As students enter the world of work, they’re looking for ways to supplement their income. More and more students are choosing to become independent contractors or business owners rather than accepting wage slavery as part of their university experience.
While there’s a chance you may choose a specialty that can lead you to lifelong employment, there are many other options where you can make a valuable contribution with little to no experience.
The Gig Economy
The gig economy has provided a steady source of employment for students as a growing number of freelancers and online platforms enable people to work remotely. The flexibility of this option suits many people who want to be their own boss and avoid the 9-5 grind.
Freelancing allows you to build your own schedule and work remotely whenever you choose. Through online platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Guru, you can find freelance gigs that fit around your studies. Whether you’re a student looking for some extra cash or want to become a freelancer to complement your existing skills, these platforms make it easy to find work.
Remote work can become a full-time job in itself, so it’s important to set the right prices for your work. Instead of listing yourself at the cheapest price, be smart about negotiations and ensure you make enough to meet your needs.
Starting a Business
An increasing number of students are choosing to follow their passion for creating unique pieces of work and pursuing their own businesses. Whether you’re an artist, designer, photographer, or writer, you can set up a freelance business or drop ship store and earn decent revenue without requiring any experience.
If you have a specific skill — be it writing, art, or web design — you can develop your skillset and create a profitable business from the ground up. Even if you don’t have the skills required to become a self-employed author, for example, you can use platforms like Fiverr to find freelance writing gigs that fit around your studies.
The Role of Online Platforms in the Workforce
While the world of work will always exist offline, the role of the internet in the workforce cannot be overstated. Students will increasingly look to online tools to help them find work and boost their productivity as AI and automation take hold.
Online marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru make it easy for employers to connect with freelancers across the globe. As a result, the competition for online jobs is becoming fierce, and employees must stand out from the crowd. When applying for a job, make sure you highlight skills that are valuable to the employer. Tailor your profile to include relevant work experience, courses online or offline that you have graduated from, and a proficiency in language/technology (i.e., English, French, German, etc.).
Along with your skills, you should also showcase qualities that employers value including reliability, dedication, and flexibility. With so much competition, employers are looking for any edge they can get. Tools like Upwork provide freelancers with a chance to set a price for their work, which in turn allows them to negotiate with employers.