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A 10-step Guide on How To Get Started with Online Jobs

online jobs

What are your goals for this year? Other than making more money, which is what we all want, is having more time and freedom on your list? Perhaps more time to spend with your family or go traveling, or freedom to do the things that you love?

Time is the most valuable asset of all human beings. It is something we can’t buy back, hence, should be spent wisely.

Question is, how can you have more time and freedom? Obviously, we cannot have more than 24 hours a day. So, what could it be then?

Ever thought of doing online jobs?

Before you give me any judgmental thoughts and comments, hear me out first por favor —

I have been working remotely for almost 6 years now but it hasn’t been that way before. I actually spent more than a decade in the corporate world, even got a post-graduate degree, tried to climb the corporate ladder and compete with my colleagues. I thought I was on the right track until I did the unthinkable and quit my job to travel the world. To be able to sustain a long-term travel lifestyle, I relied heavily on online jobs. And since then, I never looked back.

I can never see myself in a corporate world anymore. I simply don’t belong in that world. Office politics, drama, and ass-kissing were definitely not my cup of tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to quit your job and start doing online jobs. Because truth be told, it is not for everyone but before you tell me that you’re not cut out for it, just give it a try. You can start it as a side hustle and go from there. You will either love it or hate it.

Important things to note —

If you are the type of person who loves the rat race, climbing the corporate ladder, attending meetings and very much comfortable with the corporate world, then online jobs are definitely not for you.

Now, if you are the type of person who is only doing corporate jobs for the money, always dreading going to work each morning, and hates office politics and drama, then perhaps it’s time to make a career change.

Like in any case or situation, there’s always a trade-off. Time and freedom are 2 things you can get from working online jobs. On the other hand, you are trading off security and stability. And you will know why or how as we go along.

If you want to know the pros and cons, the good and the bad of working from home (or remotely), you can read about it here.

If, after reading the good and the bad of working from home and doing more research, you are somewhat convinced to give online jobs a try, even as a side hustle, here are the steps that you can follow:

1. Sign up for an account in any online job platforms

There are several websites available and you can create an account to as many as you want. As for me, I started out with Onlinejobs and then I made the switch to Upwork and FreeUp mainly for 2 reasons:

  • I get higher hourly rate in Upwork and FreeUp
  • I can easily identify suitable jobs given my skills and qualifications

Are there any fees when you signup? NO. However, if you want to have added benefits, you can easily upgrade your account.

2. Completely fill out your profile

Your profile should be optimized with skills and qualifications that are somewhat specific and well-defined. You have to be very clear with the projects that you can do, tasks that you can easily perform, etc. Take marketing for instance. It is such a broad topic so you have to break it down — do you have the skills for social media marketing, market research, or account management?

If you are unsure, just go back to the things that you normally do when you were in the corporate world and you can take that as a benchmark. Or better yet, do a SWOT analysis on yourself to figure out what you can and cannot do.

When you are just starting out, you can try to apply to as many jobs in any industry as you want. Eventually, you will realize what you want and don’t want and finally narrow down your choices of projects and assignments.

When it comes to your availability, you can choose to do part-time (15 hours a week and below) or full-time (40 hours up). If you are doing this as a side hustle, then it would be best to apply for jobs that only require minimum work hours (i.e. 5-10 hours a week).

Regarding your hourly rate, it highly depends on your skill set. If you are just starting out, I believe the going hourly rate is somewhere between $8-12. If you are somewhat on intermediate level, your hourly rate can start from $12-$20. And if you consider yourself an expert, your hourly rate can start at $20-$25 and up.

When it comes to your hourly rate, you can charge as high as you want, just make sure you can justify and deliver.

3. Draft an AWESOME cover letter

Before applying to any job, first draft an AWESOME cover letter. You can use this cover letter over and over again. Just tweak it once in a while depending on the job description that you will come across.

4. Start looking for online jobs

You can apply to as many as you want. A few tips to consider:

  • Read carefully the job description and what is being offered.
  • Take note of the required number of hours
  • Take note if the rate is hourly or fixed

In my opinion, you should always take an hourly rate because, at the very least, every hour is accounted and paid for. Some employers would also require you to use a time tracker software. It’s up to you if you’re comfortable using one, but if not, you can negotiate with your client/employer.

There are also jobs that are output-based, with no time tracker required, you just have to finish and deliver your projects on time.

5. Open a Paypal account

This is an absolute necessity because this is how you will get paid. To sign up, click here.

6. Prepare for interviews

Once you start getting interview schedules, make sure you are prepared for it. Here are some tips —

  • Do your research about the company
  • Completely understand the job description
  • Have questions prepared if there things that you need to clarify — questions such as work expectations, work shift, payment schedule, when to start, opportunities for growth and pay increases, etc.

Another thing, you would want to clarify about transaction fees. With Paypal for instance, there are certain fees that you need to pay for using their service, and it’s up to you if you want to shoulder the fees or discuss it with your employer.

7. Play the waiting game

If you got hired, good for you, and if not, just continue sending out applications. In my experience, there was an instance when I got hired immediately after the first interview and I started working a few days after. Another instance, I waited 2 months to get hired and start working. It all depends on the company’s hiring process.

8. Download all necessary tools and software

Once you are hired, you must download the following tools:

  • Time tracker software – Hubstaff, Time Doctor, etc. — depends on what the company is currently using.
  • Work organizer software – Slack, Asana, Trello, etc. — to organize workflows and communicate efficiently with the team. Again, it will depend on what the company is currently using.
  • Video conference software – Skype, Zoom, Uberconference, etc. — depends on what the company is currently using.
  • Any other tool or software that your employer would require from you. If it comes with an expense, the company normally pays for it.

9. Start working

Once you have everything set-up, you are now ready to start working. Just like in any kind of job, show up and do your best.

When it comes to online jobs, your performance rating will be based solely on your output and productivity.

10. One last important thing to note

Online job employers do not offer employment contract in any form or way. So basically, you are not secured and stability is also on the line because your employer can easily let you go without any notice. But that goes both ways as you can also quit your job without giving any notice.

My advice? If you are working online jobs full-time, I suggest to work for as many clients/employers as you can. I mean, if you are working 40 hours a week, you can work for 2-3 clients simultaneously.

In my case for instance, there was a time when I was working for just one client for 8 hours a day. It lasted for 17 months until I decided to take another full-time remote job. This pandemic has given me so much free time, since I can’t really travel and go anywhere, so I’ve been working 2 full-time jobs since October 2020. Is it manageable? Yes. And I admit that sometimes, it can be very exhausting but I just make sure that I get enough rest and all is well again.

So far, I have reaped the benefits of working online jobs. Not only does it allow me to work anywhere in the world, but because I manage my own time, I get to do a lot more things. I just love the thought of not being confined in a cubicle, working 9-5, and wasting time in traffic. Truthfully, with online jobs, I have more time and freedom to do the things that I love, things that contribute to my personal growth.

And I’ve even convinced several of my friends and family to give online jobs a shot because, really, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Are you ready to give online jobs a try? If you have more questions, sign up now and I will guide you through the process.

Sending you love from my side of the world. Thank you for stopping by!