Working in your Pajamas

For the past year or so, we’ve slowly begun to realize that we’re moving into the downward flow of the economic cycle; the housing bubble has burst and we haven’t yet started building the next. Hiring freezes are being put into place and layoffs are occurring in many different industries. So now is as good as time any to ask yourself, are you maximizing all possible revenue streams?

I recently stumbled across this article by Collis Ta’eed about how he makes a couple thousand dollars a year of royalties from producing stock work for design sites, often from leftover items from his design work. I sent the link to a few of my artist friends and one is already in the process of signing up. Emailing me back he noted, “To start each month with money from royalties eases stresses revolving around work, and allows more flexibility in searching out more rewarding contracts. Gravy!”

While producing stock work isn’t going to be possible for all career fields, if you work in a service sector there are a growing number of websites that are helping to facilitate new working arrangements or supplement your income.  Virtual assistants are the most well known and are ideal for students, recent grads or people who highly prize flexibility in their work. The Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection (CVAC ) provides “a venue for VAs to network, share knowledge and skills, plan events and obtain valuable support from other VAs in various stages of business development.”

Ideoagoras, essentially idea marketplaces, help connect people in a wide range of industries with people with diverse skill sets. For instance, InnoCentive connects businesses, governments, academic and non-profit organizations with hundreds of thousands of engineers, scientists, inventors, and business people with expertise in life sciences, engineering, chemistry, math, computer science, and entrepreneurship to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges.

If contract work isn’t your cup of tea, don’t fret too much as growing regular employment opportunities are probably just around the corner and the next bubble’s foundations are undoubtedly being laid and propelled by the imagination of some grade schooler.

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