I imagine every millennial going through thoughts of creating their own service or product based enterprises. Many middle-aged professionals are also considering freelancing online as a better option. Why not? We’ve seen kids practically making billions of dollars out of Silicon Valley simply by pitching their sheer innovative ideas!
What pros aren’t telling
If you’re courting thoughts of moving on to the greener online pasture then, it’s good that you’re considering to do so at all. Before you move another muscle, I want you to think really hard and answer this question truthfully, “Do you understand what you’re getting yourself into?”
I know you’ve probably obsessed over thoughts of building an online career or an e-commerce business. Maybe you’ve been staying up late to read up on online marketing and digital content strategists who have made a name for themselves in the digital world and who have earned their title as “gurus” in their own little niches. Here’s what many, guru or novice, aren’t telling you:
1. Online work isn’t as easy as many make it sound. I don’t know about the millennials. Maybe they’re naturals. For someone like me, however, who has gotten used to the slow, structured, bureaucratic way of getting things done, everything about online freelancing had to be learned firsthand and from scratch.
2. There is so much opportunity to learn. If you’re used to the kind of environment that I was also trained in, you’ll be in for an adventure! If you still have the stamina to learn, then it’s right that you’re setting up yourself for a pleasant surprise. However, if you just want to receive your pay check every 15th or 30th of the month and get your 13th month pay in December then, you’re probably better off staying put where you already are.
3. There are plenty of opportunities to earn. There’s a caveat though. If you’re working different clients in different timezones, there’s only so much work that you can get done. You’ve got to conserve your energy and choose to be in roles that you are already familiar with to be efficient work-wise and money-wise. However, if you’re a self-starter, you may have to weigh a lower pay against the possible learning opportunities that you can pick up on the job which you can later add to your skills and showcase in your credentials. In the online world, everything happens at triple speeds and you don’t want to get left behind.
4. Online freelancing may require you to work longer hours than your corporate day job. Online jobs will pay either on output basis or hourly basis or commission basis or a combination of these. Not one is better than the other. It all depends on what skills or services you can offer. Most writing gigs will pay on output basis but a lot of clients also prefer on per hour (until now, I don’t understand why per hour). The point is, it’s not an easy job but, at least you’re far from wasting time sitting or driving through at least four or five hours of traffic everyday.
5. There’s no offline when you’re online. It goes without saying that you have to have highly reliable Internet access to keep doing online work. Expect clients not to care about Manila time, however. That means, be ready to keep coming back online for any possible new assignments because your clients will assume that you check your email regularly. Some will email you at our 2 am while some will email you before you go to bed at 10 pm. So, whether you are at home or outdoors, your online life will definitely be in danger when you lose that smartphone or laptop so keep your gadgets close.
There really are no rules
Some people who have done online freelancing work will advice you not to abandon your ship until you’re confident that you can dive but, you know that advice is for fools. You know what I think? As long as you’ve got the heart to dare it then, do it!
Are you on your way to join the online revolution? Tell us about it by commenting below.