Are you tired of the morning commute? Want more flexibility? Online jobs can grant you that! It’s all within your grasp, if you just put in some effort, have the right mindset and a few basic skills.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What kind of remote work you can do
- The best work from home jobs
- How to find your first online job
- Top 10 best remote companies to work for
A few years ago, online jobs were kind of a laughing stock. “Why don’t you get a real job, like the rest of us,” would relatives comment when someone talked about their work from home job.
Now, more and more people are realizing the perks of having a remote job.
Working from home is not just a very solid employment choice, it’s incredibly rewarding.
Work retreat in Bali from my remote-based company:
Just imagine having these benefits:
- Loads of time saved on the daily commute you would ordinarily endure
- You can enjoy a flexible schedule and arrange your sleeping habits the way YOU like
- You can take a break any time you like
- You can easily work for multiple companies at the same time (depending on your work)
- You’ll have more time to spend on your hobbies, being together with your loved ones, working on self-improvement
- Often, companies that offer work from home jobs also offer great benefits, comparable (or even better) to the ones traditional companies offer
The list of benefits goes on and on. But the main reason to start working from home is the flexibility. You are essentially the boss of your time and you can choose how to arrange your schedule.
That’s the ultimate job freedom!
The remote work mindset you need
Are you even ready to work from home?
To be honest, it’s not for everyone. As alluring as working from home can be, it needs a special kind of person with some particular personality traits. The thing is, without having those traits, you’ll burn out very quickly and realize you’re completely dissatisfied with your life.
And you don’t want to get to that point.
There’s no shame in admitting that working from home is not for you.
In order to start earning money with online jobs, you need three essential traits. Without those three, you might as well be throwing spaghetti on your wall. The result will be zero.
When working from home, good communication skills become even more essential. It’s not about your body language or the look in your eye anymore.
It’s about how you express yourself.
You should never:
- use one-liners (like replying to your client just with an “okay” or “yes”)
- delay more than 24 hours in replying
If a client ordered 15 articles from you and you’re done with 7, you should let your client know when you expect to finish the rest. This kind of efficient communication is highly appreciated and sets the good remote workers apart from the ones whose career never takes off.
When you work from home, your boss can’t check your progress that well. So, you need to be the one who keeps your boss in the loop. If there are 2 applicants with equally good work, the employer will always choose the one with better communication.
In today's competitive remote work scene, it’s crucial to be fast. Especially when starting your online career, you need to be ready to reply quickly (at least within 24 hours) and be equally efficient with your work too.
Of course, you should never sacrifice quality but if you’re not ready to reply within 24 hours (or at least a couple of days), you might as well forget about remote work.
Unfortunately, this is the part where the hare wins over the tortoise.
When working from home, employers might be afraid that their employees are slacking. So, expect to deliver your work as efficiently as possible. Any delays in your progress should always be reported to your employer.
When you intend to start working from home but don’t have an online job yet, you can expect to hustle a lot.
And I mean a lot.
Don’t expect to just put up an online profile and instantly find a ton of work. You need to be active yourself. Apply for many different jobs, make proposals, and send emails. And do that a lot!
You have to be ready to hustle a lot and be persistent. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a bitter disappointment if you don’t find an online job right after posting your CV or profile somewhere.
How to work from home (step by step guide)
So, you’ve now established that you tick all those 3 boxes above. How do you go about finding an online jobs?
These easy steps below will guide you through the whole process up to getting your first online work from home job!
Getting work from home jobs involves just 4 main steps:
- Figuring out your desires and skills
- Finding available online jobs
- Writing a great cover letter/proposal
- Negotiating the price
Step 1: Figure things out
Life is too short to take online jobs that you completely hate.
Sooner or later, you’ll end up so miserable you’ll wish you could go and flip burgers instead of doing your remote work. So, it’s essential to only go for the kind of online jobs that you actually enjoy doing.
You don’t have to figure out everything right away but you need to figure out your USP and ask yourself two questions:
- What do you like to do?
- What are you good at?
Do you like typing? Creative work? You enjoy working with numbers? Or you love talking to people? These could all guide you to the right job.
The same goes for things you’re good at.
If you’re good at a certain language, you could work with content or translations. If you’re a great communicator, customer service jobs are great for you. If you are very detail-oriented and love to research the web, working with data or research is the way to go.
Whatever it is, figure out these 2 things and the rest will come a lot more easier.
Figuring out what you enjoy and what you are good at is not just essential for your mental wellbeing and job satisfaction. These are also powerful selling points you can use later when applying for jobs! When you truly enjoy something, your proposal will come from the heart and you’re much more likely to get the job.
Step 2: Choose your channel
Now that you know what you enjoy doing and what you’re actually good at, it’s time to find available online jobs.
There are 2 main ways to go about it:
- Creating a profile in a freelancing platform
- Manually finding companies who are offering online jobs and contacting them
Below, I’m outlining the ins and outs of both ways.
Option A: Freelancing websites
This is the easiest way to find work from home jobs.
The whole essence of freelance websites is to connect workers with companies who are hiring for online jobs. These dedicated platforms are a great way to start as a beginner and often, these can lead to great careers.
All you need to do is set up a profile on one of such websites and start applying to jobs.
There are literally hundreds of freelancing websites out there but here are the top 5 I’d recommend the most:
Option B: Finding companies manually
Freelancing websites kind of make it all so easy since you already have tons of potential employers there without you needing to do a massive research.
But if you’d like to find a more serious work relationship and become a full-time work from home worker or you just don’t want to suffer those freelancing platform fees, you can always manually search companies that are offering online jobs.
There’s no easy solution. But there are 3 main ways to find companies with work at home jobs:
- Check job listing websites
- Do some googling to find companies yourself
You can search around various career sites, such as:
Moreover, going to seminars, conferences and staying active in your industry can also help you land remote work. Learning the importance of networking and putting yourself out there will eventually get you to the right people.
You can also check your favorite companies and see if they’re hiring or Google things like “remote companies hiring now”. Do some brainstorming and start contacting companies! It never hurts to ask and get your name out there.
Step 3: Make a personal proposal
Sending out your proposals is the trickiest and the most important part.
Forget everything you learned from school about cover letters and resumes. These kinds of old-school teachings don’t have a place in the work from home scene.
What works is sincerity.
Instead of writing things like “Dear Sir, I would like to apply to your job,” get straight to the point. Be sincere and straightforward. Say exactly why you would like the job and what you can bring to the table.
Be genuine and real and never use cover letter templates. Your personality and life experience is not something that can be entered into a pre-made template!
6 quick resume and cover letter tips
- Don’t write about your hobbies on your resume. You’re not applying for the position of CEO’s best friend. Mention your hobbies only if they’re relevant for the job.
- Always mention references. Your claims are even stronger if other people, a.k.a your previous employers, can back those claims.
- Don’t mention your weaknesses. The employer only cares about what you CAN do, not about what you can’t do. No one is hiring employees based on their weaknesses.
- Don’t try to look sophisticated. Don’t use big words. Keep your resume and cover letter simple and straightforward.
- Re-read your proposal. After writing your proposal, read it through once more and ask yourself, would you hire the person who wrote that proposal? If the answer is yes, you know you’ve given everything you have.
- Always stay true to yourself. If you write your proposal genuinely from the bottom of your heart, you can’t go wrong with it.
Step 4: Negotiating and pricing
This is a step that might not be relevant in every hiring situation. Often, you might have already proposed the price you’re comfortable with or you might be okay with whatever the employer is offering.
However, here are some tips to make you even more successful in your quest of finding online jobs from home.
If the employer’s price is not fixed already:
You can always quote a bit higher price and let the employer know in your cover letter that the price is negotiable. This way, you might end up with a higher salary or, in the worst case, negotiate later and agree on the price.
If you don’t have much experience yet:
Offer a bit lower price than average. While it’s definitely not the most enjoyable outcome, you need to focus on building your references and work portfolio.
Experience is even more valuable than a bit higher hourly rate!
If you’re not sure how much to ask for your work:
Ask yourself one question: what’s your work’s value? What’s the price you’re comfortable with? Imagine doing the work – what’s the amount you’d like to receive?
Don’t be afraid to ask what you want! Jobs come and go. Make sure you quote a price that fills your desires and is enough to cover your expenses.
Best work from home jobs: 15 most popular online jobs
At home jobs have really expanded majorly. You can do almost anything, as long as it’s something that can be done virtually.
What will be the best work from home jobs for you will depend on what you have passion and talent for.
Some jobs are more common in the work from home industry though. Below, you’ll find a list of online jobs that you could easily find from any freelancing website.
1. Data entry/typing
Data entry is one of the most common work from home jobs that doesn't require much experience.
If you are a speedy typist, you could easily find a data entry or transcriptionist job.
Data entry and typing jobs can be tiresome though, so these are the best for people who love being detail-oriented and don’t mind more mundane tasks.
Since data entry is not really the toughest job out there, competition can also be pretty fierce among applicants.
2. Writing and editing
If you’re a true wordsmith, your skills will be very valuable! Editing, proofreading, writing – there are hundreds of content-related online jobs popping up every day!
Quality really matters here. If you're able to produce high quality content, people will pay you premium prices.
If you’re skillful, you can easily make a full salary out of writing or editing content. Or it could become your part time work from home, in addition to your regular job.
Another entry level work from home job is translating. Fairly easy, as long as you have language in your blood.
If you know several languages and you’re linguistically awesome, translating can really turn into a good sized income source.
Similarly to good writers, there’s always a lack of good translators who are reliable, fast, and produce high-quality results.
4. Call center worker
If you don’t mind selling something, you could work in telemarketing or call centers. At most, you need a good computer with a functioning microphone for this.
Call center workers are not typically paid too much. This work from home job can suit people who needs to take an online job temporarily.
5. Customer service representative
Customer service work is not for everyone. If you love talking to people, you can find tons of customer rep jobs that are doable online.
One of the best work from home jobs if you're good with people and service minded. Definitely a good opportunity for the right person.
Do you like teaching?
If you’re knowledgeable in some field, you could give online classes or become an online tutor. There are plenty of companies looking for great educators!
Some remote companies will pay you really well for this, as long as you're highly skilled.
Learning online marketing is the best thing you can do if you want to create a good work from home opportunity for yourself long-term.
Online marketing is a growing niche that gets more popular with every passing day. Email marketing, SEO, digital marketing in general – there are plenty of opportunities.
What’s even better, many companies are just looking for “fresh meat” with the right mindset, and new team members will get taught all the basics. So, you might not even need experience in the field!
Accounting can easily be done remotely. If you have the right experience, this could be a good remote job for you. These jobs usually require a license or a degree.
However, you might find bookkeeping jobs that don’t require special licenses. This is also a great way to get your foot between the accounting world’s door!
9. Art and design
The sky is the limit with this one. From photography to animation to logo design or website creation – there are thousands of companies looking for skillful remote artists!
You can either work directly for a company, or sell your own photos through Stockphoto-websites.
10. Web development/programming
Probably one of the best online jobs you can find – if you wanna make a lot of money working remotely.
Computer science is one of the most sought-after industries right now and also one with the highest salary numbers.
These jobs require special skills though, but you can also easily learn different programming skills online via virtual courses.
11. Managing social media
Social media is really mainstream, and still grows every year. If you got the right skills, you could land an online job managing social media accounts – and make really good money from it.
More and more people are outsourcing social media work. If you love Instagram or Facebook, you could be an awesome social media manager!
12. Virtual assistant
Another entry level work from home job. Anyone can do it, but you need good work morals.
Some companies or CEOs simply need someone to help them out with a variety of tasks. Answering emails, posting on social media, organizing their calendar – virtual assistants can cover a range of tasks.
At most, you just need to be a very efficient person with great social skills. With these two virtues under your belt, you’d make a great VA!
13. Event planning
If you’re the “Monica” among your friends, all kinds of planning and organizing jobs fit well for you. Plenty of companies search for remote assistants who could help them with planning events.
Not as high demand, but you can definitely find plenty of work from home jobs in this industry.
One of the first online jobs ever created.
From nutrition to mental health to business – if you have specific skills or experience in any field, you could become an online consultant.
Consulting doesn’t require a face to face meeting in most cases, so you can find hundreds of consulting jobs online.
Researching can be a very mundane work, but if you love hunting facts and googling for information, this is the niche for you. You can help out medical companies, legal offices, or any other businesses that need to do some digging around the web.
There’s an online job for every skill and every desire. Figure out what you like to do and the rest is pretty easy. Put in your heart and soul and you’ll soon find your first remote job (that you’ll actually enjoy too).
Top 10 best remote companies to work for
There's a lot of work from home jobs out there. Not all companies offer the same amount of freedom, perks and salary.
Here's the 10 absolute best remote companies to work for.
Zapier is a very well-known company that focuses on creating effortless integrations between apps, so you could work more efficiently. This principle carries over to their hiring system – Zapier is (and always has been) a 100% remote company!
Perks of working for Zapier:
- Fun team retreats
- Profit sharing
- Huge global community within their employees
- Healthcare coverage and retirement plans (US, UK and Canada)
Similarly to Zapier, we at Financer.com have always worked remotely. My humble one-man project has now turned into a powerful financial comparison site across 26 markets. If you're passionate about online marketing and you're eager to learn and grow, you might be a great fit for our team!
Perks of working for Financer.com:
- Complete control over your schedule – no set work schedules
- Fun and adventurous work retreats
- Possibility for profit sharing
- Very supportive and highly motivated team
- Motivating milestones, bonuses and much more
Automattic is a software company that has single-handedly changed the way we view blogging and website creation. The thing is, Automattic is the company behind WordPress, WooCommerce, Tumblr, and many other publishing-related tools.
Though Automattic is primarily looking for software wizards, they have plenty of open positions in marketing, administration, legal, etc. All 100% remote!
Perks of working for Automattic:
- Coworking allowances
- Company-sponsored life insurance
- Open parental leave
- Wellness reimbursements and other benefits
GitHub is a development platform that aims to make it easier for software teams to collaborate. Every person who has ever participated in development knows how messy things can get! That's exactly what makes GitHub so brilliant.
Perks of working for GitHub:
- Health insurance coverage
- Yearly budget for books, conferences or any other learning goals
- Up to 40 hours/year in volunteering credit
- Internships available (real work experience)
Clevertech creates various software solutions for their clients. Whatever the client needs, they can deliver! Their team helps to develop whole products, starting from designing and ending with deployment. Mobile solutions, VR, blockchain, machine learning – Clevertech's range is huge.
Perks of working for Clevertech:
- One month paid time off
- Various trainings and teachings for personal growth
- Personal development fund
- Tenure-based rewards
Doist is one of the few companies that has always been fully remote. Their core is made of 2 apps: a to-do app called Todoist and a communication app for teams, called Twist. Actually, they call Twist the best alternative to Slack!
Perks of working for Doist:
- Recurring budget for conferences, cources, books
- Annual work retreats
- Recurring budget for work-related equipment
- Monthly budget for health and wellness
Toptal is the largest 100% remote company globally! At its core, Toptal is a network of exclusive top-rated freelancers, so companies could find the best talent for their projects. Contrary to traditional freelance platforms, Toptal vets each and every freelancer very thoroughly to ensure that only the best of the best remain for hiring.
Perks of working for Toptal:
- Various networking events and workshops
- Paid sabbatical leave
- Very flexible jobs and opportunity to grow
ConvertKit is all about helping every online creator out there take their business to a new level. As their name suggests, they're building tools for better conversion rates, offering email marketing tools, landing pages, automating your sales funnel and much more.
Perks of working for ConvertKit:
- 3 weeks of paid vacation plus 8 paid holidays a year
- Profit sharing bonus
- Equipment allowance
- Many health benefits
- Parental leave, 401K and many other perks
MoveOn is quite different from all the companies above – it's an organization that enables communities to come together, create petitions, support campaigns and causes. As they say about themselves: they mobilize people for a better society.
Perks of working for MoveOn:
- Full medical, dental and vision care coverage (for children too)
- 4 weeks of paid vacation, 10 sick days, 6 flexible holidays, 4 all-staff holidays
- Parental leave
- Monthly home office subsidy, cell phone and internet stipend
Toggl is a software company that's focused on creating tools for better productivity. Their core services are made of 3 tools: a project planning tool called toggl plan, a time tracking tool called toggl track and a hiring tool – toggl hire. All these 3 help companies handle their team better and much more efficiently.
Perks of working for Toggl:
- Laptop and a 2000€ budget, so you can set up your home office
- Reimbursements for internet or coworking spaces
- Monthly wellness reimbursements
- 24 days of paid time off a year
Best freelancing websites
This is the platform I have the most experience with personally and to me, it’s one of the most reliable ones. It’s extremely secure and has a very active marketplace with new jobs popping out almost every second.
When it comes to the kind of jobs you can find, Upwork caters to literally every kind of online job out there. If it can be done via the internet, it’s there!
Upwork’s main disadvantage is the fees which are pretty hefty. You’ll have to endure a 20% fee for the first $500 billed to a client and 10% for the first $10 000.
Freelancer is the world's biggest marketplace for online jobs with over 45 million employers! It’s every bit as capable of a freelancing platform as Upwork and many freelancers have profiles at both sites, though many prefer Freelancer over Upwork.
The fees there depend on the type of job. Fixed price projects can enjoy a 10% fee, but all kinds of services will have to endure a 20% cut.
Guru is the best choice for those with a bit more experience in the field. Some of the main work categories covered include things like business and finance, legal work, marketing, content work, etc.
Contrary to the previous two, Guru has membership tiers with different features. It’s possible to use the platform completely free but you can only make 10 proposals. All the next tiers allow you to make 50 proposals but vary on the fees that get cut from your earnings.
Flexjobs is quite easily one of the most flexible freelancing platforms! It features over 50 job categories, including wildlife jobs, education, real estate jobs, engineering and many other niches that aren’t usually covered in freelancing sites.
What sets Flexjobs apart though is the extremely thorough vetting of each and every job ad that gets posted on the site.
To use Flexjobs, you need to buy a membership though with prices starting from $14.95/mo.
Fiverr is notorious for its 5-dollar gig concept. It’s mostly meant for freelancers who’d like to build their work from home portfolio and become a bit more experienced in the whole niche. In Fiverr, you can create “services” and provide these for certain prices, mostly on the lower price end.
Like Upwork, Fiverr takes a 20% fee, but it’s a great way to get started on your online career, especially if you’d like to provide a service that’s easy to “package” (like web design, content creation, or data entry).
Final tips how to work from home
Before finishing this article, I want to give you some important pointers when you're just getting started in the work from home world.
Here's some tips that will help you land more online jobs:
1. Every job counts
When your work from home experience is small, apply even to smaller jobs. Even if someone is looking for a temporary employee or a company wants to get a small $10 job done.
You never know when these 10-dollar gigs might turn into 5-figure contracts.
2. Be original
Never ever use a copied template, email, or anything else. You might be applying to 2 very similar jobs but never ever use the same cover letter. Don’t be lazy!
Every employer, including me, will always understand if you’re using a recycled message.
You can use a template as a foundation of course, but make sure this is highly customized and relevant to the remote job you're applying for.
3. Accept that you don't know much yet
Let’s be real – you’re probably not the “top professional” in the field.
Whether it’s working from home on an online job or becoming an entrepreneur, accept the fact that you might not really know much yet. That’s okay!
Being humble will land you more online jobs than you can imagine – as long as you're willing to learn.
You don’t need to boast about your superior knowledge in order to get a job. To be honest, personality, work ethics, and efficiency often play a much bigger role than actual knowledge. People will believe you’re a professional if you act professionally.
4. Clean up your social media
Yes, employers look at your social media. Especially when you’re applying for jobs you can do from home.
When you can’t have a face to face meeting, your social media matters even more than usual.
Before taking your time to send in your applications, make sure your social media is highly representable.
5. Only take jobs you’re 100% sure you’re able to do
It might sound tempting to write 500 Facebook comments for 100 bucks but think about things realistically. Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated very quickly, do a bad job, or just discard the task.
Either way, you’ll end up with a disappointed client/boss and your whole career might easily go down the toilet. Don’t bite on things you can’t chew.