Loving what you do so that your never ‘work’ a day in your life is a luxury for the wealthy few. For the rest of us, it’s about learning a skill that we can apply to a craft – and that is still no guarantee of a livelihood.
For writers, job opportunities have thinned down substantially with the discontinuation of many titles and media houses closing down. Those that maintained an online presence, kept a very small staff, leaving slim pickings for the freelance masses.
With my skills set, I decided to jump on the pivot-bandwagon and try teaching English to foreigners. I duly equipped myself with a formal Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification recognised by both British and American governments, and I was on my way.
Having secured a contract, I was quite excited to begin this journey, only to discover a gestapo mentality in the management and a penal code so severe it was virtually impossible to earn the measly $5 an hour. This lasted but a week and I was happy that my exploitation was as short-lived as it was.
Then I returned to my first love, writing, and completed a subbing test which was asking for the best effort. Mine, apparently proved that I was overqualified. They had my CV before sending me the test so this data was not new to them. Was it just a cheap way to get an article subbed and skive out of paying for it?
It seems like there are a lot of ‘scams’ posing as decent pay for decent work, but when it comes to putting money in your account, these organisations have a long list of reasons why they won’t. Worse still, they ask for a ‘security deposit’ after you choose the job from their briefing video which tells you to press the ‘buttom’ not once (forgivable) but four times. This from a site where freelancers flock in their thousands – none other than freelancer.com
With unemployment numbers as high as they are and livelihoods on the brink of despair from the added pressures of COVID19, is it expected that those of us with real skills who are willing to make an honest living must take whatever we’re thrown?