Working in the New Gig Economy Instead of the Old Employer Economy
September 26 2019 - Best Practices for Choosing your Gig Category By Fiverr
Gigs help connect you to buyersóitís an opportunity to sell what you can do. So why not sell it well? An irresistible gig is persuasive and anticipates what buyers need. It is your chance to inform, educate, and engage prospective clients.
This is why you want to make sure your gigs include all the important details, gives them a taste of your professionalism and grabs their attention. In essence, you are providing a snapshot of the services you can provide and what makes it distinct from your competitors.
Here are some best practices to apply when choosing your gig category:
Give Them the Necessary Details
For starters, each package you create should have a detailed breakdown of the service being provided. The more familiar you are with what you are selling, the easier it will be to market it on Fiverr.
Next, you can get acquainted with the steps it takes to create a gigóeach section is carefully designed to show a breakdown of your service so that it is easy for buyers to access and understand. These decision-makers are often pressed for time and must adhere to strict deadlines. Keep this in mind, as you choose, design, and complete your gig category.
Hereís a general breakdown of what you need to do and include:
An overview of your service (make sure you choose a relevant category)
The scope and pricing
A concise description of the service and answers to frequently asked questions
The information and requirements you will need to perform the service
A gallery or digital portfolio of your previous work
Publish and share your gig on different networks
Show Them You Are An Expert
When creating profiles and packages online, it is easy to forget that there is a person on the other end receiving the information you dispatched. But a real pro knows their target audience and anticipates their needsótheir services are communicated well and give buyers the reassurance they desire.
A great way to use your expertise as an advantage over competitors is to wow them with packages too good to pass up on. You can design it so each package shows your range of skills and quality of work. For instance, a writer can tier a variety of skills such as SEO marketing, topic research, and long-term content roadmaps.
Your FAQ sheet is another key moment to cultivate a rapport and foresee their concerns. For example, if you offer SEO services, many buyers are curious to know what strategies you implementóuse this section to explain your optimization process and what it entails. All the answers you provide should be useful and informative.
Essentially, each section should show exactly what makes your service high-quality.
Grab and Keep Their Attention
Your individuality is an incredible asset, and it could make a big difference when it comes down to decision time. Buyers are scrolling through a long list of options, so what can you do to stand out?
Donít just rely on your title or description page to engage with your target groupómake your gig aesthetically pleasing. Entice them with a high-resolution cover photo, a well-edited explainer video, or visual samples of your work. These supplemental sources give your audience a look into your originality, experience, and style.
You also donít want to wait around for an opportunity to come knocking on your dooróshare your services with the world. Advertise your gigs on all social media platforms and different networks, it will help get you noticed and build exposure.
Preparing Yourself for the Automation Age Robots and Artificial Intelligence
September 10 2019 - Employers Canít Retrain the U.S. by Themselves By Bloomberg
Preparing workers for the age of automation will require greater government investment.
Regardless of industry, todayís workers are bound by a common anxiety: their jobs will one day be performed by robots. While the threat is more imminent for some than for others, nearly everyone will need new skills in order to succeed. Businesses should help workers prepare for the challenges posed by automation ó but they canít shoulder the task on their own.
In the U.S., more than 7 million job openings remain unfilled. A shortage of workers is to be expected in a tight labor market, but thatís only part of the explanation. More than one in five employers say applicants lack skills necessary for the jobs on offer ó not just competency in digital technologies, but also soft skills like communication and problem-solving.
As more workplace tasks become automated, this deficit threatens to leave millions of less-educated workers behind. According to a McKinsey report, low and middle-wage workers are at greatest risk of seeing their jobs become obsolete by 2030. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. labor force will require additional training just to hold on to the jobs they currently have. High-wage jobs are expected to grow as a share of overall employment, but the countryís education system isnít producing candidates with the skills required.
Last month, Amazon.com Inc. announced a $700 million investment to help workers learn new skills and advance their careers. The ďUpskilling 2025Ē program is better than nothing, but still only a limited response to the problem. The company plans to create a software-engineering school to teach non-technical workers how to code. Warehouse staffers will receive paid time to study for credentials to work as IT support technicians. Amazon has also pledged to cover 95% of tuition costs for employees who pursue certificates and degrees in occupations outside of Amazonís core businesses, such as aircraft mechanics, web design and nursing. Spread over six years, however, the companyís planned spending per worker each year will still be lower ($1,077) than the current national average ($1,296).
To upgrade the skills of Americans at greatest risk from automation, a more comprehensive approach is required ó one thatís backed by government. To start, states and the federal government should boost tax credits to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to invest more in retraining low-skilled workers. States should bolster workforce development boards that help community colleges and technical schools customize course offerings to meet the needs of local industries.
The government should also do more to promote apprenticeships, which allow workers, including mid-career professionals, to earn a salary while they learn new trades. The Trump administration has approved modest increases in federal grants to apprenticeship programs, but the U.S.ís investment remains paltry compared to that of countries, like Germany, with well-developed apprenticeship systems.
Workers themselves need to embrace the idea of retraining as a lifelong endeavor. Policy makers can assist by making short-term certificate programs eligible for federal student aid, as the bipartisan JOBS Act aims to do. Subsidized individual training accounts, like those offered by Singaporeís government, would encourage more adult learners to complete unfinished degrees or seek additional credentials. And Congress should revive the previous administrationís proposal to extend wage insurance to displaced workers who take new jobs at lower salaries. That would give middle-class workers the financial cushion to pursue more education while continuing to work.
Creating an educational and training system suited for the future of work will require government, educational institutions and industry leaders to collaborate. Success is possible, but it wonít come cheap. There are some things big business ó even Amazon ó canít deliver.
Free College Is No Use for Those Who Don't Need College Education
August 05 2019 - Education Is for Everyone But College Isnít By Bloomberg
Many career skills can be better and more cheaply taught at two-year schools or on-the-job.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she wants to turn K-12 schooling into K-16 -- in other words, to move toward making public four-year colleges free and universal. But there are good reasons not to do this. Past a certain point, education probably works best as an eclectic mix of approaches rather than as a one-size-fits-all program.
The four-year university program has become the standard among the educated classes who make education policy. But just because the system worked for them doesnít mean it works for everyone. Over time, the percent of young Americans with college degrees has risen, but itís still a minority:
Share of Americans age 25-29 with bachelor's degree of higher
Itís not clear how much more this rate can or should be increased. At present, only about 67% of those who enroll in four-year colleges graduate within six years. This rate has increased slightly since 1990, but some education researchers question whether this is due to improved performance or to lower standards for graduation.
Proponents of universal free college may argue that students could be dropping out because of the price But the fact that graduation rates have been relatively stable for decades, despite big increases in tuition, suggests that price is not a major explanation for dropout rates. Instead, it suggests that the four-year college track simply isnít for everyone.
The four-year college model could also be a bad fit for people who just want a good job. In recent years, students have been gravitating away from humanities and social science majors and toward health services and other pre-professional majors. Thatís a sign that lots of todayís students donít go to college in order to become well-rounded scholars, but to climb into the middle class and earn a decent living. For these students, shorter, more practical degrees might be in order.
So policy makers should think about alternative options for the substantial portion of Americans who are either unwilling or unable to earn a bachelor's degree or higher. One option is career technical education (CTE). Economists Ann Huff Stevens, Michal Kurlaender and Michel Grosz estimated in 2018 that, even after controlling for student characteristics and individual differences in pre-degree earning power, these programs provide a substantial return on investment. In the health sector, those returns ranged from 12 to 99%.
The returns would be even higher for students if the government invested more on their behalf. From 2013 to 2016, economists William Evans, Melissa Kearney, Brendan Perry, and James Sullivan conducted an experiment at community colleges in Fort Worth, Texas. Randomly chosen students were offered assistance in completing their degrees, including mentoring, coaching and financial aid in emergencies. The program increased graduation rates substantially, and the authors estimate that those studentsí extra earnings exceed the programís costs after only 4.5 years.
This suggests that governments should go ahead and make community college free. Politicians such as President Barack Obama have long promised to do this, and there seems little reason not to. Because most people who attend community college come from low-income backgrounds, thereís little worry that this money would go to rich kids. It might even be worth it to pay people to go to community college, to help compensate them for foregone earnings.
Another alternative is on-the-job training. College specializes in teaching abstract ideas and general knowledge, but for directly applicable specific skills, itís hard to beat the education that one gets from coworkers in a task-oriented environment. In a recent paper, economists Kyle Herkenhoff, Jeremy Lise, Guido Menzio and Gordon Phillips looked at workers who changed jobs. They found that workers who were paid less than their coworkers in the first job tended to earn more in the second job. But the reverse didnít hold -- workers who were paid more than their coworkers at one job didnít take a hit to their earnings when they switched. To the extent that wages are a measure of job skills, this suggests that workers learn from more knowledgeable co-workers, but that the more knowledgeable co-workers donít suffer any penalties from teaching their fellow employees.
There are several ways to boost on-the-job learning in the U.S. labor market. One is to give companies more incentive to provide worker training. To some extent this is already happening -- in 2017, according to one report, U.S. companies spent $90.6 billion on training, representing a substantial increase from 2016 (though much of this may represent training regarding sexual harassment and other bad behavior). Government tax breaks and other incentives could encourage more companies to train their own workers instead of relying on the publicly funded education system to do it for them.
Apprenticeships are another approach. Widely regarded as having been successful in Germany, and with evidence suggesting returns similar to those of other types of education, these programs are catching on in the U.S., with about a half-million people now in apprenticeship programs. Although typically associated with manufacturing, apprenticeships can also be useful for white-collar jobs. Under a program from the Obama era, the Department of Labor has been helping set up apprenticeships.
So although the traditional four-year university track is good for some Americans, there are many others -- disproportionately from disadvantaged backgrounds -- who would benefit from alternative education and training programs. Instead of turning K-12 education into K-16, the government should embrace the kaleidoscope of learning approaches.