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Making Dream Jobs Become Real Jobs

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by Brian Chesky

 
Airbnb Co-found and CEO, Brian Chesky

Airbnb Co-founder, CEO, Head of Community, Brian Chesky

My high school art teacher, Miss Williams, convinced me that there was a way to do what I loved—designing—for a living. The confidence that I could wake up every day and do something that I was passionate about changed my life.

When we first created Airbnb in 2008, it was more about necessity. We couldn’t afford to pay the rent, so essentially, we invited three people to sleep on air mattresses on our floor. From those three air beds, Airbnb today has grown into a community of more than 2 million people sharing their homes each night. And just as importantly, it’s helping many people pursue fair and rewarding work.

All around the world, hosts are using the extra income they make from Airbnb not only to pay living expenses like rent and utilities, but also to pursue their dreams, and start new businesses that will support jobs in their local communities. It’s work that doesn’t just provide profit, but purpose.

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Airbnb Owner, Debbie

Debbie is one of many women hosts finding economic success through Airbnb.

​Airbnb is committed to supporting this kind of work all across our community by providing homeowners and renters with the chance to transform their most expensive bill into their most valuable economic opportunity. Since hosts keep up to 97% of the nightly listing price for their home, nearly all the income generated on the Airbnb platform flows right back to the community instead of ending up at some corporate headquarters in another time zone. This enables local entrepreneurs to innovate, open more businesses, and ultimately support more jobs. 

Women, in particular, are finding economic success on our platform. Since Airbnb’s founding, women hosts around the world have earned over $10 billion. And more than 50,000 of them have used the money they earned from Airbnb to become entrepreneurs and fund their own businesses.

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Airbnb Experience - surf lessons

Airbnb Experience hosted by Nicki

We’re also giving our community the chance to ensure domestic workers are compensated fairly. Through our Living Wage Pledge, hosts in the U.S. can pledge to pay their house cleaners a fair wage of at least $15 per hour for those employed by a company with benefits and $25 per hour for self-employed cleaners. And guests can show their support for this initiative by staying with hosts who commit to the pledge.

And with the launch of Airbnb Experiences, more and more people are able to tap into economic opportunity by turning their hobbies into guided activities for their guests. This means the surfing enthusiast can share her passion for catching a break; the wildlife conservationist can introduce you to a wolf pack just outside Los Angeles.

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By creating powerful people-to-people connections, Airbnb helps unlock our hosts’ time and potential—two of the most critical resources to economic growth. It means that around the world, hosts’ dream jobs are becoming their real jobs. 

We live in a time of increasing concern about the effects of automation. The reality is that machines have been replacing people since their invention. My grandfather worked in a printing press until technology automated his job. Printing is now fully automated, and soon printing itself will vanish. It’s understandable for people to wonder what their futures will look like when they realize that many of the jobs of today could soon be done by robots.

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Airbnb hosts posing for photo - James and Inja

​Airbnb hosts, James and Inja




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But not everything can be automated. Hospitality requires a heart, and sense of belonging. Belonging is a human need. It’s something we cannot live without. Robots cannot create belonging. There are companies that believe that robots can replace people. In some cases, people can actually replace robots. We believe that technology can increase the capacity and confidence of people.

As Joe Biden’s dad always said, “A job is about more than just a paycheck. It’s about your dignity.”

Every day, the Airbnb community reminds me of how true this statement is. Our hosts don’t just earn a paycheck, but a sense of purpose. Put simply, they get to do what they love. That’s why our efforts are focused on helping to create more of these jobs for up to half a million Americans by 2020.

And we’re just getting started. 

Brian Chesky is the Co-founder, CEO, and Head of Community at Airbnb. 

Follow Brian on Twitter @BChesky

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News Story Supporting Images and Text
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Co-founder, CEO, and Head of Community at Airbnb, Brian Chesky, joins the conversation about the dignity of work and the importance of quality jobs.
9/19/2017
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