There are generally two types of jobs online:
Employment – where a company hires you to work from home
Freelance – where you offer your services to different companies (and do so from home)
The differences between the two may seem little, but they’re very important. Let’s take a look at each of them in detail
Most companies you see offering work-from-home jobs want to hire you as an employee. As an employee, you’ll be expected to do specific work, fora specific number of hours, at a specific schedule. It’s all fixed and not very flexible. In fact, it’s exactly like you’re coming in to an office. The only difference is that they allow you to do your work at home.
The most common type of ‘work from home as employee’ jobs are for English as a Second Language (ESL) trainers and call center agents.
is that it’s very stable. Once you get hired by your employer, you won’t really have to look for other work. The work is also easy to master. Since you’d be doing the same things over and over again, you’d get good at it easily
Is that it’s fixed. Some people may like this stable, boring work. But for a lot of people, it gets tiring and is too similar to working in an office. You’ll most likely be either on the phone (answering calls) or on Skype (teaching English) the whole duration of your shift, and a lot of people would rather do computer work. Lastly, the pay itself is fixed. If you’re salary is P20,000, then it pretty much stays at P20,000. Forever. Well, not forever, you may have increases, but very minimal increases.
Employment is good for those that are okay with office culture and politics, but are unable to commute to the office. This is ideal for people that are okay earning a fixed amount of money (with no increases),working for a fixed amount of hours everyday, at a fixed schedule.
When you say ‘working from home’, this is what most people are talking about. Freelance work is when you have a specific set of skills that you offer to companies. This is usually either admin (virtual assistant),design (graphic/web), programming (app/web), or marketing (SEO, ads) work.
A lot of the times, this involves clients that have short-term needs (project work). For example: if they need a logo designed, a website created, one-time research done, or an audio recording transcribed. Once you’re done with the project, they wouldn’t need your services any longer – unless another project comes up
However, a lot of clients also require on-going work, where you’d work continuously for them. Almost like an employee. For example: virtual assistant work, and most online marketing work are on-going. That means that they’d require your services for a longer period of time. A lot of virtual assistants get eventually get ‘absorbed’ or ‘hired’ by their clients as employees.
Is that you have freedom. You can usually control what time you work and how many hours you work as long as your deliverables get done before your client’s deadlines. And once you start gaining experience, you’ll even have control over how much you charge per hour. This means that with enough practice and experience, you can earn A LOT more than an employee would earn
Is that you don’t always have stability. If you do project work, you’ll constantly need new projects to ensure that you have a lot of work. There may be times when you don’t have work at all. If you do ongoing work, most clients only need you for 2-4 hours a day, so this means you should be working for more than one client (this can either be good or bad depending on your perspective – especially since it means you can earn a lot more)
Freelance work is ideal for those that want more control over their lives. If you want to control your hours, your schedule, and the type of work you do, then freelancing is for you. If you are hardworking and passionate about what you do and continue to gain experience and increase your skill level, you can quickly increase your rate and earn A LOT of money.
What you choose is ultimately up to you. Want more security? Go the Employment route. Want more freedom and ability to earn? Go Freelancing. Personally, I always recommend freelancing as a Virtual Assistant to start. It's relatively easy to get a freelancing job as a virtual assistant and it gives you room to grow, expand your skills, and charge higher in the future.