Until we relocated to our new home in 2016. Pasig City, especially its inner districts are known for its old-school two-lane arteries and the notoriety of the traffic situation, day in, day out.
I started dreading the commute to work. I had to wake up by 4am to catch a ride before 5:30am and get in the office before 8:30am. Even the nighttime ride home is horrible. This was my daily scenario until the 1st quarter of 2018 when I realized that I have to prioritize my health and well-being.
Asthma attacks, insomnia and anxiety were more frequent. And by June 2018, just as I was doing my turn over, I had mild pneumonia.
It took me two weeks to fully regain my strength. During that period, I mustered the courage of exploring home-based jobs. And in a couple of days, I landed not one but two jobs in Content and Social Media Marketing!
This month marks my 6th month in the freelancing and home-based industry. And I would love to share my learnings so far:
1. Your educational attainment and degree (almost) doesn’t matter
The playing field has been leveled out. It’s ground zero for most of us. It is not what course you’ve taken or where you’ve graduated. It all boils down to your soft skills.
So while you are looking for that perfect home-based job for you, polish your CV and cover letter, build your portfolio, take as many online courses as you can, attend webinars and join support groups.
I highly recommend these platforms for you.
Home-based support group/forum for beginners
Free Online Courses for Freelancers
If you want to upgrade your skills or learn a new one, it doesn’t have to be expensive. The following sites offer free webinars and affordable certification courses to help you get started in your freelancing and home-based career journey.
2. You will set the pace and you can’t procrastinate
Home-based work is not laid back. It can compete with an office job in terms of the need to multi-task and meet deadlines. And believe me, there are more distractions at home.
From the time you apply till the time you get a job, you have to make sure not to give in to the temptation of having your bed beside your workstation or having your bed as your workstation.
Time is gold and every second counts in home-based work. Some jobs will require you to work at certain hours, some jobs have flexible schedules but with a fixed number of hours daily, and a few with fixed deadlines per project.
3. Know your strengths and expertise
Just like a regular job hunt, you have to highlight your expertise when looking for a home-based job. However, for beginners who may not be aware of the possible job counterparts in the home-based world, here’s your cheat sheet:
4. But be open to other opportunities
There are opportunities that you may only hear of from the home-based community. Freelancing and home-based work are so diverse that you will have to keep yourself open to a lot of possibilities. These are the most unique ones I’ve encountered so far:
Adult Site Writer
Social Media Evaluator
5. Know the legitimate job portals
Knowing where to scout jobs is also essential. Legitimate job portals got you covered against fly-by-night employers.
6. Be vigilant yet maintain professionalism
Three months after working for one employer, I started sensing something wrong. My pay got delayed twice and for the third time, it got delayed for more than a week. Until one week turned into one month. I couldn’t say that I was scammed because the employer kept communicating and explaining that his client didn’t pay him and unfortunately, this startup guy didn’t have a backup plan.
I wasn’t backed up either because I wasn’t hired through a third party job portal. I thought being a direct hire would offer more security and more income because there’s no third party referral fee but I was wrong. Job portals may get a commission from your salary but they’ll still pay you even if the employer doesn’t.
Despite this situation, I didn’t burn bridges with my previous employer. He hasn’t paid me yet but I keep on politely reminding him that he can slowly pay me as his business slowly picks up.
For the succeeding job I took in, I made sure I applied and was hired through a third-party job-portal by a company with a good employment track record.
For beginners, you might not be able to get the pay you are hoping for during the first few months of trying out. Whether its an office or a home-based job, income commensurates experience. I still haven’t achieved the same pay I used to get when I was in an office-based work but my cost of living is definitely lower without the commute, lunch outs and side trips to the malls.
The beauty of a home-based career is the non-exclusivity. There are many companies which hire part-time or freelancers and for those who get bored easily like me, that is very appealing. Currently, I have a full-time writing job for a US-based client and I work as a freelance Content and Creative Consultant for UK and PH-based companies.
8. Give yourself a breather
Not having too many people to talk to or mingle with, a home-based career can also be nerve-racking. Start work early, especially if you have a flexible work schedule and make way for an activity that will let you be in sync with your self and your family more.
I messed a lot on No. 8 this 2018 and here’s how I plan to make up for it this 2019:
- Limit total work hours to 8 to 10 hours (I used to work for 14-16 hours, 3 jobs)
- Write a blog post or journal once a week
- Finish a new book every month
- Go on a date with my husband once a week
- Increase my devotion time from 15 minutes to 30 minutes
- Workout 3 times a week
Choosing a home-based career is a brave and bold move for someone who has been enjoying the office environment and great pay for a long time. Someone who is very outspoken like me is still adjusting on the part where I don’t have officemates beside me. But I am looking forward to the opportunity to go out more once I have settled to limit my work hours, start my work early and avoid procrastinating and cramming afterward.
I have so much more to learn and I know I haven’t maximized my potential yet but being in a home-based setting gives me more freedom to discover opportunities like never before. Here’s to more time to our family and ourselves!