The pandemic has forced offices and other businesses to rethink their models of working. Last year everyone had to work from home, and companies scrabbled around to get the technology needed to facilitate that.
Now, in the UK at least, it seems like the government is not intending to introduce any more lockdowns and so the majority of people are returning to the office. But I suspect that now that working from home has been proven to be perfectly possible, it’s a way of working that won’t go away.
Many employees will be asking their bosses now if they can work from home permanently at least some of the time, and on the other side of the coin, employers may realise that they can save on rent and other fixed costs, by taking some of their functions virtual and employing home-based freelancers rather than full-time employees. The entire globe has embraced the work from home revolution, and you don’t need to be a massive conglomerate to take advantage of that.
With this in mind, it’s a great time to be starting a freelance career. If you have developed skills over the course of your career, then it’s quite likely you will be able to use them in a work-from-home capacity, if that is what suits you best. Freelancing also means that you can choose hours that suit you, choosing your work time to suit your family commitments
Here are three examples of skills and industries where the freelance sector is booming.
Technology and Virtual Assistant services
The work from home revolution has finally proven what those clever tech-savvy types have known all along – workers are necessary, offices are not. Busy executives and CEOs still need the support services they needed before – they just don’t necessarily need them onsite. Smaller companies don’t necessarily need a full-time employee for all the jobs that need to be done
This has given rise to an entire industry of tech-smart people who provide IT and support services from home. With technology that allows you to access your client’s computer without leaving your home, you can work on multiple clients without working for them.
Suppose you have a natural “knack” for organising. In that case, a virtual assistant career may be right up your alley, especially if you were one of the executive assistants and PAs, who were some of the unlucky ones who didn’t get to go back to work. Virtual assistants do all kinds of things, from customer services and digital marketing to research and content creation. As a freelancer, you can pick the skills that interest you the most and become an expert in them
If you need an upskill, check out Udemy, which offers a great course that can get you up to speed in no time.
Data Entry and Transcription
Many companies are marketing using video now, and it’s always good if the videos are subtitled so that viewers can consume them in places where they can’t have the sound on. So, with that in mind, a huge industry has arisen to help companies get their videos transcribed quickly. Examples of companies that hire transcribers are Rev and HappyScribe
The rate of pay is not as much as some other jobs, but if you are a super-fast typist and used to audio typing then the work is very simple and not demanding. The pay relates to the minutes of video that you transcribe rather than the minutes you actually work, so you will need to be fast and accurate to do well at this job.
In an increasingly globalised world, more and more business is happening across borders, and this means that if you have advanced language skills, you could be in high demand. We’ve all seen Google Translate, but it’s not always totally accurate and this can cause unexpected misunderstandings, so for many larger companies, it is still preferable to get a real linguist to do the necessary translations.
This is an excellent opportunity for anyone with a genuine passion for language and translation – it’s not for everyone, mind you, but if you’re made of more potent stuff – then it might just be for you.
One of the biggest users of these services is government translation services, and if you perform well, it’s a great way to get noticed, which could lead to further opportunities later on.
Lockdown was not great for many of us, but it seems to have given the world of work-at-home mums a giant boost. Look out for more highly skilled jobs becoming available on a work from home basis in the near future.
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