Whether your current role has predominantly moved remote or you want to grow an entirely new profession online, each person’s journey to work, earn, and travel on their own schedule is different. Louise Joy shares a typical day in the life of a part-time freelancer as she transitions to remote working entirely.
I more or less grew up online. My generation was the ones who had the internet at their fingertips from a young age. My family got their first computer when I was a young teenager and I began my foray into the digital age by playing Neopets! As I grew up, I found myself more prominent on social networking websites like Myspace, Facebook, and Bebo, as well as finding websites to express myself with online diaries.
I have always written or found ways to be creative online and I owe this to growing up with the internet. I have always known skills such as setting up blogs, running social media profiles, and basic HTML – this all came naturally. And what I didn’t know, I taught myself: SEO, affiliate marketing, and online networking for example.
When I graduated with a degree in Magazine Journalism, I was determined to make my way into print media. What followed was years of bouncing between journalism roles, as well as sales assistant jobs and admin positions.
But during that time, I always continued to explore my options online. I launched my own lifestyle and travel blog in 2011 – which is still running to this day – and found myself offering my admin and data entry services through websites like People Per Hour – anything to earn a little bit of extra cash.
Louise’s decision to work remotely full-time
Although it was nice bringing in an extra income, I knew deep down I had the skills to do this full-time. I’ve always had this gut feeling that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working in an office and having just one week of holiday a year to explore the world. I wanted to have the creativity and freedom to work remotely.
Quite frankly, I didn’t have the guts to do it.
Now, with part-time hours and well into our third lockdown, I have decided to take the plunge and work towards working remotely full-time. Or maybe even part-time, since the joy of remote working means you can set your own hours!
I know how hard it is to see loads of amazing and inspiring woman working all around the world by working remotely and sometimes it’s near impossible to think ‘how do I get from A: working full time in an office environment and constantly under pressure to B: choosing my own hours and working anywhere in the world that has WiFi!
This is why I wanted to share with you all my journey. This is about my in-between phase of balancing my current role and my part-time freelancing career as I move towards remote working full-time.
Louise’s typical working day as a freelancer
9:00 am: I wake up and start my day by having a shower, having breakfast, and getting ready. I try to make a point of looking somewhat put together when I’m working from home – even if it’s just jogging bottoms and a cozy jumper. I also do a quick tidy of the house: my desk is right next to the kitchen so I can’t allow myself to get distracted by the washing up! I also use this time to scroll through social media, check my emails and read some other people’s blogs.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: I usually start actually working around this time, but even so, I stick to the mundane tasks like replying to emails, sending out invoices, and general admin. I’ll also create a to-do list and organize my tasks based on deadlines or if I have any meetings that day, and check-in with my trusty Google Spreadsheets for anything that needs posting on social media or any bills I’ve got to pay (I use Google Spreadsheets for EVERYTHING).
12:00 pm: I take my lunch at 12pm. Again, I make a genuine effort to establish boundaries between working at my desk and being at home: I’ll eat away from my desk, usually watching Netflix! I also try to make the effort to go for a small walk during this time, even if it’s just to the local shop. Making sure I get out to get some fresh air every day has done wonders for me when stuck in lockdown and I also find that I feel much more energized after a walk.
1:00 pm: After my walk, I’ll take some time to work on my own stuff like blogging, looking over my social media or looking for new clients to take on board. This is my productive time to work on anything I feel like, but sometimes I don’t have the motivation: and that’s okay! We are in the middle of a lockdown after all. If this is the case, I’ll sit and read a book or do some cross-stitch.
2:00 -6:00 pm: At around two o’clock, I’ll get back around to working on anything I need to do for my clients. I usually do the more fun tasks in the afternoon as I have more energy and feel a bit more inspired. This can be anything from writing SEO-optimized articles to helping out Chantell with her Pinterest! I also make sure to take regular breaks during this time.
6:00-8:00 pm: I tend to finish ‘client work’ at about 6 pm, but sometimes I’ll work later if I need to meet a deadline. Otherwise, I use this time to be more productive with my own things. My boyfriend doesn’t finish work until 8 pm, so I always try to stay productive until 7:30 pm at the very latest to feel like I’ve got the most out of my day: but honestly, that’s just because I find myself being more productive in the evenings overall. I usually use this time to go through Esther’s 90 Day VA course which I recently signed up for.
8 pm: I finish ‘work’ for the day! My boyfriend and I have dinner and either play some video games or watch a movie on TV to settle down for the evening. Occasionally, if I’ve still got a bit of motivation in me, I’ll log back on for about an hour later to do some blogging or go through more of the 90 Day VA course. Since I don’t have to get up super early the next day due to setting my own hours, it doesn’t matter!
Investing in skill development for remote work
I recently started Esther’s 90 Day VA course for the reasons I mentioned above: I know I have the skills to work online full-time, but had never found the confidence to really invest in myself or take that chance. I also knew that despite already having skills in blogging and social media, there’s still a lot for me to learn.
I’m about three weeks into the course and I am finding it extremely helpful. I love that the course material is so comprehensive but broken up into weeks with different homework and tasks to do. It’s a real mix of learning whilst also constantly moving forward and taking steps towards setting up your VA career. Esther’s advice is so helpful – and I feel that she is so relatable too which helps.
I debated for quite a while before purchasing the course, as I’ve always been quite wary about parting with my money for online courses. This is especially because a lot of stuff you can learn online for free! But 90 VA covers so much and the way the course is designed makes you realize that Esther really wants you to invest in yourself: what I’ve already learned so far, I couldn’t have done myself just by looking online.
I’ve also felt her Facebook groups are particularly helpful with lots of job postings and advice on getting your portfolio up to scratch. Esther and other mentors in the program also keep in regular contact – there are up to four Zoom calls a month you can dial into – and they all make sure you hold yourself responsible for what you need to do to make your remote working career a reality.
Finding the confidence to make a change
I wanted to write this post to remind you that wherever you are in your career right now, there are still ways for you to move forward to becoming a remote worker or an online freelancer. I don’t travel full-time. I still have a job. I still face some struggles like feeling isolated working in the house all day, despite dabbling in working from home for nearly ten years now.
But I’m still doing what I’ve got to do so one day I can work from wherever I want and set my own hours.
I’m not a travel influencer who’s sharing my success story, writing this post on a beach somewhere in Thailand (I wish!). I’m just an average 31-year old who wants to travel more and wants to use my passions and skills to do that: and you can too.
Sometimes the hardest part is just taking the plunge into moving away from traditional jobs and putting your needs and your happiness first. But really, you’ve got nothing to lose! There’s no one saying you need to quit your job, buy a one-way flight to Bali and launch a success story overnight. There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with your regular job whilst you steadily grow your online career in your spare time, like me! The only regret I have about it all is that I didn’t start sooner.
How to become a Virtual Assistant with no experience
Don’t think you have the skills or experience to get a remote job? Virtual Assistants (VAs) are in high demand right and have a lower barrier to entry than most jobs.
Esther’s program teaches the top skills that businesses are looking for, so you can get hired asap for jobs that pay up to $20-$30 USD per hour. Her students are posting every day to share that they’ve landed their first client.
Enrolment for 90 Day VA CLOSES on February 15, 2021. Click below to sign up and get access immediately.
All photos and graphics in this article are the property of Louise Joy.
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