South Africa has always been considered a developing country by the global community. Presently we seem to be advancing at a faster pace, however, towards modern conveniences and technological prowess. Even South Africa’s older generations are catching on to the endless advantages of connection, embracing smartphones, computers, apps, social media and online payment facilities.
The Internet is a fantastic world of possibilities for those who know how to navigate its highways and byways. An increasing number of people are turning to online platforms in both work and leisure, wielding the power of instant connection to the worldwide marketplace. Think online banking apps, online purchasing facilities like Snapscan and Zapper, online shopping like Takealot and One Day Deals, virtual meetings places and virtual workrooms like Slack.
Online jobs are also becoming increasingly popular with connected people who are looking for a change. The routine ebb and flow of a traditional workplace doesn’t quite hold the same attraction it used to for creatives, graduates and businesspeople alike. Here are seven popular online jobs bringing South Africans onboard:
1. Work from Home
It’s not just the stay-at-home-moms looking for online work anymore, it’s a whole new generation of job seekers, avid entrepreneurs and intrepid freelancers. Talent abounds in the new South Africa, as graduates flock to alternative career options and business expands past the four walls of old-fashioned offices and stores. Working from home used to be a euphemism along the lines of self-employed, but no longer does it mean practically unemployed, or passing time between jobs.
There are up and coming professionals working from home, teachers, lawyers, financial advisors, designers, writers, programmers, engineers and actuaries. Home has become an accessible and preferred working environment, connected to the business world just as easily as an office block. Smartphones keep improving functionality in the dynamic tech industries paving for those choosing the work from home lifestyle. Businesses are becoming more open to the idea of having employees working from home, or using consultants and freelancers in their workforce.
2. Online Teaching
One of the advantages of an online job is the motivation levels. It is a joy and a privilege to work from the comfort of wherever you choose to settle down, which most South Africans are excluded from enjoying. Online teaching is no exception, as teachers do it for the love of the craft anyway.
There are countries all over the world looking for online teachers, in English and other subjects. Most are trying to increase their international reach, giving their students a stepping stone to the global business world. All you need to get started is a stable internet connection with a 5MB line, a laptop camera for video and a quality headset.
China, for example, is a huge employer of online teachers, from one-on-one tutoring to online classrooms with whiteboards, presentation facilities, disciplinary rewards systems and video conferencing. Other countries looking for online teachers from various industries include South Korea, India, Vietnam, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, the U.S.A, eastern European nations and Japan. The advantages of online teaching usually include flexible hours, decent hourly rates (compared to local teachers), prompt payment and teaching support for curricular and organisational needs.
3. Data Entry Gigs
There are a surprising amount of data-entry jobs available online. Whether it is an ongoing employment contract with a large organisation, or smaller freelance jobs operating project-by-project, the work is out there. It is tedious work for busy businesses, but necessary for daily operations and accounting purposes.
If you are detail-oriented, a quick typist or have great numerical acumen, this type of work can be rewarding and extremely lucrative. Even local companies are outsourcing on freelance mediation websites, willing to pay higher rates for reliable data entry. Why not give it a go?
4. Freelance Writing
Along a similar vein, freelance writing, editing and proofreading is a booming online industry at present. Writing is not limited to journalistic pursuits but includes everything from product descriptions and blog posts to ebooks, curriculums, academic reports and magazine articles. If you enjoy writing and want to choose when and where to wax lyrical, this is a rewarding use of both talent and time. All sorts of South African organisations are turning to freelance writers to fill in the gaps and permanent online positions are certainly on the increase. Popular freelance websites currently include Upwork, Elance, Fiverr, Freelancer and TopTal.
5. Editing, Design and Administration
Editing, or proofing, is another online area often overlooked. Whether its editing written work, auditing financials, fact checking or transferring data, there is room for growth as online capabilities increase around the country, even in rural areas. Access to internet and free availability of electronic devices makes this an online career full of potential avenues for growth.
6. Social Media Management
With the advance of social media platforms as a new way of doing business, social media management is becoming an all out essential. It is a tricky endeavour to juggle all the elements of a successful social media account, while keeping it professional and tailored to the changing needs of your business. Companies are slowly realising the value of having an outside social media manager to update the account daily, add some creative flair and notify the right people about customer response and market trends.
7. Product and App Testing
Lastly, there is growing popularity in outsourcing product and app testing on a freelance basis. Anything from rating user platforms on smartphone apps and new products, to testing prototypes before they become available for the public. No matter your background or working experience, there is more than likely a niche for you in the product and app testing online world.