How I started my fulltime freelancing career as a newbie? My back story
How, when and why it happens…well I can’t really remember the exact day month time and year. All I know the 20 something me need to provide for my personal and my dogs needs without asking the parental financial help.
At that time “corporate world” has no appeal to me. It’s safe to say we will never connect. Our world would always be parallel. I want the freedom of being a freelancer. I want to work from the comfort of my home.
Back then people are clueless that you can make money online from home including me. I don’t have any idea that online jobs do exists. There’s no seminar or courses, unlike today that mentors and gurus are left and right.
The first online work at home jobs I did was PTC’s, if it is even considered a job. PTC sites or Paid to click are like mushrooms. There are new sites every day. I did that for quite some time till my wrists scream enough is enough. I know there are some who earn well with these sites, the ones who are good at getting referrals.
After that stint, I did a lot of research and stalking to forum sites like Digital Forum and Symbianize which later I found out does not exist anymore.
Symbianize is a Filipino forum/community that I frequently visited to check the Odesk topic. I did “ninja” moves there, diligently read other member’s tips and guidelines in freelancing especially in Odesk now Upwork. There’s a post about Odesk examination that I reviewed religiously before signing up in Odesk.
With determination and perseverance, I was accepted, and soon enough started applying for jobs. Luckily it didn’t take long to have my very first job. And the rest is history. Most of my jobs are per hour rate, I rarely applied to a fixed rate. For me per hour rate is safer when it comes to payment.
When I started my freelancing work from home journey I am a lost child. I don’t have any idea what I am doing. All I know is I need to earn and be useful. There’s one job that I applied for as WordPress administrator. Did I tell you that I don’t have any single knowledge about WordPress back then much more be an admin of a website?
But I did apply; all I have is determination, courage, a well-written cover letter, and most of all the willingness to learn new skills. I got hired and from there more opportunities, more jobs came my way.
Newbie Tips in Starting As a Freelancer
Online work from home jobs broadens my skills and takes me out of my comfort zone. It teaches me to be fearless, strong and independent. When you see opportunity, grab it or someone else will. There’s nothing to lose, we got rejections in our life so why not at least try.
There are a lot of things I won’t dare to do or even try because in my mind I can’t do it. But hey I did and I earned a lot not just monetary.
It will teach you to persevere, work hard, use your time wisely, work on minimal supervision, patience and be brave in trying things you are not familiar with.
If you decided to embrace freelancing and become a freelancer let me congratulate you. Welcome to the world of unlimited opportunities in this digital world. Whether your goal is to have a side hustle or a full-time career, you just need to arm yourself lots of patience, determination, and willingness to improve and learn. Like my favorite Filipino icon says,
“Knowledge is power”.Ernie Baron
Here are the few things you will need to gear up for your future online freelancing work:
Freelancing is great, it gives you freedom but it’s also a curse if you don’t have a workstation away from your cozy bed. Personally I like my workstation located in my room. It’s my haven but it also feeds my procrastination. Plus I’m a sleepy head so that’s a disastrous combination in terms of productivity.
Luckily I have desktop and a handy dandy laptop so I can move around the house to work and managed to finish my projects with less procrastination and distraction.
Find that sweet spot where you can work with less distraction and be productive. It maybe be challenging at first but soon you will find the right tune for you.
- Time management
You got time in your hands. That is the worst perception in freelancing. People thinks when I told them I work online or a work from home job they instantly thinks I have a lot of time to be bothered with.
Yes, I got time because online work from home allows me to have more time. I don’t have to prepare to go to work, to deal with traffic, and other morning ritual routine a traditional office employee does.
I’ve been lucky to find jobs that require me to only work 40 hours a week in my own time and schedule. It means I only need to finish the job in the allocated hours and if 40 hours is not enough, I can do overtime. But it depends on my client.
So that being said, my everyday routine is a slow, mellow morning and a hustle bustle from noon to evening. Actually, it depends on what job I currently do. It depends on your energy. If you are more productive in the morning then work in the morning. You just need to find your Zen when you are more productive.
Most definitely you will need a working laptop or a desktop. My ever reliable entry level Acer laptop that my sister bought for me still works after almost a decade of hard work.. I actually asked her to buy me a laptop since it’s much cheaper in Canada.
Entry-level laptop means you can do everyday tasks with it but not hardcore stuff like editing and stuffs that requires a dedicated video card. Your machine depends on your job niche. If you’re into creating videos, designing, and stuff related to that then I suggest getting a beast laptop that has a good GPU. You can get a gaming laptop desktop or a content creator laptop. Yup, there’s a content creator laptop, desktop nowadays.
Your hardware needs depend to your job requirement. You may need additional gadgets other than your dependable laptop or desktop.
If you got your machine of course the second important is your internet connection, speed and reliability is what matters. I started making money from home with a dial up connection. I’m sure 90’s kids can relate. You need to buy a card to have internet connection and it literally dials like a phone in your computer. And the speed is not even 1mbps.
I’m able to live with since I only need the internet while doing research. Now, some clients and jobs require fast internet. At times the client will ask for a screenshot of your internet speed test. The faster, the better and it must be reliable.
If your ISP is always dc, I suggest having a backup internet connection. It will make your life easier and less stressful especially if you have deadline to beat.
- Video Calls, Team Chat
In freelancing or work from home set up, you will need tools and apps to communicate with clients and your team. These apps is your digital head office.
It really depends on your client what apps to use for voice and video meetings, team chat, organizing, and discussing ideas. Some apps used are Google Meetings, Viber, Microsoft Meetings, Slack, and of course the app that becomes famous this pandemic is none other than Zoom.
Familiarizing with these apps will help you navigate in online work set up, better communication, and work productively with the client and team.
If you have the apps, you will need a web camera, headset, and mic. These apps can be installed on your phone and it’s more efficient to have it on your phone especially Slack.
With your phone you have the camera, mic and your stock earphone. You probably forgot about it, now is the time to have a good use with earphones that came with your phone. I am actually using mine right now.
Those are the basics things you will need to jumpstart your freelancing career or side hustle. Now we will talk about the juiciest part, where to find work from home online jobs.