Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting Started with Online Work

Got this from Basta Homebased:

A few tips for those who want to start with online jobs on oDesk, elance, freelancer. (or any other online job portal)

- It takes time to get your first contract. Don't go into online work expecting a full time job immediately. The competition is high - welcome to the global marketplace.

- Always keep your profiles updated. Add in any work experience, finished projects, new skills and training. Linkedin is a great tool for people shifting from regular work to online work because your workmates and superiors in the real world can give you recommendations there.

- The best approach is to hold a regular job then keep bidding on small contracts. Once you've built enough reputation or logged hours, you can try your hand on the full time gigs.

- The more hours and the better reputation you have, the more likely you will be selected for interview.

- It is possible to land a job if you have a unique skill set that's needed by a client. Just make sure you have a way to showcase it. Portfolios, voice recordings and samples of your work should be made available to prospective clients.

- I cannot stress the importance of good equipment, reliable electricity and internet connection. Ideally you should be able to stay connected and productive 98% of the time. So backup power, computers and electricity are a must, especially if you're dealing with very lucrative projects.

- Integrity, professionalism and good work ethics. These are not just buzz words or metrics now. These are basic expectations.

- We do not have 13th month pay, paid vacation and sick leaves. You will need to make sure you have a buffer fund for expenses. I recommend maintaining an amount equal to 3 months of your monthly expenses. This should also be enough to cover expenses during the gap between projects.

- Keep a separate work area. It should be clear of distractions and unnecessary noise. This is very important for people doing voice support.

- You will need to open a paypal account and a local bank account. Union Bank's EON, BDO and BPI (main not the savings) are used by most of the people in the group.

- Use up all your job application slots. Getting a job in these portals is similar to a raffle. The more entries you have, the more chances of winning. Always browse the job listings and have your custom cover letters ready.

- You will need to take care of your own taxes, sss, health and insurance coverage. Health coverage is critical especially if you have a family. Remember " no work , no pay " is the reality for online contractors.

- Its good practice to have multiple contracts at the same time. As long as their schedules don't conflict. This keeps the flow of earnings relatively steady. 1 full time and 1 small project is recommended at the minimum for full time home based workers.

Don't be afraid to ask group, that is why it was created : to share and help each other thrive in this field.

I will continue to update this document with new and useful info. If you have anything to contribute just post a comment and I'll add it in. Grammar and typo corrections appreciated too. :)

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