VOL. 130 | NO. 138 | Friday, July 17, 2015
Disruptive Innovation Helps Fill in the Gaps
By Angela Copeland
Being out of work in today’s economy can be daunting. Even as things continue to improve, finding a job can be tough. In addition to the small number of new positions created each day, the entire hiring process takes longer – despite when you find the perfect job.
Many of us tie our entire identity to our job, our title and the perceived value that we bring each day when we punch the clock. I’m guilty of this too. When a job loss occurs, some part of one’s personal identity is stripped away.
Even worse than losing a work identity is losing financial independence. Someone who was been a breadwinner and financially stable for years may find themselves unable to pay their bills. Even after cutting back expenses, they may debate between whether or not to dip into their retirement fund.
It’s an awful, out-of-control feeling. Sometimes, an unemployed person would just like to bring in a few dollars to feel like they’re contributing. With that in mind, I’d like you to consider something.
You’ve heard of the disruptive businesses taking the world by storm. Many are creating controversy in their respective industries as they challenge norms and local laws. These businesses use technology to grow and in most cases, they create new opportunities that didn’t exist before.
Those new opportunities could be the perfect way to fill in the financial gaps during a period of unemployment.
Let’s start with the obvious choice: Uber and Lyft. I’ve quizzed every driver I’ve ridden with for the last year. From different professional backgrounds, they have one thing in common – they love the freedom they’ve gained from driving. Both services are fairly easy to sign up for, with an average Uber driver making approximately $19 per hour. The best news is, you only work when you want to; there’s no schedule. That’s pretty good for a part-time, whenever-you-feel-like-it sort of gig.
If driving isn’t your thing, check out Upwork.com. They describe themselves as “creating an online workplace for the world.” Companies use the site to find freelancers for specific projects. Their most popular categories include virtual assistants, sales and marketing, customer service agents, web developers, writers and accountants. The site works a little like eBay, with every freelancer receiving a rating and review after each project.
A less obvious option if Airbnb. Airbnb.com gives you the option of renting out part or all of your home to a stranger. It sounds odd at first, but each traveler and each host are rated at the end of every stay. On a recent trip to Dallas, I stayed at an Airbnb that was hosting four people per night. I can only imagine they’re more than covering their mortgage with this side venture.
As with anything, it’s important to do your research and to be careful. But, if you do choose to explore on one these options, you might just find that you regain a little financial independence while you’re looking for your next big career.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.