To Everyone Who Works Online: Never Forget This

Like everyone, I have problems. And like a lot of people, I worry or stress about them more than I should. Yes, there are big problems or situations in life that  will (and should) stress or worry you, like critical health issues. But 99% of what most people worry, stress or get upset about is just bullshit. I’m of course talking about people with their basic needs covered, which I’m sure includes everyone reading this post.

A few years ago a friend was explaining to me how he realized his life was pretty sweet: he found himself being quite upset about running out of ice while having drinks at home with some good friends. He was right. When your biggest problem in life is running out of ice for drinks, you’re doing well.

Sometimes I’m so occupied worrying about stuff that shouldn’t matter that I don’t have time to be grateful and happy about how extremely lucky I am, and have been most of my life.

I’m from Spain, where the situation for a lot of people is pretty bad right now (youth unemployment is over 50%), and I’m sure a lot of them won’t be having an easy time this holiday season. Still, if you’re as fortunate as I am to work online (and every year more and more people are), we live in exciting times. If you’re a developer, designer, marketer, writer or a multitude of other “professions”, I’m sure you could use a little reminder for when you’re feeling down.

We have found our passion

Sometimes I get sad when I realize that actually, most people don’t really enjoy what they do at work. They might be OK with it (as in, they don’t hate it), but it’s definitely not something they’d do on their free time or that they are passionate enough to discuss with their friends. We are fortunate to have found something we love to do in life. Most people aren’t that lucky and don’t even have a hobby outside of work, and just spend time watching movies, meeting friends, etc. Not that here’s anything wrong with that, but if you have a hobby or passion you’ll agree with me that life would feel emptier without it.

We work on something we love

That doesn’t mean work is always easy or that we always have a smile on our face. Sometimes we work with people we don’t like. But I’d much rather be doing this than anything else in the world. Heck, this is how I spend much of my free time too, and it’s a topic I never get tired of talking about.

We are paid well

Of course, there are exceptions. But right now, everything online is in high demand. Sure, there are better paid professions, but they’re usually just something that is more critical or difficult (say, a surgeon) or that are in higher demand (say, a movie star that can make a movie highly profitable).

I agree there are things that could be better (overtime in certain companies or industries, crappy managers, etc) but the important thing to remember is that we have one of the better paid jobs out there. Enjoy it while it lasts.

We can find work easily

Again, we’re in high demand. There are online businesses everywhere in the world. And if you speak English, you can actually move anywhere you want in the world and, if you’re good, will probably have an easy time finding a job.

We can work from anywhere

The majority of companies still require their employees to work on site. And I’m willing to bet most people are actually OK with that. But if you’re one of those who prefer to work remotely. Either from home, from a different region in your country or from the other side of the world altogether, there are companies out there who could be a good fit for you. You can find some of those jobs here.

There are not many professions that let you relocate to a different country while still being able to keep your job. We should be grateful we have one that allows us to do it.

We’re mostly valued on our performance

Again, there are exceptions and companies that value more the time you spend there (if you work for one, find another job). Still, you’ll agree that in most companies, as long as you perform well and do your job to the standard that is required (or higher), they won’t have a problem with you leaving a bit early, taking some off here and there or playing the company foosball a bit too much. Very few companies (again, the wrong ones) will fire a great performer because he doesn’t “look like one”.

We have incredible perks

Since demand is high, and having the right talent is critical to the success of your company (unlike many positions in other industries), companies resort to not just paying us well, but also offer other great perks. From great offices, foosball and pingpong tables to delicious catered lunches and free massages, I’ve seen it all.

We are treated like human beings

People who’ve only had this kind of jobs (like me) sometimes forget how badly treated employees are in general in certain industries. Horrible bosses, lack of job security, change from day to night shifts every few weeks, safety or health issues, etc. Most Internet companies are run by decent (yet sometimes flawed) human beings and we are generally treated fairly. And some of the policies these companies have are just plain inspiring. Have you ever seen a mining company offering deceased employees’ spouses 50% of their salary for 10 years, or a bank having an open salary policy?

Starting our own business has never been easier

This is probably our biggest advantage over other professions. Very few industries allow you to start a business on the side while having a day job, and grow it successfully until it allows you to make a great living out of it.

I’ve never seen a waiter or chef start a restaurant while having a full time job. Everytime I hear how much it costs to start a small restaurant, bar or shop, I get a shock. It’s ridiculous, to me, as someone who works online. And then I remember, that’s the capital you used to need for starting any kind of business: a lot. And most types of businesses still do. But online, we can start a business dedicating mostly our time.

Every writer can start their own blog and make a living out of it (I did). Every marketer can get into affiliate marketing and make money. Every developer can make an app or website and do the same. Yes, not everyone has the determination to do it. And not everyone who does will pull it off. That’s just how the market works. But we have it easier than anyone to give it a try.

So don’t forget. We’re extremely luck to live in such a short and exciting period in humanity’s history. Let’s be grateful and enjoy it while it lasts.

My name is Manuel and I'm an entrepreneur from Barcelona, Spain. I run SwingLiving and I write here about online businesses, productivity, personal development and more. I hope you enjoy it.
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