How to Start Work From Home With No Experience
This is a guide for people who desire to work from home and learn how to get work from home jobs even with no experience.
Leaving the corporate world and getting permanent work from home jobs
I was in a great place in my career when I decided to leave corporate life.
After being with a Cebu-based British digital marketing agency for almost two years, I told the management I was unhappy. I was a great performer, yes, even exceeding all metrics so it was natural for them to ask me why I am not happy with my job when my performance says otherwise.
It was 2011 and the 9-5 grind (or 9-7 for me in my first employer’s case) was just too tiresome for me. I already mentioned this in my blog contribution to Cosmo PH about being what it’s like as a freelance writer and my tell-all freelancing blog post written in the Huffington Post where I detailed how I realised I am not made to spend the majority of my days inside an office cubicle. I was still figuring myself out at that time at 24 years old—no child, no boyfriend, no big responsibilities—so deciding to delve into the uncertainty of freelancing in 2011 was rather easy for me. In fact, I was more excited than scared.
How the pandemic has opened up people’s minds about WFH and freelancing
The pandemic has taught us so many things and we realised it is possible to actually work from home and still be productive. This season presented many opportunities for people who want to venture into freelancing.
But, of course, the transition to being a freelancer is not an easy one. Even I, who have been in the freelancing industry for 12 years, will tell you it is not for the faint of heart. While working at home may give you the freedom to choose your working hours, to lead a lifestyle you want, you have to keep in mind that your paycheck can be deviating, at least at the start. So if you are contemplating leaving your corporate life to look for permanent work at home jobs, here are some important freelancing tips to keep in mind.
Invest in skills in a job or industry you are passionate about. Do not leap into the WFH lifestyle if you have no or little bankable skills that employers are looking for. I was lucky I worked as an SEO writer right after college so this gave me an edge back at that time when digital marketing was in its earliest stages. I knew what search engine optimization was; I knew how to write effectively for the Web, and I never stopped learning from there. Remember, to be a successful freelancer means a lot of planning, preparation, and a tough heart. As there will possibly be rejections, you need to prepare and plan your next steps. However, if your determination is there and you are willing to learn different skills and be passionate about it, you will be able to transition into a full-time freelancer in no time.
Start your freelancing journey for more compelling reasons. If you just want to leave your job suddenly because you hate your manager or if you want to be one of those freelance coaches who are famous on TikTok or be a clout chaser at that, please think again. Freelancing is more than that. But if your main driver is to have flexibility in your work hours, be able to spend more time with your family, or save a lot of money, time, and fuel you otherwise waste because of the daily commute, it’s probably a good idea to consider a WFH setup.
Try a side hustle first. To gauge whether freelancing is really for you, you can dip one foot in and start a part-time remote job. Take time to learn the tricks and use your side hustle to know more about the industry and of course, learn more about the job. This approach will reduce any risk you might have in fully diving in and give you more time to evaluate if work from home is really for you.
But if you decide to be a full-time freelancer, be financially prepared. There is no guarantee that you will immediately land your first freelance gig right after you leave your corporate work. That is why I highly encourage aspiring freelancers to save up to three months worth of salary so that they can properly focus on looking for work from home jobs and applying without having to think about being broke. This is one mistake that I don’t want other WFH seekers to experience. Back then, I only had my last pay to get me through the entire freelance job hunt and I was always anxious about not getting a job fast–I ended up choosing low-paying gigs just to get through the days. I was even scammed because I was in a hurry to earn online. But let’s save that story for another day.
Of course, it is essential to have your own laptop/desktop that you can use for work. I remember, before I handed my resignation from my office job, I asked my sister if I can use her credit card to buy my own laptop. I had to pay her monthly installments but at least, I did something to get started.
Research, research, research. Don’t be an asshole and be proud enough to think you know everything. While you can leverage your strengths, it is always good to augment your knowledge with regular learning opportunities. For instance, if you aspire to become a remote social media manager, make it a habit to regularly read industry updates because digital marketing trends change numerous times and before you know it, your skills are already obsolete. If this means enrolling in various online courses or getting a mentor, then do that to continue moving forward so that you’re geared for anything.
The perfect time to start your freelancing journey is not tomorrow. Over the years, a lot of people have been messaging me about how they want to be like me and how they’re so tired of their office jobs, and how they wished they could do freelancing too. But I’ve always told them, “If you’ve constantly thought about leaving corporate work and you feel that you’re not made for a corporate setting, then just make the first step. Have the courage to follow your intuition. Trust me, it will be liberating. And if ever you feel overwhelmed, just take each day step by step and before you know it, you’ve fully transitioned into a freelancer and are no longer someone looking to start work from home with no experience.
If you are looking for more advice regarding freelancing and working from home, check out this article, THE GIG ECONOMISTS: FREELANCING IN THE PHILIPPINES.