Online employment is skyrocketing across the globe, according to a recent study by Elance, an international platform for online employment. Even the most skeptical would be hard-pressed not to notice the change in the numbers from the first quarter of 2012 to the same time last year.
The Elance Global Online Employment Report for Q1 2012 shows lots of upward pointing graphs. From jobs posted to contractor earnings, the numbers go up and up and up. In fact, both earnings and jobs posted have more than doubled in the past two years.
Elance also tracked the top skills in demand for the following three categories: Creative, Marketing, and IT. Here are the changes from Q1 of 2011:
- Web Design +101%
- Photoshop +71%
- Graphic Design +70%
- Video Production +68%
- Content Writing +56%
- SEM +65%
- Internet Marketing +49%
- Social Media Marketing +41%
- Marketing Strategy +41%
- Lead Generation +39%
- Android +35%
- PHP +33%
- HTML +29%
- CSS +29%
Some of the trends they found include: Continue Reading
The fact that you can learn anything from John Mayer might surprise you, but I learned a lot about how you can ruin your reputation through social media and interviews in this NPR interview with the musician on All Things Considered this afternoon.
I have to admit, I am not a John Mayer fan. He bothers me. I can’t stand to watch him sing. And after a couple of nitty gritty interviews in 2010—one for Rolling Stone and one for Playboy—I didn’t like what I heard, either.
In Mayer’s interview with Playboy, he made racial comments, talked about his sex life with his famous exes, and made homosexual comments—all of which made the public scream Too Much Information! Continue Reading
There have been many blog posts here about how you, as a freelancer, can give your clients great customer service and why it’s important. Let’s turn the tables for a minute and focus on how you, as a freelancer, can get better customer service.
When you are a freelancer, you don’t have a boss you can go complain to when something has happened to you. Maybe you were double charged when ordering something online or you had a terrible experience flying business class. As a freelancer, you run your own business, which means dealing with your own vendors.
As someone who owns a company, I have a lot of people I have to pay and deal with on a regular basis, including: my internet service provider, phone company, the lenders who let me borrow money for my small business, my credit and debit card companies, the web design team, and the woman hired to manage the distribution of our magazine.
Other people I deal with on a less frequent basis include the tech dude who helps with computer problems and issues with our printer/copier/fax machine. I also have a bookkeeper who manages the books and helps with the taxes. There’s also a lawyer thrown in there for good measure.
When you think about it—that’s a lot of people! And I’m not even mentioning the car repair guy (I drive a lot), the United States Postal Service (I mail a lot of stuff), and the stores where I buy supplies.
A freelancer’s life is stressful (look at all these bills!) and we have to deal with lots and lots of people. So what can you do when you feel like you aren’t getting the customer service you deserve and expect? Below are some tips on how you, as a customer, can get better customer service to make running your business a little easier. Continue Reading
Networking events can be nerve-wracking.
You’re in a room with a bunch of people you don’t know and you have to make conversation or risk looking like a wallflower. But just because networking events can make you uncomfortable or nervous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend. On the contrary—it can be great practice!
Here are some tips on how to make your next networking event a success:
The worst networkers are those who attend events with their friends and then talk to only their friends all night. It’s one of my pet peeves—you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So If I see a group of people off to the side of the room talking only to themselves for an hour, I get turned off. I want to talk to people who are open to making new connections, not people who are using the networking event as their own private social gathering.
Dress the Part
You want to look like you belong there, so leave the hoodie and sneakers at home.
You won’t make an impression (at least, not a good one) if you look dishevelled, disorganized, or overly casual. But also pick something that makes you feel good—a great dress or those new shoes you’ve been wanting to wear will help you exude confidence in what can be an uncomfortable setting.—TheDailyMuse
You don’t have to go out and buy a business suit, but be mindful of looking presentable. Dirty fingernails and smelly jeans are a turn off. You want to put your best foot forward, and the first thing people judge you on is your appearance. Continue Reading
In March, I wrote a blog post about the importance of making your social media persona as true to real life as possible—especially when looking for work.
These days, people are more likely to lie on their resumes than they are on their LinkedIn or Facebook page. A recent study by Cornell University found that 92% of college students lie at least once on their resume. Can it get them into trouble? YES! In fact, it can cost them their job.
That’s exactly what happened to Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson after it was found that he padded his resume with an embellished college degree. Thompson’s snafu was outed by an activist shareholder group called Third Point, which owns just under 6% of Yahoo.
False statements about Thompson’s degree stretch beyond his time at Yahoo, which began in January. References to a “computer science” degree also appeared in his online biographical information on PayPal’s website when Thompson was president of the eBay subsidiary. —CNNMoney
The discrepancy was flagged by Loeb, who discovered that Stonehill, a private Catholic school near Boston, didn’t begin offering computer science degrees until four years after Thompson had graduated. —LATimes
Thompson had been CEO of Yahoo for four months before this scandal broke and he stepped down.
Here’s the thing—Thompson probably had enough going for him that padding his resume with “additions” to his undergraduate degree probably didn’t even matter! I’m not sure how old Thompson is (judging by his photos I’d say he was in his 40s) and I’m almost positive his “computer science” college degree wasn’t the reason he was hired in the first place.
This scandal got me thinking—what are some safe (ie: truthful) ways to make your resume stand out from your competition? Here are some ideas that won’t get you fired: Continue Reading
As a journalist, I sometimes write columns and blogs that people don’t agree with. Sometimes I feel so lambasted when people leave comments about what I’ve written that I literally can’t read them. I have a pretty tough skin, and I am aware that I’m not always right—but still, sometimes I get angry and hurt.
My goal in writing something controversial is to never regret writing it. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I try to be as explicative as I can when I know I’m writing about a touchy topic. I don’t have all the answers to everything, but I know that posing the question to readers is usually the most important thing.
I feel really good when something I have written gets a ton of comments and shares—even if most of them are from people who completely disagree with what I have said. That’s what blogging is all about! Creating a dialogue with my ideas is the ultimate goal, whether I am praised or shunned. It’s good to have strong opinions, and having an outlet to share them is a wonderful thing.
I bring this up because of the recent TIME magazine cover with the young mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. You’ve probably heard about it as bloggers and columnists and mothers around the world are speaking out about it. And most of the stuff I have read is not praise.
This is most definitely a case where a photo is worth 1,000 words. And from now on, photographer Martin Schoeller is going to be known as the photographer who took the controversial cover photo for TIME magazine where Jamie Lynne Grumet, a gorgeous California mom, is breastfeeding her son who is standing on a chair.
“When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids,” Schoeller said in an interview on TIME.com. “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.” —Time.com
Breastfeeding is a controversial topic in the United States. It’s much less so in other nations. Here’s the kicker—the article doesn’t even feature Jamie Lynne Grumet. It’s a piece written by Time staff writer Kate Pickert about Dr. William (Bill) Sears and his book about attachment parenting.
TIME knew exactly the effect this cover would have on the nation and it succeeded beautifully. News shows are all over it, Twitter is abuzz and it’s the top story in every paper. Mothers verses mothers, once again. Well played, TIME, this will surely be one of the best selling issues of the year. —TheHuffingtonPost.com
Here are some snippets from other news outlets about the cover photo:
I got a telephone call today at the office from the wife of a certified public accountant. She was pitching me on a story that her husband had just written about the benefits of creating an LLC versus an S-Corp. I listened politely, then told her why I couldn’t run her husband’s obviously wonderful story.
I can’t tell you the number of times I get pitches that we would never publish—not because it’s a bad idea but because it just doesn’t fit in the pattern we have already created.
The magazine I edit is a regional publication that has a pretty narrow focus. We only publish stories that fall within our already established sections. I can’t tell you the number of times I get pitches that we would never publish—not because it’s a bad idea but because it just doesn’t fit in the pattern we have already created.
I often get advance copies of novels and CDs from publishers, authors, and musicians, asking us to please consider reviewing them in our magazine. We have never, in the six years we have been in print, reviewed a book or CD. Never. Yet I keep getting these lovely gifts in the mail on a monthly basis. And I always feel badly—these publishers and public relations people are clearly wasting money on sending me stuff.
In the case of this lovely woman who called me on the phone, I explained to her that we currently don’t have a place in the magazine where such a feature would appear and that we decide upon our editorial calendar 8 months to a year in advance. She proceeded to tell me how it would be a benefit to our readers. I didn’t argue that point—it very well might—but I can’t reinvent the wheel. I suggested that she contact the local daily and weekly newspaper, as they have much more flexibility to publish articles than I do.
Our company also does not accept unsolicited manuscripts—but I didn’t feel like I needed to get into that with her. She was clearly not used to pitching story ideas to the media.
What I wanted to tell her was that if she was going to pitch people her husband’s already-written story, to take a look at some back issues of said publications to see if it’s a good fit or not. If she had looked at ours, she would have seen that we don’t publish stories of that nature. I also wanted to tell her to not introduce herself as the wife of the CPA who wrote this wonderful article that I should publish in our magazine. It’s unprofessional—and of COURSE she thinks it’s a great article…her husband wrote it! Continue Reading
School is coming to an end for another year, and many students will be participating in internships for the summer. An internship can be a real win-win situation—the hirer (you) gets low cost or even free help while the intern gains valuable work experience.
I did a number of internships in my college days. I’ve also managed interns in my professional days. When I worked for a small, post production company in Boston, we had an intern in our office every day of the week. They helped us with tasks such as blacking out tapes, burning DVDs and videotapes for our clients, assisted in shooting projects, and brought a great, young energy into the office.
What did they get out of it? They got to use state-of-the-art professional shooting and editing equipment for free. Many of these students couldn’t even get their hands on stuff this awesome at their colleges. Plus, they were encouraged to create their own projects when the equipment was free, which happened often since we were such a small shop.
In graduate school I was an intern at both PRWeek and Inc.com—two business publications where I learned a tremendous amount. The best part of going to grad school was that it allowed me to take advantage of some stellar internship opportunities.
I know I have been lucky, especially when I read about interns who are worked to the bone and aren’t learning much. This recent article in The New York Times shares some horror stories.
Many students who are graduating are having a tough time finding work, and thus are turning to unpaid internships in the hopes it will help their resumes. Many are finding that the internships aren’t all they’re cracked up to be—that they’re working 12 hour days doing menial tasks like grabbing lunch and cleaning, which, if the internship is unpaid, is actually against the law. Continue Reading
I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now. I’m on deadline for our biggest magazine issue of the year, grades are due for the college class I teach, I’m in two weddings this summer, my husband is interviewing for a new job, we may have to move for husband’s new job, and we’re expecting our first child at the end of July. Oh, and my house is a mess, my lawn needs to be mowed, and I don’t have a free weekend off until the baby arrives.
Does your life sound anything like mine? I bet, for many of you, it does.
Summertime is supposed to be fun, leisurely, carefree. But every time I flip the calendar page on May, my life turns to chaos. There is so much going on during the warm summer months that it’s hard to do it all. And even when you do say no, it’s easy to get stressed out. And boy, am I stressed out right now!
Stress in vast quantities and for long periods of time is not good for our bodies or our minds. That’s why, even though I have so much stuff to do, I’m taking a week off in June for vacation. I have to. If I don’t, I know myself—I’ll get sick.
But what do you do when you can’t take a vacation right away and a day at the spa is just too expensive? Here are some tips on how to relax to keep yourself on track and on task: Continue Reading
Is one (or more) of your competitors copying your idea? Congratulations! You are not alone.
As the co-owner of a niche publication, I look at copying as the best form of flattery—I have to! If I spent hours upon hours stressing out about having my ideas copied, I’d go crazy. I’d probably throw in the towel. But I don’t.
You will never create a solid career for yourself by worrying about who is stealing your ideas. —cbsnews.com
I watched this great video on how to deal with copycats on Entrepreneur.com. It’s not long—not even three minutes—but there were some great takeaways.
The first thing to realize is that no matter what it is that you do—be it a publisher, software designer, or a marketing professional—you have to come to terms with the fact that you do not own the market. There are hundreds, nay, thousands, of people out there in the world who do what you do. There are very few unique ideas—and when there is one, copycats are right around the corner.
So what do you do? Ignore them, unless you have a ton of money to shell out in legal fees. Ignoring is hard, so when you are ready to be proactive, here are some ideas on how to beat the copycats and strengthen your brand: Continue Reading
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been hearing about some pretty serious social media snafus that have been so bad that people have lost their jobs over them.
Whether your Facebook page is set to private or not, nothing is ever really private on the Internet. It’s not just high school and college kids who have a hard time understanding that—it’s grown ups, too.
If you are like me, you have a personal Facebook page as well as one for your business. I have a LinkedIn page and I tweet using my business handle. Keeping your personal and business lives separate on social media sites can be hard, so here are some ways to make sure you are putting your best foot forward, instead of in your mouth. Continue Reading
Want to make money on that app you created? You’ll have to spend money and time on marketing your app outside of app stores for success, according to a recent study conducted by App-Promo, a mobile app marketing company.
The First Annual Developer Survey was created to help understand how developers are really doing with their mobile apps.
I don’t know about you, but the amount of apps on the market is overwhelming! It seems everyone has an app these days. Perhaps you have made a business out of developing these apps for clients, or you are a client who is thinking about hiring someone to create an app for you— this post will help shed some light on the industry.
The study found that most developers are developing apps for the Apple iPhone (58%) and the iPad (54.5%). Nearly 49% of them developed apps for Android users. Most of the developers are pricing their apps as free (35.2%) or at $0.99 (30.7%). They are also employing revenue models outside of paid apps, like advertising. Because, really, it’s about making money. Continue Reading