Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Microjobs are small jobs that you do for a fee. They can be "odd jobs", as in yard word, handyman type jobs, small household projects or assisting with a move and getting paid for it. They can include little side entrepreneurial jobs like dogwalking or transcription. Microjobs can also include graphic design tasks, like create a poster for an upcoming gig, or write a book review for a free book or ten dollars. Websites like Elance and Virtual Vocations, though they have contract and telework positions will also advertise microjobs.

The truth is, workers have been performing microjobs for years--centuries if you also want to count the piece work that laborers took home to complete at night, and all the washing and extra cooking that women would perform for bachelors for a fee. These jobs made it possible to save up for books, to send a child to school, or to keep food on the table and a roof over your head, especially when prospects were lean and before established social welfare programs.

But some people don't know about these microjobs, or they have just thought of them as "odd jobs", or they just didn't know that they should get paid for them since they were doing them for a friend or as a favor. Many people also don't consider them to be "real" work, but they can help provide extra income while not requiring a lot of extra exertion. And best of all, you can usually work them out in your schedule.

I have had several microjobs: I write blog posts, reviews and articles; I tutor and proofread; I dogwalk; I read Tarot cards at parties; I make little crafty items for sale (like scarves and soaps). And I will, occasionally, do labor jobs if I know that I won't ache for three days, no scaffolding, and that I am not working with a power tool cowboy. The benefit: I do them when I have time and get paid as soon as it is completed. Most of the work is for personal satisfaction, not the money.

Microjobs can help you out of a jam with cash. They are a better financial option than selling off your textbooks, or scrambling to pick up an extra shift at your regular job. The next few posts will explore some sources for microjobs if you want to find some work for yourself or if you have clients coming into the library who need money immediately. Suggesting a microjob is a socially responsible referral, unlike giving a client the address of a payday loan office, IMHO.

Once you know where to find microjobs you will never have to worry about the employer who rarely, if ever, pays on time, pick up shifts at a job that you dislike but can tolerate, or multitask by watching Supernatural or listening to a novel. Try to do that at work.

You can find out more about microjobs in this post from 800 CEO Read that features Chris Guillebeau's Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself.

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