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Remarkably, being an online worker comes with its fair share of awesome benefits. It’s a dream job for many people who want to quit the rat race and work from the comfort of their homes.

Where you are free to do as you please:

  • No commute
  • Can work in your pyjamas or shorts or T-Shirt
  • No boss looking over your shoulder
  • Flexibility and much more

Remember, all these conveniences are within easy reach in the comfort of your home.

And isn’t that just amazing? You bet it is!

Oddly enough, people quit online work – leaving behind all these niceties.

How’s that even possible?

Let’s find out what could actually go wrong to a point that you quit your online career.

Let’s get started…

1. You Can’t Say No to Your Daily Distractions

woman lying on a yellow sofa
Image from: freepik

Daily distractions can be bad for your online work, yes, there are always distractions. But when we can’t say no to these distractions, this is a reason we can quit our jobs.

It’s unbelievable how most people don’t take online work seriously despite its tremendous growth. And as a result, most people may not understand that you are busy when you aren’t doing a traditional 9-5 job.

Disruptions may arise from children, family members, neighbours, and even pets, who may all need your attention despite the fact that you are working.

For instance, friends may get upset that you can’t offer to watch over their kids yet “you are home all day”.

And you know what? Even your guilty pleasures like catching up on a favourite program airing during your work time or gaming can make you lose focus.

And that’s not all, there are more distractions:

  • Social Media: Practice self-discipline when it comes to social media sites. Despite being an excellent tool for networking and marketing, it can eat up your working time.
  • Emails: Frequent checks on your email will distract you from work.
  • CallsSMS, and online Chat: Unless it’s very urgent, attending to this buzzes will eat up your work time.
  • Unexpected personal visitsFix your family and friend demands by making it clear that you are not available within a certain period despite the fact that you are physical there.
  • Boredom and feeling burnt out: Working for too long can leave you feeling burnt out. Set and take breaks at reasonable intervals.
  • Cluttered workspace: Your workspace should be free of clutter and you should have only what is necessary to complete your online tasks.

You ought to be very careful or else this multi-tasking and saying “yes” to everyone and everything can result in you never getting your online work done properly. And eventually you slip behind due dates and then feel bad and you quit your online career.

2. You Lack Self-Discipline and Motivation

Without self discipline and motivation you can’t really achieve much as an online worker, can you? To be a successful online worker, it takes a lot of strong will and determination.

Remember you are now your own boss. No one is keeping an eye on you. No managers, no team members, it’s just you, free to use your time however you may please.

If you are not self-disciplined to do your tasks and accomplish daily targets, then the results will reflect because the quality of your work will go down. You won’t even be able to accomplish much in a given day. And then you’ll get frustrated and just quit.

3. You Feel Uninspired and Resentful

young adult male worried
Image from: freepik

The Elusive Greener Pastures

In a scenario where you hear stories about other people being paid more, or you don’t get a pay rise, you feel resentful towards your employer and so you go and look for a higher paying job with someone else.

Or when you feel like you’re doing the same work every day, that you’re being undervalued, then you are bound to get bored, resent your employer and go look for greener grass.

Wouldn’t it be wise to negotiate with your employer instead?

Quite simply, get better at your job then fix your negotiation for a pay rise and tie it to your performance. Most employers will be happy to increase your pay if you can bring results to the table on how you’ve contributed to the growth of their business.

Having Additional Expenses/Overheads

While working from home, you’ll have to incur expenses that are otherwise covered by the employer on a traditional job. Utility bills, heating, and even air conditioning costs may increase.

You may also need to purchase other complementary equipment such as a good computer, the latest software, scanners, and printers. If you are not well prepared to foot these expenses, you might get discouraged and quit.

Not Earning More than Your Previous Salary

If you make an assumption that you’re doing well when your freelance income matches your income while you were employed then you may get discouraged and consider quitting.

Let’s dig a little deeper:

To be a successful freelancer, you need to calculate an hourly or by-project rate that provides you with an annual income that’s better depending on how generous your employer was.

Benefits such as outlined below are often not available when working online:

  • Health insurance
  • Paid Sick leave
  • Disability insurance
  • Holiday allowance
  • Annual paid leave
  • Paid public holidays

Failure to work out how much you should charge so as to be properly compensated for the value of these employee benefits and associated costs, plus all the other expenses you need to pay in order to run your online business, then you may realize you are not gaining much and you quit.

As a rule of thumb, aim to make around 2-2.5 times your previous full-time salary so as to incorporate all the factors discussed above.

Inconsistent Cash Flow

Regardless of your inconsistent cash flow, your bills such as mortgage, buying grocery, car payments etc. remain constant. They don’t adjust to your cash flow.

Unless you land a few regular clients who give you consistent work, the inconsistent cash flow may make you feel frustrated and want to quit because you are unable to count on a regular paycheck.

4. You thought it Would Be Easy Peasy

blonde woman relaxing
Image from: freepik


Now that you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, you need to be more disciplined otherwise you may easily become less productive.

Procrastination of due tasks can get you in trouble with your client or boss as there is no official time to clock in at work.

Quickly fix your attitude towards learning. Don’t step backwards. Forge forward determined to achieve more success through your hard work and discipline.

You Have to Wear Many Hats

Sometimes, work can get really hard to do. You can’t work it out and you feel defeated.

What’s more, despite the fact that you are offering a specific service to a client, you’ll have to make time for additional administrative work. All these non-billable activities such as billing, paying, invoicing among other required duties take additional time.

Then you think it would be easier to just get a cubicle job, so you quit.

You Are Responsible for Finding Your Own Work

It is entirely up to you to do the legwork and land yourself your next job. Whether it’s through freelance job boards or networking, you can no longer sit back and expect jobs to roll in. If you are not aggressive you may quit.

5. You Have Difficulty in Separating Home from Work

untidy bed
Image from: Harry Page

Yes, it is very exciting to be working from home. However, tasks can pile up by the day if you spend too much time on house chores. It’s necessary to fix your broken windows for full concentration. For example:

  • Unmade beds
  • Cluttered mail
  • Unsorted laundry
  • Messy kitchen
  • Emptying trash cans etc.

However, if you’re not keen, you can easily end up in a situation where house chores take too much of your time. If you don’t draw a line both your work and home responsibilities may suffer. Stress and anxiety may all rock in forcing you to forgo your online career.

6. You’re Flying Solo


Are you the type of person who always thrives in an office-friendly environment? Well, unless you are an introvert, you can easily feel lonely and isolated when working from home. There are no colleagues around for a little chit-chat here and there. No one to talk to either, about your work issues and assignments.

At home, you’re removed from a social environment unless you sometimes opt for a coworking space. With time, you may find it lonely and boring. And then miss your old work life and you quit.

Lack of Competitive Spirit

Let’s be honest – There is always a competitive spirit in everyone. It feels good to have high competitive levels of productivity and then producing impressive work. The lack of a competitive territory may make you feel less motivated to prove your worth as you’ll be the only person working. And you may find yourself calling your online career off.

The Buck Stops with You

As an online worker, you are the only one to resolve all the client problems, negotiate with clients, soothe irate clients, and handle all other issues.

For instance: a misbehaving laptop – that just decides to show you the blue screen of death or worse, dealing with unreasonably over demanding clients, missed payments, malfunctioning software among many other incidences. All these challenges can overwhelm you and you just quit.

7. You Are Too Dependent on the Internet

Naturally, online work is internet based. However, if you have issues of power outage or constant poor network coverage, you may get very frustrated because you’ll be unable to complete your virtual tasks. And quitting may be the only option left.

Here Is the Secret

The decision to become an online worker is a life-changing one and you should take it seriously.

However, if you are not cautious, things can easily get out of hand and you end up quitting your online career.

So how do you avoid such a predicament? The solution is simple: just cultivate successful behaviors and habits.

Start by dealing with destructionscreating a regular routine and maintaining a healthy work ethic.

Photo: pressfoto

Katrina McKinnon

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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