Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Freelancers Who've Been Affected By CA AB5..All Hope isn't Lost

If you work as a content writer, rideshare driver, or transcriptionist for other companies, chances are that your income has been impacted by the Assembly Bill 5 that went into effect on January 1.  A lot of companies are either cutting way back on hiring California freelancers or limiting income opportunities.  While the logistics can be complicated for both gig workers and employers, there are some options to keep the money flowing without losing your mind.

For those of you with other challenges, like disability or child care, now may be the time to hit up government resources.  Since other statewide factors, like new rent control laws, impact the number of resources available at the moment, it's best to keep in touch with anything that might bite in the future.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be covering some out-of-the-box thoughts since not everyone needs to be a web developer.  It also helps to be wary of predators out there who may try to pry away your mad money or place you in a weird predicament.  A few years ago, I was contacted by an organization that needed people to "maintain" ATM machines near me.  Although I worked for one of the biggest banks back in the day, I'd never given thought as to who wiped the fingerprints off the keypads or picked up trash.  The company that reached out to me had a website and I was speaking with a live person (who sounded like a teen).  They even sent out a kit that contained a badge and tee shirt with their logo.  Anyway, I didn't do it because it sounded scammy.

Three things to consider for fast income:

  1. If you're a writer, try branching out into coding or transcription.  Since some writing jobs call for fast turnaround or articles written in HTML format, it may help to add this as a solid skill.  While there are many free and low-cost coding options, it's best to take baby steps before stepping deep into web development.  This includes bootcamps that deduct tuition from future earnings or have a fluctuating payment system (*waves at Udacity*).  The same applies to transcription because those with natural skill excel faster than those who've struggled with typing or editing in the past.  This is just a word of advice before you go spending on an "investment".
  2. Going back to school.  Although Trump & Co has worked some magic on the financial aid process, going back to community college for a certificate or Associate's degree can help. One reason is that more cc's are offering online courses and programs that can be completed online without out-of-state fees.  The other is that grants (state and federal) can be applied to a reasonable education plan.  Those on disability can apply this to their work program without fear of getting benefits reduced. In California, even if a student has exhausted grants and are ineligible for a loan, they can still get tuition waived if they meet certain income guidelines and complete a FAFSA application.  If you go to school in person, take advantage of networking opportunities.
  3. Rideshare drivers can consider other options.  Amazon has a number of growing work opportunities and they can also become personal shoppers.  Although some companies would rather have someone with an eligible car, insurance, and few driving limitations, those who like people can offer their own services. A food delivery startup is ideal for those who live near large commercial areas or amongst groups of working individuals who may want fresh produce or special meals delivered to their home or office.
Also, this is the time to tap into special talents that pay in cash.  Baking, car repair or restoration, or planning special events can bring in some money with a small start fee.  If you're bored and need extra change, don't forget about those small-change things like surveys and microtasks with fast payouts.

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