Are you tired of the morning commute? Want increased flexibility? More responsibility and challenges?
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:
- The remote work mindset you need
- The step-by-step process on how to get an online job
- Best freelancing website to start with
- Tips on how to work from home
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:
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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 mindset you need to get an online job
Are you even ready to get an online job?
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.
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 it?
How do you get an an online job?
These easy steps below will guide you through the whole process up to get 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 and attention to detail.
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!
Trust me, I have hired hundreds of remote workers, I know that the best way to get an online job is to really create a decent proposal or cover letter.
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. You can even use a resume generator for this purpose.
- 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 websites for online jobs
Now that we've been walking through on how to work from home and get an online job, let's dive into where you can do it.
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 tips on how to work from home when you're just getting started in this new world.
Here's some tips that will help you get 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.
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