be in demand. But you will have to work hard and stay on top of contracts.
  2. You live in a depressed labor market (or just depressed for librarians) but you can't leave. Your squeeze may have a great job, a family member may be seriously ill and depends on you, but there are few prospects for in this area. Instead of keeping house or house keeping in another city, consider the freelance route--if you can meet the first criteria.
  3. You have freelanced before and can make it work. If you have not freelanced before, you may not be prepared for just how uncertain the pay check is and how freelancing moves in cycles, from hyper to hand-to-mouth. If you are considering freelancing but have not done it before, don't do it unless you have another income to pay the bills. 
  4. You have explored F2F freelance work and you want to expand. If you are already an established freelancer but have not sought contracts online, you may want to expand into new markets. 
I'm pretty sure that you are smart enough to not believe the promises of instant wealth, but online freelancing could be a way to supplement your income while looking for a library job, or if you are currently under-employed in the field.

2 comments:

webwing said...
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catharine said...
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