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The Alternative Workforce and Lifelong Learning: Geek Work, Crowdsourcing Platforms and Independent Freelancing

  • On 19th Sep 2020
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Story by: Learnerus Lifelong


Back in the day, people would look to get hired with a company and then hopefully work for that same business for decades to come. It was steady work with benefits and there was a sense of security tied along with it. It was not uncommon to see people retire after spending 40 to 50 years with the same company.


However, in essence, when you are putting all your eggs in one basket, you are placing your trust in the company that they will take care of you until retirement as long as you keep working hard. But in today’s age, jobs are getting eliminated as technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation are making many workers' skills obsolete.


Instead of putting your future in the hands of a company, people are learning that becoming your own boss is not such a bad thing. This has led to a good portion of the population in becoming freelancers and private contractors in numerous industries.


The Times Are Changing


In the United States alone, there are 41 million workers that are self-employed as contractors, freelancers, consultants, or on-call specialists. These people accept temporary jobs that are offered their way and then once they complete the task, they move on to the next one. Besides mostly always being in demand, they also get to make their own hours and negotiate the terms of the pay.


Furthermore, many companies are getting away from full-time employees as they are realizing they can hire part-time freelancers to complete needed work and it will not cost them any benefits whatsoever.


A recent survey conducted in America showed that 42 percent of workers under the age of 35 are now freelancers that specialize in a certain industry and offer their skills temporarily to companies, businesses, or individuals in need. While some of these people are doing it as a side hustle on top of their full-time job, others are freelancing as their sole income.


There are several popular crowdsourcing platforms where companies are searching for specialists that can help them with their needs. Upwork, Mechanical Turk, Freelancer.com, and Appen are just a few – some, such as Upwork, trade in a multiple of skills and domains while others, such as Appen, are data and AI annotation and labeling specialists. It allows freelancers to quickly offer supply to companies’ demands. Plus, these platforms enable a rating system so you can be sure there is talent and experience associated with each freelancer. If a freelancer wants to increase their rates, they must put in the time and effort to ensure their skills meet the demands that are being asked. An investment of time is sometimes all that is needed!


It’s Always a Good Thing to Have Options


It can be risky to tie your fortunes to one company nowadays with the continued evolution of technology. You can never be sure when your job could be replaced by AI or automation – but, at the same time, AI creates the need for data cleaning and annotation, which creates new freelance jobs. On the other hand, it does take some courage and backbone to branch out for yourself and be solely responsible for your income.


But keep in mind, if you have a skill that is in-demand, you could have a plethora of options to choose from as people start to learn exactly what you may be able to offer. Plus, being your own boss, setting your hours, and negotiating pay is not bad at all.


If you are unsure about heading out on your own, start freelancing as a hobby for the first six months and then measure out the income it has produced. You may just be surprised to see the amount of revenue you are generating. Your side hustle may just become a much more permanent thing than you ever had thought.


Increase Your Skills and Abilities


There are a few ways you can go about increasing your credentials so you can land freelancing positions on a consistent basis. After all, no one is going to want to hire an inexperienced freelancer if their level of expertise is low.


There are workshops that can be taken that only last a couple hours to a day or two. While they may not offer too much in improving your current skills, they could come in handy and provide a basic foundation to build off of.


Apprenticeships or trade schools are always a possibility. But those usually take quite a commitment and last for years. You would have to commit to them full time as well as your income would take a huge hit.


As freelancers are lifelong learners by definition, LearnerOn.Net could be your best bet as it provides a total flexibility and you can keep on earning as you are learning. There are individual courses you can take to master certain skills or you can follow complete Learning Paths and learn as many skills at once as possible. If you are more of a self-learner, they also have the possibility to pick from thousands of books navigable on LearnerOn.Net. You can explore and choose from the pletfora of learning resources, or get guided by others, at your choice and at your pace.


There are many courses that may interest freelancers and contractors provided through LearnerOn.Net. For instance, you could learn about architecting with the Google Cloud platform and assist businesses in constructing their own cloud network. If you have always wanted to become a journalist or a writer, there are courses on that as well. Would you like to learn how to teach English to others? There is always a demand of people wanting to learn English. And these are just a few of the courses searchable on and accessible via LearnerOn.Net that could lead you to become a freelancer/private contractor.


The world of learning is yours!


Keenly looking forward to see you at LearnerOn.Net,


Learnie



Originally posted on Medium

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