Is Working Online For You? Part 2

online-work

Just in case you missed it, you can read Part 1 of this post here.

Now let’s move to the other things you must ask yourself if you want to work online.

4. Do you make stuff?

The ones who make the most online are the guys who build things, and not just do stuff. Sure you can be an assistant, do customer service, moderate forums, but if you want to really provide value, you should start studying making stuff.

Edit a WordPress theme. Tinker with Powerpoint. Learn pivot tables in Excel. Design a logo using fancy fonts. Write articles.

If you don’t make stuff, there’s a danger that what you are doing will be replaced by a better process or worse, better software. If you know how to create stuff, stuff that people find valuable and pay for, then you’re securing your own future.

5. Are you patient?

We kid you not, it will take a bit of time before you make good money online. The competition is fiercer these days with lots of people going online seeking to work the way you do. Don’t expect to make a windfall on your first month of applying to jobs.

Like all careers, it will take time for you to build your skills and more importantly, your online reputation. It’s okay to get a few low paying jobs at the start to prove yourself and build an initial portfolio. Expect your first month to be dry.

So keep on trying to discover what you think you’d love doing online, learn lots of stuff by reading and watching videos, and bulk up your sample work with stuff you poured your heart into. And yes, keep looking for opportunities online.

6. Are you comfortable working alone?

Most of the time, it would be just you and your computer tackling problems given to you by your clients. So figuring things out on your own is an essential skill.

If you crave having people around and talking to them, you can still do that here. But you’ll have to do it online most of the time. Otherwise, working at an agency or office might suit you better.

7. Are you a fast learner?

The core of online work is surprisingly not technology. It’s about the ability to learn a lot, all the time. Lots of things change each day, and that’s just from Google, Facebook and Twitter. If you aren’t up to speed with the latest trends in your field, you might get left behind by others who invest in their own education.

Consume the top blogs for your field, follow the influencers for your craft and join online groups that chat a lot about your industry. Over time, this should become a passive thing and you won’t have to scramble since you have had the basics covered already and are just updating your knowledge.

Be open to new things as well. Push your comfort zone and try new techniques, ideas and methods, even those you were vehemently opposed to before. Who knows, you might be able to discover something new about yourself in the process and learn a new skill you never knew you had.

8. Are you comfortable communicating online?

Let’s be honest, face to face meetings and phone calls are a thing of the past. What you should be practicing now is video calls, conference IMs and emailing. You don’t have to have perfect grammar, especially if you don’t do writing work.

What you have to be is easy to talk to. If you are uncomfortable talking on a mic or in front of a camera, that might be a bit of trouble for you. If you’re fussy about your sentences and punctuation, that might shut out some clients who like chatting.

Remember this: online communication is not speaking to an audience. It’s just like regular talking to a client, either with your fingers or your voice.

Believe me, clients will know if you’re not comfortable and seem stiff in your replies and will see it as a sign of hesitation or worse, untrustworthiness. Try and relax, what do you have to lose after all?

Is Working Online For You?

We gave you eight questions and if you answered “YES” to most, if not all of them, then congratulations! You have a great potential to be successful in doing online work. Now stop reading and start doing!

Photo credit: mabahamo

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