Unemployment is a household term in our country Kenya. Many of our youth have agonizing tales of personal heartbreaking experiences.
A 2018 survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) revealed that the number of unemployed Kenyans is at 7 million. Out of these 7 million, 1.4 million have been constantly looking for jobs with no success.
This clearly calls for some emergency action. There are various ways of countering this problem, online work clearly stands out as a simple, cost-effective strategy for alleviating the problem.
Where really is the problem?
Allow me not to touch on the issue of corruption in this article.
Kenya’s unemployment problem is simply because we have a bigger number of youth entering the job market each year whereas the number of jobs created each year is painfully low… if at all there are any new jobs created.
The solution is to create new jobs, or better yet, find opportunities that we have not yet exploited. Here is where freelancing as an online worker conveniently comes in.
What is online work?
Online work is an income opportunity that allows one to find, complete and submit work through The Internet. To work online, all that one needs is a computer, tablet, or smartphone and internet connectivity.
Why Online Work?
There are many reasons why online work is the way to go but since you are a busy person, I will just highlight 4 main reasons. Read the rest later here
1. Very Little Capital, if any
To start off as an online freelancer, all you need are the skills that you already possess, a computer and internet connectivity. You do not need to worry about renting an office, buying stock, paying licenses, and all other bla bla blas that go along with other investments.
2. Global Job Market
Unlike in traditional jobs, an online worker can work for multiple clients located anywhere in the world. This opens up a very wide market for job seekers. Instead of being limited to the very few opportunities here in Kenya, online freelancers can work for clients in Israel, Uzbekistan, Chile or wherever. The issue of hakuna vacancy then becomes a very lame excuse.
3. Better Pay, Less Expenses
Working for online clients abroad, especially clients in more advanced countries, you stand a chance to get paid at VERY good rates. Nothing close to what you would be paid in a 9-5 job here in Kenya. The best thing is that you do not have to leave your house to go to work, you can even work from your bed! so long as you deliver. So no paying fare, lunch and other expenses that go along with kawaida jobs.
4. Be Your Own Boss
With online work, you choose what kind of work to do, who to work for, the rates at which to work, and when to work. Need I say more?
Online work is diversified in terms of types of jobs available and the skills required.
Jobs available online
Some of the jobs available online include the following;
- Article writing
- Data entry
- Graphic design
- Video editing and captioning
- Programming/ coding
- Proofreading and editing
- Email and marketing automation
- Accounting and consulting
There are many other online jobs available that one can choose from ensuring satisfaction and more productivity.
Nevertheless, like any other job, online work requires one to have some basic skills that are essential for success.
Basic skills for online work
- Time consciousness
Keeping time when working online is very critical. One should be able to deliver quality work in good time as per the deadline. Delays when submitting work usually attracts fines no matter how well the task has been handled. This, therefore, calls for proper time management for better productivity.
- Reliable and responsible
Reliable and responsible freelancers positively attract clients. This way they get more jobs hence earning more. Keeping track of the task’s deadline and providing quality work are some of the aspects that contribute to this.
- Honesty and integrity
Due to lack of close supervision in online work, the success of online workers is closely determined by their integrity and honesty. For instance, in online article writing, honesty is infringed when one provides plagiarized work. A penalty for this is usually inevitable.
- Be result oriented
In online work, one’s productivity is measured by their results. This means therefore that the freelancer should strive to achieve the desired results as from the initial stages of the task. To achieve this, the freelancer has to be very disciplined.
- Hardworking and aggressive
These are a must-have for one to succeed in online work. Like in many other jobs, to reap more in online work, one must stay determined and strive to achieve more.
Although there is little supervision in online work and working on your own schedule, it is very crucial to be consistent. Consistent online workers are trustworthy. Consistency is actually a supplement of the previously mentioned skills.
Other soft skills that one requires include; Etiquette, negotiation skills and client relations.
So, why work online?
- Low startup cost
Due to lack of employment opportunities, most people have opted to be self-employed. However, the startup cost is usually a challenge. For online work, this is not a major challenge as you require less amount of capital. For instance, if you are unlucky not to own a computer, you can consider purchasing a tablet which is cheaper or else work from a cyber café.
- Fast returns
Unlike other investments where the investor is uncertain of the returns, online work comparatively gives fast returns especially if you provide the desired work and work from a genuine platform. They are fast returns because as you bid for the job you are aware of the pay to receive and when to receive it. Thereby there is less uncertainty.
Online work provides a comfortable working environment. This is because you have the right to choose the type of job you want to pursue. This way you are able to work passionately and become more productive. Increase in productivity increases your returns or benefits.
Online work offers flexibility in terms of the workplace. When working online, you can work from the comfort of your home or from a location suitable to you. You are therefore relieved from the distress of traffic and poor working conditions thereby improving your performance.
- Manageable working schedule
In online work you are not forced to work within particular hours provided you meet the set deadlines. Therefore, you can easily manage your working hours and enhance your work-life balance.
- Right to choose your client
Online work gives you the right to choose your clients. This way, you are able to choose work that you can adequately and comfortably handle. Hence, your efficiency and productivity increases.
- Overwhelming opportunities
With the increase in clients’ database, the demand for freelancers has also increased. This has created more online job opportunities.
- Skill and professional development
Choosing your desired job based on your skillset or your professional background provides an opportunity for improving on the same as you continuously perform your tasks in the online platforms. You, therefore, become more competitive in your field of work.
Although online work will provide a solution for your unemployment situation, it is wise to be aware of the few challenges associated with the same;
Challenges of online work
- The possibility of being swindled
When biding for online work you may not be able to differentiate between the true from the hoax. However, there are some ways available that would assist in mitigating this risk. For instance; once you get a very easy project with too much pay being offered, be cautious.
- Lack of employee benefits
Since online jobs are offered on contract basis, the freelancer does not get added extra benefits such as health insurance. Therefore, it is your responsibility to organize them yourself.
From the above, it is evident that online work provides job opportunities that will help solve the unemployment situation in our country. With the required resources and skills, earning on these platforms will be very easy.