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How to find a job in a tough economy- outsource yourself

Updated on October 18, 2012

Looking for work in this tough economy think about online work

If you have asked yourself how to find a job in a tough economy, you should really consider outsourcing yourself and working from home. If you find yourself out of work for weeks and months on end, it can be daunting to try and come up with solutions that will help you achieve your goal of getting back to work. The pressure of taking care of the immediate future in terms of having enough to provide for yourself and family can be immense. However due to the globalized economy we live in, it does not have to be all doom and gloom. While many jobs that have been done by Americans have moved out of the country if you have some core basic skills there is still a lot you can do to supplement your income by putting yourself out their in the global workforce by creating a profile on sites such as oDesk, elance, and guru to bid on projects that you can accomplish from your home. While some of these jobs may not pay anywhere near the amount of money that you would to be earning there are several types of jobs that will make sure you have food to eat if you work hard and maximize your available time each day.

If you are not familiar with these sites do not get put off when you notice that lots of the other people looking for jobs are from places like India, the Philippines, Bangladesh and elsewhere. While for some jobs you may be competing directly with them and they will be open to working for a lower wage than you many employers are looking for US based workers or require tasks that require more intimate knowledge with US business and consumer behaviors and these are great opportunities if you are looking for work.

Online Outsourcing Companies

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Types of Jobs Great for US Employees

If you have specific training / education for a skill around graphic design, programming, engineering, etc. there are lots of great opportunities for you through the outsourced systems and while you will be bidding against people from abroad as a US based employee you are often highly desirable so keep your rates at a level you feel comfortable with.

However there are still lots of great jobs available for people that are just trained to use a computer and feel comfortable learning new tasks quickly and giving anything a go to make a buck. Here are some of the jobs that are great for US based individuals to seek out on online outsourcing sites like oDesk, Elance, and Guru.

1. Craigslist Posting - While it is a simple task there is many people seeking people that can post on Craigslist and due to the restrictions on craigslist with phone verificed accounts required for posting in many categories such as Real Estate or in the Services sections having a US IP address for your computer and access to a US phone number can mean you can earn between 1 -2 per live ad that sticks in the system. Leverage your family phones and friends that are willing to help you out and you can have several PVA's for making posts.

2. Virtual Assistant - Basically this can range from answering emails and phone calls to someone to doing any other kind of administrative tasks from preparing basic financials like expense reports, helping plan travels, set up meetings, write emails, draft documents, and any other basic office tasks that someone may like to have off their plate so they can focus on the parts of their business that are most critical to them while having an assistant with the other important activities.

3. Market Research - Looking at websites, finding out prices, building basic analysis reports of competitors or existing products on the market. Making phone calls to customers and asking questions etc. Any task that requires interactions between US based customers are great jobs to look for as the employer will be more inclined to pay a little more for local support rather than off shoring the task.

4. Social Media Support - Write twitter responses, responded to twitter messages and in general assist a company manage their twitter account. This can also be true for facebook pages, submitting content to redgage, stumbleupon, reddit, digg, and several other places that a business may be looking to promote itself online.

5. Website content Writing - There are lots of jobs available for writing content and if you are ok with making $5 per 500 words then it is really easy to get jobs that require minimal effort if you have a fast words per minute typing speed, however the best angle for a US based contractor to look for is website content and press release writing. The employer knows this is not some random blog for SEO value writing web content will be read by customers and press releases as well, so they often are seeking an expert in English and someone they can relie on to have an interaction with either on the phone or through IM, so being local is good for those interactions.

These are just a few jobs that are readily available through online outsourcing websites. I have done them all at some point and often find that I get hired by a lot of UK and Australian contractors that are developing products for the US market or they are currently marketing in the US and they appreciate working with a local person that is in tune with the popular culture, ways of communicating, and being in a local time zone if any real time interactions are required with their customers.

Hopefully this inspires someone to check out the sites above rather than being bummed about no work, as it isn't always pretty how you earn the paycheck, but I would rather be earning something then nothing. Outsource yourself and enjoy the random jobs and interactions you have, you might be surprised how one job for an employer may turn into a full time gig doing something completely different for them.


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    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Excellent suggestions! A fantastic way to look at there being no open jobs in the area, and no money coming in!

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      I never thought about people paying you for making a craigslist post because of the restrictions. I cant see why someone would just pay for making the posts otherwise then to cheat the system by paying there way around it.