While the answer to this question would be a resounding YES (duh!), somebody unfamiliar with the myriads of possible careers or business enterprises out there would somehow think twice. Others, even armed with this knowledge, simply don't see the need or lack the sense of adventure to try it out.
When I first started sharing that I had a full time stay-at-home job (well, more like answering friends’ and family’s questions than actually volunteering the information), my answer was met with not too few raised eyebrows and the requisite “uh-huhs”, which I took to mean as “what kind of job is that?”.
In cultures such as ours here in the Philippines, telling people that your main (or only) source of income is from an online job or freelance writing online, or blogging, would really not put you high up on the “professionals” category, but more like on a level higher than being a bum or out of work.
But then again, they don’t know what I know: that you can live a life online that can actually make you well, live, and not too shabbily at that.
Before you all go and quit your jobs though, here is a list of self-assessment questions that can help you determine if you are indeed ready to embrace the life of a netizen.
* Do you possess a certain skill or talent that you are confident about?
While I may be one of those fortunate enough to have been able to find a niche for myself in the online world, I’m also quite sure that there is something out there for everyone. For those who have not yet tried searching for money-making opportunities available in the net, you may get overwhelmed with the sheer variety of jobs and prospects.
Even if you stick to the traditional online jobs as I have on Odesk, there are still so many try out for. From the rather complicated computer programming, to the fairly easy data entry tasks, from jobs for those with the creative sense and an eye for art (web or log design) to those who simply have a good ear for listening and the patience for the work (transcription), all these are just a few clicks away on your pc.
* Are you willing to allocate some or enough time for it?
Just like your usual 9 to 5 job, taking on work online, could just be as demanding. Even if you don’t plan to do this full time, a commitment has to be set and followed.
While you rarely get face-to-face with your online employers, and even phone calls are not too common, these people expect the same degree of professionalism from their “employees” or providers. Failure to meet deadlines or botched jobs would certainly not keep them coming back to you for more.
* Do you have the attitude to start “small”?
I am currently writing for a finance site which pays $8/hour including research time, and gave me a weekly limit of 40 hours per week.
This would definitely be classified as a well-paying job by our standards (and with time to spare) but it hasn’t always been this way. I started out with writing jobs that paid $5 per 500-word article. Including research time and depending on the topic, such a write-up would usually take me around 2-3 hours on the average, bringing my rate down to about $2/hour. If I worked 10 hours or 5 articles a day, that would only give me some $10 per day or roughly the equivalent of twice the minimum wage here in our area. Still not bad for a day’s work but did eat up more time than a regular job usually would.
My point really is that we all have to start somewhere. While one may possess all the talent in the world, yet this talent is unknown to others, then it would be pretty difficult to sell oneself just yet on the basis of this untested skill.
Be humble enough to start with rates lower than you feel you deserve but work doubly hard to earn more. Build up your portfolio and you will soon find better opportunities for yourself. Or, they find you.