So, you’ve researched the world of online careers and are thinking of making the leap. This can be a highly rewarding and profitable career change that often brings exposure to a limitless job market. It’s also a job shift that will bring more flexibility and freedom to your daily schedule.
While online careers are often stamped with a glossy appeal, there are drawbacks you must be prepared to handle. By being a realist when starting an online career, you’ll more effectively handle any bumps in the road as you make this major working shift.
Deal with Isolation
The most notable change that immediately comes when leaving an in-office job for an online career is an increase in isolation. The transition from conversing with coworkers all day to working alone at home often causes telecommuters to question their choice of working from home.
While working from home can make you feel isolated from others, there are ways to overcome the loneliness. Research co-working spaces in your community or work from a coffee shop a few days each week to remain connected with others while still enjoying the benefits of an online career.
Prepare for Rude Clients
In the online working world, things tend to get a little impersonal. There’s often a social etiquette that accompanies face-to-face client meetings such as discussing non-work related topics before diving into a meeting or keeping a civil tone when reviewing project complications.
Unfortunately, many clients let that etiquette go right out the window when working with online professionals. Some of your online clients likely won’t understand how to relay a certain tone via online communications while others will feel as if they can be as rude as they would like since you’ll never meet in person.
As you begin an online career, be prepared to deal with this lack of etiquette on a regular basis. The best way to handle the impersonal environment is to never take it personally. Also, regardless of the tone a client may take while communicating online, always remain professional and upbeat to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.
Explain your Career Frequently
With most employees still working in-office jobs, online careers aren’t exactly considered mainstream. As such, don’t expect others to ‘get it’ when you try to explain what you do. From family to friends, loved ones will likely ask you on several occasions to explain your career field. You’ll probably also hear more than a few jokes regarding your job of ‘playing online’ rather than actually working. Take it all with a smile and a personal satisfaction in knowing you have more job freedom than them.
Keep a Quick Pace
Things move faster online. From shifts in technology to split-second email communications, you must be quick on your toes if you hope to keep up with the online world. However, while keeping a quick pace is important, you must also know how to turn off the work switch at the end of each workday. Avoid returning to the computer in the evening and instead maintain normal business hours, otherwise burnout is sure to quickly occur.
As with any career, working online has its drawbacks. Whether your family doesn’t quite understand what you do or you’re faced with a rude online client, struggles will likely arise when you begin working online. However, by understanding these common pitfalls, you can more effectively plan for them and, thus, will more easily overcome them.
Author Bio: Shayla Ebsen is a full-time freelance writer and graphic designer with more than seven years combined experience from her time in the corporate world and through her freelance work. Shayla’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in News/Editorial Journalism from South Dakota State University and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Organizational Communication from the University of South Dakota. Learn more about Shayla and her services at shaylaebsen.com.