Is working from home going to be your cup of tea?
A lot of stay-at-home moms or working professionals who are on a career break do consider working from home as a viable option. But how can you know if this is going to be your cup of tea?
Here is a real life check list of what you should keep in mind before taking it on:
Most women who used to stay at home or some working professionals on a break have taken to accepting freelance assignments and they happily get on with working from their premises with full enthusiasm. This is pretty doable and there are many women around who make a killing career (and money too) from freelancing in various capacities.
The advanced technology available today and active digital networking options have made it easier for people in business to find and connect both; those who freelance and those with assignments to offer.
But there are flipsides too.
Some freelancers tell us today what one needs to watch out for before stepping into the world of working from home:
1. Being master of your craft - Freelancing works well only if you are an ace in your area. Delhi-based visual designer Garima Dahiya realized this the hard way. Garima is a new recruit in a design firm. She is a single woman and has ample time on hand. She wanted more exposure in her field and applied for a freelance assignment with a magazine. The task was simple enough, to provide a graphic display on given text every day. Her designs were often sent back for revisions. She would consult others for ideation and technique but it still wouldn’t come out well or as per the demand. She got tired of it quite soon. She lost the zeal to work in the first fifteen days!
Lesson - Unless you understand your capabilities well, do not consider freelancing.
2. Being updated with new things in your field – While having relevant work experience is a must, one must also be aware of the new techniques / procedures / industry developments around. Sunita Thakkar has been editing school text book content for twenty years now. She often gets commissioned for publication-related projects. Problem is that now most want the content to be trimmed for websites, blogs and social media along with the publication version. "A lot of new clients ask for such requirements. Initially I thought I would easily be able to modify the same content for online verticals. But then things like SEO optimization, hashtags, keywords came in. I have to say no to such assignments now," she says.
Lesson - Keep on your toes always, if need be take shot term courses to brush your skill set.
3. Being competitive – It is a world where presentation matters. When you put up your candidature for freelancing assignments, make sure it is top class quality. Rohan is a Delhi University pass out and preparing for civil services exams. He takes on freelancing assignments to keep things going well monetarily. He recently applied for the position of a content consultant at an e-venture. "It was a work from home job and I was happy about it. When I went for the interview, I realized there were many more bright candidates around. A few of them were carrying their CV folders like me, and one guy was even carrying his work on a pen drive and had a presentation ready. I was shocked by this," he says.
Lesson – Professional world around is changing with every passing day. Keep up with it, else you will be left behind.
4. Respect time - The problem with most freelancers is that they are keen when taking on assignments but falter when it comes to submitting it on time. Many lose projects and the client's confidence too as a result. Try and send your submission on time or a little before the deadline. Keep some buffer time for further alterations, inputs from the client.
Lesson - Time is money, especially for a freelancer
5. Be honest with clients - If you cannot deliver what they demand, then be upfront about it. If you have asked for help from somebody else then own up to it before you get dragged in to copyright issues. If you need more time, then say it before the deadline approaches.
Lesson - Clients are humans too, and in most cases will be good to you, provided you give them enough trust and confidence to keep the relationship going.