Here’s another item to add to the list of things-to-thank-the-internet-for: work from home jobs.
To people who look at employment in the traditional sense, the words work and home might not go together. But, thanks to the internet, working outside of an office these days is not longer just the unconventional practice that once belonged to the realms of art and entrepreneurship.
If you’re a full-time parent, or if you’ve got responsibilities that need you to have flexible hours, looking into a work from home job might be a good idea. You might be picturing lazy people in their pambahay (house clothes) - think again. Studies done by Stanford, the National Public Radio, and the International Data Corporation have shown that working outside of an office often spikes people’s productivity. Defined in other words, ‘work from home’ can actually be ‘work integrated with your life routine.’
With the right skills, anyone can start working from the comfort of homes, cafes, beaches, and mountains. The good news is, these are skills that can be learned and perfected.
If working outside of an office seems like the right for you, here are a few options you can look at:
1. Freelance writer
If you’ve got a way with words, writing is a good gig to start with. Search for companies that are looking to have articles and press releases done.
You can begin by looking at your network and making your friends know that you’re available for freelance engagements. Blogging about things you’re passionate about is also a great way to get people to look at your work and appreciate your writing style.
2. Social media manager
These days, every business, organization and personality needs a strong presence on social media. Enter the social media manager. Your job would be to manage and grow a group’s identity online and to interact with its audience.
If you’re familiar with how platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ work, use your knowledge to earn. For work like this, you’ll need a consistent, stable internet connection, good communication skills, and constant research on how people on social media act and behave.
3. Graphic design
Just like all groups and personalities need a social media presence, all of them will need graphic design.
If you have a certain style of design or drawing, make it your own and build your portfolio. Try and explore other styles and aesthetics too – the wider your range is, the more varied your clients will be.
Posters for the web, logos, web design, brochures, flyers are just some of the things people are looking for.
4. Web developer
Creating the back end of websites and doing it well is not a skill many people have - nor is it a skill many people want to learn either. Because code is a language incomprehensible to many, people are always looking for web developers.
Websites and blogs come into the package for businesses and organizations, right in there with social media and graphic design. Usual clients you may have are entrepreneurs, commerce websites, non-government organizations and the like.
5. Online tutor
Are you confident in your grasp of a certain subject or skill? Teach it online.
Search for companies that link tutors with students from different countries and get to work. For this, most often you’ll be required to have a stable internet connection, as well as a web camera. An accessible subject for most people is English.
Just be prepared for what could be odd hours as you try to match schedules with students outside of the Philippines.
6. Transcriber or translator
A job that simply requires time, patience and a simple computer is transcribing. Look for research companies and media agencies that need extra hands and ears, and type away.
If you happen to be bilingual, another similar job you can look at is translating. People who can speak languages outside English and Filipino are in demand. Make a list of international organizations that have constituents in different countries and send in your resume.
7. Online seller
If you’ve got products to sell, sell them online. Your store, your audience, and even your money transactions can all happen on the internet.
Clothes, food, gadgets, instruments, sports equipment, or novelty items – name it and you can be sure someone is selling them on a website, Facebook or Instagram. Figure out what it is you want to offer and join the mall that is the internet.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t exactly mean always working at home, but being your own boss does mean you have control over your time and the place where you work.
As the leader of a small but growing company, it’s up to you where, how long and how often you’re going to work. One thing is for sure, this won’t be your 9-5 job.
If you do choose to work from home, know that the coin always has two sides. Working this way will often mean working freelance, requiring you to actively seek opportunities. You’ll have to keep a good record, be diligent with your work and develop relationships with the people who hire you. But if flexibility and the leeway to explore other paths are your priorities, forge ahead.
With the internet making the world a little bit smaller everyday, new avenues for mobile working are always popping up. Go where your skills are needed and happily work from home.