With the current Coronavirus scare, working online is advised but how to start work at home?
Before the coronavirus pandemic started, I have been receiving inquiries on how to start working at home or they are interested in shifting from an office-based job to work at home. Moreover, with the current events quarantine and lockdown, most workers are not allowed to go to work for compliance since our government announced community quarantine and we need to stay at home. For some, it is a big burden for loss of income, no work no pay. Now is the best time to work at home.
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I have been working at home for almost 7 years and it’s a bittersweet journey with lots of learnings and experience. Back then working online is not so common, there’s no training and all I have is an old notebook and pocket wifi. I didn’t know what to do and where to start but I still gave it a try.
Most people think working at home is easy and flexible you can work anytime you want. Well, it’s a yes and a no.
Yes, some tasks and schedules are easy but that depends on your client.
No, because like any job you have a task and deliverable to finish. You have the comfort of home but you have to be used to working alone. There are pros and cons of working at home and you should think about this diving in and giving up your office-based job.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO START WORKING AT HOME.
1. Know your skills
Often times I’m asked what are the tasks of working online.
First, there’s a lot of jobs you can do online, it’s not all the same tasks or job.
Ask yourself this:
- What skills do you have?
- What previous jobs have you done that might be applicable to working online?
- How good are your computer skills?
- How good are your English skills?
- Are you willing to learn?
You need to check yourself by asking these questions, so you know where to start and you know what you can offer to your clients.
2. Learn skills
The top skills need to work online are computer skills and English communication. It doesn’t have to be perfect or you don’t need to master both, just a basic one will do.Why do you need to know these? because you will be working online and the first tool you must have is a computer or a laptop, you must learn basic stuff and must have basic tools like Word and Excel.
A good English skill is a must too, most clients that you will be talking about are international and your team might be from different parts of the world.
Again it doesn’t have to be perfect, basic communication will do.
Aside from the 2 skills above, learn other skills that you want to do.
Let say you want to be a Virtual Assistant, then start learning the tools and tasks that VAs usually do.
It’s 2020 there’s a lot of training tools you can get online, you can check on Youtube or Google.
You can also try training sites like Udemy.com or Coursera.org, these sites offer a lot of learning materials you can use for learning.
3. Good Internet and Computer
Before working online secure that you have good internet service and working computers or laptops. This is your responsibility.
But what if you don’t have your own computer?
You can try borrowing from someone till you can save up for your own or go to a computer shop. When I first started working online, I only have an old notebook, which turns off everything I plug it out but it’s still working. Luckily after working online for a while, I was able to get a new laptop. See you don’t have to get high specs computer to start working.
Given our country doesn’t provide fast and cheap internet, go for at least 5 Mbps, trust me it’s a hassle to do work online if your internet is slow.
4. Set your Home-office
You don’t need a big room to set your home office. Good space and a table with a comfortable chair will do. Since you will be working at home it is best to separate your working space from the common areas of your home. Imagine you are talking to your client with people or kids in the background, not only it is uncomfortable and distracting but it is also a big turn-off to your client. Set your space to a more quiet area, where you can focus on your work.
These are just for starters, we still have a long way to go to be successful at work at home. If you have all these then you are set to get your own first client. If not don’t worry you will get there but first, secure your computer and know your skills so you know what you can offer.
If you still don’t know what jobs to do and where to them, stay tuned to my next blog, What Online Job You Can Do and Where To Apply for more tips.