Online Jobs and the Unemployment Issue

Working from the comfort of home.
When the global recession hit, hundreds of millions across the world were affected; scores of businesses crumbled and jobs were lost. The good news is that the situation has, and is continuing, to improve in most places. Be this as it may, there is still a significant number of people who are not able to secure a job despite having the necessary qualifications in their respective disciplines. This state of affairs has led to widespread disillusionment, and even depression.

One of the most popular alternatives to mainstream employment is working online. Over the past few years, the internet has advanced to proportions few ever thought possible, and with that has come numerous opportunities. There are many who have grabbed these opportunities, and are now making money right at the comfort of their homes.

Quite a number of people still believe that online jobs are only good for those who want to earn a little extra income. Is this an informed conclusion or is it a misconception? As it gets harder to find jobs the traditional way more, and more people are taking their search online and it is worth noting that a significant number are succeeding. The question therefore arises: can online jobs be a solution for the unemployed? Is this particular option really viable or should people continue searching for office jobs that require them to work from 9 to 5?

To answer this particular question, one must first understand the specific job opportunities that exist on the internet. Freelancing is probably the most common way of making money on the internet today. There are scores of individuals and companies alike that are searching for certain services such as writing, graphic design, web design and application development just to mention a few.

In particular, individuals with writing skills are in high demand due to the immense number of articles that are required on a daily basis for blogs and websites. There are both low-level and high-level writing jobs on the internet. Obviously, the latter pay more than the former and so it is important for one to position themselves in such a way that they can secure these i.e. by proving just how good they are. Simply put experience is essential.

When it comes to web design, graphic design and application design etc., the idea is to find a way of offering a service on a long term basis as opposed to going for one-time stints only. This way one will be able to guarantee a stable flow of income. For this to be possible there needs to be a high level of professionalism. Those offering their services should uphold the same level of quality they would in the physical world and consequently create a strong working relationship with their clients.

Companies today are very keen on social media because of the sheer number of account holders who exist on the various platforms. This has in turn created numerous job opportunities and more so for the young and social media — savvy individuals. Common job descriptions with regard to this include; social media managers, consultants etc. Some companies are willing to pay big money to anyone with the ability to develop their brand on social networks, and in most cases, one doesn’t even need to leave their home to render such services provided they have an internet connection.

Great opportunities also exist in affiliate marketing, blogging and online research with some people making hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. So on the question of online jobs and unemployment, an answer is readily available. The simple answer to that is yes, all one needs to do is carry out research, grab the right opportunities and provide quality services.

Online Jobs Help Handle Expenses in a Bleak Economy

Typical telecommuter home office.As countries across the world battle a bleak economy, prices hikes, unemployment as well as job cuts to save extra spends continue to affect the lives of the people, irrespective of their income-groups. While those on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder struggle to make ends meet, those higher up are forced to cut down lavish expenses to safeguard their savings. Still worse is the plight of youngsters on the lookout for their first jobs as well as redundant employees looking for replacement jobs. As businesses increasingly plan to get more work done from the resources already on hand, job markets have slumped, with only the exceptionally talented being hired into the work force.

While the conventional job markets are faced with a downturn, Internet jobs seem to abound. Compared to most sectors, Internet jobs are plentiful, offering a range of options to both novices and the experienced alike, even to those with the very minimum of educational qualifications. They are no real match to a secure regular job with fixed monthly payouts, but for those dedicated few who are determined to devote their time and effort; online jobs offer a viable alternative to being jobless. It is, however, important to note that web-based jobs require the applicant to be familiar with basic computer operations needed for the job. Depending on the job, applicants may either need an access to or own a computer with a reliable Internet connection. Job specific requirements, however, may vary.

There are several types of web-based jobs available on the Internet. The key, however, is to opt for the right job without being tricked by fraudulent ads that lure applicants into revealing personal information or account details for payment purposes, or those that demand upfront deposits for a job.

Spotting a Scam Job

The first rule, however, is to steer clear of lucrative offers that are too good to be true. Web-based work boasting of unrealistic pay for simple or part-time tasks are most often scams, or they may involve hefty investments upfront. Compensation for web-based work varies slightly from that for jobs performed on-site, probably even a tad lower.

Genuine online job applications do not ask for personal information. The name of the applicant along with a contact number and email id are all that are needed on a general resume for the advertiser to get back to the applicant.

Checking the credibility of the post is a must. Feedback and comments from trusted sources, online reviews, comments on social networking sites and information shared in forum discussions, are all ideal sources to validate the genuineness of the offer, the company, compensation, etc.

When in slight doubt, do not hesitate to ignore the job post, for the Internet is flooded every minute with genuine online jobs where employers are looking for telecommuters to provide services otherwise taken up in-house.

Online Job Options

Regular jobs in corporate, industrial or other specific sectors are often limited in number with companies filling up vacancies only on a need basis. These jobs also require applicants with suitable educational qualifications and experience to handle the responsibilities of the role. On the other hand, when compared to most sectors, online jobs are plentiful, with some of them not requiring any specific educational qualifications or prior experience on the job. Both full-time as well as part-time online jobs are available.

Let’s look at a few popular online job options that offer decent returns.

Online Tutoring

There are innumerable online tutoring jobs on the Internet, with online educational firms hiring tutors to handle both school and college lessons spanning different subjects.

Customer Support

Customer/ Technical support is yet another job which is quite popular with BPOs and call centers hiring aspirants with the right qualifications and people management skills to handle voice calls.

Virtual Assistant

This online job requires a professional prowess and experience to handle the responsibilities of a personal assistant, right from scheduling appointments to answering business calls and emails. Gaining popularity by the day, it is one of the highly paid online jobs where rewards are quite handsome for the right candidate.

Other popular online jobs include but are not limited to web design, writing, blogging, translation, medical transcription as well as data entry, each of them with a different earning potential. Finding the right job and putting in the necessary time and effort is bound to yield, just that extra income when needed.


Online Survey Tips

Business team discusses survey results.When you start looking for ways to earn online, surveys are often high on the list. Many people claim to be making big money this way, but others say it’s all a scam. The truth is you can get paid for your opinions. You just need to be determined and focused.

Here are a few tips to help you become successful with survey sites. If you really want to earn, you’ll need to follow them.

Sign Up for Multiple Sites
There’s no reason to stop with one survey site. You probably won’t earn much if you just stick to one. It is essential to get into as many as possible. It’s a good idea to sign up for at least 10 sites in the beginning. You will quickly learn which ones are worth spending more time on them.

Be Careful
There are definitely scams out there. To avoid them, stick to programs that have good ratings and reviews. If you read about a site that offers online surveys, but no one has ever actually had a survey or been paid, you should be wary.

Find the Right Sites
While not all sites are scams, some do not pay in dollars. If you want cash, you need to make sure that you are choosing companies that will pay this way. Others pay in sweepstakes entries or with points that you can redeem for prizes such as gift cards.

Skip the Fee-based Sites
You shouldn’t have to pay to do surveys. The best sites will be free to use. Stay clear of the ones asking you to pay in order to join.

Get a PayPal account
Most survey companies will give you several options for payment. Others will not. PayPal is the easiest option and is generally used by all online surveys that offer this service. It’s free to sign up for an account and you can receive your money instantly, and then use it to make online purchases or withdraw to your bank account.

Fill Everything Out
Many people leave their profiles for survey sites half empty, but this is not going to work on a survey site. You need to fill out all information so that you can qualify for as many surveys as possible. You also want to make sure you will get paid, so fill in that payment information.

Watch Your Email
You probably will not get surveys that often. While some survey sites do offer them with more frequency, the majority will send you one or two a month. You should do every one that comes your way. If you aren’t filling them out, you can’t earn. Remember that some surveys only run until they have enough people, so you need to do them as soon as you get a note in your email.

Keep Doing Surveys
If you want to be successful and make a decent amount of money, you need to take all the surveys you can. Don’t be discouraged right off the bat. You’ll need to keep going to see the best results.

Keep in mind that most online surveys only accept people from specific countries. If you live outside the US, Canada and the UK, it’s going to be difficult to find a site to accept you.

Online surveys can be a great way to make some extra cash in your spare time. Despite the naysayers, it really is possible to earn, as long as you apply to multiple programs and make sure you fill in every survey that comes your way.


Why Work-from-Home Jobs are Growing in Popularity

Woman working at the kitchen table.
Until recently, the idea of working at home to most people meant low-paid work, such as envelope stuffing, which was thought to be suitable for moms and retired people who were home anyway, and wanted to earn a little bit of money. The picture is now very different, as work-from-home jobs grow in popularity, as well as in scope. Further, the number of home-based workers is set to increase dramatically over the next few years.

There are basically two types of home-based work. One is the freelance kind that has been operating for a few decades now, in which people either run their own home businesses, or receive work to do at home from companies set up for that purpose. Not all of these jobs are actually legitimate, but nevertheless, there are growing numbers of people who are finding ways to make a good living by working from home.

The second type is the practice that has really shown a remarkable growth over the last decade or so, known as telecommuting. This is the system whereby you are still employed by your company, but spend some or even all of your time at home, communicating with the office by telephone and e-mail. Work that is produced can be sent into the office by e-mail, or via a fax-machine.

There is no doubt that telecommuting has surged in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of people in the US working exclusively from home rose from 4.8% — over 6 million — in 1997, to 6.6%, or more than 8 million, in 2010. In the UK, according to a report from the Future Foundation, 8.6% of the workforce regularly works from home, and this is predicted to rise to 16.2% by 2020.

It seems very clear that technology is one of the major factors, if not the main factor, driving this development. Improved IT infrastructure and faster broadband speeds mean that workers can access their business information whenever they need to, and wherever they happen to be. Similarly, the advances in video conferencing, plus the proliferation in mobile devices, have broken down business boundaries, and made the traditional office, surrounded by four walls, largely a thing of the past. At the same time, business needs have not stood still, and there is an increasing need for businesses to be on the job round the clock — meaning flexible working really makes sense.

Economic changes have also helped to fuel the growth in home-based working. During the recent financial squeeze, many businesses found themselves on a tight budget, while rises in fuel prices meant that the cost of commuting to work continued to spiral. Along with the growing environmental pressures, these factors made the idea of avoiding the daily commute increasingly attractive. At the same time, employers could save on office space, office utilities, insurance costs and office supplies — including the costs of providing coffee and iced water.

As this development has progressed, the benefits of home working have become even more apparent. Employers have consistently found that workers are more efficient and productive — and happier too — as a result of having more comfortable working conditions, and being allowed to work at their own pace. They can spend more time with their children, and no longer have to worry about child care costs. For the self-employed, there are tax advantages too — they can write off expenses for any room that is used exclusively for business.

Of course, working from home is not for everyone, and there are a number of pitfalls. You need to be extremely self-disciplined and determined, in order to resist all the distractions of home, and to concentrate on your work without any supervision. On the other hand, there is the danger that the boundaries between work life and home life can become blurred, and it will be difficult to escape from work or take the breaks you need.

Looking at the way work-from-home jobs grow in popularity, it seems quite possible that telecommuting will become the norm in the future, with brick and mortar offices becoming redundant. This will not happen any time soon, as there are still many types of employment which are not suitable for this kind of working, but these will decrease over time. Meanwhile, for increasing numbers of people, working at home is proving a productive, positive, and often career-enhancing experience.


You Can Learn Computer Skills Online

Students can learn new skill with a computer and an internet connection.
With the advent of the Internet and several computer-based educational programs and jobs, the urge to learn or understand the computer in much greater detail has never surfaced the minds of the common man the way it has now. Learning computer skills online is somewhat similar to learning on the job, using the computer as a means to learn more about how best it can suit one’s needs. Before embarking on this effort to hone computing skills, it is important to first chart a course based on the purpose of the learning, the time available and the budget. Depending on the learner and the purpose, there are several resources available on the Internet that can make the learning experience both enjoyable and effective.

A reliable Internet connection with decent speeds is, of course, a pre-requisite to learning computer artistry online.

Resources on the Internet

Free Courses

Free online courses with self-tests to evaluate the learning process is an ideal option for those looking to master basic skills, as well as others looking to spruce up their skill set. These courses, however, require basic knowledge of computers to be of any use on their own. They also demand a disciplined learning approach on the part of the aspirant.

Paid Lessons

Paid lessons are ones that are being offered by several reputed online companies, making the learning process more accessible. With extensive course materials, instructor-led or -guided lessons, and a final evaluation to vet the skill level of the learner, these courses help aspirants pick up the necessary computer skills needed for their jobs. Paid lessons are often expensive depending on the course and the level of expertise aimed at.

Free Videos

Free videos from as well as several prominent educational institutions and software firms help learn computer skills better than by simply reading through extensive texts. A combination of free literature and videos ideally improve the understanding of the learner.

Help and Documentation

People looking to learn the use of specific software or programming skills better access the website of the software maker, and go through the online helps and software documentation to get familiar with the features of the software.

Microsoft and Apple websites offer in-depth information on the workings of operating systems and related technologies. Adobe and Oracle, on the other hand, offer detailed information on how their specific offerings work and how best people can use them.

Websites of each software developer offer both elaborate user manuals as well as concise technical support and FAQS that help address specific queries or issues.

Online Forums and Social Networks

Online forums also form a critical source of information for people looking to pick up a specific skill. Advice and tips from others who have already treaded the same path help locate appropriate resources, and clarify common queries on concepts and their real-life applications, making the learning even more valuable.

Interacting with people skilled in or training on a preferred computer skill will likely reveal several new sources of learning that may prove valuable in mastering a given skill.

Right from basic skills of searching for information on the Internet, using web-based mail, word processors and spreadsheets to creating Facebook pages, Skype accounts and more challenging areas of database and network management, almost any computer skill can be picked up online, just that one needs the right environment to put it to practice and build on real-life applications. You can learn computer skills online; applying and improving on them is the key to real learning.