Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in more than 20 years, affecting much of the country and farmers. In some areas, it is the worst drought in living memory. Left in dire straits, farmers are living on the edge.
No money or feed for stock means no money to pay the bank mortgage or to feed their families. All this causes insurmountable pressure and only limited emergency government help for farming families through these tough times.
No one knows when the drought will break and when it does, it takes immense resilience to bounce back.
Both Federal and State governments are giving the best support they can to drought-affected farmers and rural communities impacted.
However, building family and farm budget resilience needs looking outside the traditional channels in the longer term. The digital economy presents ever-expanding opportunities that have not existed in the past.
There has to be a way another answer for farmers to subsidize their finances to survive. And, there is – freelancing in the digital economy. Everyone has transferable skills they can use to bring in extra money to support their farm and families.
It is a matter of knowing what you have to offer, how to market them and where. There may even be an industry you would like to get into and there is cost-effective training online that can help you get there.
According to a CX global report, 4.1 million
Australians were freelancing in 2015 and growing in 2018. This is the fastest
growing area of employment in the country. It gives you work-life balance and control of your finances. There is no
shortage of work when you can work with people from across the world and put in
Companies outsource work for many reasons. More and more companies are doing this because of the benefits. It is a sustainable way to get work done without paying for permanent full or part-time staff.
With times tough for businesses, outsourcing means there are no ongoing costs. They do not have to pay holiday pay, public holiday loading, training costs or down times with staff sitting around with nothing to do.
It is more sustainable for companies to access the workers they need when they need them for a fixed cost. Using freelance staff allows for:
In a tough economy and with the effects of the drought it is tougher than ever to earn a stable income. It is time to take control and take advantage of the outsourcing trend.
You may think you have nothing to offer or not know where to start. But there is plenty of guidance to help you begin your freelancing journey from home. This eBook is specially designed step by step guide to starting out as a freelancer:
All farmers have marketable skills. Consider how many of the following you use in the course of a day:
The first thing you need to do is write a list of your current skills. Then evaluate how to use them to make money freelancing online. Here are a few jobs in demand most farming families can use their skills to market online:
These are just a few of the skills in demand online. As a farmer, you are a subject matter expert in your
field. You can even write a book or magazine articles using your specialist
knowledge. Even writing about the effects
of the drought. When planning to write a book there are free tools available to help you before
you even start. The best place to begin is to do your research.
When you lack confidence in your current skills or want to learn new skills, access cost-effective training to help you get started. There are unlimited courses online that will polish your skills.
One of the fastest growing online areas is technology according to Upwork. This area is vast and if you have an interest in it there are many courses available to get you started in your online business. There are about 5,000 skills that are listed on Upwork. The eBook advertised above walks you through a process to locate the right skill for you.
Your training choices matter and training online gives you access to the course of your choice any time of the day. This leaves you free to meet other commitments on the farm.
is one of the best places to find courses to help you brush up on your skills
or to upskill. There are thousands of courses run by industry professionals.
These cost little money and help to move your freelancing business forward.
This drought may be more severe than all others in living memory in some areas of Australia, but it will end. The time to start to build resilience into your budget is now, the first step is by looking at outside sources of income to help your farm budget.
Investigate freelancing – it can help you take control of your life and finances. It is a multi-billion dollar industry in Australia.
If you have any doubts about this change to the new economy and the future of work this article by Michael Bailey entitled The gig economy is growing whether you like it or not which appeared in the Australian Financial Review and can be read here.
This is an international trend that is unstoppable and Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of The International Monetary Fund has been conducting seminars on The New Economy and The Future of Work which you can watch here.
The IMF’s invitation to join the conversation is there. Accept it because it is about your future and helping you build resilience in your budget.