One of the biggest mistakes I made working online:  Putting all my eggs in one basket– not diversifying.

I was actually researching online for companies where I could go and apply for a typical brick-and-mortar job when I happened across a company then called Willow CSN (now called Arise Virtual Solutions).  Shortly after, I ended up joining that virtual call center company and basically didn’t even look for any other online jobs or opportunities, and focused completely on that one job.  (Which is thinking like the brick-and-mortar world, you find a job and you’re done – you stop looking.)  Ultimately, after periods of not getting enough hours and realizing there would be fluctuations in hours due to the seasonal nature of the clients I was working with at Willow/Arise, I began looking into other options online.  It was at that time that I discovered the truly large number of at-home jobs available on the internet (which has grown exponentially since then) and that I didn’t have to leave the company I was currently with, but realized the benefits of diversifying so that I had more sense of security, as well as income coming from more than one source.  I chose to work in industries that did not have the same seasonal hi/low periods, in order to try to keep a balance of available work, resulting in more regular pay checks, they just came from different places. 

Now, with that said, I am not saying that it’s not possible to be perfectly satisfied working for only one company, because many people do.  However, for my particular situation, a single parent supporting myself and my family completely on my online job—and this is generally recommended for anyone who is going to rely solely on the income provided by your online job—it became apparent over time, that having more than one source of income was absolutely necessary for me.  At the very least, try to stay up to date with the online job environment and culture so that if you find yourself suddenly in a position of needing a new job or additional pay, you can have a good idea of where to apply, or the best places to check for leads.

Online jobs do not necessarily have less “job security” than any job in the brick-and-mortar world, especially since, as we all know, “job security” is basically nothing more than just a matter of degrees, even more so in times of a depressed economy.  However, there are many types of jobs that have a higher percentage online of workers hired as independent contractors versus employees (which has its own pros and cons that I will save for another post), and that creates a different environment and culture than those similar jobs in the brick-and-mortar world.  (For example:  Customer service agents and administrative assistants, both typically hired only as employees in the non-virtual world, and not uncommon for work at home positions in those fields to be offered as independent contractors.)  When it comes to working for more than one company, I actually look at online jobs as having an advantage over traditional jobs because typically it’s going to be easier to do logistically, especially if you’re working for companies where you can have flexible scheduling or where you can set your own schedule, and then there’s just the sheer number of jobs to apply for online.  Don’t forget you have the advantage of looking for jobs anywhere, not only just in your local area and within reasonable driving distance.

Let’s also not forget that diversity can make for variety in your life and in your work.  So even if you feel comfortable with the amount of work you can get with one company, maybe splitting your time between two completely different industries, or even two companies in the same industry may still provide variety to a similar job and make it more interesting for you and keep you from getting bored.

So if you like the idea that if something happens to one of your jobs, you have another one still bringing in money, and especially if you need a sense of confidence for having steady work and steady pay, having more than one online job may be what you need to give that confidence to you, or may simply even provide variety to your work that will help keep you interested, satisfied, and enjoying what you do.