How to Build Your Online Career from Scratch
In an interview with Michelle Calma, Bottleneck Virtual Assistants learned about the significance of having a good background online. Michelle shared how she patiently waited for a year until she established a good profile. To aspiring virtual assistants, here’s how to build your online career from scratch. Understand the significance of having an online identity, and be more equipped to work from home!
“Your rate and your skills are based from the day you started working from home.” -Michelle Calma
Your Identity Online
What is the first thing you do when looking for an online job? What does working from home mean to you?
The thing is…
Starting an online career is slightly different from starting a traditional office work. In the traditional setting, your educational background and experiences may matter a lot to employers. Online, however, they do not matter as much—it’s a different world you’re stepping into.
You need to provide something that will help clients know about you and your work performance. Trust is among the major motivators of the online community. And if you don’t have a record online, how will clients know more about you?
How will you develop trust?
Juan Enriquez wonderfully talked about the online presence. He likened it to a tattoo, which provides information about who and what you are as an individual or professional for this matter.
“What happens if Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, cell phones, GPS, Foursquare, Yelp, Travel Advisor, all these things you deal with every day turn out to be electronic tattoos?” -Juan Enriquez
Resumes are good sources of information, especially when looking for work with a reliable client in a specific job portal. But for long term success, you might need to have your own profile online just like Michelle. It’s a good first step to starting your very own online career.
Start with an Online Profile
There are a number of places in the internet where you can showcase your profile or professional identity. Among them are:
Thinking about having a professional network? LinkedIn might just be the right place for you. There you can list down your work experience, accomplishments, education, publication, the causes you care about—all valuable information that a client could be interested in.
“Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful.” -Reid Hoffman
You can also write an article, find a job, attend a course, and connect with others in your niche. It’s perfect for creating and expanding your professional network.
Survey results shows that networking is a powerful way of landing a job. It filled more than half of the positions surveyed. Overall, LinkedIn is a great place for you to connect and open doors of opportunity for your online career.
Did you know that 94% of recruiters refer to LinkedIn when vetting job candidates? How do you promote yourself?
2. WordPress Website
Having your own website is a great way to launch your online career. You can start with a free website on WordPress. There you can showcase your winning portfolio, tell something about yourself, and even have your own business through your website.
All it takes is a click of a button. What’s even better is you can link your social media accounts to your WordPress website to create more doors for people to find you.
For easy and fast setup, you might want to try creating your own public portfolio. PortfolioGen ranks among the favorites. It’s amazingly easy to use, and is free to start with.
“I am so thankful I chose Portfoliogen to use to create my on-line portfolio. It has been so easy that I have actually been having fun putting it together. It’s fast, relaxed, and super friendly.” -Jennifer on PortfolioGen
Simply register for an account, and you can immediately start adding information you want to share. Other portfolio features include: creating pages, uploading files, posting videos, requesting endorsements, and more.
You can also connect with others from your account—a good way to grow your network.
4. Facebook Page
When thinking about starting your online career from Facebook, what you basically need is a Facebook page. Having your own page is similar to having your own haven, where you can invite people to be inspired, be informed, or act on any other offerings you have.
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.” -Sean Gardner
You can focus your attention on managing your Facebook page and grow your community from there. Consider what you have that people could benefit from. You can offer it to them for free or make a business out of it.
In all these, your goal is to establish a professional identity that people will know about. It will serve as their guiding star to find you. If not, you can take the first step and bring that star to them.
You can use the link you have from your profile, and share it with clients.
Dare to Improve
Just like in any kind of pursuit, starting an online career requires diligence. You need to be diligent enough to network yourself. You need to be diligent enough to improve.
Work may not come right after you’ve created your profile. Like they say, it takes patience. But in that free time you have, you can choose to take what you have and use it to improve your knowledge and skills.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities you have available. It could be a volunteer program, a gig in the park, a freelance offer, a leadership position in your youth group, a business venture—see how it can help you grow professionally. And, update your profile when necessary.
“Your career is your business. It’s time for you to manage it as a CEO.” -Dorit Sher
Once you land a job, be responsible for the actions you take. Have the confidence that you have the capabilities to complete it well. After all, it’s yours for the taking—your online work is your business.
Mistakes are inevitable sometimes. But, you have the choice to either learn from it or let it be. Consider what you can offer, improve yourself, and succeed.