How to Use Essential Oils for Tiredness/Fatigue

Using essential oils for tiredness can help heal a lot of ailments. For example, an aching body, insomnia, stress and anxiety, feelings of negativity, mental strain and emotional exhaustion. Find 7 essential oil recipes for tiredness in this article!

The term tiredness is used to refer to a feeling of exhaustion. It encompasses emotional exhaustion, mental strain and bodily weariness. Some of the types of tiredness include:

► Body Fatigue – This includes sore muscles, cramps and body pain.

► Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – This is a medical condition that individuals suffering from long – term fatigue and other symptoms that reduce their quality of life are diagnosed with.

► Emotional Exhaustion – Also referred to as being emotionally drained, emotionally exhausted individuals are in a long – term state of physical and emotional depletion which is brought about by too much stress whether at home or work.

► Compassion Fatigue – This is a condition where one gradually loses compassion overtime. Compassion fatigue is common among those who work directly with trauma victims including therapists, psychologists and more.

Essential oils have a wealth of therapeutic benefits and healing properties that can tackle both external fatigue such as sore muscles and joint pain as well as internal weariness such as compassion fatigue, mental tiredness and more.

Let’s take a look at a list of essential oils for tiredness:

List of Essential Oils for Tiredness/Fatigue

While the first instinct when looking for relief for tiredness is to look for oils to relax, sedate, and calm down, it is also important to include oil that clarify, de-stress and uplift. Below, find a list of a few all – round oils that ease tiredness and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul:

Calming Oils

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Marjoram
  • Ylang Ylang

Grounding Oils

  • Angelica Root
  • Black Spruce
  • Benzoin
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Patchouli
  • Rosewood

Uplifting Oils

  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Orange

Clarifying or De – Stressing

  • Peppermint
  • Frankincense
  • Rosemary
  • Spearmint
  • Palo santo

How to Use Essential Oils for Tiredness

Below are 7 valuable essential oil recipes for tiredness – you can choose one or more remedies for instant relief. Remember the key to easing tiredness is relaxing your whole body including the mind and getting complete rest so if possible, take some time off work to achieve these things or use the weekend wisely

1. Mediation Diffuser Blend Recipe 

What you need

  • 2 drops sandalwood
  • 2 drops frankincense
  • 2 drops bergamot
  • Non – plastic cold air diffuser

Method

Add the oils to your diffuser, with the required amount of water, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Peaceful Sleep Roller Bottle Recipe 

What you need

  • 8 drops roman chamomile
  • 24 drops lavender
  • 16 drops sandalwood
  • 12 drops lemon
  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 ml roll – on bottle

Method

  1. Remove the roller ball and add the essential oils, drop by drop.
  2. Top with fractionated coconut oil then fix the roller ball back on.
  3. Close the cap and shake the bottle well to combine the oils.
  4. Roll onto temples, back of neck, behind ears and shoulders for deep peaceful sleep.

3. Soothing Bed Time Bath Recipe 

What you need

  • 1 cup of Epsom salts
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 15 drops lavender
  • 10 drops cedarwood
  • 10 drops vetiver
  • 10 drops patchouli

Method

  1. Run hot bath water, throw in 1 cup of Epsom salts and let it disperse.
  2. When you’ve drawn your bath, mix the essential oils in the whole milk and pour it in.
  3. Stir the bath water with your hand and hop in immediately.
  4. Soak for as long as you want with your eye closed, relaxing your muscles.

4. Relaxation Massage Oil 

What you need

  • 10 drops vetiver oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 10 drops sandalwood
  • 7 drops frankincense
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 4 oz amber glass dropper bottle
  • Someone to massage you – optional

Method

  1. Mix all the oils together and store the blend in an amber glass dropper bottle.
  2. To use, place 5 – 7 drops on your hand, rub your palms together and deeply massage your temples, shoulders and back.
  3. If you have a partner who can massage you, then ask them for a full body massage, back massage or foot massage with this blend.

5. Foot Massage Blend 

What you need

  • 10 drops ylang ylang
  • 10 drops chamomile
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz amber glass dropper bottle

Method

  1. Shake up all the oils in the glass dropper bottle.
  2. To use, place 5 – 7 drops on your hand, rub your palms together and press your feet systematically until all areas are massaged.
  3. Throw on a pair of comfortable socks and call it a day.

6. De – stressing Diffuser Blend 

What you need

  • 2 drops spearmint
  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops sweet orange
  • Non – plastic cold air diffuser

Method

Add the blend to your cold air diffuser together with the required amount of water, following the manufacturer’s directions.

7. Stress – Busting Balm 

What you need

  • 4 tbsp shea butter
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 15 drops lavender
  • 10 drops peppermint
  • 4 oz amber glass jar
  • Popsicle stick or wooden spoon

Method

  1. Place the shea butter into the salve tin and add the essential oils.
  2. Use a popsicle stick to mash up the ingredients so that you get a smooth cream.
  3. Flatten it down the salve tin and put on the lid.
  4. Use just a tiny amount on your forehead, temples, back of neck, shoulders and wrists during a stress time at work or school.

Essential oils can instantly breathe a new life into you if you’re suffering from tiredness all the time! Have you ever used essential oils to help alleviate tiredness?

NOTE: For information on where to get the products listed above, contact Michele Foster at michele@askmicheletoday.com

Source: themiracleofessentialoils.com ~ Image: isagenix

 

Is a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency Making You Tired?

YOU ALREADY KNOW A LACK of iron can drag you down.

But experts say numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to fatigue. If left unchecked, the same deficiencies that make it hard to keep your head up can lead to long-term health consequences – from brittle bones to impaired brain function.

“Fatigue can be like an early warning sign of potentially more severe problems down the road if you don’t recognize and treat the problem causing the fatigue,” says Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “You need to explore all possible explanations for your fatigue.” That goes for ongoing feelings of exhaustion to concerns about muscle fatigue being more pronounced or prolonged than might be expected from physical activity.

Some of the most common causes of fatigue – and easiest things to test for – involve deficiencies in three minerals and two vitamins, Komaroff says. After iron comes lack of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12 and folic acid. “All of them can be corrected by giving supplements of the missing minerals or the missing vitamins,” he says, or through dietary changes.

“More serious problems than just the fatigue can develop from these vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” Komaroff says. “For example, vitamin B12 deficiency, if it goes on long enough, undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to permanent damage of the brain and the spinal cord that can affect people’s ability to move, walk and think clearly.”

Even the mundane can become imperiling – such as untreated anemia from iron deficiency. “Iron is needed to build hemoglobin, which is what is inside the red blood cell,” Komaroff explains. “It carries oxygen, which is a critical source of energy to every cell in the body.”

Anemia often occurs in women as a result of blood loss due to menstruation, though it can affect women of any age as well as men. In mild cases, it can escape detection. But as iron deficiency becomes more severe – and if left uncorrected – symptoms can escalate to include severe fatigue, headache, chest pain and increased heart rate. Besides iron, vitamin B12 or a folic acid deficiency can also lead to anemia.

One factor that may be largely to blame for vitamin deficiencies is a national obsession with restrictive diets, according to Jessica Crandall, a Denver-based registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Most Americans are engaging in some kind of fad diet throughout their life, and when they do that, they are cutting out food groups, [which] can cause repercussions, such as nutrient deficiencies,” Crandall says.

A big sandwich might make you sluggish; but, she says, cutting out carbohydrates – the centerpiece of several popular diets – has left many feeling like they’re forever out to lunch.

“I’ve seen a serious rise in people cutting out carbohydrates from their diet, whether it be they’re following an Atkins or South Beach or Paleo-type of diet,” Crandall says. “When you cut carbohydrates out of your diet, you essentially are restricting a lot of the B vitamins as well as essential nutrients to provide your brain’s energy it needs to function.” Low-carb consumption, and resulting deficiencies – including in vitamin B12, which is already not absorbed well by women over age 50 – can cause brain fog or mental fatigue as well as physical exhaustion, she says.

“So we know we need to make sure we’re getting B12, whether that be from fortification, supplementation or our primary source, which would be our food groups,” Crandall says. She recommends eating a variety of foods and consulting a registered dietitian if considering food restrictions to lose weight. That’s in addition to reviewing lab tests with your physician to unearth any potential deficiencies.

Haphazard calorie cutting and meal timing, including skipping meals, can also contribute to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as fatigue, she says. “I always encourage my clients to eat within the first hour of waking up to better kind of fuel their metabolisms and get their brain and body functioning,” Crandall says.

Whether a vitamin or mineral deficiency is contributing to tiredness, experts say it’s always worth exploring the cause from a health and wellness standpoint. There’s no shortage of potential culprits for fatigue from lifestyle issues, such as lack of sleep and not exercising enough, to more insidious causes, including underlying heart disease.

Felicia Stoler, a registered dietitian nutritionist and exercise physiologist in private practice in Red Bank, New Jersey, recommends that those experiencing chronic fatigue see a doctor to rule out medical causes. The type of fatigue matters, too, in pinpointing if or how a vitamin or mineral deficiency may contribute. While iron, for example, might cause an overall feeling of tiredness, a lack of potassium and magnesium can contribute to muscle aches and cause a person to feel sore and weak, Stoler says.

She, too, typically starts with diet to address mineral and vitamin deficiencies that can trigger fatigue, from recommending more meat, fish, fruit – such as cantaloupe, bananas and apricots – plus potatoes, turnips and other veggies to deliver magnesium; to cashews and peanuts, whole-grain products, fish, poultry and eggs to offset a zinc deficiency, which can also cause fatigue.

“I add supplements as needed,” she says, most commonly for vitamin D deficiencies, which can also invite fatigue and hurt bone health in the long term, increasing the risk for osteoporosis.

Stoler says it’s important to heed vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including those that might contribute to fatigue, and to be mindful of the broader implications. “If you think about why we even started looking at adequate intake levels and dietary guideline levels,” she says, “it’s really preventing … illnesses or disease associated with deficiencies.”

Sources: health.usnews.com ~ By: Michael O. Schroeder ~ Image: pixabay.com

Fatigue: Why am I so tired and what can I do about it?

Fatigue is a common problem involving a physical and mental state of being extremely tired.

Physical and mental fatigue are different, but they often occur together. Long-term physical exhaustion can also lead to mental fatigue.

Poor sleep can lead to fatigue if ongoing, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 Americans say they do not get enough sleep. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day for adults over 18 years of age.

Poor sleep is associated with a variety of medical problems and health conditions. These include:

Lack of sleep can prevent a person from fulfilling their usual tasks. It can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. When it affects safety, for example, on the road, it becomes a public health concern. In severe cases, a person may show signs similar to that of an intoxicated state.

Fast facts on fatigue:Here are some key points about fatigue. More detail is in the main article.

  • Fatigue can be due to a variety of medical conditions and health problems..
  • Some causes can include anemia, thyroid conditions, diabetes, lung and heart disease, and having recently given birth.
  • If a health condition, such as diabetes, is diagnosed and properly managed, the fatigue may go away.
  • A healthful diet and regular physical activity can help reduce fatigue for many people.

Types

Fatigue can make it hard to stay awake or to get up in the morning.

There are different types of fatigue.

Physical fatigue: A person finds it physically hard to do the things they normally do or used to do, for example, climbing stairs. It includes muscle weakness. Diagnosis may involve a strength test.

Mental fatigue: A person finds it harder to concentrate on things and stay on task. The person may feel sleepy, or have difficulty staying awake while working.

Sleepiness or fatigue?

Sleepiness can happen when a person does not have enough good-quality sleep, or when there is a lack of stimulation. It can also be a sign of a medical condition that interferes with sleep, such as sleep apnea or restess leg syndrome.

Typical sleepiness is more likely to be short term. Sleepiness and drowsiness can often be solved by getting regular and consistent sleep.

Fatigue, especially chronic fatigue, is usually linked to a medical condition or health problem. It may also be its own chronic condition known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Causes

Fatigue is associated with many health conditions.

1) Mental health issues

It can result from stress, bereavement and grief, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, anxiety, moving home, boredom, and divorce. It can occur with clinical depression, either due to the depression itself, or because of associated problems, such as insomnia.

2) Endocrine and metabolic reasons

Conditions such as pregnancy, Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, electrolyte problems, diabetes, hypothyroidismanemia, and liver disease can all lead to fatigue.

3) Drugs and medications

Some antidepressants, antihypertensives, statins, steroids, antihistamines, medication withdrawal, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs can cause fatigue. Changes in doses or stopping medications can also be a cause.

4) Heart and lung conditions

Pneumoniaarrhythmiasasthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), valvular heart diseasecoronary heart diseasecongestive heart failureGERDacid reflux, and inflammoatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause fatigue, among many other heart, lung and digestive diseases.

5) Sleep problems

Working late, shift work, jet lag, sleep apnea, narcolepsyinsomnia, and reflux esophagitis can lead to a lack of sleep and fatigue.

6) Chemicals and substances

Vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies, poisoning, and consuming too many caffeinated or alcoholic beverages may disrupt normal sleep, especially if these are consumed too close to bedtime.

7) Various diseases, conditions, states, and treatments

Cancerchemotherapy, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), radiation therapychronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)fibromyalgia, systemic lupusrheumatoid arthritisobesity, massive blood loss, and weakened immune systems can all cause fatigue.

Fatigue can also be a sign of infection. Some infections that cause extreme tiredness include malariatuberculosis (TB)infectious mononucleosiscytomegalovirus (CMV)HIV infection, flu, and hepatitis, among many others.

8) Chronic pain

Patients with chronic pain often wake up frequently through the night. They typically wake up tired and poorly rested, unable to get good quality sleep. The combination of pain and lack of sleep can cause persistent tiredness and fatigue.

Some diseases and conditions where pain is the main symptom, such as fibromyalgia, may also be linked to other conditions, such as sleep apnea. This further worsens syptoms of fatigue. In one study on fibromyalgia and sleep, half of the individuals with fbromyalgia also had sleep apnea.

9) Being overweight or underweight

Being overweight increases the risk of fatigue, for various reasons. These include having to carry more weight, being more likely to have joint and muscle pain, and being more likely to have a condition where fatigue is a common symptom, such as diabetes or sleep apnea.

Similarly, a person who is underweight may tire easily depending on the cause of their condition. Eating disorders, cancer, chronic disease, and an overactive thyroid, can all cause weight loss along with excessive tiredness and faituge.

10) Too much or too little activity

A person who feels fatigued may not exercise, and lack of exercise can cause further fatigue. Lack of exercise may eventually cause deconditioning, making it harder and more tiring to perform a physical task.

Fatigue can also affect healthy individuals after prolonged, intense mental or physical activity. Working or staying awake for long hours without a break, especially when driving, increases the risk of errors and accidents. Statistics have shown that, among truck and bus drivers, longer hours of staying awake lead to more motor vehicle accidents.

It is important not to drive while sleepy. A survey carried out by the CDC found that around 1 in 25 drivers aged 18 years and above had fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.

Symptoms

The main symptom of fatigue is exhaustion with physical or mental activity. The person does not feel refreshed after resting or sleeping. It may be hard to carry out daily activities including work, household chores, and caring for others.

The signs and symptoms of fatigue may be physical, mental, or emotional.

Common signs and symptoms associated with fatigue can include:

Body aches can be a sign of fatigue.

  • aching or sore muscles
  • apathy and lack of motivation
  • daytime drowsiness
  • difficulty in concentrating or learning new tasks
  • gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea
  • headache
  • irritability and moodiness
  • slowed response time
  • vision problems, such as blurriness

Symptoms tend to get worse after exertion. They may appear some hours after activity or exercise, or possibly the next day.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis can be difficult, because the causes and symptoms are varied and non-specific.

The doctor may ask questions relating to:

  • the quality of the fatigue
  • patterns of the fatigue, for example, times of day when symptoms are worse or better, and whether a nap helps
  • quality of sleep including emotional state, sleep patterns and stress levels

A person can help by keeping a record of the total hours slept each day, and how often they awaken during sleep.

The physician will carry out a physical examination to check for signs of illnesses and ask the patient which medications they are using. Other factors to consider include present or recent infections, and events that may trigger fatigue, such as giving birth, having undergone surgery, or recovering from a major injury or illness.

The doctor will also ask about lifestyle habits, including diet, caffeine use, drug use, alcohol consumption, work and sleep patterns.

Diagnostic tests

These can help diagnose an underlying cause. Urine tests, imaging scans, mental health questionnaires, and blood tests may be necessary depending on other symptoms.

Tests can help rule out physical causes, such as an infection, hormonal problems, anemia, liver problems, or kidney problems. The physician may order a sleep study to rule out a sleeping disorder.

If an illness is diagnosed, that illness will be treated. Controlling diabetes, for example, may help solve the fatigue problem.

Treatment

To treat fatigue successfully, it is necessary first to find the underlying cause. Some examples could be:

  • anemia
  • sleep apnea
  • poorly controlled blood sugar
  • underactive or overactive thyroid
  • an infection
  • obesity
  • depression
  • an abnormal heart rhythm

Appropriate treatment for the condition can help alleviate fatigue.

Yoga, CBT, and mindfulness for fatigue

In one study, participants reported that fatigue, anxiety and depression fell, while quality of life improved in those with multiple sclerosis (MS) who underwent 2 months of mindfulness meditation training.

study on the benefits of yoga, found some improvement of symptoms of fatigue and sleep quality in cancer survivors. The 4-week program included postures, meditation, breathing, and some other techniques.

A 2017 study reviewed the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and yogaon treating sleep disturbances in breast cancer patients. Researchers reported those who participated in CBT appeared to have the most improvement in sleep, with decreased fatigue, depression, and anxiety, along with improved quality of life.

Results from studies on mindfulness and yoga were not as clear, but seemed to show slight improvement or at least some benefit, overall.

Home treatment

Here are some tips for overcoming fatigue.

Sleep

Quality sleep is an important part of managing fatigue. To practice good sleep hygiene:

  • Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on days off.
  • Set the bedroom temperature at a comfortable level. Cooler may be better. The National Sleep Foundation recommend a room temperature of 60 to 67°F.
  • Make sure the room is dark and quiet.
  • Avoid screen time an hour before sleeping, as the light and sounds from a TV or computer screen can stimulate brain activity, affecting sleep quality.
  • Avoid eating within 90 minutes or 2 hours before going to bed.
  • As bedtime approaches, physically and mentally slow down. Have a consistent routine. A warm bath or listening to some soothing music can help you clear your mind of stressful and worrying thoughts before going to sleep.

Keeping a sleep diary may also help.

Eating and drinking habits

Diet can affect how tired or energetic we feel.

Here are some tips:

  • Eat small frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Eat snacks that are low in sugar.
  • Avoid junk food and follow a well-balanced diet.
  • Consume plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Drink alcoholic and caffeinated beverages in moderation, or not at all. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

A moderate and well-balanced diet can lead to better health and better sleep.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help reduce fatigue by improving sleep. However, those who have not been physically active for some time should introduce exercise gradually. A doctor or sports therapist can help. Exercise during the time of day that is most productive for you.

Take a break from driving

The CDC urge people to know the warning signs of drowsiness on the road.

If a driver notices they are doing any of the following, they should pull over and take a nap or change drivers.

  • yawning and blinking
  • not remembering the last few miles they have driven
  • missing an exit
  • drifting across the lane
  • driving onto a rumble strip
  • having trouble staying focused

If fatigue and sleepiness are affecting your daily life, and none of these tips work, you should see a doctor.

Source: medicalnewstoday.com ~ By:  ~ Image: pixabay.com

3 Steps To Take To Start Freelancing

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. That mind-blowing prediction comes from the new Freelancing in America: 2017 report, conducted by the Edelman Intelligence research firm and commissioned by the Upwork freelancing platform and Freelancers Union.

Odds are, you’ll want to know how to become a freelancer, either full-time or part-time and either as a side gig while you’re holding down a full-time job or as a way of earning income in retirement. I’ll offer three suggestions in a minute.

The Freelancing in America: 2017 study surveyed 6,000 U.S. workers (freelancers and non-freelancers) to analyze the growing freelance economy and the role it plays in the future of work.

Of course, no survey can predict exactly how many people will be working on a temporary, contract or project basis 10 years from now. And even determining how many people freelance today is tough; statistics on the freelance economy are notoriously elusive. But this report’s findings leave little doubt that we are rapidly barreling towards a freelance-based workplace — and the sooner you prepare for that shift, the better.

A few fascinating findings from Freelancing in America 2017:

  • The U.S. freelance workforce has grown three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce since 2014. Currently, 36% of the workforce is freelancing.
  • Although freelancers skew younger, many in their 50s and 60s are freelancing, too. About half of freelancers are Millennials; roughly 28% of workers in their 50s and 60s are.
  • More freelancers are doing it full-time these days, not as a way to supplement their income. Over the last three years, the number of full-time freelancers increased by 12 percentage points, to 29%, while the percentage of moonlighters and part-time freelancers fell. And 63% of freelancers started freelancing more out of choice than necessity (that’s up 10 points since 2014).
  • Freelancers are doing well financially. Nearly 2/3 of freelancers surveyed said they now make more than they did when they had an employer. That’s up 10 percentage points since 2014. Of those who earn more now than before, 75% said that happened within the first year of freelancing. The survey found that 36% of freelancers now earn $75,000 or more. Notably, half of freelancers claim they wouldn’t even consider a traditional job, no matter how much money was offered.
  • Technology is making it easier to find freelance work online. Nearly 3/4 of the freelancers surveyed said they found work online this past year, up 5 points from the year prior. In short: As technology has improved and companies continue to outsource work, freelancing is becoming a more acceptable, enjoyable and desirable way to work.

Credit: Edelman Intelligence

This doesn’t mean freelancing is a perfect work solution, though. The triple whammy of unpredictable work assignments, fluctuating cash flow and the challenge of securing and paying for health insurance is still a major obstacle for many freelancers (although most freelancers surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act has helped them and prefer Congress keep it). Worth noting: 63% of full-time freelancers dip into their savings at least once a month; just 20% of full-time non-freelancers do.

So how can you best prepare for the possibility that you may be freelancing at some point? Here are three tips culled from the survey results:

1. Update your skills regularly. If the last time you learned a new skill or technology was over six months ago, you’re losing ground. An impressive 55% of freelancers updated their skills in the last six months; by contrast, only 30% of non-freelancers did.

So before year-end, make it a priority to take advantage of any company-sponsored training, workshops or tuition reimbursement you can get. If that’s not an option, look into online courses and community college offerings for affordable training options.

Incidentally, Money and PayScale just came out with a list of the “25 highest-paying side hustles,” which might suggest skills you’d want to learn. The top five, based on hourly pay and assuming doing the work four or five hours a week: disc jockey ($65.70 per hour); musician or singer ($43.40 per hour); photographer ($36.20 per hour); makeup artist ($34.00 per hour) and piano teacher ($31.20 per hour).

Three others in the Top 25: tutor (No. 11; $20.10 per hour); delivery driver (No. 16; $14.30 per hour) and dog walker (No. 17; $12.80 per hour).

2. Seek out work assignments that diversify your capabilities and make you more valuable. You may now have a job that seems automation-proof, but nearly half of freelancers say robots and artificial intelligence have already impacted their work. And 77% of full-time freelancers expect at least some of their work will be done by robots or machies within 20 years.

You just never know how or when technology might encroach on your job. Whenever possible, look for opportunities to take on responsibilities or even side gigs that diversify your skill-base, industry expertise or technology prowess.

3. Step up your networking, both online and off. While freelancers are finding more work online, their biggest source of leads are family and friends, followed by professional contacts (81% combined). That percentage mirrors the oft-quoted statistic that 80% of new jobs are found through networking. Regardless of whether you go out on your own, you’re well served to make networking a priority.

The survey also listed social media as the third most popular source of leads for freelancers. That’s a helpful reminder to take at least a few minutes each week and check in with your professional network on LinkedIn or Twitter. You never know when those connections might lead to an exciting new opportunity, perhaps in your future life as a freelancer.

Source: forbes.com ~ BY:  Nancy Collamer ~ Image: pixabay.com

The Future of Work: Freelancing Goes From Rags to Riches

With the current global spend on contingent workers reaching over $3 trillion, opportunity abounds for all parties.

In 2015, the current global spend on contingent workers was over $3 trillion with nearly 70 percent of that being independent contractors and freelancers (seen as highly skilled professional workers).

And, by various estimates, 20-33 percent of today’s US workforce now comprises of freelancers, contractors and temps, up from six percent in 1989. Worldwide, companies now spend an estimated $300 billion dollars per year on such contingent labor. There are now large United States-based conglomerates that spend upwards of $80 million in contingent labor alone per year to keep the lights on in their businesses and to maintain competitive advantage.

Economists project that the extended workforce will continue to increase as part of a long-term trend and there are important conversations to be had about how that affects the economy, U.S. businesses and the workers themselves in the long run.

Workers can sit back and worry about how things are changing, or they can take action and drive their careers forward. There are currently four clear options for American workers.

1. Maintain a Salaried Job

A job for life is an antiquated terms these days. It is rare for people to stay in a single job from the time of graduation through to retirement age, no matter how good you are or how hard you work. Economies demand efficiency and better, stronger and faster resources seem to win. That being said, we are seeing an upward trend for workers staying with some jobs for longer, especially for the younger generation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 25-34 year old workers the average tenure at a job was was 3.2 years in 2012, up from 2.7 years in 2002. This is still true today and is partly due to the recent recession (2008). As the U.S. gets stronger financially and more opportunities arise, we will likely see tenure dropping due to the rise of multiple salaried job workers or hybrid salaried/freelance workers. While this is not a job for life, it certainly is a job for a few years, and that is good.

These are the hybrid salaried/freelance workers, and this is the most likely future for many Americans. People are starting to see the opportunities to follow passion projects and even turn them into reality. No longer are people constrained by lack of funds, or even lack of time.

Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBNB puts this very well, “Now we’re living in a world where people can become businesses in 60 seconds.” And, it’s true. We are more connected than ever and we can grab our smartphones and a credit card and get going.

Start Projects on the Side

These days, on-demand freelancing, and crowdsourcing platforms, like Freelancer.com, let you post projects to build apps, ecommerce website, hire virtual assistants and even do the accounting quickly and easily without the constraints of the local workforce and availability. That means the day job can carry on while the dreams are being built in the background. It’s like being a mini-entrepreneur, or solo-preneur as some like to say.

Having a second source of income, from a fun project is always going to make people feel more satisfied and that can even have a positive effect on their day jobs as well.

2. Go Freelance

In 2014, the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that 2 million Americans are leaving their jobs every week. Some end up at new jobs, however, many are choosing to forge their own path forward. Freelancing platforms have become increasingly streamlined to allow for real-time communications and freelancers can browse thousands of jobs every day.

There was a time when being a freelancer was seen as a risky proposition and a second-class worker in companies. In 2014 the Freelancer’s Union found that 65 percent said freelancing as a career path is more respected today than it was three years ago. With this acceptance comes growth, both personally and with the economy. Companies are growing stronger by hiring these contingent workers.

3. Become the next UBER, Facebook or AirBNB

All of the aforementioned companies worked hard over years to build technologies and then grow their businesses. They received funding early and built on successes they had. Although they are now seen as the unicorns, that does not mean you cannot get going to prove out your idea.

In the U.S. alone, Freelancer.com has over 2 million registered users that are across all major cities—NYC, Chicago, Atalanta, San Francisco, LA, Boston, Seattle—and everywhere inbetween. There are freelancers with over 850 different skills, from mobile app development to engineering, and from accountancy to 3D printing to even more complex tasks like quantum mathematics, VR development and mobile games. They can be called up with your smartphone in a few seconds and your idea can become a reality in minutes, hours and days.

This paves the way for bold ideas and confidence that experimentation with business may not lead to bankruptcy for fledgling businesses. In fact, 42 percent of founders cited a “lack of capital” as their biggest obstacle to growth in 2015, up from about 35 percent the previous year, according to Mainsail Partners, a private-equity firm that works primarily with bootstrapped businesses.

Now it takes just hundreds of dollars to get a business running and get online and only thousands of dollars each year to hire teams across the world for core business functions like business development, support, customer care, accounting, design and data analysis.

Sound too good to be true? Many companies have become multi-million (or even billion) dollar businesses. Whatsapp’s early technical team was even found on these platforms and they have certainly done well.

There are the options and opportunities. Even if you have a small idea for something you’ve always wanted to do then just do it. Maybe it’ll be the next unicorn and you can be the next CEO that everyone is talking about.

Source: business.com ~ By: NIK BADMINTON ~Image: pixabay.com