Yahoo recently announced that all of its remote workers must either find their way back into an office or they should quit. Legalities and unemployment eligibility aside, this may very well mark a turning point for those of us who choose to work at home - that is, those of us who are at the whim of an employer.
Stable work-from-home jobs aren't always as stable as you might like to think. Yahoo is a great example, and even the giant upset with companies like Demand Studios and other content mills demonstrate how quickly things can change when you're working for an employer.
Of course there is a lot to be said for the comfort and stability of regular work and steady payments, but there is a danger in that as well. You get too complacent you can quickly find yourself out of a job.
Working for Others
Companies like Yahoo, Demand Studios and oDesk know that they can find writers easily enough because they offer what appears to be stability. They handle the marketing and messy work and you just handle the writing. Simple, appealing, steady payments and almost demoralizing.
How much are you getting paid? The company is making at least that from your efforts. Wouldn't it be easier to just cut out the middle man and charge full price? That’s not to mention how much more rewarding your work would be if you were free to work like a professional – no keystroke monitoring or cameras in your face – just working on projects and getting paid accordingly. What a novelty!
Working for Yourself
You don't have to commit to a full time career when you choose to work for yourself. In fact, you can easily transition away from the stifling and potentially unsteady work you've been doing for others and build up your own business a bit at a time until you're at a comfortable level. In fact, you don’t have to give up the “steady” work for others entirely if you feel a bit uncertain about moving forward without any sort of routine work you know will be there as a back-up. That being said, moving away from a single-employer system will help to protect you when things change – and they always do at some point.
As you seek out and take on projects for clue to without the middle companies, you'll quickly realize just how much more flexibility you have in your work. You don't need to wait and worry about how many articles will be available for you this week, or if someone else gets them first. You'll develop your own long term clients and steady work, but best of all you'll have the full payment in hand and quite a bit more respect as well.