This post continues a series called “A Millennial’s Adventures in the Gig Economy”. You can reference the original post for this series here.
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A quick personal note before we begin
The past week has been incredibly emotional as I’ve grappled with somewhat of an identity crisis. I’m currently feeling in limbo between the person I was (teammate, leader, co-worker, earner) and the person I’m becoming (writer, freelancer, blogger). Sadly, neither of those people is feeling like me right now. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so I’m trying to take a step back and see the big picture for what it is. All good things take time, and every step along this journey is really where the learning happens. All of the things I’ve learned over the past week, both related to finding work in the gig economy and the emotional instability I’ve experienced, have helped me to grow more than I ever could have planned.
This is a fantastic opportunity, but I’d be lying if I said it’s an easy transition to make, especially at a time like April 2020, where COVID-19 quarantines are making certain gigs less in demand than they would have been several months ago. My mantra and transitional phrase for the past week has been, “you got this.” I’ve been repeating it to myself each time I sit at my computer or when I have a thought come through my mind that questions my abilities. If I’m grappling with this, there may be others going through life transitions as a result of a job change or loss who may be feeling the same way. If you are one of those people, please remember that you are not alone, and you got this.
Week 2 Gig Status Overview
This past week I emphasized content creation for the blog, so next week I’ll be getting back into bidding jobs and trying to determine how to become more hirable. I’ll focus mainly on Fiverr and Upwork as Rover is dead for the moment, and onlinebookclub seems to be falling into a cadence.
Here’s an interesting revelation: nobody needs you to walk their dogs when everyone is home in quarantine. Rover is one gig that I’m pretty much going to write off until the COVID-19 situation has calmed down a bit. Until then, I’ll settle for snuggles and walks with my pups!
Time invested this week: none
Upwork has undoubtedly moved up in the rankings as my favorite “gig economy job finder tool” thus far. It has tons of new job listings every day across each of the different categories for which I’ve been searching. It also enables me to have three separate profiles that I can use when bidding jobs. I’m currently keeping one profile each for quality assurance, content writing, and proofreading/editing. The two jobs I’ve been lucky enough to work so far have been a lot of fun, and the job posters have been very kind. I’ve also received no solicitation or spam through this site, which is nice.
Time invested this week: 8-10 hours (searching for jobs, submitting proposals, and completing work)
The only kind of solicitation I’ve gotten from Fiverr at this point is spam that I reported both times. I will say that I have spent the least amount of time on upping the appeal of my profile and seeking out work on this platform. I’ll try to spend a bit more time here this week to learn more about how to be successful and report back.
Time invested this week: 30 minutes (perusing a few other profiles and getting to know the site better…oh and marking people as spam)
I learned a lot about onlinebookclub this week. I plan to do a separate post dedicated to my thoughts about onlinebookclub so I won’t go too much in-depth here. There is way more of a social component to it than I had initially thought, and there are some particular guidelines for writing reviews. If you’re going to try it, I would highly recommend going through the entire “Review Team Guidelines” section before you start reading your first book. (Thanks, hindsight!) I completed my first review and am now at the point where I am awaiting confirmation that it has been approved. In the meantime, I picked up my second book and am going to start in. Once submitted, this next book should be my first paid review, so we’ll see how it plays out!
Time invested this week: 6 hours (reading book #1 and writing the review)
The Plan for Week 3
- Bid four proposals per day on Upwork.
- Complete course on SkillShare in WordPress Web Design.
- Read the second book for onlinebookclub and write review.
- Try to figure out Fiverr and see if I can pick up my first job through this channel.
- Determine if there are any other gig opportunities available in the current situation.
The Financial Picture – April 6, 2020
Current week income: $20 (1 upwork gig)
Current week expenses: $3 (To purchase additional connect credits on Upwork)
Net Operating Costs: -$288
Things I learned this week:
- You need to create your weekend: When you’re starting off working for yourself, it’s exciting, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be overwhelmed with ideas and want to work all the time. That’s fantastic, but to avoid burnout, remember to step away on some days to create something that resembles the weekends you would have with a regular job. I anticipate this will get easier as things get established, but for the last two weeks, I’ve pretty much treated Saturday and Sunday as workdays. I’m trying to increase my flexibility on other days during the week to avoid burnout, but right now, it’s so new and exciting that I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.
- Sign up for free trials of everything and use promo codes: There are so many resources that you need that you don’t realize, especially if you’re starting a blog. In the last week, I’ve used Canva for creating logos, Shutterstock for images, and SkillShare to get some WordPress tips and tricks and to take a proofreading and SEO course. There are promo codes to be had from podcasts, articles, social media endorsements, etc. Take advantage of the promo codes and free trials and make sure you set calendar reminders to cancel them after the allotted period if you are not planning to continue.
- Don’t stop believing: Journey said it best, don’t stop believing. Days will be hard, really hard, and you’ll feel like there’s no way that you could ever learn all these things, and there’s so much more to this than you thought. Slow down, take a breath, take a walk, you got this.