Remember those days when someone fresh out of college or university was expected to suit up, tie shoelaces and start going to an office with a briefcase full of papers and files? Well, as suffocating as that sounds, the times have finally changed. It has been changing for a while now, in fact.
We have all heard the popular quote “Work smart, not hard”, the original source of which no one really knows. Similar life-hacks and advice that go well with our modern lives fill our social media home pages in various fonts and attractive backgrounds all the time. But to be honest, this particular one could not have been more relevant, if applicable to the current situation of jobs, workplaces and employment.
‘Going to work’ sounds very lucrative, and it is still the most widely accepted form of being ‘employed’. It not only earns you bread and pays your bills, but gives you a kind of a status symbol. If you are not waking up, freshening up, having your breakfast and rushing along with the early-morning crowd and at the end of the day coming home with a bunch of papers and responsibilities to rob off your night’s sleep, you are not good enough. As funny as that sounds, it was very much true even a few years back.
As for women in our country, we all know where the situation stands. While one-third of them are struggling to find their ground in largely male-dominated workplaces, the remaining two-thirds are either forced to give up on their jobs, professions and dreams or will do so. The ones volunteering usually prefer to choose their family ties and so-called duties over jobs, but that does not necessarily mean they would have done so even if given an equal opportunity at both.
This is where the internet comes in.
It is needless to say how via the internet we are reaching anyone and anything, no matter who or what they are and they are reaching us back with just a few clicks and in even fewer seconds. People find friends, lovers, lost relations, books and movies and clothes and necessary items of everyday use – basically everything out there. The Internet turned out to be a gigantic shopping mall, with way too much variety yet customisation. So why should job opportunities lag behind in this race?
Soon various job portals began to pop up all over the web with a long list of companies who offered ads wishing to hire people for work-from-home jobs. Now virtual working was always there. But they were mostly typing, data entry and form-filling related jobs, leaving no scope for pursuing one’s chosen career path while at it. It was mostly treated as a quick and easy way of earning. More often than not, they were unauthenticated and even worse, frauds.
But now the scenario is quite different. There are uncountable scopes for exploiting the internet and its ease of access to make space for a proper virtual workplace. This applies to both the recruiting companies and the people interested to work for them. They do not just provide extensive job opportunities, but also quite a big elbow-room to explore and pursue one’s dream career. Also, they pay well enough.
Though there is a vast array of jobs that are being done virtually right now, here are some of the popular ones.
- Content Writing
- Lead generation and development
- Online Tutorials
- Web and app development
- Search Engine Optimization
- Graphic designing and video making/editing
- Virtual journalism
- Social media/ email marketing
- Proof-reading, editing, copywriting
- Online consultations
The list goes on.
One might say that these work-from-home opportunities have made the good-living advice, “Don’t do office work at home”, quite a paradox.
The best thing about virtual working is, needless to say, the freedom and flexibility it comes with. You could type out a blog while eating your breakfast or finish the video editing at 3 am in the night – nobody bothers, as long as your work is emailed, uploaded or has reached wherever it was supposed to within the deadline. You could work on your own table with coffee by your side, or sit cross-legged on your bed with your pet, or over at your friend’s place – nobody bothers either, as long as you have your computer, necessary software and an active internet connection.
These work-from-home jobs have opened up huge opportunities not just for people trying to avoid conventional workplaces, but also for young students, housewives and retired people as well.
A lot of dilemmas and confusion are part of life right when the college has ended and you are torn between earning for yourself and continuing your education. Further still, which line or career will be best-suited for you? How nice it would be if only you could work as well as continue your studies at the same time…
As for homemakers, like I said before, many are compelled to choose one between job and their homes, especially after maternity, and more often than not, home wins. How convenient it would be for them if they could stay at home and take care of their families and children as well as use their talents and earn their own money…
And how often have we seen retired people questioning themselves, or simply suffering from monotony because, after a lifetime of working, they suddenly have nothing to do, nowhere to prove their worth?
Work-from-home seems to be an answer to a lot of if only's.
Almost every job portal has now come up with a separate list of employment options called ‘Virtual Jobs’ or ‘Work-from-home’ jobs where a large number of reputed companies as well as new start-ups post for their requirements, and an equally large number of people apply for the said positions. Leading Indian portals like Naukri.com, TimesJobs, Monster.com – everybody has been helping companies to recruit their virtual employees. Portals like Internshala, specially designed for fresh graduates or people still studying, with their advertisements for short-term internships give a great opportunity for youngsters to explore their own prospects, improve their CV as well as make their own money.
The bottom line is – when you can work on your passion, from the comfort of your home and in your chosen hours and get paid for it, and at the same time have room for other jobs, professions and academics, why not? I am not saying one does not have to put in effort in a virtual job like a real one, but after all working from home on a Wednesday can pretty much feel like a Saturday, if you love your job.