Why Online Jobs & Working From Home Are Not For Everyone

The Wandering Elf
by The Wandering Elf

Online jobs and working from home aren’t for everyone. I’m going to share my experience shifting from full-time employment as a teacher to working at home online and why this isn’t the best job for everyone.

I quit teaching to pursue a different type of work that gave me time and freedom so I could live in a place that I love and have a flexible, less hectic lifestyle and work schedule.

Here’s my experience about how I made the transition to working online jobs from home and some of the pros and cons of being a freelancer.

How I transitioned to working from home online

Searching for online jobs

A year before I quit my full-time job as a teacher, I had the opportunity to write English textbooks. When that project ended, I was keen on doing research on more opportunities that would allow me to work online. 

Look at your skillset

If you’re thinking of making that shift from full-time to remote work, I suggest that you look at your professional skills. For example, if one of your skills is customer service and you’d like to work online in the same kind of work, explore different jobs working from home online, such as virtual assistants, data entry specialists, etc. 

Comparison of freelancer platforms

Try out different jobs

There are so many online freelancing platforms online. Find platforms and set up your profile and portfolio that’s relevant to the jobs that clients are looking for.

The good thing about online remote work is that you can literally do different types of jobs if it interests you. You don’t have to be boxed into doing one thing.

If you like writing, you don’t need to do just that. If you like graphic design, you can do that, too. In my case, I decided to expand my skills from just writing to also doing some WordPress jobs. 

Learning new skills

It’s actually a self-discovery process. I wouldn’t have known WordPress would have been one of my interests unless I started it. That led me to become interested in motion graphic designing, logo creation, website design, and website development. It’s not something that happens in one month or two months. It’s a gradual process over the years. 

Choosing part-time work that's offline

Part-time work

Online work is not the only way to pull away from your full-time job. Some people do other part-time jobs such as working at a coffee shop or bookstore. 

Pros and cons of jobs working from home online

For me, online remote work was more feasible and practical. I have been doing it since 2010. Twelve years later I am 42 years old, my son is 18, I have no regrets because I was able to maximize the time I spent with him while pursuing a lifestyle that I have always dreamed of. It also allowed me to leave the city and move to the countryside.

Pros and cons of working at home online

How to work online

1. Time management and discipline

When you’re working online as an independent contractor, you have better control of your time. But it requires a lot of scheduling and time management.

No one is telling you when to wake up or when to end your work day. It’s all up to you. It takes discipline. You need to be aware of what project your client expects you to finish and when.

Plus, you have your personal life. If you’re a single mom like me or you have other things to attend to, it takes careful planning so you don’t get overwhelmed by the end of the day.

How to work from home online

3. Paid time off

When you’re employed full-time on staff, you have paid time off. When I was a teacher, I had paid Christmas breaks, summer breaks, and national or local holidays and that was also paid time off. That was fun.

But if you are working for yourself, you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, there’s no such thing as vacation leaves or sick leaves that are paid. If you’re sick and you can’t do your work, you don’t make money.

But the fun part is that as a freelancer, there’s lots of freedom to travel to another country or beach town or the mountains and as long as you have your computer and internet connection, you’re able to continue working and make money.

The benefits of working online

4. Income limits

When you’re an employee, your income is capped. As an independent contractor, your income is not capped. If you want to make more money in one month, you can take on more work. For me, it’s all about more time rather than having more money. It’s a personal choice of what matters to you more.

5. Questionable online opportunities

It takes careful research to know which platforms and clients are best for you. You don’t want to fall into a scam or not get paid at all for hard work. 

6. Uncertainty 

There’s really no certainty in anything, from full-time work to freelancing. A client may not need any more work done and the project ends which means you have to find another client.

But a business you’re working for full time could go bankrupt suddenly or cut back on employees, too. Impermanence is a fact of life wherever you work.

Why I choose online jobs & working from home

Why I choose online jobs & working from home

My life as an independent contractor has a lot of perks, and it’s just more flexible, but it requires deliberate planning, scheduling, and time management. Some people may prefer the kind of job that is more predictable with a constant routine, an understanding of how many hours they need to work, and how much money to expect.

It’s important to have money for bills and living, but it’s also important to set aside time and energy for things that matter more. There’s more to life than our jobs. This is why I designed a life that’s more congruent with my values and what really matters to me.

I look forward to seeing your comments on the pros and cons of working full-time or remotely online from home.  

Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Deborah Deborah on Mar 20, 2024

    I have been trying to find work for about 3 months now. I live in a college town, so during the year is tough. I have been contacted for online work, but most of them have been scams and I have reported them to the FTC fraud department. I have not seen one legitimate work from home position, especially from Careerbuilders. They seem to attract the scammers. Any advice how to get started? I want to do data entry or customer service from home.

  • Erica Martin Erica Martin on Apr 15, 2024

    I've worked from home for different companies for over 20 years. It's not for everyone - you have to have self-discipline and set limits with the people you love. The number of work-from-home opportunities out there has grown since I started working from home, which is great - there are now more ways to make money from home, both as an employee and as an independent contractor. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scammers out there, so when looking into a work-from-home opportunity it's important to be careful and do your due diligence to make sure the opportunity is legitimate.