Microjobs, a simple portmanteau of microscopic and jobs, have arrived. Well, they were already here, but in 2016, they’ll make even bigger strides.
Thousands of students may earn a business degree or even a MBA degree annually but few will end up becoming a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Let’s face it; not everyone is cut out for running a million or even billion dollar enterprise. The hours are long and stressful not to mention the heavy workloads and intense pressure.
For students and college grads worldwide, this is also leaving fewer entry-level job opportunities or part-time work like bartending available to apply for. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics had once reported that only a quarter of teenagers from ages 16-19 were employed, an indication that young adults are also finding employment a challenge to overcome.
The current economic climate leaves many workers taking on the roles of previous employees who were laid off. This often means unpaid overtime, more pressure and less free hours outside the office. Businesses are also seeing the benefit of flexible working arrangements, freelancers and microjobs. And unlike minimum wage where you get what you pay for, businesses that save money on hiring can offer greater pay to remote employees, the reason microjobs are more appealing than traditional work scenarios.
What are microjobs?
Microjob is a new term which has come to mean ‘small tasks that need to be performed by someone.’ They may be one-off, semi-regular or tasks that need to be taken care of repeatedly by someone reliable. Although many career driven websites like Monster prefer listing corporate openings, many more like Career Glider have opened their doors to microworkers without questions, as evidence with their large job search portal.
It would be too much to call these real jobs because even a part-time job would assume a minimum number of hours per week. Microjobs, on the other hand, can include varied things like grocery shopping, walking the dog, typing up some lecture notes or transcribing an interview.
Microwork can be construed as an endeavor like SnapScout, where instead of hiring an agency to choose a filming venue, one can simply find said venue themselves. Essentially, any means of gaining employment without the help of some corporate consortium falls into the new wave microjobs definition.
Microjobs are good for local economies
Fewer full-time jobs are available and many have been outsourced internationally to save on costs. This leaves a big gap with many qualified, experienced people who are capable of so much, but who are not being given the opportunity to be useful.
Microjobs can fill a lot of those gaps. When someone needs something small done and can find no one to do it, they can resolve that through microjobs. When a busy mother has a few hours free between dropping off the kids at school and picking them up again later, she’s perfectly positioned to run errands around town for busy executives.
One side benefit is the redistribution of money within local communities. Busy people can get things done that they don’t have time for and other people who need some remunerated work opportunities can get that.
TechCrunch writer John Rampton’s opine of freelancing (aka ‘microwork’) is simple: pay attention to the booming freelancing generation, or get left behind wondering why nobody is meeting you at the water cooler.
Think local, not global
Microjobs for the most part are locally based. With employees stuck in their offices, sometimes they need someone who can be trusted to run their errands while that store is still open and before the vet closes. Or perhaps they need something done after midnight and they’ve got a big meeting early the next morning that they cannot miss. Anything is possible.
Just like freelancers and people who prefer to outsource by using project sites like Elance, Guru and vWorker, those interested in microjobs are starting to see new web sites pop-up to facilitate that need too.
Freelancing implies some flexibility in the work, but in order to keep the money flowing in, any clued-up freelancer will tell you that you need a steady stream of satisfied clients.
Only taking odd tasks here and there, when the fancy takes you or when you have free time, will not please most freelance clients who need you to be available when they initiate contact and to deliver completed work soon after.
Where can i find microjobs?
New sites for local tasks can be handled by posting opportunities on Agent Anything or Fancy Hands. Every day small tasks for a ten dollars, thirty dollars and more are offered to get things done. Performance can be reviewed by the person who posted the task (to create accountability) and money is only passed over when the task is completed. Even some jobs in Melbourne Australia are becoming strictly micro-based.
A new site known as TaskRabbit is also providing quick ways to get small or large tasks completed. They also have special services available in the SF Bay area. Their convenient iOS mobile app makes it simple to add a task or check for new tasks that might suit you.
Craigslist is also popular because it’s local, too. Take a half hour to search through your local listings and you will be amazed what tasks are posted online. Many don’t take too long and often it’s flexible when they need to be completed.
People who live near you are willing to pay good money to delegate tasks that they don’t want to do, don’t have the skill to complete or simply don’t have time to get done. Do you have a few hours spare to fill their need and put some extra dollars in your pocket? Great – welcome to the 2016 economy.
If not, tough – one day, it’s going to be the only venue available.