“Is working online for you?” is an interesting question to ask yourself before heading into online businesses, writing and graphics design. So before you take the plunge and immerse yourself in the exciting world of online work, consider the following points first.
The Job Outlook for Working Online
Let’s first take a look on the job opportunities for some popular choices for online work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the United States Department of Labor, the writing industry is pretty fierce. The 10-year (2010-2020) change of rate for writing jobs is around 6% which is rather low compared to the average 14%. The same growth rate is true for Medical Transcriptionists, another popular online job. Graphics designers, of whom an estimated 29% are self-employed, have a more optimistic outlook with 13% change of rate. With these stats on hand, you should consider first if there are enough online jobs to apply for in the first place.
Sets of Skills Needed for Working Online
You should also evaluate whether you have the right skills for your target online job. The BLS also has advice on what skills are needed to remain competent. If you plan to get a writing career then you need to have good research skills and mastery of the English language. Graphic designers, software developers and other creative workers has to be updated in the latest computer programs and techniques used in their fields. People in specialized fields such as Medical Transcriptionists also need to learn about the jargon and trends in their field.
You also need some general skills to get ahead of the competition. Verbal communication skills are a must for any type of jobs and online jobs are no exception. You still need to communicate face-to-face or in a web conference with superiors and clients alike to coordinate your work. Familiarity with computer glitches and Internet connection issues will also save you time and money by being able to troubleshoot minor online or gadget problems. Web design and development skills, although not necessary, are also great skills to help you find online opportunities.
Fortunately, skills can be learned and practiced. Attending basic writing or graphics design courses at the local college can boost your skill levels. There are also courses and programs like “Bring the Fresh” that teach online job skills that you can attend from the comfort of your home computer.
Health and Social Issues Associated with Working Online
Your health may suffer if you are not careful while doing online work. Prolonged working hours in with the computer may fatigue your eyes and cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Being an online workaholic may also lead to fitness problems and bad posture. These problems can be remedied by simply taking breaks once in a while. Setting time for exercise will also help you reduce stress.
Your social life may also suffer due to online work. Working at home denies you the company of office workers and the enriching interactions with them. This also cuts down the number of potential confidants that can help you maintain a healthy psyche. Chatting and video conferences may alleviate some of the issues about isolation but nothing replaces real life interactions. As such, you should still need to go out with friends and colleagues once in a while to balance the social isolation caused by your work.
Issues on Time Management
Working online may help you cut costs from the daily commute but may eat other resources such as time instead. The loss of valuable working is due to the many types of distraction. MindMetre Research, in a project developed with Regus, found that 59% of work at home people were distracted by family issues while 43% of them experience difficulty in concentrating on the tasks at hand. Good old-fashioned self-discipline and discussions about your job with your family can help you solve time management issues.
We hope that these factors can help you find out if you could answer yes or no to the question “Is working online for you? “. Career growth can affect all parts of your life so consider these factors wisely before working online.