Searching for an online job is similar to searching for a normal job. You’ll have to evaluate what you are good at and see where the demand is in the online labor market. Submit your application, and wait for the feedback.
What I see these days, is that there is a huge demand for developers, web designers, UI and UX designers, and online marketers, so for highly educated professionals. These require a great knowledge of very specific skills, that will require re-education for sure. I personally aimed web design a couple of months ago and UX for the future, and I am just about to take some courses here, in Budapest.
That’s where the money is. Use your professionalism for your own business. This is what I set as a goal for myself. However, I am still in the middle of the learning process, so my own project remains a side project for a couple of more months. But I am optimistic.
But don’t forget to seek opportunities to support your improvement, not to waste your time for ‘ok’ money that’s enough only to live in Eastern-Europe or Southeast-Asia. I selected these fields because with these jobs you start to earn money online while learning a lot and build a solid basis for your online career.
… and speak English well.
One thing is for sure about getting an online job: you have to be able to speak and write English well enough to get hired on the global market. Of course, you may find remote job opportunities in your home country - for me though, in Hungary, it’s nearly impossible. So I aimed the global market in the first place.
Don’t you feel confident enough in English? There are so many online English courses out there that will help you get to the ‘next level’. Check them out in my next blog post.
With great communication skills and with a somewhat masochistic vein, you have good chances to get the ‘customer happiness rockstar’ title. We all have an idea about customer service: it can be hard sometimes, but as soon as you get the hang of it, you’ll own it. It’s a great way to start getting used to working remotely. There’s a lot of things going on at the same time when you are working in customer service, so you’ll develop excellent communication skills - with the customers and your team as well.
As a member of a company’s support team, you will have to familiarize yourself with the company’s products or services and be able to deliver support for the customers on a professional level. With training, I believe, a hard-working and devoted person can easily be part of a support team.
I use Payscale to see how much *could* I possibly earn if I lived in the USA. According to wordwidecallcenters.com, outsourcing costs to Eastern-European workers is around $12-25 (Western Europe is $40+). That being said, you may bump into numerous job posts for example on Upwork, that wouldn’t pay more than $5/hour. My advice is to try to look for other opportunities instead on a $5 one, however, these ones are generally easy to get.
Being a virtual assistant is super fun apart for being another great opportunity to earn some money online and work from home. There are so many busy people out there who will surely appreciate a helping hand during their days. Even Tim Ferriss wrote about the importance of hiring a VA in the 4-hour Workweek proclaiming the benefits of working with overseas virtual assistants. VAs can help busy entrepreneurs get more done daily, as they take care of the low-value tasks, such as administrative tasks. This way entrepreneurs can focus on high-value tasks, that only they can accomplish.
However, the virtual assistant’s role depends on the person who hires them. When I was working as a VA, I got the opportunity to work on website maintenance, during which I learned a lot about some techy stuff. Whatever tasks you will get, in my opinion, it’s generally a good approach to keep in mind what is getting you forward. (Earlier, I was a marketing assistant at a company. I quit when I was sent to the supermarket to buy pickles. Was I a terrible employee? Maybe :D)
As every role, being a Virtual Assistant also require a specific skill set: you’ll be dealing with another person’s issues, and you can’t really make mistakes here.
Go ahead and google ‘hiring a virtual assistant’. See how many articles are there about this topic? There is a demand for reliable, prompt, and ambitious virtual assistants. The lowest amount of money I got hourly for being a VA was $5. It’s not great, but I worked myself up to €10 quickly. That being said, your wage will depend on your client and your skill set; $20 is a pretty normal hourly wage for good VAs.
This is what I started with when I first got a job online. Luckily, my writing skills were good enough for non-techy topics. If you feel you’d be a good writer, I suggest to just start applying for lower paying gigs, and then gradually work yourself up from there. As you produce content for the web more and more frequently, you’ll improve by simply practicing. Writing SEO content is really not a rocket science, you can train yourself about SEO quickly.
Often times though, non-native writers get to write for poor quality, PBN sites just for link building purposes. These writers are often looked down on because they emit bad-quality content. Be careful, if you are working for a company that uses content like this; ultimately, your aim should be to improve, and to have a portfolio with good quality articles.
As a content writer, the absolute minimum one can get is $1 per 100 words. However, if you can present a good portfolio that shows your experience and skills, you’ll easily find gigs for $20-30 per article. The sky's the limit if you are a well-educated and creative content writer.
Assuming that you are bilingual, you can also consider becoming a translator. Translating agencies are pretty hardcore when it comes to language proficiency - no wonder why, there are certain fields where you simply cannot afford inaccuracy. However, there is always a however.
I got my first* translating job via Upwork. My first task was to translate a really simple article from Hungarian to English. It was a piece of cake. I guess I was - again - lucky with my client, as he gradually gave me more and more difficult subjects. After proofreading my work he always gave me feedback, so I could learn. At the moment I am translating contracts, legal documents, and medical reports.
The absolute minimum as a translator is $0.02 per word. For a 1000 document, you’ll earn $20, so approximately a $10 hourly wage. Of course, the price may differ based on the text difficulty.
*When I was trying to get my first translator job in an office in Budapest, I was ripped off, never received my money. When I applied online - thanks to Upwork’s protection policy - everything went smoothly, in fact, I still work for that client of mine. This is just for those people who think working online is ‘dangerous’
In Hungary, a $55 daily wage (15000 HUF) is an okay money – this slightly differs in the countries of Eastern-Europe, but I think it’s a good start everywhere. So if you can find something that pays $10, you only have to work 5,5 hours daily to earn a good money online. Plus, you can work from home, so you can fill out the hours you’d spend with commuting otherwise. I do think there are some really good opportunities out there! So what restrains you from starting? 🙂