How To Become A Distant Assistant And Work From Home
Working online has become so popular that it has attracted a lot of people from different age groups, gender, status, and background. It has gained the hearts of many Filipinos as well. Here’s How to Become a Distant Assistant and Work from Home. Learn what a Distant Assistant does, know the perks and downsides to it, and find out if you can start a career in the industry!
Meet the Distant Assistant
In essence, Distant Assistants (DAs) provide administrative, technical, or creative services online. They work from the comfort of their home or shared working spaces. In contrast to traditional employees, DAs are usually freelancers or independent contractors. They find pleasure in working at their own pace.
Just like in any other type of work, being a Distant Assistant has its own advantages and disadvantages. One drawback is that they work on their own. They sometimes have no one to talk to or ask help from. Another disadvantage is that they often don’t get the same benefits as traditional offices, such as insurance, health care, and the like. There are also some unscrupulous entities that take advantage of the distance to run away after services are rendered. It’s a virtual world that they chose to work in—a dynamic world of risks that they hope can offer concrete support in the long run.
But the skies aren’t always dark and stormy. There is great news that inspires and empowers. Here’s a list of those work-from-home advantages that never fails to brighten up the day:
- You can work anywhere you want as long as there’s a fast internet connection
- Have independence by working at your own pace
- You don’t have to commute to work
- Say goodbye to traffic
- Work in your pajamas if you want—no dress code (unless you have a meeting, of course)
- Depending on your work, you can have a higher pay
- Leverage your professional identity and have your own business
Despite the considerable risks, working online provides an exciting opportunity to those who want time and freedom to do what they love. Expectations always have the potential of falling short, but you can rest assured in the fact that there are many other aspiring DAs. Many are up and ready to start an online career. Consider how it will work for you, apply, and get moving.
A Worthy Investment
The projects and salary of a Distant Assistant depend on his experiences or skills. Just like everyone else, DAs can’t do everything for everyone at the same time. Multi-tasking can be a strong asset, but it does not mean that they should be buried under a load of impossible task. Their skills determine their work. This is why aspiring DAs are encouraged to know their strengths and weaknesses.
If you are good with data entry, organizing events, booking flights, or other clerical tasks, an administrative position can do well for you. If you are good with creating graphics for any type of media, you can be perfect for a graphic designer position. Learn to differentiate between the general DA and the specialized DA. Identify where you are good at and exercise it wisely.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” -Warren Buffet
Too often those that want to have a job online don’t have a clear perspective of what they want or of what to do. Most of the time, they don’t know how or where to start. They hear working online is great, rush to apply on different websites, but have difficulty identifying their ideal position with all the possibilities available.
The internet is teeming with reliable companies and online job positions. Online tutorials are another alternative. If you are into teaching at your spare time or full time, you can apply to online tutorial companies. Read reviews from those with experience. Inquire and make your effort count.
Your Online Presence
Once you know the kind of work you want online, the next thing you need is to make your mark online. People in your local community might already know what you’re capable of, but clients online have to know about it as well. Expand your network and market your skills. You can do this through the following ways:
1. Have Your Own Blog
Think of what you have that other people can benefit from, and showcase it online by creating your own blog. There are many blogging platforms, such as at WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. Free accounts are good for starters, but if you want to get more of what’s available, you can decide to register for a premium blog.
You can also create a video log on YouTube. Whichever you choose, your goal is to build your online portfolio where clients can access your work. Let them know how well you do, and shine.
2. Register in Networking or Career Sites
One good thing about the internet is it gives you the opportunity to expand your network to a wide variety of people. Professional networking platforms, like LinkedIn, enable you to connect with potential clients. The more connection you have, the higher chance you get in attracting clients. You can think about it as your online profile or professional resume that anyone can access. And, you can continue growing your circle to establish a stronger identity.
In the Philippines, you can also create an account in popular career platforms, such as JobStreet, Upwork, and Freelancer. They offer jobs that you can apply for. Freelance opportunities abound in the internet. You can earn at your spare time when you want. Just don’t fall prey to scams and other fraudulent openings.
3. Use Social Media
Almost everyone has a social media account—your neighbor has Facebook, your colleagues have Twitter, and even high-ranking personalities have Instagram accounts. You can always count on your friends and followers to promote you.
Let friends and followers know what you’re up to. Share to them your talents by posting photos, blogs, or other things you are good with. These will help clients find you.
Your Workplace at Home
Ready to start? Working from home is indeed advantageous in a number of ways. You get to dress in any way you want, meals are within reach, and you get to see your loved ones more often. To help you get the most out of this privilege, you can set up your workplace this way:
- Secure a stable internet connection, preferably a provider with the strongest signal in your area
- Have an internet backup in case of unexpected blackouts
- An external backup or a 2GB flash drive can also come in handy especially when you need to store important data offline
- Have a working computer or laptop
- Schedule and follow your work hours
- Keep pencils, notebooks, and other writing tools nearby to jot down important reminders—especially if your memory doesn’t serve you well
You should also equip yourself with these basics:
- English communication skills – reading, writing, comprehension
- Basic email and Skype
- Basic computer skills
- Know how to browse the internet
- Learn about Google Docs and Spreadsheets
Above all, don’t forget to take a break. Work is a good way to earn, but it shouldn’t keep you from taking care of yourself. Your body is also your investment. If you abuse it, you can get so sick that you have to let go of work and of the chance to earn. Set up a productive work environment at home, and learn how to manage your resources wisely.
Salary Rates and Taxes
Your salary as a distant assistant can depend on the type of projects you handle and the skills you have. It can also depend on the type of contract you have with your client. Learn to differentiate between part time and full time commitments.
If you’re an administrative assistant, you can earn at least $400 per month. Those with specialized skills can earn at least $500. Don’t easily get jaded with the possible profit. Compensation can also vary between countries and their culture. On your part, invest in your skills and be diligent in completing projects. In the long run, it will pay off if you’re consistent with the high-quality work you provide.
As an individual contractor, you are responsible for your taxes. As a responsible citizen, you are obliged to get a TIN number from BIR and declare your distant assistant income in your income tax return. This is important especially if your annual income exceeds 60,000Php, because you would be liable to pay the dues. Help the government help you.
A Job Well Done
Great opportunities await those with exceptional work. Landing a job can be challenging. But when you find the perfect job online, live up to what you claim you are. Clients also risk themselves in hiring talents they don’t know, and it’s disappointing when you suddenly leave without clues. Why quit on something you’ve invested in? Showcase what you have, learn from your experiences, and be the best professional you can be. Know what you want and set your heart to it.
Tell us what you think! Feel free to comment with any ideas or suggestions about How to Become a Distant Assistant and Work from Home. We love hearing from you!