Basic Necessities to Start a Career Online
With the current ongoing situation, a lot of people are hoping to find companies and businesses that hire people that can work remotely. Not only will it prevent contact with other people, there are also a lot of benefits with remote work. Yet, some of them are unprepared or are unsure with what they need to launch a successful career. Here are just some basic necessities to start a career online.
Know What YOU Want to Do
First of all, you need to figure out what you want to do with your career.
It could be based on your current skill set, or something that you want to pursue in the long run. If you’re just getting work done, whatever it is that is required of you or is hiring at the moment, then that is not a career. That’s just you having a job.
We are not saying that taking on different projects or having other interests is bad. But as someone who’s just starting out, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time. Once you have figured out and can do one business or career path efficiently, then you can consider branching out and trying new things that can be added to your repertoire.
In the long run, you’ll be known as someone who is effective and reliable at their work, rather than just someone you get for one project or task.
Once you have chosen your path, ask around the community. Nowadays, there are groups and communities in social media that share their experience in the online career path that you are considering. At the very least, you’ll pick up new things and learn what practices to avoid so you don’t make the same mistakes as your peers.
A Reliable Internet Connection
Of course, if you’re planning to start a career online, you’re going to need a reliable internet connection.
A reliable connection means having an ISP that doesn’t suddenly disconnect while you are working, and can load your tools quickly. For that, it will be nice to have an internet speed of at least 5-10 Mbps. You can try running a speed test here.
Your salary and compensation might also suffer because of a slow internet connection. Whether you’re being compensated per project or by the hour, having a slow internet connection means that some tasks might take longer to finish because of slow upload or download speeds. Also, if your work relies on telecommuting with your clients and their partners, a slow or unstable connection will be a liability for you.
In light of this, it will be helpful to be honest to your client about your current situation. How fast is your internet connection? Will you be able to upgrade soon?
Apart from that, it is also wise to have a backup. Nowadays, there are pocket WIFIs available from most ISPs. You can search for honest reviews or inquire from your local service provider. Ideally, you would want to get one that is not from the same ISP as your main connection. This is so you won’t get interrupted if the main connection’s ISP has widespread technical issues.
The Best Computer Setup for your Online Career
Before getting a new computer setup for your online career, you should ask yourself: what type of work are you applying for?
If you want to work on a job that requires a lot of processing power, it will be wise to invest in a computer that will perform up to the task. You don’t want to suffer from working with a computer that takes ages to render one video, or one that quickly runs out of storage space.
If you are working as a writer or any other work that doesn’t require processing huge chunks of files, you can get a standard PC setup. Nowadays, you can even store your entries in Google Drive or in Dropbox for extra storage.
Here’s a sample of what is typically recommended:
- Windows 10 Operating System
- Intel Core i3 / 2.20 GHz
- RAM 8GB (you might need more for graphics design and video editing)
- Hard drive 1TB
But again, it varies on the type of work you want. What’s important is that your computer will work well for you.
On that note, it is also good to consider a laptop. It is mobile so you can take it to different parts of your house. In case of a power interruption, you can continue working on your laptop for some time until the battery runs out. At the very least, your ongoing tasks won’t be interrupted, and you can save your current work.
Computer Glasses (Reducing Blue Light Exposure)
Since you will be facing the computer for a long time, it is particularly important to shield your eyes from the blue light it emits.
Blue light releases more energy than what our eyes typically get exposed to. Studies have shown that long exposure can harm the eyes. Among the things that blue light causes are:
- Physical and mental fatigue
- Increased risk of depression
- Heart disease
There is truth in what Dr. Nicholas Zyrowski said: “We can build the dream life but at if we are courting a heart attack that is going to put us in the grave at a young age, then none of that matters.”
What you can do is treat yourself with a pair of computer glasses. If wearing glasses isn’t your thing, you can also poke around with your laptop settings and turn on the blue light filter on your device.
Having the Tools of the Trade
One of the most important parts of working remote is having an effective way to communicate with your team and your clients. While there are many ways to get in touch with someone online nowadays, it doesn’t mean that all of them are as efficient. So, it is best to familiarize yourself with communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, or Slack.
Most businesses who have a remote team also use CRM software like Basecamp or Hubspot to stay connected and share their progress with the team. Knowing your way around those tools will certainly help you in landing that spot.
If you want to offer other services such as graphics design, web development, or video editing, it would be best to get yourself familiar with the latest tools that are used for such tasks. Unless you’ve been doing those services recently, there is a huge chance that your knowledge about them might be outdated. Going through online training to brush up on techniques that you are not familiar with will also add more tools to your belt.
Whether working part time or full time, consistent communication is essential. To make things convenient, you can invest on a good phone where you can install the messaging apps you typically use to communicate with your clients. A basic smartphone may already suffice.
That will spare you some time from logging in to your computer just to check a message. With it, you can simply listen to your phone beep any notifications that a new message has arrived.
Unless if your work really requires it, you can just settle with following a set work schedule instead. You can agree with your client to allow you to check your inbox during work hours only.
Apart from a smartphone, you can also invest on a quality headset and camera. That will allow you to have your video on and your microphone working perfectly when communicating with a client. Studies say that seeing the person you are talking to strengthens trust.
Finally, there could be times when power outages last longer than you expected. You can use a power bank to power up your devices to help you stay updated and not lag behind tasks.
Prepared for Work
A lot of work opportunities exist online, but not everyone who applies get accepted. There are factors involved which include the applicant’s readiness for work.
Rather than chasing jobs, focus on making your online career flourish, so opportunities come to you instead.
Check Out These Relevant Articles:
- How to Build Your Online Career from Scratch
- Top Reasons Why People Decide to Work from Home
- 15 Work From Home Productivity Tips
Subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive up-to-date information about other tips on online career and the remote workforce. You also get FREE access to our Ultimate Distant Assistant Checklist when you sign up.