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Freelance and Remote Work Opportunities Expanding for Web Careers

Freelance and Remote Work Opportunities Expanding for Web Careers

Virtually every industry has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and a half. Companies and organizations in web design and development, finance, healthcare, IT, education and many more have scrambled to adapt to the new normal that is work from home (WFH). In turn, many employees have come to the realization that they are happier and just as productive in their jobs when working from home. As some companies and organizations have begun to require that employees return to the office, workers are weighing their options and beginning to think in ways that they might not have before the pandemic.

A recent study by Upwork estimated that 10 million workers in the U.S. are considering becoming freelancers, or independent contractors, due in large part to the fact that the vast majority of freelancers work remotely. The trend has been coined “The Great Resignation,” as the majority of workers consider themselves “neutral” or “not excited” at the prospect of going to the office and have considered resigning in favor of a position that offers remote work or leaving full-time work and freelancing on their own. Among those surveyed, 20% are considering becoming freelancers. 73% of those respondents cited the ability to work remote or flexibly as a reason why they would seek to work as a freelancer.

Many workers are so invested in staying in a remote job that they would even take lower pay. The study found that 15% were willing to take a pay cut to be a remote worker, and another 26% would possibly take a pay cut. And among workers who consider themselves unhappy to be returning to the office, nearly two-thirds would consider taking a pay cut to work remotely.

Web designers and developers are in a great position to take advantage of this new dynamic and find jobs that offer remote work or even get their own clients and work as a freelancer. With the growth of remote work, the internet tools we rely on every day to work and communicate will become even more important, and designers and developers will continue to be in high demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the annual growth rate for web design jobs will be 15% in the coming years, more than double many other professions. In recent years the median salary for web designers has been around $70K, with the top 10% earning more than $120K. And approximately 16% of web designers are freelancers/self-employed, which is higher than most other industries. Other similar occupations such as web developers and graphic designers have a high percentage of professionals working as freelancers. There is clearly a big opportunity for those who aspire to work in these fields and envision themselves working remotely as freelancers.

The Web Professionals Organization is dedicated to supporting web professionals in all industries—including those who work remotely and in a freelance capacity. If you are interested in learning more about the professional and educational opportunities that the Web Professionals Organization offers, reach out to us today.

 

First Remote Working Professional Certification in Europe Issued

First Remote Working Professional Certification in Europe Issued

I am what you would call a “Transitioner.” I worked in various fields including the hotel industry, sales and most recently, manufacturing.

I was already taking a course to receive a full industry-recognized certification in web design when I saw the opportunity to take a course and get a certification as a Remote Working Professional.  I had to read it twice. Remote Working Professional? Then it hit me—over the last couple of years, so many of the best jobs shifted to working from home. I realized now is the time to think strategically about my future. Getting these credentials and certification gives me extra credibility when applying for a flexible remote working job, which is a big attraction to me. It also gives me an edge over anyone else who is applying for the same remote position.

Part of me thought I should wait and complete the certification I was already working on. I mean, who needs more work? However, I then saw that I could finish this in just a few hours, and I could even go through the course on my smartphone. When I realized I could complete the course and certification in just a couple visits to my favorite coffee shop, it became a no-brainer.

I wanted to be ready to launch into a new remote career, since I know the world is rapidly shifting to remote work. Many of the best jobs available are remote positions.

Remote Working Professional

An international professional association endorses the Remote Working Professional Certification course. I know that may not mean much to the average job-seeker, but I know from experience that potential employers do look at who certifications come from.  A certificate from a business, or for just taking a class, is not the same as a certification from an international industry organization.

What I also loved about the course, which I was not expecting, was how it spoke to how to highlight my transferable skills. This was a new term to me, and essentially means that the skills that I learned in hospitality, sales and manufacturing can be applied to other positions—including remote jobs. This signals to employers that I have core skills that qualify me for the job, even if I may be new to the industry. I have read Department of Labor research that suggests that people usually change their careers 3-7 times in their lifetime.

I also surprised myself to have the guts to start as a freelancer or remote professional after completing the course. You hear these terms mentioned all the time, but nobody tells you what to do to get hired for a remote career.  Yes—the course has an option for learning how to become a freelancer as well. Through the Remote Working Professional Course conducted by CTeLearning I gained much more insight in regards to starting a life as a freelancer.

Another big bonus I discovered in the course is the section dedicated entirely to preparing for an interview, in any industry, for a remote working job. The reality is that how you approach answering questions for remote work is different than for a job where you show up to an office.

The highlights of the course were learning specific answers to the following questions:

  1. How do you deal with conflict?
  2. What do you do to keep motivated?
  3. How do you safeguard data and manage cybersecurity?

These topics were my personal favorites as they gave me real tips and tools to set up my next career for success.

I recommend everyone invest in the Remote Working Professional course and certification. Many life lessons have been compacted in a couple of chapters, and they are easy to put into practice!

One of my favorite quotes from Jim Rohn is, “It’s important to learn from your mistakes, but it is BETTER to learn from other people’s mistakes, and it is BEST to learn from other people’s successes. IT accelerates your own success.”

I had no idea all the responsibilities that came along with working remotely, but now I am more confident to start my career in the remote world thanks to all the professionals that participated in the making of this wonderful course.

—Ingrid F. K. Soto

Visit here for more information about the Remote Working Professional Course.

First Remote Working Professional Certification in Africa Issued

First Remote Working Professional Certification in Africa Issued

Web Professionals and CTeLearning would like to congratulate Samuel T, the first recipient of the Remote Working Professional (RWP) Certification in Africa. As a resident of Nigeria, Samuel completed the RWP course and earned his certification all on his mobile phone, which allowed him to work on the certification anytime and anywhere. 

Samuel earned his certification by answering a series of questions at the end of each chapter on what a competent remote working professional should know. Samuel also completed the Interview Preparation Course, which prepares learners for interviewing for a job in the remote working world. Samuel is now an in-demand remote working professional equipped with an international industry-recognized certification (IIRC) that is recognized by companies around the globe. 

Remote Working Careers Africa Nigeria

 

Samuel discussed the impact the course will have on his professional career: “I took this course when I was working remotely for a tech company. It taught me a lot of things I didn’t consider beforehand, especially as someone new to the world of remote working. One of the awesome things I love about this course is listening to a plethora of remote working professionals and the useful tips they give based on their years of experience. I strongly recommend this course to everyone working or considering working remotely.”

Remote Working Certification First African Nigeria

Samuel is not new to certifications or seeking opportunities to grow his skills and is always looking for his next step in building his career and shaping his future to allow him to follow his passions and make his family proud. In September 2020, Samuel earned his Certified Professional Web Developer Certification from the Web Professionals Organization (WebProfessionals.org). A month later Samuel was hired onto a development project with a US-based company thanks to his certification and newfound connections as a member of the Web Professionals Organization. 

Joshua Frisch, Co-Author of the Remote Working Professional Course, said, “Samuel embodies the type of remote learner that we are so excited to help with this course. Samuel showed that no matter where you are located in the world, you can transform your career to thrive in the new remote working economy. Samuel completed the course lessons, earned an international industry-recognized certification that is in-demand among companies, and prepared to interview for remote working positions—all by going through the course on his smartphone from his home and school. We are excited for Nigeria and Africa to have their first recipient of the RWP certification, and we are looking forward to having students across the rest of the globe join Samuel and others who have completed the course and earned certifications.”

Mark DuBois, Executive Director of the Web Professionals Organization, said “All of us here at the Web Professionals Organization love seeing people take control of their futures. Taking charge of your education and investing in yourself is always the right choice. We appreciate that Samuel looked to our community of professionals to find the support and certification to add to his growing skills to help take his passions to the global marketplace. His story is not that uncommon—he knows that the world of work has changed and he can take his skills and build a career that spans continents. We are excited to welcome more like Samuel into the Web Professionals Organization.”

Visit here for more information about the Remote Working Professional Course.

New Career Transformation Series

New Career Transformation Series

“Remote workers make 8.3 percent more than non-remote workers with the same experience doing the same job.” (Payscale.com) 

In partnership with CTeLearning.com, we are proud to announce the Career Transformation Series. Our first course with certification focuses on the Remote Working Professional. It combines mobile-friendly media-rich training with an embedded certification assessment allowing the learner to earn their international industry-recognized certification (IIRC) as they complete the course. 

Many devices mobile and desktop displaying Remote Working Professional Course

Use any internet connected device of your choice to earn your Remote Working Professional Certification

The focused nature of each course in the series means that in just one afternoon the learner can learn and earn career building credentials, and download the certification to prove it. The certification indicates the recipient has met standards agreed upon by industry and is ready to work as a remote worker anywhere in the world, making it a credential in high demand among employers seeking to hire remote professionals.

These courses and their certifications are not focused on technical careers or technical skills, but give the learner the skills and knowledge to make them marketable in the global workplace. Whether you are in customer service, sales, design, management, services, product support, development, web design, or any career you can do remotely, the skills you learn in this course transcend all industries, careers and levels. 

This course also includes an interview preparation chapter, which features videos explaining how to ace the interview and land a job as a remote worker. The videos cover how to prepare for interviews as well as some of the most common questions that hiring managers ask candidates when interviewing for remote work positions.

Three Career Pathways 

The core course is the Remote Working Professional (RWP) Pathway, which covers how to work remotely, how to communicate with others, how to work smarter and more productively, new dynamics of remote work, ethics of remote work, and bonus features packed with information that all remote workers should be aware of. Upon completion, students will receive a Remote Working Professional IIRC.

The Remote Professional Freelancer (RPF) Pathway (coming early March 2021) includes the core RWP course plus an advanced chapter on how to work and excel as a freelancer in the remote work world. The chapter includes information on how to develop skills to be a freelancer, selling those skills, managing clients, considerations as a freelancer versus working for a company, sticking to a work schedule and much more. Upon completion, students will receive a Remote Professional Freelancer IIRC Endorsement (in addition to the core Remote Working Professional IIRC earned after completing the core course).

The Remote Professional Manager (RPM) Pathway (coming mid-late March 2021) also includes the core RWP course and builds on it with an advanced chapter on how to be a manager as a remote worker. The chapter includes information on project management, dealing with difficult employees, communicating with employees in other time zones, ensuring accountability among team members and much more. Like the Freelancer Pathway, students who complete this course will receive the Remote Professional Manager IIRC Endorsement (in addition to the core Remote Working Professional IIRC earned after completing the core course).

We (Web Professionals) back this IIRC. However, you don’t have to be a web designer or developer to complete one of the course pathways. Whatever your profession—insurance agent, customer service representative, language translator, book editor, or just a student who wants to learn more about how to excel at home—this course is for you.

Get Started Today

No matter what industry you work in, or even if you are a high school or college student beginning to think about your career, this course can help you jump start your career. COVID-19 has forever changed the ways we learn and work, and the shift from traditional office spaces to remote work settings will continue in the coming years. Prepare yourself for the new world of remote work by arming yourself with the knowledge, skills and industry certification that will enable you to thrive. 

Individuals ready to take charge of their futures should get started today.

Are you a workforce center development board, career and tech center, community college, university, school district or other career/employment organization? We offer a special institutional discount program.

Workforce Update – How To Switch Careers During a Pandemic – New Skills + Passion = New Career Path

Workforce Update – How To Switch Careers During a Pandemic – New Skills + Passion = New Career Path

Tami didn’t know what to do after getting hurt on the job. As a wife and mom—with another one on the way—she knew she needed help getting to that next paying career. Fortunately, she contacted her local workforce development board and job center where she found a team that helped her see all her possibilities and how to take the next step. Tami explained that she had some basic needs for her new career. As a mom with a husband who is a critical worker, she wanted a career that would enable her to stay home and work remotely if her family had to move due to her husband’s work. She wanted a career that would be more satisfying and give her the chance to be creative and help others.

The workforce consultants at the career center showed Tami the choices in education they could provide to help her move forward with a new career. They all agreed that web design was a terrific career path and a good fit for Tami. Tami did not have any previous training in web design, but her counselors told her that would not be a problem. Some of the options were classroom-based courses that would require her to wait for the next semester to begin. These courses offered her a course completion certificate, not an industry certification. However, they also offered Tami an option that had rolling enrollment, meaning she could start immediately. The course and instructors were all online and only required her to have internet and either a PC, Mac or Chromebook. All the coding and development tools were all included and cloud-based. And the feature that got Tami most excited was that the course prepared her to receive a full International Industry-Recognized Certification from the Web Professionals Organization. This was not merely a course completion certificate, but an industry certification from the professional association of web designers, developers and app creators. Tami filled out paperwork and was meeting her instructors within days. She was very thankful for the workforce development board job center team who made this all happen.

With COVID-19 affecting how we work and live, many people like Tami are seeking new career paths that will allow them to work with more flexibility and freedom. Let’s hear from Tami and her instructor.

https://www.ettucreate.com/WebPros/Tami%20M%20Cert%20Web%20Designer%20Web%20Professionals%20Certification%20WIOA%20Workforce.mp4

Tami enrolled in the Web Design and Development course through California State University San Marcos. She had worked on early social media sites years ago and remembers that was the first time she got excited about the potential of the internet. However, before starting the course she didn’t have any actual training in design or development. The course taught her everything she needed to know from the ground up and developed her into a skilled and knowledgeable web professional, all as a remote learner.

In the months that Tami was working through the course, she faced several events in her personal life, including a pregnancy, that required her to pause her learning for a time. Because the course is self-guided, she could easily take a break and resume when she felt ready. Tami praised how helpful Cal State San Marcos was throughout her journey, saying “I reached out to them a lot when going through things and having to say, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t get school done this week or this month. So, can I do an extension?’ They were always sweet and encouraging about it. They said, ‘Oh, no problem. We can extend it for you.’” And Steve Waddell—co-developer of the course, instructor, and curriculum development partner of WebProfessionals.org— was always available to answer questions Tami had along the way. This unique model allows the student to work at their own pace as a virtual learner, without the pressure of a traditional classroom setting in which all students are expected to keep the same pace no matter what life circumstances happen in the process. 

WebProfessionals.org Certifications 

Start Career in Web Design

One of the key features of the Web Design and Development course is the optional WebProfessionals.org exam, which enables the learner to earn a certification administered by the Web Professionals Organization, the premier industry association for web designers and developers. Tami commented on how well the course prepared her for taking the certification exam at the end of the course: “I’ve taken tests before that seemed to include nothing that I had learned. In the Web Design and Development course, every quiz prepared me for the final certification exam. I have test anxiety and was worried I was going to fail, but Steve talked me through the process and said I would do well. And he was right—I finished in 30 minutes, and it was easy.” 

Having an industry certification and project portfolio sets Tami apart from other professionals that companies may be considering hiring, which allows her to hit the ground running in getting clients and starting work on projects. Equipped with new skills, knowledge, a portfolio and certification, Tami can work directly with clients to solve problems and meet needs. The experience of taking the course and working with Cal State San Marcos made her a fan of the university and how willing it is to help adult learners like herself.  

To others who may be thinking about a new path but don’t know how to switch careers, Tami says “I would tell anyone else that they can do it. And I know people say that, but seriously, I am the worst with school sometimes. I have struggled with self-esteem issues, but doing this course gave me so much. It gave me more than just the education—it gave me the knowledge, strength, ability and confidence to do it. It taught me that there’s way more to web design than I realized—there are so many different types of jobs out there that I can do now because of this course and certification.

Helping Adult Learners Switch Careers and Develop New Skills 

Steve Waddell commented, “I get to have a unique perspective as a teacher. Since I am one of the co-authors (I also need to shout out Daniel, the other head co-author and the other 24 team members who helped build this course) I know why we designed the course as we did. This course has over 170 tutorial and industry subject matter videos. We created a terrific ‘play with the code’ live sandboxing feel to help the students learn to create web pages and sites. And I can be proud of all the ‘techy’ stuff we did as instructional designers. However, it is when I am facilitating, supporting and helping the students that I really understand their learning needs. The experience allows me to be a better course developer and I enjoy the teaching. 

It is so much fun seeing students reinvent themselves through online education. I am Tami’s ‘teacher’, but the course is really self-directed, self-paced education. My job boils down to coaching and supporting when the adult learner struggles. I struggled when I was first learning how to create web pages and sites and it really is fun to relive some of those early struggles and help guide students over the humps, just like the people who helped me out years ago. 

Tami is the example of what is great about adult education—especially online education. Watching her reinvent herself and switch careers from a more physical type job to a creative tech field was actually quite fun for me. This is what adult education is about. Anyone can reinvent themselves. Web design is about helping individuals, groups and businesses bring their stories and products to market.  Tami loves helping people, and when she was struggling with things in life that so many adult learners must deal with as they reconstruct themselves into a new career—including jobs, family, illness, and pandemic—it was her passion to help others that kept her moving forward. I am so proud of how she stuck to it, and a shout out to CSUSM for all their support.”

Start Your New Career Path Today 

Maybe you are similar to how Tami approached her career shift and are thinking about how to find an exciting and in-demand career path, even in the age of COVID-19. The time is now to learn at your own pace and begin your career start, all from the comfort of your couch or kitchen table. If you’re not sure where to start, WebProfessionals.org is fortunate to work with many workforce development organizations, public and private universities and colleges in the US. Our workforce, university and post-secondary partners offer a variety of course options from multi-year programs, semester-long, and 90-day career certification sprints. If you want to find a school to work with, shoot us an email at steve@webprofessionals.org, and we can point you in the right direction. 

We also see the need to help with over-aged and under-credited youth, and we always welcome the opportunity to partner with organizations in helping to re-engage these youth in education and a brighter future.

Do you work at a University, College or Workforce Center?

If you are an organization that wants to use media-rich and highly interactive international industry-recognized certification courses in your career programs, then contact us today. We are ready to help. 

How To Create A Happy And Productive Work Environment At Home

How and where we work is changing. The nature of modern businesses and lifestyles means working from home is more popular than ever. Going to the same office eight hours a day, five days a week is no longer the norm.

While working from home can sound like a dream, anyone who’s actually done knows how unproductive or unsociable it can make you feel. If you frequently work from home here are some ways to make it a happier and more productive environment.

Make sure you can work when you want

A home workspace needs to be somewhere you can actually complete tasks. Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, you need to make sure your workspace is suitable for the hours you’re most productive in. If you want to work remotely make sure your home doesn’t have partners, roommates or children roaming around distracting you. The more you can keep your focus on your work the better it will be. Work when they’re out of the house or make it clear when you need some time alone. 

Make sure you aren’t confined to a bedroom either. Muddling the wires in your brain with what room is for sleeping and what room is for working will only make it harder to keep a good life schedule. Designate one room for working from home and design it around your habits and needs.

Tech out your work station

A difference you’ll likely notice working from home in comparison to an office is the drop off in quality of equipment. It’s unlikely your home office has a workstation as well designed as the one at your desk at work.

StarTech’s guide to the perfect docking station highlights how we now find ourselves moving around and jumping between tasks more than ever, even at home. Having technology that allows you to do that is just as essential at home as in the office or on the move.

If you do your best work with two monitors and a particular desk size then try and replicate that feeling when working from home. For a lot of people working from home is about comfort, but trying to do a full day of work with your laptop on your lap isn’t ideal.

Have an office structure

If you’re new to working from home it can be tempting to be a bit liberal with your work schedule. With no one watching over your shoulder and the lack of a productive office atmosphere it’s a lot easier to take an extra break to stare at your phone for half an hour. To make sure your productivity levels stay high and your guilt levels low you should try and stick to the same schedule that made you a success in the office.

Limit the number of breaks you take and don’t be tempted to elongate your lunch with an extra episode of something on Netflix. Mindset is a big part of what makes working from home successful. If you can carry over the same schedule you kept in the office it’ll be a more seamless transition.

Stay connected

Working from home can be lonely. You need people out of the house to keep yourself focused, but you miss out on the buzz of an office environment. There’s no need to feel disconnected though. There are a number of tools for staying in touch with your team remotely without having to spend all day on the phone. You can also keep an eye on what people are doing so you don’t lose step with the rest of the team and get a bigger picture of the business operation.  

If you frequently speak to clients make a point of scheduling regular meetings with them over phone or video chat. This can help break up your day and act as a replacement for the contact you’d usually get from colleagues. Suddenly previously boring client meetings become a highlight of the day.

Treat your space like an office

A happy workspace is a productive workspace. When working from home keep the house as if all your colleagues were there too. Don’t just keep your workspace clean, make sure the house is somewhere you enjoy being and has an ambiance you enjoy. Businesses have noticed the benefits in recent years in having lots of plants, plenty of natural light and pleasant scents. Modern workplaces are often a nice place to be, so replicate that in your home.

Maybe work in your PJ’s if it makes you feel more at ease, but try and avoid sitting around in your underwear. Working as if someone else is in the room with you is about keeping yourself productive and retaining a professional state of mind for the full workday.

Keep to-do lists

Everyone working from home has the same thoughts. Maybe I should just clean those dishes quickly. The house could probably use a vacuum. Chores have never been as appealing as they are when you’re working from home, but you need to resist the urge and stay on track. Making a daily to-do list before you go to bed every night is a great way to achieve this. It leaves you with no illusion about what needs to get done that day and gives you direction, which is what remote workers need more than anything.

Conclusion

Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. It can be relaxing to skip the commute and have an extra half hour in bed, but home can become somewhere you become stressed and unproductive. Follow these tips to keep your performance levels up wherever you work.

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Rodney Laws. Here is additional information he provided about himself.

Rodney Laws is an eCommerce platform specialist and online business consultant. He’s worked in the eCommerce industry for nearly two decades, helping brands big and small to achieve their business goals. You can get his advice for free by visiting EcommercePlatforms.io and reading his detailed reviews. For more tips and advice, reach out to Rodney on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.