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15 Apps That Let You Join the Sharing Economy

15 Apps That Let You Join the Sharing Economy

The rise of the “sharing economy” has created a budding and earnest group of micro-business owners. These mini-preneurs are your Airbnb hosts, your TaskRabbits, and your Uber drivers.

As this new frontier of peer-to-peer commerce grows, so does the list of apps that can help you take advantage of it. Here are 15 you should be aware of because they can save you time and money, or even help you make a few bucks of your own.

1. Sidecar

While Sidecar isn’t as well known as its well-funded ridesharing competition, it holds a distinction that neither Uber nor Lyft can claim: Winner of The Wall Street Journal’s 2014 review of transportation apps.

Download the Sidecar app and enter your preferences for car type, driver, fare, and ETA. You’ll pay less than you would for a cab and you have the advantage of knowing the price up front—something that’s always a bit of a mystery when you hop into a cab or even when you hail a ride on Lyft or Uber.

Background checks are required for all drivers and the company carries a $1 million liability policy in case there’s any trouble.

sidecar_screenshot0
     

    2. Yerdle 

    Yerdle is a peer-to-peer second-hand store with a unique credit system for goods changing hands. You’ll find everything from toys and electronics to tools and camping gear.

    Get items for free using Yerdle credits (currently Yerdle is giving people 250 credits for signing up), and earn more credits by giving away items you no longer want or need.

    Local pick-up is free or you can have items shipped across the US. 

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    Yerdle

      3. JustPark 

      JustPark (formerly ParkAtMyHouse) aims to solve the problem of finding a parking space, circling the block, feeding the meter, worrying about moving your car, or paying too much for a parking space. It does this by leveraging vacant privately-owned parking spaces in your city. 

      Spaces are available at rates varying by demand from anywhere from half an hour up to six months, and JustPark says the spots in their network average 60% less than street parking.

      JustPark

        4. Vayable

        With Vayable, you can book a tour with a local expert in cities around the world. And on the flip-side, if you have a unique perspective to share about your city, you can sign up as a host and earn money showing people a fun local experience they wouldn’t get from an “official” tour guide.

        Vayable

          5. DogVacay 

          Think Airbnb, but for dogs. DogVacay (and rival Rover) connects pet-owners with pet-sitters, avoiding the need to visit a traditional kennel or dog-boarding service. All prospective hosts go through an application process that includes reference checks and phone interviews.

          Dog lovers can open their home to visiting pets and earn boarding fees ranging from $15 to $50 a night.

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          DogVacay on the App Store on iTunes

            6. Spinlister 

            Spinlister is the peer-to-peer marketplace for sports equipment rentals, like skis and snowboards, bikes, or surfboards.

            (The common theme? Stuff you can ride.)

            Since those items are generally expensive but in use only occasionally, it makes sense to rent instead of buy—or earn some money from the gear you already have instead of letting it collect dust in the garage.

            Spinlister

              7. LeftoverSwap

              OK, maybe this whole sharing economy is going a little too far! LeftoverSwap aims to reduce food waste by connecting hungry neighbors with their overstuffed counterparts. Perhaps it will promote some new culinary adventures.

              LeftoverSwap

                8. HomeDine

                Instead of eating out in some boring restaurant while you’re traveling, fire up the HomeDine app and see what’s cooking. The premise is to join in on a home-cooked meal anywhere in the world, meet new people, and share a unique cultural experience.

                Homedine

                  9. Getaround

                  Getaround puts your car to use for you when you’re not driving it, or allows you to rent a car from someone in the Getaround network. You can set your desired rates and the company handles all the payment processing and insurance. 

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                  On the customer side, you may be able to find a cheaper car rental by not going through a traditional agency like Hertz, or you can use the service to test drive a car you’ve always wanted.

                  getaround

                    10. Zaarly 

                    Zaarly allows users to create their own micro “stores” to sell goods or services to their peers. You’ll find everything from handyman services, iPhone repairs, even homemade apple pies.

                    While much of the network is local or hands-on, some providers are offering “virtual” services like phone consultations or online work.

                    Zaarly  Hire the best home service experts on the App Store on iTunes

                      11. Lending Club 

                      Next time you’re in need of cash, don’t run to the bank for a loan; instead try Lending Club. Borrowers will find rates as a low as 6%, while lenders can invest in fractional ownership of a portfolio of peer-to-peer notes, and earn higher returns than savings accounts or CDs.

                      Lending Club

                        12. Fon 

                        Fon asks you to allow others to access your home WiFi network in exchange for getting free WiFi at any of the 8 million worldwide hotspots in Fon’s network. 

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                        fon

                          13. Poshmark

                          Poshmark helps women monetize their closet and declutter at the same time. You can list gently used clothing items for sale in less than 60 seconds with their app, and also shop for new or pre-worn items at prices up to 70% off retail. 

                          Poshmark

                            14. Postmates

                            Postmates aims to “revolutionize urban logistics” by changing how local goods are acquired, delivered, and consumed. Employing an army of on-demand couriers (primarily on bikes, but sometimes in cars), the company promises quick, low cost delivery of any local item.

                            And of course if you know your city inside and out and would love to be the next bike messenger hero, Postmates could be a money-making opportunity for you.

                            Postmates

                              15. Instacart

                              The problem with groceries is you often have to go to the store to get them, which can be time-consuming. Instacart is the personal grocery shopping service that will deliver your grocery order to your door for a nominal fee.

                              I thought the delivery fees were actually pretty attractive, starting at $3.99 when you order $35 or more, but the company also marks up the cost of the actual food as well.

                              instacart

                                Featured photo credit: Vayable via gigaom.com

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                                Published on November 9, 2018

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                • Microsoft Excel
                                • Microsoft Access
                                • Statistics
                                • Data Analytics
                                • Adobe Campaign
                                • Quickbooks
                                • XML Database management system
                                • Filemaker Pro
                                • MATLAB
                                • Hive
                                • FORTRAN
                                • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                • SAS

                                2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                • Content Management System (CMS)
                                • Google Analytics
                                • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                • Email Marketing
                                • Web Page Design
                                • WordPress
                                • Digital Media
                                • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                • Campaign Management Software

                                3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                • Adobe Photoshop
                                • Adobe InDesign
                                • Adobe Illustrator
                                • AutoCAD
                                • CorelDRAW
                                • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                • Maya
                                • Microsoft Word
                                • Microsoft Publisher
                                • Operating Digital Cameras

                                4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                • HTML
                                • C/C++
                                • Java
                                • Python
                                • XML
                                • UI/UX
                                • LINUX
                                • CISC and RISC architecture
                                • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                • Memory Management
                                • PCB Layout
                                • SQL

                                5. IT Troubleshooting

                                Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                • Backup management
                                • Diagnostics
                                • End User support
                                • Client-Server management
                                • Installation and configuration
                                • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                • System administration
                                • Tech support

                                6. Enterprise Systems

                                Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                2. Rule the Social Media World

                                a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                b. Canva Design School

                                From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                3. Look for Shortcuts

                                Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                4. Apply for an Internship

                                Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                The Bottom Line

                                Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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