Recently an article in the Guardian caught my attention in which the highest court in Italy ruled that a father must continue to pay his 30 year old son the equivalent of £500 (US$660) per month as his son can’t find a job that reflects his training. This is an extreme case but it underlines a couple of key points. Firstly how important it is for teenagers to learn the basics of financial independence early. Secondly how parents need to be aware of opportunities to teach valuable skills such as financial responsibility and ways to earn money and also provide chances to put them into practice. Teens want to dress well, have the latest gadgets, impress friends, and buy gifts for boyfriends or girlfriends. Parents often end up subbing such efforts but still have bills to pay, mortgage payments to make, savings and education funds to top up, holidays to plan, and most can’t afford to pay all the extras that teens need in the 2020s. Luckily even in these straitened times, there are plenty of jobs online and many teenagers have turned these into full-time jobs that net them considerable amounts of money.
Many people think online jobs require experience and are the preserve of more experienced adults. However, teens can find plenty of online jobs that earn them good money. In the past, it was easier for adults to get such roles but in the 2020s there are plenty of gigs for teens both under and over 18 years of age. Online gigs are great for teenagers for at least two reasons. Firstly, they gain some degree of financial independence and will no longer have to continuously ask parents for pocket money. Secondly, with money in the bank, they have the possibility to join in more activities with their friends. Thirdly they familiarize themselves with the world of work and personal responsibility. Fourthly, they can develop great lifetime habits by starting to save money at an early age, learn the value of money and how to manage their funds. The advantages are many. Below is a guide to making money online post-schooling, or during the Summer or even whilst most of the world is in lockdown with Covid-19.
One of the easiest ways to make money online is to offer tutoring services. Foreign languages are always in high demand. If you’re a native speaker of English, Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish, or Japanese, you can teach foreigners. Many online schools around the world, such as Bibo, SameSpeak, Native Camp actively seek speakers of English to teach Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean children and adults.
Depending on the school and students, tutoring sessions usually span from 20 to 30 minutes. EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers can earn up to £12 or US$15 per session. Some schools hire only native speakers, while others accept fluent speakers with some teaching experience. Teachers usually don’t have to prepare for classes as they have access to teaching materials prepared in advance. Apart from language knowledge, there are certain technical requirements to fulfil such as good internet speed, a high-quality laptop with a webcam, and a microphone and earphones.
Other than languages, teens can teach subjects such as maths or physics. Teaching these subjects is possible only if the teen has sufficient knowledge in the selected field. They would also have to prepare in advance and provide materials. Tutoring services of this nature are mostly on an individual basis, rather than being offered by online schools.
Dropshipping Services (an arm of E-commerce)
Dropshipping is a delivery method in e-commerce that is garnering lots of attention, especially amongst young people. Normally in e-commerce business (or offline businesses), a person has to keep products that they’re selling in stock. This isn’t the case with dropshipping. In this business, you (the seller) develop a relationship with a manufacturer then create an online store offering all kinds of products that you don’t hold in stock but your manufacturer does. A customer browses through your store, sees something they want or need, and decides to order it. At this point you (the seller) order the products for your client from a third party (the manufacturer) with instructions to the latter to ship the items directly to the customer’s address. The dropshipping business can be highly profitable. You don’t have to invest in the inventory, expenses are low and your location doesn’t matter. You can run the business from any corner of the globe. Many young people have made lots of money on the Shopify Platform. In return for a flat monthly fee of £29 or USD$39 per month, you can set up a shop on this platform and dropship the products you advertise in your shop via the manufacturer with a price mark up for your margin.
Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce)
Many e-commerce enterprises sell authentic, original products designed by creative teens. If you have creative talents such as painting original artwork, designing boxwork to showcase your art in miniature, or producing jewellery you can try e-commerce. You can make things from scratch, paint or draw, make or design and sell the final product on the Internet. Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are some of the world-famous platforms for e-commerce. It’s a highly profitable business. If there is enough interest in your product to justify paying a monthly fee to a platform such as Shopify, you could set up your own online store as long as you can produce enough of your product to meet demand. The difference between Shopify and Amazon/Etsy/eBay is that Shopify is a specialised e-commerce platform that gives you the tools to build your own stores whereas the other platforms are like an online marketplace allowing you to sell your products alongside other market sellers.
People are always interested in unique items with a personal touch. They are no longer looking for expensive things that everyone has. Instead, they spare no expense on different and exclusive items. That is why e-commerce offers plenty of opportunities for making money. More importantly, you don’t have to advertise to attract buyers. Known as Destination Websites, thousands of people visit platforms like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon searching for things they need and want to buy, thousands more are on the lookout for something they might love once they see it! Because of the popularity of these sites for both buyers and sellers, you’ll be facing some serious competition when offering your products online. Your rivals may have been in this business for years so they have the knowledge and the means to make their products stand out and generate profit. But if you think people will love your products, try it out and see how it goes.
Testing Apps and Websites
Many tech companies seek people to test their websites and apps. It allows their software developers to fix any bugs websites or apps might have. Once you have applied for this position, you will be given access to an app or a website under construction to use and provide feedback. It’s your responsibility as a tester to check whether the website is user friendly. If it’s not, potential visitors won’t be able to find all the information they need so you provide an important service by testing it. Also, as an impartial visitor, you can suggest any features that need to be improved to add value to the user experience.
Some companies might ask you to install software that needs testing. In this case, your activity will be recorded. Developers and designers can then use it to gain insight and make improvements to their products. Either way, as a tester, you can earn up to £8 or USD$10 for a 15 to 20-minute long test.
Transcribing Audios and Videos
Another easy gig is transcribing audio and video clips. All you have to do is listen to an audio recording or watch a video and transcribe what you heard. In some cases, recordings contain loud noises which make it difficult to make out what’s been said. Don’t let it put you off. Companies usually provide training so you’ll learn how to overcome these obstacles. What’s tricky about this gig is the payment. You can get paid either for an audio hour or by the hour i.e. a regular hour’s work. Getting paid by audio hour may mean that you’re not paid for the time you invest. In other words, you get a flat rate for transcribing an hour-long recording, no matter how long it took you to get it done. By contrast, your effort is rewarded when being paid by the hour. You can make £8-£15 or US$10 to $20 per hour for this type of work.
One of the fastest-growing industries right now is content marketing. Advertising products and services and content writing go hand in hand. Without interesting and unique content, marketing strategies don’t work. With digital marketing taking over, content writers are increasingly in demand. The field isn’t restricted to fluent English speakers, but also German, Arabic, and Chinese amongst others. Textbroker is a popular site that offers content writing services. Teens without previous experience can apply. However, if grammar, fluency, and meeting deadlines aren’t your strong suit, this job isn’t for you. Always try to match yourself to the job. If you get a buzz from meeting people and having live interaction, then working from home at your desk all day won’t be your thing. Discuss what makes you tick with a coach if you’re unsure.
Online jobs are a great starting point. They can give you all the experience you need while also making money. Depending on the job, you can have a solid income or some extra money to put aside. You don’t have to spend all the money you earn online on clothes and gadgets. Instead, you can invest in your future.
College tuitions and living expenses cost a fortune. It takes three to four years to get a degree. You may not have enough money to cover all expenses and you don’t want the burden of a student loan on your back. Up until a few decades ago, you had to have a degree to do certain jobs. That has changed. Today, you can attend courses and seminars, pass a test, and get certified in a chosen field. This system is particularly suitable for technology-related jobs. Technology is advancing constantly and you will need to keep abreast of developments to stay marketable and knowledgeable. Knowledge obtained during four years of studies isn’t enough for software developers, engineers, and designers. They continuously have to update their work skills to deal with all-consuming changes. Google is now offering certified programmes which can be completed in 3-6 months and which they say are the equivalent of a 4 year degree course. In July 2020, the company announced 3 new courses which they maintain lead to high growth, high paying careers, in the areas of Project Management, Data Analysis, and User Experience Design. The certificates don’t require previous training and are offered through the online learning platform Coursera. There’s a cost associated with the Coursera Platform (£37 or UA$49 per month approx.) but there are full scholarships available from Google.
If you are interested in a particular field, some of the top companies offer legitimate certifications. Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer intense and demanding courses. They are usually divided into fundamental, functional, and advanced. Depending on the selected level, they can last from 6 months up to 2 years. Fundamental courses are designed for newbies in the IT world. Functional courses provide enough knowledge to fill specific roles or positions in the industry. Meanwhile, advanced courses are for highly experienced people looking to upgrade their skills and specialize in some particular field. Certifications obtained through any of these companies are industry-approved and accepted. When you pass the exam at the end of the course, you can use the certificate to apply for technical positions in any company.
Facebook also offers an opportunity for a great headstart in digital marketing which includes training in apps such as Messenger and Instagram. Successfully passing the exam opens doors not only to Facebook but other international companies. It’s a great opportunity for young people to have a good start in business. Pursuing a career in these renowned multinationals is a great chance to earn up to 100,000 dollars a year. With the right coaching and mentoring, high paying jobs and great careers are well within your reach.