Working from Home

As the global recession begins to bite and become more profound, more and more people are finding it necessary to look for alternative ways of earning money. This may be in addition to take a lower paid job and need to top up the income, or providing the sole source of income due to traditional jobs simply no longer being available in the area where you live. Nowadays, many jobs can be undertaken from home. Some of such jobs can be content writing, virtual assistantship or administrative assistantship, data entry operator, telemarketing, photography, computer programming, website design development, consultancy, business coaching or even graphic designing.

In fact, the choice of projects that can be done from home is only limited by your imagination and dedication to market your skills. The days have gone when the only jobs available online were as comment posters. Now, one can even find projects for accountants and engineers to work online at present, or even for those people skilled in various arts – such as photography or fashion designing, for instance – but, this could well change in the future.  There can even be projects requiring experienced legal advisors. This is just one part of the picture that reveals an increasing trend for the skills that are marketable from home.

Advantages of Working from Home

One of the most obvious advantages for the person working from home is the flexibility associated with being able to work in accordance with a time that best suits him and to work where he likes: literally any time of day or night, and more or less anywhere one can hook his laptop up to an internet hotspot. Another advantage of attracting online work is that the provision of work invariably comes from business people in more affluent countries who can provide you with work at a considerably higher rate than that which can be obtained locally. You can choose the clients you wish to work with and the projects. You have better work-life balance, more time for kids, family and yourself. There is no cost of commuting and childcare. Weather is never a problem.   You can have office design as you want and healthy, home-made food and beverages will be availably 24/7.  There is no office politics. You can set your job hours and decide how much money you need.  You are your own boss!

Taking regular break during work, staying organized, having reasonable boundaries between work and home, getting social and communicating efficiently with the clients will make your job much more rewarding.

Hard work – No Short-Cut

Despite the attractive option of working from home, this is no option and certainly not a short-cut to online riches. Freelance working is extremely hard working, probably with longer hours than a job’s offline counterpart: to be successful at freelance working you need to display integrity, honesty and have an appetite for hard work. It is not easy to get into these markets. In fact, it is probably no easier to get into the online job market than it is to obtain a job locally. However, when you do, the benefits are probably greater: more job satisfaction being the most important.

Top Freelancing Websites

If you would like to seek home-based jobs there is a range of websites you can become a member of. The sites listed below are well-established, trusted by both service providers and buyers alike, with thousands of users.  Some of the best known websites include:

Some of these websites might have jobs where your computer screen can be monitored while you are working. It should not be a problem as you do your work honestly. But most of these sites assess you by the amount of work accomplished and results obtained rather than time spent in front of the computer.

Useful Tools:

  • Skype– A real winner a very popular bit of software that’s been around since 2003.
  • Google Docs– A free web-based word processor, spread-sheet, presentation app or tool by Google for online real-time collobration.
  • DropboxDropbox is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online.
  • Project2Manage– an online project management application that assists you stay connected with the team.
  • XE:a currency converter may berequired to determine the payment in local currency.

Scams
Scams abound on the internet so, if you are looking for work or are intent on developing your online presence in the freelance market, be very careful. So, despite the many and varied companies that offer work online, or working from home, it is as well to be careful. It is as well to be wary so, to help you avoid potential scams and to keep you safe from predatory websites, read on. Having maintained an online freelance presence on the internet for a number of years, I would advise everybody to be particularly suspicious if the company pushes too hard to sign you up and provide personal details: you should be asking ‘What’s in it for them?’ You also need to be suspicious if they ask for money up front in order to obtain either instructions or products.

Always ask a lot of questions: any potential, legitimate companies will be more than happy to answer all your questions and will be completely open with you. If you feel dubious about a company’s legitimacy, ask for references and check them carefully – especially the wording because if a company is trying to hide something it will be written in such a way that semantic interpretation could easily be misconstrued. Also do a thorough research about the company over the internet. Good companies have strong presence online with good testimonials.  Another way of checking a company’s legitimacy is to ask for a list of other people who have worked for them: see if you can contact these earlier freelancers to see if they have been paid and what the company is like to work for.

As long as you take above mentioned common sense approaches when searching for freelance work you should find legitimate work online without too much difficulty and develop a long-term association with companies that use your expertise and skills over and over again.

Also beware of companies which do not clearly describe the work you will have to do or are offering unrealistic incomes you will generate and that will solve all of your income problems. In short use ‘common sense’.

Deciding Factors:

The specific factors that maximize the prospect of acquiring an online are determined by:

  • How attractive you make your actual job application
  • The strength of your online profile
  • How much you actually bid for the job you are interested in
  • The feedbacks you build up in your profile from satisfied clients who have used your previously

If you want to obtain a continuous stream of quality work, you need to be aware that the best buyers consider various factors during the selection process to find an appropriate service provider:  Rate + Quality + Feedback or Reviews + Time quoted to complete the work.  Quite often you will find that the winning bid may not belong to the cheapest bidder, or to that quoting the shortest time to finished product: the winning bid most often tends to be an equilibrium involving all the above-mentioned factors – a balance between all four.

When placing a bid, read project description very carefully and place the bid accordingly. Keep your bid content short and to the point and, if needed, feel free to ask for any clarification from the buyer. It is always handy to have some online samples ready.

Buyers who seek service providers usually carry out an interview of sorts, either by phone, email or through the medium of chat. This is to ensure that the service provider is able to bestow sufficient time to the project in question in order to get the job finished within the requisite time-frame. An interview is also ideal for the buyer to establish more detailed information about the service provider’s previous background – which, in the case of a job such as Legal Advisor – is essential.

Make sure your payment is guaranteed as these sites provide various methods by which payments can be guaranteed. This becomes more important when the buyer is new. If the buyer is an old established one, you may not need to worry about it much.

On completion of each project, the buyer and provider give feedback and rating to each other. The feedback and rating usually depend on Skills, Quality, Availability, Communication and Cooperation.

For further information, explore the FAQs pages and use ‘Help’ of these sites.

Work from home jobs are great blessing for Pakistani or Asian women as they may face various difficulties doing traditional office jobs.

Like any good thing, obviously, there are a few disadvantages of working from home as well, for example, distraction from family members, over-working and lack of real-life social interactions.

More and more people are working from home these days. Even the people who work in offices are spending more time working from home. The boundaries between offline and online working are blurring.

Basic Skills to have: Time management, good written and/or spoken language ,self driven

Basic Tools to have: High speed internet, efficient PC with necessary software, uninterrupted place to work.

Other option to earn online : Blogging, Affliate Marketing/ Adsense.

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