The world appears to have ground to a halt with the recent COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) pandemic… However, that doesn’t mean that you, or your personal development, also has to come to a grinding halt. You can both LEARN and EARN while in quarantine. This post will talk about ways to earn income during COVID-19, whereas we have another post about learning new skills while in quarantine.
Hopefully you’ve got everything you need to make it through self-isolation… enough food to feed the whole of the United States, some good Netflix series lined up and most likely enough loo roll to last the year… but have you got anything to do that’ll enhance your skills, earn you a bit of extra cash and keep you occupied?
One way you can keep earning and developing during this confusing and scary time is to use the skills you already have to boost your resume/CV and pay the bills. Below are a few platforms to consider as a means of earning some work-from-home freelance income, especially if you fancy yourself a decent writer or designer.
Upwork, formerly known as both oDesk and Elance, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals can connect and collaborate remotely.
Upwork allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies through the company’s platform. It provides real-time chatroom aimed at reducing the time it takes to find work.
With twelve million registered freelancers, five million registered clients and three million jobs posted annually which are worth a total of US $1Billion, Upwork is the largest online freelancer marketplace.
To use Upwork, simply head to their website and sign up. Once you’re on, you just create a profile that demonstrates your unique skill set, your hourly rate, your education and employment history.
As you do projects, employers will rate and review you. This is a nice reward for you as it means that all your hard work and dedication will be noticed and rewarded.
What’s more, is that all projects include an Upwork payment protection, which ensures that you get paid on time. All invoices and payments happen through Upwork, and there are hourly and fixed-price projects, so that you can find whatever suits you.
And, what’s more, an Upwork account is free to use. There is however a small fee for using Upwork, which is taken directly out of your earnings… But I suppose they have to make money somehow!
If you are creative and your job involves designing things, then 99designs is a company that operates as a freelance platform to connect graphic designers with clients and might be perfect for you!
They have connected over a million talented freelancer with employers who need help, and the results are always outstanding.
Employers looking for designers give 99designs a brief, that costs them around $400 to submit. 99designs then connects them with the best designers that they think are most suitable for the brief.
Or, the employer can ‘start a contest’, where designers can submit their ideas and the employer picks their favorite. Either method creates a partnership where designer and employer can work together to produce content that they both love.
Special note… We like 99designs so much that we used their service to create the logo for The Career Project!
The good news is that 99designs is free to use and sign up to. Once you start working, the fees, rates and rewards vary on the type of work you do. They also promise to make sure you are paid within three working days, so it really is worth a try.
So, now you know how to use it… Why would you?
I know the initial sound of two weeks off work might be sounding really good to you right now, but think about the long term benefits of working and developing your skills while everyone else is binge watching Netflix!
One benefit of doing freelance work is a great way to update your portfolio and build your CV. It shows that you have drive, dedication and organization. With recruiters taking less than 30 seconds to scan a resume CV, it’s important to make sure yours stands out.
Recruiters are looking for that initial relevant education and skill set when they first scan your resume/CV. However, once they notice that you have been working in a time of adversity and worry, they will notice and admire your dedication.
Working as a freelance worker is also great to build up a portfolio of your work. I write posts like this for a living, so for me producing posts as a freelance writer is how I receive more work… makes sense, right?
EARN and LEARN While in Quarantine
Take your time in self-isolation to produce high quality work that you can use as a tool when looking for other jobs. Don’t just think of your work product as the item you are trading for income, its also a portfolio builder for you and a way to sharpen your skills. And with these platforms and the ability (well, requirement at the moment…) to work-from-home, it’s a super easy and chilled way to not let coronavirus get the better of you. Develop yourself, and make a few bucks too.
In saying all this, we do recognize that the trick to doing this is that you have to be able to something better than most. However, websites like these do work for a large range of unique skill sets and interest areas – such as writing, web designing, accounting or even computer programming. Check out our recent post on how you can use the next few weeks to develop your skill set too!