During these economic troubling times, many people are either searching for work or looking for extra work on the side. Craigslist offers a fairly large listing of freelance opportunities that can fulfill these needs. These freelance jobs are typically “contractor” jobs that have no benefits or even set hours. Some are projects that can be completed for an agreed upon sum of money. Others are may be short term opportunity with large companies requiring temporary workers. Many may find these types of jobs to be both tempting and inviting. However, there can be downsides to completing such freelance opportunities. By taking adequate measures, job hunters can minimize any problems when searching for freelance opportunities.
Craigslist has become one of the largest sources of contractor or freelance type job listings. It is free to list such job opportunities and there are hundreds, if not more, posted on a daily basis. They can be very short projects lasting only a day or long term assignments leading up to regular employment. Many are projects offered by individuals in need some type of help. While there are some great opportunities, there are also many freelance jobs that are too true to be real. Even jobs posted that are legitimate can have problems including lack of payment, poor communication from the job poster, and even an inability to agree to a finished product. This doesn’t mean that such freelance opportunities should be avoided. Job seekers can best use such opportunities with a touch of caution and some steps to ensure a secure relationship with any prospective employer.
While there are some rough spots on Craigslist, there are also fantastic opportunities that may not be found anywhere else. Sometimes there are unique jobs such as acting roles, writing opportunities, research jobs, or even movie director jobs. Other opportunities can include everything from computer system support, gardening, cleaning, or even art design work. Finding such opportunities can mean shifting through countless less than helpful opportunities while trying to avoid scammers.
Some job postings on Craigslist are outright scams that either try to setup prospective job hunters or attempt to sell a product. These types of ads may require the job hunter sign up with registration or have them simply click on a link to a website. By doing so the job hunter will help the so called job poster make money either through advertising paid site links or by submitting personal information that can be resold. Such scams may be very legitimate in appearance while others can be easy to spot.
Recently I encountered one such example. I noticed a job posting pm Craigslist for a freelance writing opportunity. The ad appeared legitimate and there was even a company listed under the details. After sending an email message introducing myself and some limited background information, I received a link to apply. The link led to a website that required that I download a suspicious program that turned out to be spyware. After some research, I discovered that the opportunity was in fact a scam and many people had succumbed to the job offer with regret. This example can show how even very legitimate appearing jobs may not be actual jobs.
Even if a job opportunity is legitimate there can be a myriad of issues that come into play. These issues can include problems acquiring payment for services rendered, problematic communication between the job poster and the worker, and even a lack of agreeable terms. Some job posters can be very demanding and refuse payment if they feel the work is not up to their expectations. Other job posters may even refuse to submit payment without any further communication. A worker can end up completing work without payment and a reason why there were not paid. Other problems can include job posters that change the terms of the agreed upon work throughout a project. They may try to add on new work or change previous work portions. While these potential issues can be a deterrent to some job hunters, there are ways to minimize such issues.
One way is to write and sign a short contract of terms. This can help clarify the job, its components, the agreed upon price, how payment will be submitted, confliction resolution, and the time frame for the job completion including expected payment. Job hunters can either suggest such an agreement or even write one up themselves. While some job posters may hesitate with such a contract, it can benefit them as well as the worker. Employment contract sites can provide help with such contracts include downloadable contract forms for a fee.
Another helpful tip is to ask for background information about the job and the job poster (if available). Asking for such information can be a good way to screen out scammers. It can also help provide more information about the freelance opportunity before committing to working on a project. Determining how long a job will last and whether the compensation is fair can be difficult in the beginning. A good overview of the project can help reduce such confusion.
A further strategy is to find out if there are third part references or reviews about the employer. Sometimes third party reviews can also be found online. Other job posters may have prior clients that are will to speak or write as to the authenticity of the employer.
Other ways to help reduce any problems include using a third party resolution dispute specialist, an online employment contract service, and even an attorney if affordable. These services may be extreme for certain situations but can help to prevent any large scale problems down the road, especially for high paying opportunities. Employment contracts can even be purchased from sites such as Rocket Lawyer.
While there are scammers and less than ideal jobs being posted on Craigslist, it is important to remember that there are still great opportunities to be had. Sometimes these are jobs that are too unique to be posted on a major job board. One example might be someone wanting coach or tutor to teach them about Adobe Photoshop. Others can include home sitting jobs or even gun cleaning jobs. The range of freelance jobs on Craigslist can be quite large and diverse. By taking steps to ensure safe transactions with employers, job hunters can find interesting opportunities on Craigslist. While not every freelance job may appeal to everyone, there are gems to be found.