Work-from-home opportunities are quite plentiful, at the moment. Despite the fact that online work has been proven to be a lucrative source of income, especially during these trying times, many still remain clueless about what it is and how it works—including the types of online workers
For the sake of definitions, online work refers to work that can be done anywhere—may it be in the comfort of your own home or in a café of your choosing. Online work doesn’t require you to report to a set location, like an office.
Freelancers can be categorized based on the type of employment, or the type of work involved.
Types of Freelancers According to Employment
The Independent Contractor
Independent contractors are the quintessential freelancers. They don’t have a specific employer and usually work on a project basis. Because of the nature of an independent contractor’s employment, some may choose to take on multiple clients. Writers and graphic artists usually work independently and on a project basis.
A moonlighter supplements their income by taking another job on the side. Most moonlighters will have a full-time time day job. For example, Jane can be a pre-school teacher during the day, and a social media manager at night.
The Temporary Worker
Meanwhile, temporary workers are freelancers who strictly work on a project basis. As independent contractors, they don’t shuffle through clients and would finish a project first before jumping to a new one. Creatives and developers are likely to take on jobs as temporary workers.
Agents are freelancers who handle other freelancers. Their main job is to find clients to provide work, which they would then distribute to the other freelancers they handle. Most agents own an agency, and they earn based on commissions from the projects they distribute.
For example, Mr. Grey approaches Karen with a couple of articles that he wants to be written. Karen accepts the project, but instead of working on it by herself, she divides the articles and distributes it to Zack, Rachel, and Joey. The three work on the articles, which Karen then submits to Mr. Grey. Once paid, Karen takes a percent off the whole pay, then distributes the remaining to Zack, Rachel, and Joey.
A multitasker is a type of moonlighter. They have a full-time job to provide their regular income, which they supplement with other part-time jobs on the side. Unlike the moonlighter who just takes on one side job, the multitasker will take as many side jobs as he or she can. For example, John works as a pet groomer during the day. At night, he sidelines as a writer, a video editor, and a translator for multiple clients.
Types of Freelancers According to Type of Work
Online workers can also categorize themselves according to the type of work. In the world of online freelancing, jobs can be easily classified into the following:
Creatives rely heavily on their—yes you guessed it right—creativity. Their work needs a healthy dose of imagination, originality, and innovation. A creative’s job is fueled by inspiration, and if they can’t find their muse, they may have a difficult time coming up with something.
Types of online workers in this group include writers, graphic designers, web designers, animators, photographers, videographers, among others.
Developers are the builders of the online world. They are responsible for bringing a website to life. Therefore, developers are highly logical, have great attention to detail, and must be great problem solvers, as well. They should possess great patience, too.
Members of this group include web developers, software engineers, and mobile app developers.
Virtual Assistants make up the bulk of online workers. They provide essential support to all kinds of businesses—from real estate to health and lifestyle—from a remote location. They are highly talented individuals who can do just about any task such as research and basic clerical work.
There are many types of virtual assistants who specialize in different things. For example, a General Virtual Assistant specializes in admin tasks that are usually done by an office secretary, while a Virtual Bookkeeper is an expert in performing bookkeeping tasks.
Branding and Public Relations
Marketing folks are naturally curious, inquisitive, and friendly. They are highly sociable and can make friends easily. Of course, they are also quite creative. Marketing folks are responsible for developing a company’s brand image. By reading data, they are responsible for identifying current trends in various media.
Social media coordinators, sales and marketing officers, and public relations officers all fall under this category.
The last group of online freelancers is made up of teachers and tutors. ESL—English as a Second Language—teachers make up the majority of online freelance teachers. Online teachers and tutors use telecommunications apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, or Google Hangout to conduct their lessons.
As an online freelancer, there are a lot of things most people won’t be able to understand regarding the nature of this work. But with the current state that we are in, perhaps this semblance of normalcy provided by the pandemic will help answer some of those questions. Truth be told, having an online job is probably one of the best things that could ever happen to you.
So, have you determined which among these types of online workers you are?