Work From Home Jobs Aren't For You!

Jerrin Finney is the owner and author of blogs on The 1099 Life. Remember to always do your research and gather all the information necessary to make the best decision for yourself possible. Also follow me on social media! Click the social media icons to learn more!

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DISCLAIMER! No part of this website or any blogs written here is career advice and it should not be taken as such. These blogs are written from the experience of me, Jerrin Finney, and only express my opinions and thoughts - which could and more than likely will in some cases - change. I'm learning and evolving as time passes and so will my thoughts and opinions. So nothing here is set in stone, nor is it professional and/or legal career advice of any kind. Take what you read with a grain of salt and do your own research to find the best solutions for your career/business goals. I don't claim to be correct in everything I do, either. Some things may be wrong and if you want to have a discussion or call me out on something, reach out to me on social media. Please make sound and reasonable financial decisions and please have discussions with qualified professionals if it makes sense to do so. With that out of the way, enjoy reading! Glad to have you here!

Remote Work From Home Is Great, But...

An African American man enjoying financial freedom

Photo: Canva.com

I'm not here to slam remote work or to even slam you - even though that headline is kinda strong! However, I have to be honest. Remote work isn't for everyone. It doesn't provide freedom in the way many people think about freedom. While you can do your work any time you want, so long as you meet the agreed-upon deadlines and provide quality work, you can't just do whatever you want when you want and how you want!

Working a traditional 9 to 5 job is easier than attempting to build and operate your own business. As someone who is doing both - working 40 hours per week in a warehouse production job packing boxes plus building e-commerce and print-on-demand businesses in my free time (along with documenting my thoughts here on this blog), I can say, without a doubt, that working a traditional job is the easiest. Oh, and I'm also doing contract jobs (1099 work, self-employed, side hustle, etc. Choose your word to replace "contract jobs") helping improve A.I. Not really supposed to talk too much about it, as I signed an NDA, but I can mention that I'm doing it and that the platform I'm working on is Outlier.ai. It's not a side hustle for everyone and I don't recommend it to people in general as it is very detail-oriented and requires critical thinking and reasoning when giving your justifications for your ratings.  But if you want to check it out and see if it's an opportunity for you, then click here (not an affiliate or referral link so I don't get paid if you click the link. It's just a normal link. I don't get paid anything.) Or type in Outlier.ai in the search box of your chosen internet browser.

Fired Without Notice? That Sucks!

As someone with a remote job, and also actively looking for others just in case the work suddenly stops on Outlier (there's been some issues with Remotasks/Outlier in general since I've been on the platforms. They're both a part of the same company, by the way. I started off on Remotasks and got transferred over to Outlier.ai.). This is another reason why I wouldn't recommend Outlier/Remotasks to others. Be on the lookout for other opportunities. But I recommend that approach for any job you choose. I don't believe in job security, as I've seen a few manufacturing plants and warehouses shut down without notice. Employees showed up to go to work one day and found the doors were locked and a notice was there, basically telling them the plant was shut down and they were out of a job.

Furthermore, the tech field can be really unstable. That sector tends to be high growth oriented - meaning they want to scale up as much as possible before selling the company off or going public with it. That brings some level of instability to your job - along with other factors mixed in with that as well. So I won't recommend you believe that you can hold on to any one job, no matter your field but especially in the tech field.

Storytime: Know Your Worth!

Typically, I don't stay with a job for more than two years. I'll move on, look for something closer to home or that pays more - depending on my mood at the time when I decide I've had enough - and go on to another job. That's just my personality. I don't make a fuss. I don't say anything at all. I go with the flow and then leave, usually, without a word. I turn in my badge and tell them I'm not coming back. I mean, I'm not a contracted worker. It's clear in all the handbooks that I've read that there are no contracts regarding employment with these companies. If they can fire me when they feel like it, why can't I fire them if I feel like it without reason or notice? I believe in equality and we're all going to play by the same rules or we don't play together. If you don't like me for that, then we probably weren't meant to work together in the first place - and I'm glad to know that upfront.

One of the things I've learned growing up is that life becomes easier when you can disqualify people who you can't really do much for. I can't do much for people who don't value people and the work they do for their company. A paycheck isn't a privilege - which is what certain people in two specific companies that come to mind (they're big names in warehousing, so you can guess who they are) have said when I worked for them. A representative of the companies said during my orientation at each that basically, our paycheck was a privilege. We should feel lucky to be paid the amount of money we're being paid. Luck has nothing to do with how we get paid in warehousing. As someone who's unloaded those trucks in inbound and loaded up those trucks in outbound and worked all in-between the jobs in warehousing, I can safely tell you that production workers in warehousing earn those paychecks - especially those of us who give all we have to meet our production goals. 

The first time I heard that my paycheck was a privilege didn't sit right with me - but I was young and just starting off in the work field. I couldn't exactly pinpoint why it felt off like I can now. I mean, it's probably always a bad sign when a company refers to your paycheck as a privilege because it sends the message that if and when they can get the chance to do so, they'll withhold payment from you - even if they already may be withholding pay from you.

So the moral of the story is to know your worth. Why? Because others may take you for granted. Others may use you as a tool for their own profit with no regard for you. And, the main reason I believe you should know your worth is because you're the one who's stuck with you until the day you die. Who else is qualified to know what you can or can't do but you? So equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate your current skillset and your contributions to the company you work for. Are you being paid what you're worth? Is it time to go into the office and have a meeting with your boss to let them know your worth - with documented proof and in a respectable and professional manner?

Remote Work Involves Negotiation and Knowing Your Worth!

Business professionals having a negotiation.

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Knowing your worth doesn't just apply to traditional work. In fact, you may be able to get away without knowing your worth in your traditional work. But when you work for yourself? When you're trying to land jobs and contracts? You have to show your worth. That means you have to know your clients, what they need and the value you can bring to the table. That way, they can decide whether you're worth paying for or not.

Not only that, but you can protect yourself from being underpaid. When you know the value you're bringing to the table and how much value it's going to give to your clients/contractors, then you hold the power over your salary. Why? If you're really great and you have the necessary stats and proof that justify your worth, then their competition will pay top dollar for you. And if they're smart, they know it's better to get you on their side than to let the competition get you and to work against you. But that's if they're smart, of course. Either way, you have leverage and you can decide who's worth your time and who's not.

But that's only after you've established yourself in your chosen field. You have the portfolio proving your worth. You have the referrals. You have all that you need to prove that you're as great as the price you're asking for and you're going to provide value worth the price you set for your services. Now, this applies to contract work, of course. And it doesn't really apply to supplementary income jobs (side hustles, gig work) like DoorDash or something like that. At least, I don't see how it's applicable in those certain situations, so what do I know? Anyway, knowing your worth is the key to ensuring you get paid what you deserve.

Some may think it's cocky or arrogant to know your worth - but I disagree. It's only arrogance if you think you're great with absolutely no proof to back it up. If you just assert a thing, it means nothing. But if you have data and case studies and testimonials behind it, then your skills are justified and you can safely say that you have top-notch skills worthy of the pay you're asking for. But don't demand the pay when you don't have the skills.

But if you don't know your worth, then remote work isn't worth your time. You'll just get crappy jobs and crappy clients all the time. You'll probably be more susceptible to schemes and tricks as you become desperate for work and start to take on any client that gives you a chance on Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.com. You'll start falling for get-rich-quick schemes, thinking that print-on-demand is passive income you can easily make money in. It's not. I'm in that field. Of course, I'm doing it part-time. And no, it's not as easy as just finding a trendy product, slightly modifying your designs, tossing in the right keywords, and bam! Sales! I'm not saying that's not a strategy. It is. Just not a good one in my humble opinion. And it's not how you run a business. Understanding marketing, graphic design, and advertising to get ahead of the competition and be the trendsetter is how you get ahead in business. You don't follow trends to glean breadcrumbs. You make the trends to make the bread and then let others glean your leftovers. That's the mentality I have with print-on-demand, which is why it's going to take me a lot longer to be profitable. I have to set everything up right in order to get ahead of trends - not just be behind the trends. I want to make as much money as possible with this business. It's not worth it unless I can see how much money I can squeeze out of it ethically and honestly.

My side tangent on print-on-demand aside, know your worth, know your potential worth and work hard to make something valuable - something that sets you ahead of the pack. Because if you're ahead of the pack, it doesn't matter what niche you choose. You're at the top! Just get there with top-notch work ethic and skills - and delegate when possible to highly skilled professionals who can help you. Yeah, it's a tougher path. Sure, it's active. But passive income with low skills and minimum to no understanding of business? Nope. You're not going to make a profit from that. You'll make a couple of bucks a month at the least. How do I know? Because I abandoned my KDP book business (I might get back into it. Haven't decided yet.) and I only get paid two bucks a month from one sale on one book. That's true passive income for me. I did the work three years ago and now I'm getting paid for it. Let's talk about passive and easy jobs to do at home, shall we?

What Comes Easy Is Not Valuable!

Woman wearing a hat relaxing in a hammock while reading a book.

Photo: Canva.com

The easiest thing you can do at home is binge-watch TV, play video games and go to sleep. Of course, this is assuming you live in a relatively safe place - which I assume you are if you are taking the time to read this. I mean, you're not dodging bullets and grenades while reading this, are you? If you are, then put this down and focus on the main threat! But the easiest things to do in life are also the things that aren't that valuable to most people in society. So how can you really make easy money passively and while relaxing?

The only way to do that is to rely on someone else's skills. You have to hire people to do the work you would be doing and then you could relax when you felt like it. That's the most realistic passive income I can think of. But starting off from scratch with little to no money and little to no skills? Not going to cut it if you want to make money! And whoever's out here telling you that it's easy to make passive income by selling a couple of journals or digital products or designs on t-shirts and coffee mugs is a full-blown liar. I don't say that lightly, but they are absolutely lying to you. The average person cannot make passive income by utilizing Etsy or Amazon's organic traffic and copying a few best-selling designs. Maybe, just maybe, it'll work once or twice. But it won't work enough to get you a full-time income passively.

If you're not intentional or active in the process of making money, then you won't earn any money. If you want a more hands-off approach to business, then you have to get your hands on a business and learn the ins and outs of it. That way, you'll know who to hire, why you should hire them, and what kind of skills to expect from them. Oh yeah, and you'll have enough money to pay them!

Passive income on social media has almost become synonymous with the goofy ads that say you can lose weight by drinking some magical tea with no proven substances found in it that can actually help you lose weight. It's become a silver bullet - a dream for the lazy who want it all but want to do nothing to get it. Look, if you want to chase after easy money, then go for it. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be lucky enough to find some glitch in the system where you can make a lot of money using a lazy tactic. But I assure you that the tactic will not last for long. Well, it usually doesn't last long. I can't really assure you anything, can I? But you get what I'm trying to say. It's typically not worth your time pursuing an easy, get-rich-quick scheme.

Regardless of that, there's nothing passive about most remote work jobs out there. You still have to work, even though you can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You can't be lazy and just halfway do some work here and there and expect to get paid. Nobody's paying you to stay at home in your pajamas and sip on hot tea. If they were, I'd be the first in line for that paycheck. Or at least in the top ten.

Let's Get Real

Set realistic expectations about your work goals. Don't listen to me. Don't listen to yourself. Don't listen to your family. Don't listen to your friends. Don't listen to this guru or that financial expert. Take a simple look at how the reality around you works. The people who don't work - how much money do you think they earn? They sit around passively, not looking for a job because they really don't want one. They even feel entitled to benefits without contributing anything to society. They think their mere existence is enough to warrant a paycheck from society - as though society owes them for existing. I have spoken to people with this mentality, so I know these types exist at least in a handful of people in the world. I'm betting more.

But do you think someone like that deserves to be paid anything? If so, then I guess I can't convince you of anything. However, it appears that most people in society don't value someone like that. Their loved ones think of them as bums and burdens on everyone else in the family. They find it difficult to love them because they won't take care of those in the family who do try, but they expect everyone else to take care of them. A lot of those people I'm talking about are always a victim. They blame others for everything that's happened in their lives. And while I don't belittle anyone's struggles, I find it hard to sympathize with people who hate when burdens are placed on them, but don't think about the burdens they're putting on people who are trying to love them - like their family and their romantic partners. I can't have any sympathy for a hypocrite. I can't value their words or their actions. And I can't spend much time with someone so selfish and caught up in themselves that they can't care about what's going on with the family members and loved ones in the next room.

Like I said, we all have problems. But when our problems become a heavy burden for others? That's something we don't have to let happen, especially for the long term. I'm speaking from a man who has many problems himself. And sure, problems knock you down for a while. But you can't let them knock you out for the count - unless you're dead.

Look, life is difficult. I'm not trying to walk around without any empathy for people. But it's not just difficult for me. It's not just difficult for you. It's hard for us all. You don't see the struggles any one person is dealing with and you don't see those struggles as strongly as the individual carrying them does. But we all have our invisible boulders and mountains we're struggling to carry. Some of us have figured out systems to carry that burden. We've built a great support team in our families and our friends and those we know are going to be there for us when things get too heavy because they know we'll be right by their sides when things get heavy for them.

And if you are sitting at home, mad because you lost a job - have you considered remote work? Are there jobs out there you can do? There are platforms like Outliers.ai/Remotasks that may have jobs for you. I mentioned them earlier because I do work for them. It may not be your first choice of work, but it's a place to get started, if you're the right fit for the job, that is. There are other platforms out there, though. You may have to try one of them. And in the case where you're looking for a job because you need to quickly replace lost income or if you're looking for supplementary income, then working from home may be a good thing for you.

But if you're looking for easy, one-hour-a-day work? I don't know how you're going to do that without top-level skills that are in high demand. Everyone can't be a millionaire because everyone isn't skilled enough to be a millionaire on their own - even with A.I. But what do I know? I'm just some random dude typing on the internet. Maybe you know different? Let me know on social media!