Working from home sounds like a great option. You don’t need to dress for office or tackle the crowded commute to work every day. You can sleep-in, stay up late, take vacations anytime, give yourself a raise whenever you feel like, travel the world, and be your own boss. However, being successful at this kind of work requires sticking firmly to some simple but important guiding principles.
International clients won’t hire you just because you’re cool. You must be able to provide a service for which there is a demand and willingness to pay. Moreover you may have tough competition to deal with. Millions of others want to work remotely and there are no entry barriers. To be recognized and be valued you must prove your competence. Qualifications and certificates can get you so far, but to get employed by reputed clients you need to build a track record of proven and consistent performance. Be prepared for humble beginnings and gradual, meritocratic growth.
Language skills matter a lot when working remotely. Most clients who are willing to hire remote workers are based in the US and other English speaking countries. Unless you are very proficient in speaking and writing English, clients are likely to hire others over you. Many IT and creative jobs are near impossible to get without great language skills. Having command over a second European language can further improve your employability. French, German and Spanish are good bets. With certified language skills you can even work as a translator or a highly paid interpreter. Having superlative competence in the language of your target geography is a fundamental expectation.
Your accolades may get you your first few clients, but to remain employed over the longer term you must have a strong work ethic. Don’t take on more work than you can do. Meet the deadlines you commit to and keep your quality standards high. Don’t sublet a piece of work you are not expected to. Know your capacity and make realistic commitments. It is much better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way round. New clients will always consider the feedback you’ve received on your past work. Make sure they have no reason to look past you. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” When you don’t work from an office, that ‘environment of excellence’ is something you must create and maintain yourself.
Being dependable is as important as being good at your job. Your client isn’t likely to appreciate your excellent work if you submit it three days late because your beach resort does not have good Wi-Fi. When working on the move, you are responsible for all factors that contribute to your output. A hint of unreliability can cost you your best clients. A dependable and average worker will invariably have more job offers than an exceptional and unreliable one.
Patience and perseverance
As an independent worker, unless employed full-time by a large overseas firm, you may not always have continuous work. You may sometimes find yourself without any jobs for long stretches. It is important to consider your priorities before you opt to work from home. Job security and regular paychecks may be more important to you than freedom of movement and variety, in which case you should opt for conventional office work. Whichever option you choose, be persistent in pursuing it.
In addition to a minimum hourly rate that makes the work viable for you there are other factors to consider. When working with multiple international clients, it is possible to get paid at different rates for the same kind of work. You may feel great about working at a higher wage than what you’ve been paid in the past. However, the higher-paid work may be short term, temporary or come with strings attached. For bread and butter you may need to rely on consistent work even at lower rates. Keep in mind that skill and wages can rise with experience. You may get higher paid jobs as you hone your skills.
Another important consideration is the international transfer of payments from your overseas clients. Fortunately Ria Money Transfer has already solved that issue for you. You may be working from The Philippines for your US clients, and need to remit US$ payments frequently. Choose your dependable international money transfer service. Entirely avoid bank delays, exorbitant bank fees and ATM transaction charges. Send money to the Philippines at the best exchange rates with speedy and secure transfers every time.