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How to Start Working Online
Where to Begin
If you've decided that you want to work at home and be a free agent you're probably asking "Where do I begin?" A good place to start is with the equipment you'll need to actually begin working online. Now most probably you'll have the essentials. A computer and internet access.
If you have these 2 things then your off to a good start. Your computer doesn't have to be top of the line but it should have adequate memory. At least 1gb. This is in case you should get an employer who will require you to download certain software.
Your internet should be reliable and from a reputable provider because even then believe me you'll still encounter problems. If you should have an employer that requires you to be online at a specific time then you need a connection with as little service interruptions as possible. It's good to have a back up such as a device that provides internet prepaid service.
If you've got the computer and internet ready you'll need to have some programs and software installed. Make sure you have Microsoft Office/Open Office, Mozilla/Google Chrome, Skype, Adobe Reader (at least) and a good anti-virus program. These are the basic software you'll need.
Depending on the kind of online work you get into here are some additional software that you could also install. This is very helpful when you apply for an online job. If you already have the software and are familiar with how to use it then that's a plus for you.
Virtual Assistant/ Personal Assistant
Adobe Reader X
There are many more out there but I work with these tools and they're free and haven't failed me yet!
Where Can I Find An Online Job?
I must have applied through at least 10 sites and submitted hundreds of resumes before I got the jobs I have today. I highly recommend the following sites. As always you have to take the usual precautions but you can get legitimate employers here.
Although I got great jobs from these sites there are a few things to watch for.
EasyOutsource is pretty straightforward. Just make sure to apply for hourly basis jobs and never sell yourself too short. You may get desperate and are willing to accept jobs at $1.00 an hour but remember you have a lot to offer. As much as possible try to find a job that will compensate your skill set. Ideally $3.00/hr is a good place to start.
When applying for a job follow the instructions to a T. The application itself is already a test sometimes. Most employers will want to have a chat on Skype. Now you may not be fluent in English but this doesn't really become a factor unless your job calls for you to talk. The employer would like to gauge you and know that they're also talking to someone legit.
Have a comprehensive resume ready for this. OnlineJobs.ph features an area where you get to rate your skills. Be honest and don't oversell because when the time comes when you have to actually do the work you probably won't be able to deliver. Most times employers are willing to train you anyway because they have a specific way they want things done. Another reason that a phone interview is necessary. They try to see just how committed you are to working online.
Odesk is one of the most popular sites to get jobs from. Employees or Contractors as they're known are well protected. Just make sure to apply for hourly jobs. When you apply to any job make sure that your cover letter is unique to the job posted and that the content is factual.
What Kind of Job Can I Get?
Blog & Article Writing- You could end up writing for a real website but remember that the material you produce is not your property but your employers. It's nice however to keep a portfolio of sorts so you can reference previous works.
Transcription- This is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience. But if you are into this kind of thing then you'll like it. You may even get lucky and get someone that will pay you by the hour rather than per audio hour. Going rate per audio hour is $10.00-$13.00.
Translation- Are you fluent in other languages? You can earn money translating anything from French to Mandarin.
Virtual/Personal Assistant- This is a job that requires commitment and one where you need to work certain hours. The benefits of having this kind of job is that once you've established a solid working relationship you can have a bit of that elusive "job security".
Email Response- This can be one part of a job or a job in its entirety.You may look for websites to find email addresses and submit a composed email or you may be provided email addresses and send from an account that has already been set up. This is a general idea of what the tasks involved are.
Admin Support- Similar to a VA (virtual assistant) you will be taking care of various files.
Data Entry- This can be collection of website information (contact details, owners, etc) or product details.
How Will I Get Paid?
The popular way to get paid for online jobs is through PayPal. It's advisable to set this up right away. In order to be able to withdraw from a PayPal account you'll either need a credit card or debit card to verify your account.
I didn't have a credit card so I got an EON Debit card from Unionbank. It only took me a week to get my debit card and now I can withdraw my earnings. Once I get my earnings through PayPal I withdraw to my bank account (PayPal charges Php50.00 for withdrawals of Php7,000 or less). Unlike other banks however there aren't any deductions through Unionbank because they are affiliated with PayPal. Other banks may charge anywhere from Php150-250.
Other ways to get paid is through Xoom or Western Union. The currency you will get paid in depends on what country your employer is from.
You may get paid weekly, bi-weekly (every 2 weeks) or monthly. Ideally a bi-weekly schedule is the best. This way you have enough time to show what kind of work you can produce and not too much time passes that you put in so much work and end up not getting paid.
Unless provided by an employer you should also join an online invoicing site. Some employers may have their own timesheet templates for you to use.
I hope all this information has helped anyone considering an online job most especially work at home moms. It took me a good 6 months to discover all of this and hopefully this will help you skip a few errors. If you'd like to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of working at home please check out my hub To Be or Not to be a Work From Home Mom.
Happy job hunting!