A lot is going on these days with a fluctuating economy, unemployment, political unrest, and humanitarian crisis. These events are evidence that we all need to prepare for the unexpected. Many people were hit by layoffs, terminations, and home foreclosures during the last recession. Recently, GM announced its plan for layoffs and terminations for December.
Although this announcement is unexpected for workers who planned to have a good holiday, it joins the rollout of other announcements from numerous companies that have been cutting jobs since the beginning of this year. Job security may seem like a thing of the past, but there is a way you can survive amid the unstable job market.
When the Unexpected Happens
The early part of 2008 seemed like a good year for me, I just accepted a new job and was well on my way. Little did I know that four months later that I would be involved in a near-fatal auto accident. I was rear-ended by a drunk driver and hit by another vehicle when the drunk driver pushed my car into the opposite flow of traffic. I survived the crash with a back and neck injury.
The auto accident not only left me with residual pain and discomfort, but the financial effects took a tremendous toll on me as well. I lost my job because I couldn’t work, my income ceased after receiving severance pay and lost wages compensation from the accident. I thought I was going to recover quickly but I didn’t. I applied for Social Security and was denied.
So I had to figure out a way to work remotely because there wasn’t too much I could do with a bad back and neck. I couldn’t drive to a job or stand for long periods of time. Although my former job was a sit-down job, other duties required me to stand, lift, and bend over. So my options were very slim.
The options were so slim that I thought that there was no way I could make it. It’s very difficult to go from being able to take care of yourself and have a good amount of energy to asking someone to take you to doctor appointment and other errands. It was a very sobering and humbling experience.
However, when I found myself struggling to walk around grocery stores, I got a glimpse into the lives of people who have dealt with disabilities their entire lives. So many people take for granted the blessing of full mobility. I also begin to understand the financial struggles of those who may not be deemed as disabled because they have some mobility.
When you can’t get disability payments, you either have to do or die. It is at that point where you must decide to use the innate resources you have to generate income. What I mean by innate is your brain, fingers, and ability to navigate the Internet. If these things have not been altered in a significant way, you can achieve your personal goals. It may take awhile to get there but you can do it.
A New Skill Direction
Unfortunately after I lost my job and income, I did not have a backup plan. Most of us think that when you lose a job, you have to pursue a job in the same area that will utilize all of your skills. However, what I have learned is that you can take one of your primary skills and sell it on a contract basis. You just have to find the right platform.
Due to the fact that many of us have been taught to go to school, get a job, and everything will work out, we become disillusioned when the opposite occurs. This happens when the employer we have relied on pulls the rug from under us. It doesn’t matter if you have a mortgage payment, car note, or other financial obligations.
The only thing that is important to them is saving the company. So when this situation occurs, you must begin to change your mindset to one that embraces self-preservation. I don’t mean in terms of just getting what you can get just to survive but in terms of cultivating what you already have and begin to profit from it.
After a few years of trying to find something, I came across a blog that mentioned freelance writing. I didn’t consider myself to be a great writer but I was successful in passing numerous college courses which required a significant amount of writing, so I thought I’d give it a try. The company I signed up with is called Textbroker. It’s an international company that provides SEO (search engine optimization) content.
Basically, it helps businesses with their online marketing strategies by providing specialized keyword based content for websites, blogs, articles, and other sources. The more revelant a product or service is to a customer or client’s inquiry via Google and other search engines, the more likely a company will gain that person’s business.
Corporations, nonprofit organizations, law firms, service businesses, entreprenuers, colleges and universities need this type of information to sustain interest their businesses. Without it, a business is likely to remain stagnant especially in this social media driven society.
I signed up as an author in 2012 and submitted my first sample. I was approved and begin to test the waters with a few client orders. I don’t know why I was apprehensive to write for companies but I have done well during the past four years.
Textbroker provides writing opportunities on rated levels; 2, 3, 4, and 5. Level 5 is an expert level and pays the highest. Client orders pay different amounts based on each level. For example, a level four order from the OpenOrder pool will generally pay 0.014 per word whereas a level five will pay 0.05 per word. These rates may seem low, but when you start completing orders from the open order pool that are 350, 400, 500, or 1,000 words, the money can add up quickly.
Additionally, there are numerous opportunities to join writing teams. These teams pay more money than orders from the open order pool. The rates vary so you should apply for as many teams as possible. Some authors have honed their skills and have gained a significant amount of clients to earn a full time income. It may not sound like very much, but life is what you make it. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want, so we have to make the best of what we have.
Everyone has something to contribute to society, but most of us have relied on the systems of society to the point that we think we can’t survive if someone else isn’t giving us every little direction and providing our primary source of income. So we get mad and bitter when we should have been preparing for the day when they surprise us with what they had been planning to do for awhile.
Since this is the second round of massive job cuts and layoffs, it may not be so easy to obtain another position in your industry. So you may have to sell your skills. There is a business owner or a company somewhere that needs your writing, project management, recruitment, graphic design, web design, HTML coding, and other skills.
Increase Your Income
The more orders you complete through Textbroker, the more opportunities you will have to receive direct orders from clients who only want you to work for them. So if you pick up an order that pays really low, don’t treat as such. Put forth your best writing skills because if a client hires you, they will pay you at the rate you have set for direct orders.
Some clients may offer to pay you between $50 and $100 per order through team orders. Hence, there’s an increase in your pay. The clients that acquire business through Textbroker are major retailers, automotive suppliers, hotels, colleges and universities, law firms, and other well-known corporations.
Opportunities are also available for you to become a content expert. Expert positions are five-level writers who are very knowlegeable in the fields of finance, law, and other sectors where specialized content is in demand. The key to finding success in this field is finding what you really enjoy talking about or what gives you passion.
You may not be a certified expert in the field but if you’ve had experience either working in the field or you’ve been a consumer who has purchased a product or service and you feel passionate about, here’s an opportunity to express yourself in a professional way.
If you’re passionate about justice being served, there’s plenty law firms that need blog posts, website content, and articles written about their services or news. If you’re an educator or would like to go into the educational field, you can write content that helps prospective students find the right college or university.
If you love to travel, you can write reviews about the most popular hotels and attractions in certain cities or countries. If you’re knowlegeable about science, technology, or health, you can offer your skills to help businesses spread the word about the latest scientific, medical, or software inventions.
Even if you’re not knowlegeable in certain areas, you can learn as you go. When you accept an order in an area you’re not familiar with, when you begin to work on an order, research the topic, and complete the order successfully, you’ll become more comfortable with accepting more orders in that area. You’ll receive a rating from clients after you’re paid. The ratings are average, good, and excellent. This will let you what the areas you need to work on or if you’re doing really good.
If you’re a little hesistant about launching a career in this field, you can register as an author, accept a few orders in a a variety of business sectors, and sign up for the Textbroker University writing courses. If it’s been a long time since you’ve attended school, these courses will refresh your memory in various grammar stucture styles and other relevant guidelines. Tutorials and a blog are also available to help you incorporate tips into your writing business.
Additional Skill Selling Opportunities
If you’re not familiar with the freelance world, there is another company called Fiverr. This online marketing platform allows individuals to sell their skills and individuals to purchase services starting at $5.00. While this idea may seem like it’s not worth utilizing, there are some top sellers on this platform who are generating a full-time income because they took the time to develop their skills. In fact, one man I frequently hire to design book covers for me is from Bulgaria. He’s an expert book cover designer and does an awesome job.
Fiverr allows individuals with a host of skills to showcase their work. Although the basic services are $5.00, the real money is made when you offer additional services which you could sell for $10, $20, $30, and so on. I’ve come across a couple of SEO marketing companies who offer package deals for $55 and $110. When you produce quality work, meet deadlines, and remain consistent, you’ll likely acquire loyal customers who will spread the word about your services.
These opportunities to sell your skills through Textbroker or Fiverr are legitimate ways you can keep money flowing into your bank account when your job has decided to stop paying you. You don’t have to roll over and die. Just look at it as a way for you to present yourself to world without limits.
These may be opportunities you may not have received at your former job. Another benefit is the low overhead costs. All you need is access to the Internet and you can work anywhere. There’s no restriction. Work early or late. Discipline is also required if you want to keep the funds coming.
I know this post was rather long, but I’ve learned a lot during my quest for survival after losing so much after the accident. However, I believe when we go through trials and survive, we are supposed to help others.
I just wanted to save you time in your journey to find another source of income and reduce the stress that is often associated with becoming mentally unstable because you can’t pay your bills.
Hey, life is challenging, but there is a way we can win. Listed below are a few other sources you may find helpful in expanding your income portfolio. When I find more opportunities, I will list the information on the Work from Home Solutions page. Until then, hang in there and hopefully you’ll find a niche that will exceed your previous or current income. 😏
Work From Home Solutions
• Textbroker – SEO content development services. Sign up as an author or a remote editor here. This is an independent contract position. So you’ll be operating your business as a sole proprietor. You’ll be paid via Paypal every Friday as long as you have $10 or more in your account. You’ll receive a 1099 form each year for tax purposes.
• Crowdsurfwork – This company offers part-time media transcription opportunities. You’ll either watch and listen to videos to transcribe the dialogue or listen to audio tapes to transcibe the conversation. This is a fun opportunity that will give your mind a break from long writing periods. This opportunity pays every day via Paypal. The sign up instructions are on the website.
• Mturk – This Amazon marketplace platform allows business owners to hire workers to do a wide range of activities such as data entry, writing, research, and other small tasks. Pay varies based on job type. Payout is usually within a day to three business days. You can request payouts whenever you want via direct deposit or Amazon gift card.
• TVCMarketing – This opportunity is an independent 1099 associate position. You’ll have the opportunity to sell roadside assistance benefits. Pay is every Friday via direct deposit. Free website and training available. See additional information here.
If you’re having trouble defining and achieving your goals, my book Personal Goal Atlas Journal can help you keep track of your plans. It provides resources that you can access to help you start a business, attend school, travel, and plan a legacy.