7 Work Ideas for Your Freedom Year

7 Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs for 20-Somethings

By John Pacenti  |   Bankrate.com — Mon July 16, 2012
(Original Article on Yahoo.com here)

Work at home in your PJs?

One ad reads, “I will juggle three fire clubs with a firework on my head for $5.” Another offers a 45-minute Spanish lesson on Skype or professional advice on buying real estate. All are on Fiver.com where anybody can sell a service for $5, many through the Internet.

The website is indicative of how the work-at-home job scene has evolved in just the last few years.

“We are now seeing younger and younger people working from home,” says Michael Haaren, co-founder of RatRaceRebellion.com, which has tracked 17,000 telecommuting jobs since 2007.

“Three years ago, the person who typically worked at home was a mom who wanted to be there for her children. Now it’s skewing younger — and the young people, they are multitasking.”

Many young people have turned to telecommuting due to the lack of entry-level jobs in a struggling economy, Haaren says. These jobs can vary wildly and do not always pay well, but for the intrepid they can be pieced together to pay the bills.

[Related: High-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs]

From more lucrative positions to the usual telecommuting stalwarts, Bankrate took a look at seven industries where a computer in a spare bedroom could mean lots of spare change.

From old-school to new-school

Job: Teacher/Tutor
Pay: $10 to $14 per hour

Hiring for online instructors is robust, as for-profit universities, such as Kaplan and the University of Phoenix, grow, Haaren says.

And colleges aren’t the only schools looking for teachers. All the teachers at the Florida Virtual School, which enrolls children from grades 6 to 12, work from home.

Jennifer Kohn, spokeswoman for Tutor.com, says the company has about 2,500 teachers on contract and a waiting list of thousands. She says tutors teach students of all ages and levels. Recent graduates, and even those still in college, are a good tutoring fit as long as they pass the application process. It also offers those who are retired a great way to supplement their retirement income while giving those taking a break from the real classroom a way to still have income.

“The people who can really do calculus and chemistry get paid more,” she says.

One reason online tutoring is growing is that the students like the anonymity of the service. “It takes away any sort of biases,” Kohn says. “It’s just about the work.”

As for the tutors: “People like the flexibility,” Kohn says. “They can set their own schedule. They can change their hours weekly as they see fit. You can tutor at 9 o’clock at night if you want.”

Shop ’til you drop

Job: Mystery shopper
Pay: $5 and up per assignment

One of the more unusual trends for those working from home is employment as a mystery shopper. More than just liking a store and buying a sweater there, the motive behind it is to help a company’s workforce development, says Dan Denston, executive director of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, or MSPA.

The workings behind a job are relatively simple, albeit detail-oriented. A mystery shopper works as an independent contractor reporting back to a company on various areas and experiences in the store. Depending on how difficult and time-consuming the job is, payment ranges from $5 to $160, Denston says. And with some assignments, shoppers don’t even need to leave home, making phone calls to businesses to examine their customer service.

While they won’t get rich, mystery shopping gives new graduates still looking for a traditional 9-to-5 job an opportunity to help pay the rent, Haaren says.

As the mystery-shopping industry grows — 7 percent from 2010 to 2011 — it’s important to be on the lookout for scams. It’s extremely important to use credible sites to find companies looking for undercover consumers. Denston says his company, MSPA, backs all the secret shopping companies they have as members because they know they are legitimate. “You should never have to pay for a list of mystery shopping jobs,” he says. “It’s a tell-tale sign of a scam.”
[Related: Flummoxed by Failure—or Focused?]

Peddle your goods online

Job: Crafter
Pay: Varies

Selling homemade goods online is a modern turn on old-fashioned small business. Leslie Truex, who runs WorkAtHomeSuccess.com, says these are true cottage industries.

Some of these businesses are even bringing assistants into their homes to help them produce their products, which can be clothing, jewelry or any number of assorted knickknacks. The crafters then advertise their products on popular websites like Etsy, Artfire and Craftsu.

Selling goods or crafts can be a good way for a student or recent graduate to make a few extra bucks if it’s something they enjoy doing, but they need to think about the time involved in their work and whether it will pay off.

“Most people will fail, but a few will be successful,” Truex says. “The key is the ability to market themselves.” You need to be able to know your market, and know where your potential clients can be found, she says.

James Dillehay, author of “How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell,” lives near Santa Fe, N.M., and says it’s important to build up a customer base.

“Because there is so much competition, don’t put all your hopes and resources into developing an Etsy store while ignoring face-to-face markets,” he says.

Etsy reported $62.8 million in goods sold in March — or more than 3 million items sold. The site charges 20 cents to list an item and 3.5 percent of sales. But don’t think you must stick to just Etsy. Other craft sites out there are free, and some just charge a flat fee.

Take your business idea to the Web

Job: Internet entrepreneur
Pay: Potentially millions of dollars

The idea of the struggling artist has given way to that of the ambitious entrepreneur.

Marissa Feinberg says she sees a number of these dreamers at her business, Green Spaces, which provides them with an office setting when needed.

“Everyone is trying to be the next Facebook, the next Mark Zuckerberg, the next Instagram,” she says. “They are getting new funding and circulating their ideas.”

Haaren describes the Internet entrepreneur movement as a “tanker full of gasoline.”

He pointed to the website Kickstarter.com and Crowdfunding.com, where creators of innovative projects can seek money.

Haaren also says new legislation supported by President Barack Obama will allow entrepreneurs to hold “mini IPOs” to get their businesses off the ground. One startup, he says, raised $3 million to fund its idea of synching electronic devices to a watch-like gadget.

Success stories such as Omgpop are fueling the fire. The one-time struggling startup hit it big with the Pictionary-styled smartphone game “Draw Something.” The popularity of the game drew the attention of media game company Zynga, which purchased Omgpop earlier this year for almost $200 million.

The customer is always right

Job: Customer service agents
Pay: $8 to $15 per hour

The backbone of the work-at-home sector is customer service. And it’s attractive to the younger set still looking to enter the job market because all one needs is a telephone and time.

Haaren says the service can vary widely. “Generally it’s for inbound calls,” he says. “It could be ‘I need help ordering a pizza’ (or) helping people with their credit cards.” U-Haul, American Express, Apple and AAA are increasingly using home-based customer service agents, he says. Amazon is also looking to wade into the waters.

“That’s a big deal,” Haaren says. “Amazon is like the 500,000-pound gorilla.”

Allstayathome.com says customer service jobs are very plentiful, but unlike other jobs done from the residence, many companies require a set work schedule. The upside, though, is they may hire customer service agents as permanent employees rather than contractors. This means regular paychecks and benefits.

The downside to being a customer service agent is that companies often require a background check, for which that applicant may have to pay. And, of course, dealing with unhappy customers comes with the territory, so a high threshold for abuse is often a necessity.

‘How may I assist you?’

Job: “Virtual” assistants
Pay: Up to $44,000 per year

Young adults are flocking to virtual assistant jobs, Haaren says. Ads for this line of work vary. Some call for someone who can assist bank customers, others ask for a computer-savvy employee who knows Microsoft Word. Haaren says Internet research jobs such as these are some of the most abundant home-based jobs at the moment.

Another area for virtual assistants to explore is the integration of social media into businesses to get out their message on Facebook, Twitter and other bulletin board sites. “It’s a lot of work, and a lot of people would just rather pay someone to do it,” Truex says.

Indeed.com, a leading online job search site, says virtual assistants can earn as much as $44,000 per year, but there are young people offering their services as virtual assistants on the Internet for as little as $3 per hour.

Exercise your writes

Job: Writer/editor
Pay: 10 cents to $2 per word

Jobs for writers and editors are out there in abundance. Blogging for newspapers that have gone online is one job that’s expanding. If you are more of an editor, that kind of work-at-home job is needed for manuscripts of all types, including textbooks. Recent college graduates and even those still in college can use these blogging and editing experiences to build up their resumes while bringing in some much-needed cash. For those more-experienced journalists and writers out there, this type of freelancing from home could be a profitable endeavor.

Susannah Nesmith, who worked at The Miami Herald for six years, got caught in the crunch of newspaper downsizing but has found freelancing to be highly lucrative. She writes stories for national magazines and newspapers.

While some publications want her skills at a discount, Nesmith won’t work for less than 50 cents a word, and some magazines offer a basic rate between $1 and $2 a word.

The best part about working from home now is the extra freedom she has. “One of the things I like about freelancing is I can fire my bosses. And I have,” Nesmith says.

(Original Article on Yahoo.com here)

The Freedom Year Trend Starts with the “Globals’ Generation Focuses On Experience”

Hopefully, the ‘Globals’ will push a change in corporate America.  Americans need to develop the so-called soft skills:  global mindset, culturally curious & intelligent, as well as speaking another language.

Someday, the talk at the water cooler won’t just be about leaving for maternity or for your MBA.  It will also be expected to take a Freedom Year (sabbatical) to travel, work, and volunteer abroad.

Go Globals!

Cheers

Anthony

_________________________________________________________________________

Globals’ Generation Focuses On Experience

by SAM SANDERS
(Original Article via NPR.com here)

Jennifer Larr (center), 24, is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences.

Courtesy of Jennifer LarrJennifer Larr (center), 24, is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences.

Jennifer Larr has the itch to go abroad. She’s 26 years old and has already spent a year studying in France and two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, and she is headed to Uganda this summer for an internship. She’s also a graduate student, studying international relations at UCLA.

Larr is part of a growing number of 20- and early 30-somethings whose American dream has moved beyond suburban homes and traditional nuclear families, and it’s one that now goes even beyond U.S. borders.

Larr and others like her are more likely than previous generations to live, study and work abroad. As they travel the world, they’re now abandoning some of the traditional tenets of the American dream that their parents held dear.

National pollster John Zogby has been chronicling this trend for years. His book The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream discusses some of the changes taking place in Larr’s generation. He has a name for young people like her: “first globals.”

They understand this idea of a shared fate, or a linked fate. That somehow, what happens to somebody in Mumbai may have an effect on me in West Los Angeles.
– Franklin Gilliam, dean, UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs

“Two out of three of them have passports,” Zogby says. “They are well-traveled; technologically they have networks that include people all over the world. They have a desire to be nimble, to go anywhere and to be anywhere. They also have a desire to change their world and feel like they’re in a position to do that.”

It’s a generation just as likely to watch the World Cup as it is the Super Bowl. It’s not, however, just the children of the wealthy and the educated, says Zogby. “This is expanding beyond the Wellesleys and the Stanfords,” he says. “It’s different now.”

There are a few reasons why. More than 270,000 students studied abroad in the 2009-2010 school year, according to the International Institute of Education. That number is three times what it was two decades earlier. At the same time, the Internet and social media have made every part of the world seem instantly accessible. America’s youth is just more diverse — and international — than ever.

On top of being globally minded, Zogby says, these first globals have a different perspective on the idea of ownership as a tenet of the American dream. They are putting less emphasis on accumulating traditional things like homes, cars and the types of families their parents had. Instead, they’re putting more energy into acquiring experience.

Larr, for instance, says she can do without the house and the kids.

“People will always rent you apartments wherever you go, [and] not every woman wants to have a child and be a mother, and be in the house all the time,” Larr says.

She could even do without the marriage.

“I’ve been in a really long-term relationship, and we’re really happy the way we are. We can be committed to each other without necessarily having someone approve it,” she says.

Zogby says that all of this is reflected in his research, and that much of what made older generations tick just doesn’t work for first globals.

“The permanence of owning things doesn’t exist,” Zogby says. “The permanence of living somewhere doesn’t exist. The permanence of getting a job and holding on to that job for the next 40 years doesn’t exist.”

For many of these first globals, the idea of public service is a common thread. La Mikia Castillo, 28, recently graduated from USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Her family is from the U.S. and Panama, and she has studied and traveled in Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

“My American dream is for other people to be able to achieve whatever they want to achieve,” Castillo says. “It’s not really about me and what I have as an individual. It’s about trying to make a difference around the world.”

Franklin Gilliam, dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, says dreams like Castillo’s represent a new way of seeing the world that’s become common among first globals.

“It’s a sea change in orientation,” Gilliam says. “They understand this idea of a shared fate, or a linked fate. That somehow, what happens to somebody in Mumbai may have an effect on me in West Los Angeles.”

Julia Capizzi, a 33-year-old recent USC graduate who is studying for the Foreign Service exam, agrees.

“The larger world beyond L.A., beyond Chicago and my immediate experiences is an extension of me,” Capizzi says. “So I feel an obligation to know what that is. Otherwise I feel like I’m walking around with blinders on.”

Capizzi also says her American dream is better than that of her parents, because she and people like her aren’t afraid to literally go anywhere to accomplish their goals.

“I think that my generation will be more fulfilled than my parents’ generation,” she says.

But she admits that she had to make some sacrifices to live the life of a first global. She doesn’t own a car or a house, and she says she would love to have already owned a house. There are a lot of different parts of her life, she says, that she’s had to come to peace with to pursue her goals.

In spite of any reservations, the Capizzis, Castillos and Larrs are here to stay, says Zogby, as is their new take on the American dream, and it may upend traditional ideas of family and citizenship as we now know it.

“[There are] going to be so many families out there where Papa’s in Singapore and Mama’s in Mauritius, and Baby is somewhere back and forth,” he says.

The question is, what will that baby’s dream be? And will it even be called American?

Correction July 10, 2012

The audio of this story, as did a previous Web version, incorrectly gives Jennifer Larr’s age as 24. She is 26.

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

Quote

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca; ca. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopherstatesman,dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may have been innocent. (Wikipedia)

Ahhhh…. Playa del Carmen, México

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‘Traveling the World’ is the #1 Priority for Men & Women

Women Choose Travel Over Family

Passports before pacifiers.

By Kristin Wong Mon 5:34 PM
(Article on MSN Live here)

According to a new poll, women want to trot the globe before they walk down the aisle. Bing researched the life goals of British men and women, and the top priority among women was traveling the world, which ranked higher than getting married or having a family.

Photo: Andersen Ross/Getty Images

According to sociologist Jenni Trent Hughes, the results are just proof of what we already knew—women are substantially more independent now than they were merely a generation ago.

“Getting married would have been at the top of the list for women over a decade or two ago, but now with our hard-won independence and more equal footing in society women are just as ready to travel the world as men.”

But that’s not to say that starting a family isn’t on the list at all. In fact, having a family came in second for women in Bing’s poll. For men, it came in third.

Interestingly, women’s third priority was living in another country, which trumped getting married. So it appears that, not only is marriage not in the top three priorities for British women, they also don’t view it as a prerequisite for having kids. The poll results back up the statistics—cohabitation is on the rise, while marriage numbers have declined.

A somewhat similar American study from TIME that revealed marriage is more important to men than it is to women—53 percent of women listed marriage as a top priority, compared to 58 percent of men.

On the other hand, Bing found that getting married came in low on men’s list of top ten priorities. At number nine, marriage barely beat out acting in a movie.

Also on women’s list of lifetime goals? Swimming with the dolphins and owning a bar or restaurant. On the guy’s side, they want to drive an F1 car and record an album.

(Photo: Andersen Ross/Getty Images)

Women’s Life To-Do List:

  1. Traveling the world
  2. Having a family
  3. Living in another country
  4. Getting married
  5. Learning a new skill
  6. Owning a shop
  7. Striking the work life balance
  8. Owning a bar or restaurant
  9. Swimming with dolphins
  10. Recording an album

Men’s Life To-Do List:

  1. Traveling the world
  2. Living in another country
  3. Having a family
  4. Learning a new skill
  5. Driving an F1 car
  6. Recording an album
  7. Striking the work life balance
  8. Owning a bar or restaurant
  9. Getting married
  10. Acting in a film

    Kristin Wong

    • Kristin Wong is a pop culture writer living in Los Angeles. She writes for a weekly national entertainment news show and contributes to various comedy blogs, web series and sketch groups.