What are your top freelancing concerns for 2018?

Weekly Newsletter for Freelancers: Here is the latest newsletter of this week starting on 12th of February 2018.

Critical to freelancers’ success in 2018 and beyond is identifying the issues that matter to them and then trying to do something about it. Do you agree? 

However, some of these important issues are social issues that require a change in government policies. That is why it is important that membership of the Freelancers’ Union matters to all freelancers globally. 

What are your top freelancing concerns for 2018?

It is because they will represent you with the Future of Work changing very quickly. This is why Sara Horowitz, the recent past CEO of the Freelancers’ Union, was invited to The International Monetary Fund’s Future of Work Forum. I am sure Sara will continue the campaign for independent workers. 

For 2018 Yu Liu looked at the top four concerns for freelancers for 2018 for Fastcompany.com which you can read here. As you may probably have guessed, this is what they are:

  1. Affordable medical insurance
  2. Better contractual protections
  3. Portable benefits
  4. Reconsidering unionization

You can see from this list that most, if not all, require unaffiliated workers to unite to better represent themselves. Having been a banker, accountant and financial planner in my past careers, it would be reasonable to say that the financial services industry globally would agree with this list.

Possibly, I would have included work-life balance (i.e. how long we need to work as freelancers) to fund our retirement.

With the global freelancing population increasing very rapidly, these issues will quickly become an important social issue. I would not be surprised that the freelancing workforce in Australia is 40% of the total workforce within ten years, see here


Motivate Yourself!
“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” – Bill Gates

If you are an information technology specialist, should you be motivated to include Amazon Web Services qualifications?

Amazon Web Services qualification is important for the IT Specialists.

Critical to the success of freelance information technology (IT) specialists is keeping abreast with technology changes. This is because of the changes that artificial intelligence is bringing to the IT industry globally.

It would be easy to fall behind. This Harvard University article gives an overview of the likely impact on the IT industry and main street society generally. It will be huge!

Smart IT specialists will do their research and find out which internet company is the largest in the world and the most innovative. Each year Fastcompany.com issues a list of the most innovative companies in the world, this is the list here.

That leaves the question as to which is the largest internet company in the world based on revenue. This is the list from Largest-biggest.com here. Guess which company! This is how many employees Amazon now has, see here.

It is hard to believe, but not when you consider how much share of the world’s cloud computing Amazon has, which shows here.

This is Upwork’s report on 20 fastest-growing skills for freelancers in Q3 2017

It would appear that Amazon Web Services is going to provide a lot of freelancing opportunities in the future.


Productivity and Budget Tip of the Week

Critical for every freelancer is the reconciliation of their bank accounts and PayPal account.

Reconciliation of Freelancers bank accounts and PayPal account

I am a frequent user of PayPal which is linked to my bank account and credit card. Each month I make sure that I reconcile the transactions to ensure that I identify all items that are going through my accounts.

If you are unable to reconcile a particular items you can report it to your bank or Paypal as a disputed transaction and they will seek an explanation from the initiator of the debit (or credit).

I have had instances of being required to query both Paypal and bank   disputed transactions.  If they cannot get a sound reason for it being a valid transaction you will get a refund if it is an unauthorized debit. Do you reconcile your bank account and PayPal account?

Reconciliation of your bank account and PayPal account is facilitated by some accounting software packages. TheBalance.com writer Justin Pritchard has written How bank reconciliation works and why it is important. You can read Justin’s article here.


Work-Life Balance Tip of the Week

What does it take to have a healthy work-life balance in 2018?

What does it take to have a healthy work-life balance in 2018?

Critical to avoiding freelance burnout in 2018, is learning that work-life balance is real and has to be actively managed. I have read articles in 2017 that claim that work-life balance is a fiction as a corporate employee and that it is a mirage. Hmmm! Do you believe that? 

Here is one article that I read about the issue that was written by Tracy Moore, it was entitled Work-life balance is a mirage. Here’s exactly what has to change. The article appeared in the Jezbel.com blog. It makes you realize that parents, where one partner is freelancing, have a big advantage over those where both parents are working in a 9 to 5 corporate role.

However, it does not mean that for freelancers starting out in the 2018 working year should continue on the same way as they did in 2017 without stopping to consider the issues. Brad Fitzgerald has written Creating a healthy work-life balance as a freelance designer. The article appears in the Millo.com blog


Financial Tip of the Week

APR is a financial term that every freelancer should know.

APR is a financial term that every freelancer should know.

Essential financial terms knowledge can have a big impact on the finances of freelancers, plus everyone else too! However, it is very easy to focus just on your skill set and ignore the impact financial knowledge can have on your financial well-being. Maryalene LaPonsie has written 12 Terms You Need to Know to Get Out of Debt and Clean Up Your Credit for Money.usnews.com which you can read here.

On the top of Maryalene’s list is APR which stands for Annual Percentage Rate on your debt and is not just a simple interest rate so it can be misleading. Maryalene explains the difference very well plus the meaning of other important financial terms.

For freelancers who are considering their finances and long-term situation I draw your attention to this post to the Financial Planning Association of Australia Limited (FPA) Facebook Page here.

It is clear that Christine Lagarde, The Managing Director of The International Monetary Fund, understands The Future of Work is changing rapidly and the role freelancing (particularly for women) is going to play. It is worth joining the conversation at the FPA Facebook Page and tweeting support for Christine and following her on Twitter.


Amazon Associates Website Case Study

The history of the Case Study can be read at links to the previous newsletter issues

The work on the Amazon Associates website has progressed with new articles being added which can be seen here:

The articles have been searched engine optimized and have started to be promoted on Facebook and Twitter. Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus accounts have been opened.

The research works are continuing and the current results can be seen here:

A new amazing piece of news from Amazon has emerged with the commencement of the opening of the Amazon Go supermarket which is a checkout free supermarket. You can read the article here.

It is clear that Amazon is only just getting started with disruptive innovation. A lot of retail jobs will disappear and a freelancing career is looking very attractive.


Freelancers And Cyber Security

We have gained approval from Robert Siciliano to bring you extracts from his books related to cyber security for freelancers. Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert and consultant. He also gives self defense and personal safety seminars. Robert provides safety and identity theft fraud prevention tips and advice on multimedia channels in the United States. We have his approval to bring you weekly extracts from his books:

How Common Is Identity Theft?

How Common Is Identity Theft?
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