Not widely known to everyone, ang remote or virtual work ay totoo at posible. Marami na ang nagsisimula sa ganitong uri ng hanapbuhay dahil convenient and the pay is high. Also, there is a lack of online personnel supply to the increasing demand of foreign remote jobs. Therefore, there is a virtual job for everyone.
Pero teka, hindi basta basta lang ang work at home. You have to set up a suitable working home office para magampanan ito. Remember, you are the extension office of an actual company. Kaya dapat, pagtuunan mo ito ng pansin.
Before you start working online, here are 7 essential things you need to have and know:
A Decent Laptop or Desktop
This is the heart of your virtual career. Kung wala ka nito, walang online work, of course. Basic desktop specifications is workable but if you want a reliable workstation, get at least 4 GB of RAM. One of the main reasons why a desktop or laptop hangs during operation is because of low memory capacity. You don’t want your workstation to hang or restart while you’re working with your boss or client, do you? Check out some of the Lazada’s laptops that you can use by clicking here.
A Reliable Internet Connection to go online
This is one of the main concerns of foreign employers when it comes to hiring Filipino online workers (at saka yung power outages natin. Madalas magka brownout dito sa Pinas!). We are among the Asian countries who have the slowest internet connection, with India on the very bottom of the pack
(at least, hindi pa rin tayo last). This is the lifeline of your online career.
I’ve been a hiring manager for the companies I’ve handled. There are many applicants who are qualified to do the job and most of the time, the deal breaker is the internet connection. We Filipinos are very good in English and we can ace interviews with ease. However, when I asked the applicants to provide their internet speed using www.speedtest.net, that is usually the deciding factor. Most of the time, a 1 mbps down with 0.3 mbps will not make the cut. International countries have faster internet connections. In the US, you can have 100 mbps broadband dsl for residential customers.
So what’s the recommended speed? Invest on paying at least 3 mbps internet connection. Take my word for it.
USB Headset with Noise-cancelling Mic
For both desktop and laptop, it is highly recommended to get the usb-connected headset. It has more reliable and clearer audio connectivity rather than the usual pink and green jack. A noise-cancelling mic too is needed to ensure crisp and clear sound, especially when taking in calls or speaking to your boss on a webinar.
A Quiet Workplace
Background noise is such a pain in the ears! Tunog ng tambutso ng tricycle o motor, busina ng jeep, tahol ng aso, tilaok ng manok, iyak ng bata (no offense to the moms out there), away ng kapitbahay, you name it, the employers have heard it. If you really want to jumpstart your career in the virtual world, be serious in having your own nook without the unnecessary noises in your house or apartment. I remember one applicant I interviewed. She was applying as a Virtual Assistant and she was really good and complied with all the qualifications needed except for one thing: the noise of passing tricycles is unbearable even with noise-cancelling microphones. This is okay if you’re applying to be just a chat or email support but when your employer expects you to take in calls from clients, this is unacceptable. I told her “You aced our hiring qualifications pero magagawan mo ba ng paraan yung background noise because it’s really loud?” She answered “There is no way I can relocate.” So, the only way for us to get her hired is if she did something about her background noise. Until then, her hiring is on a pending status.
How to check for your background noise if it’s too loud? Record yourself using your microphone or better, do the Skype Echo/Sound Test Service and hear for yourself.
Install Important Software
Microsoft Office or kung wala kang paid license, pwede na Open Office. Adobe Acrobat with editing pdf feature. Skype for contacting your employers and clients. Anti-virus like Avast or AVG. Browser like Chrome or Safari. Usually, client-specific software are accessible online like CRM. If not, the employer will ask you to install the necessary software or they will do it themselves by remote programs like TeamViewer (install mo na rin to).
Good conversational English
We are trained to speak and convey our thoughts using business English, but not all Filipinos possess this skill. We had a skilled website manager before from Quezon City. He was really good in managing our website but the thing is, he really can’t express himself in English to the point I acted as the interpreter between him and our employer (parang Maxine Medina lang). He asked me for advices on how he can learn English easily. Told him to read more English book, watch English movies with subtitles, and speak to people in English more often. You can also download the free Duolingo app on your mobile phone and access the English learning module there.
The eagerness to learn on your own
When I started working as a Virtual Assistant, I have no idea on majority of the stuff used online and the technical terms are confusing. I don’t know how to use Podio or Trello or FileZilla. I have no idea what SEO is and how to operate an e-commerce platform. Usually, basic training is provided but as you go along with your work, it is up to you on how to do the tasks independently. Learn on your own by searching on Google. Do not be afraid to ask. Start to think like a boss. As long as you won’t cost the company money, then you’re on the right track on becoming a valuable remote worker.