By Paul F. Murray, Wealthy Affiliate member
How useful are job boards?
You are looking for a non-scam, legitimate work at home opportunity where you can be your own boss, work on your own schedule and not on a schedule that somebody else dictates for you, and where you can make some honest-to-goodness money. One of the first places that you go is job boards, particularly if you are looking for part-time, temporary opportunities. [Another alternative is Wealthy Affiliate, a legitimate, non-scam online business opportunity which requires training and commitment. For further information about the Wealthy Affiliate program and a link to their website, see my post article “Wealthy Affiliate: Legitimate, non-scam money maker”].
But how good are job boards, really? Some of them can be very good indeed. Others, however, can lead to nothing but frustration, lost money, and disillusionment. How to tell the difference? ONE GOOD CRITERION for a good job board is one that doesn’t allow every Tom, Dick, Harry, Susan and Janie to bid on jobs. A good job board will set some limits on competition among its subscribers for the jobs that are advertised. A problem job board will allow too many competitors for each advertised job. There could be dozens or even hundreds of other bidders competing against you for that single, advertised job that you want and need so desperately. The result of that is not only do people with genuine qualifications get lost in the shuffle, but bidders often undercut one another to pieces, so that even if you happen to be lucky enough to land a job through a job board like that, you will be working for peanuts. You may get paid $30 for $300 worth of expertise and work.
That’s what happened to me. I got hired off a job board (Upwork, as I recall) to do some sports writing about college football and the National Hockey League. I loved what I was doing and I kept track of my hours. But after a month the guy who hired me decided to shut down his website, and when I submitted my bill for about $250, the guy was only willing to pay me $46–for a month’s work! The employer lived a thousand miles away, too far away to take him to small claims court, so I had to take that $46 he was offering. Swell. At least I was able to buy a couple days’ worth of groceries after all that work.
I also used to be on the Freelancer.com website. It was a good website with plenty of advertised work available. Problem was, there was too much competition. The service cost money and I could never get hired for a job because there often was, literally, over a hundred other people bidding for the same one temp job as I was. I was looking for freelance writing gigs, and as a former newspaper editor and reporter, and a published fiction author, I thought I had blue-ribbon qualifications for writing jobs. However, my qualifications simply got lost amidst the horde of housewives, day laborers, unemployed and so on who were also bidding for the same job as I was.
If you’re using a job board like that, good luck to you. You are unlikely to ever find consistent, steady work. A job board like that is not a ticket to a steady income that will enable you to quit your day job, not by a long shot. Work will likely be highly intermittent and low paying.
The moral is: if you are looking for work online and you want to use a job board, make sure that the job board accepts only genuinely qualified individuals as participants for whatever the jobs are. In my profession, JournalismJobs.com was a good source of open jobs. Prospective employers only wanted people with specific qualifications, not just anyone who was desperate for a paycheck. If you are a healthcare worker, for example, and a job board ad is looking for an article about prescription drugs, make sure that the job board allows only certified individuals to bid on the job, and not allow a lot of day laborers, housewives, minimum-wage earners and other non-qualified individuals who may happen to use prescription drugs to bid on the job. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if the prospective employer never notices you amidst the dozens or even hundreds of other bidders. No employer has time to carefully look through a hundred or more applications, no matter how well-qualified.
I would welcome comments or questions below. Do you use job boards? Which ones? How often? Any successes or failures you can talk about? Any information, good or bad, helps others.