It's been several years since the global economy began to nosedive into recession. Today good jobs are so hard to come by it may be a better time than ever to abandon the office and consider a virtual job.
What's a virtual job?
A virtual job is any job that is performed remotely either online, by phone or other media, outside of an office environment. Virtual workers are most commonly self-employed contractors working with only the loosest official ties to the employer.
Any job that doesn't require a physical presence can be outsourced to a virtual worker. but administrative and teaching positions are the most common. Personal assistants, IT specialists, language tutors and academic instructors also work virtually, though almost any office-based role can be successfully transferred to a virtual worker.
Advantages of Virtual Employment
Becoming a virtual worker can be of great and mutual benefit to yourself and your employer. Here are just a few of the reasons why a virtual position may be advantageous.
1. Flexible Working Hours
The traditional 9-5 job is... well, it's a 9-5 job. Millions of man hours are wasted each day through commuting, and it wouldn't be too much to say that the collective happiness of the developed world takes a hit with each crowded train, standing-room-only bus and bumper-to-bumper-highway.
The 9-5 job is a concept we cling to but no longer need. We instituted the tradition because businesses needed to operate at the same time as their clients and suppliers, but many modern jobs simply don't have to be performed in a strict time frame. Sales reports will be just as useful whether they're compiled at midnight or midday.
working virtually you'll free yourself from a daily commute, enabling you to
work at a time that suits your schedule and maximizes your productivity. If you
need a couple of hours each morning to hit your stride, that's quite all right
in a virtual job. As long as the work is completed on time, the hours you work
2. Multiple Employers
Similarly, the reliance on just one source of income is another outdated concept. Why put all your eggs in one basket?
Virtual workers can contract with multiple employers at the same time, taking on as much or as little work as they can handle. While this offers the benefit of being able to better balance your work and home life (i.e. you can work only as much as you need to earn a living), it also offers greater job security. If one client has to let you go there will be others to pick up the slack.
3. Employer Savings
Perhaps most importantly, virtual workers are cheaper to employ than regular staff. As a virtual worker you won't take up valuable office space, require health care coverage, a pension scheme or any of the dozens of costs that come with each on-site permanent worker.
this makes virtual workers a more attractive prospect to employers. It frees
them from the long-term financial commitments of employment, significantly
reducing their overhead, which not only makes you a more attractive hire, but
also gives you greater job security. A cheap employee is a valuable employee.
What Qualities do you Need?
Switching to a virtual career isn't for everybody. To work remotely you'll need to possess qualities that may not have been required in an office environment.
First and foremost, of course, you'll need to be able to work unsupervised. You'll need to maintain productivity absent of the concern that the boss may be looking over your shoulder. Sadly, this is a quality that many lack.
You'll also need to be able to take the initiative in finding your own roles and building your client base. The switch to self-employment requires a switch in your approach to work. You'll no longer be handed assignments on a plate, but you'll have to go looking for them yourself.
Once again this boils down to motivation. A successful virtual worker needs to take responsibility for the course of their career. Without that, the work will dry up.
Why Now Is the Best Time to Work Virtually
The global economy is slowly recovering, but the damage is done. Unemployment rates will remain high for a long time, and businesses that have been burned thanks to overstaffing will be hesitant to commit to more and more full time employees in the future.
This may seem like a bad thing, but it offers you the opportunity to change the way you look at your career. From the ashes of the global recession you could rise as a successful business owner, working from home on the cutting edge of the new economy. The opportunity is there, but it's up to you to grasp it.
About the Author:
Sani Golriz is a community blogger and active staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university.