What to Do When Your Loved Ones Don’t Support Your Idea of Working Online

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You want to start working online, but you’re getting some pushback from your family or friends. We’ve all been there! And we know this can be really hard. 

Starting something new is scary enough with your own doubts and fears. Just know that if you’re determined this is right for you, you can do it!

You have to believe in yourself first, before others can believe in you. 

And guess what? Your closest people are probably just worried for you. You’ve done all the research, but they haven’t, so they probably just don’t know what working online actually entails. 

We’re going to share some steps with you that you can take to turn a lack of support from family or friends into full support.

If that doesn’t work, we also have some tips so you can overcome this obstacle and thrive despite your loved ones not standing behind you.

Let’s dive in!

1. Find out What Their Perspective Is on Working Online

You’ve probably been looking into working online for a while now. But your loved ones haven’t. They’re used to the traditional 9-to-5 mentality, where you have a boss and an office.

Moving away from that can be uncertain and scary, and you probably know all about that. 

Just remember that this can be scary for the people around you as well, especially if it looks like you’re giving up certainty for something they don’t know anything about. 

Sit your loved ones down and find out what they’re thinking: where is their lack of support coming from?

They probably have some ideas, but they might be based in fear or lack of knowledge. Or their beliefs are outdated to modern times or your work ethic. 

Here are some possible concerns: 

  • I’ve never heard of working online, what is it?
  • I think working online is a scam.
  • I don’t think you’ll be able to make a good income.
  • I’m worried you’ll lose the benefits of a steady job.
  • I’m worried you’re not going to see this through and that you’ll give up.
  • I’m unhappy you’re moving in a different direction than I expected.

At this stage, just listen. Make (mental) notes and take their perspective and feelings into consideration. 

Present your research with laptop

2. Present Them With Your Research

Now that you know why they’re not supporting you, you can work with it!

What you’re going to do now depends on the fears and beliefs you uncovered in the last step. Think of what you’d need to change their mind, to show that this is a viable career and that you’re serious. 

Then go do some more research. 

  • Pull statistics about working online. 
  • Look up success stories of other women that succeeded. 
  • Find reliable facts that can change their beliefs.

And then think about your own path.

Something that can be really helpful is to create an action plan. Write down what steps you’re going to take to get to your goal. This will be helpful for yourself as well in moments you get stuck or confused. 

Then have another talk with your loved ones. Show them the facts, the success stories and your action plan. 

If you want to look extra professional, you can even turn all of this into a nice looking presentation. 

See how they react to this new information. Listen to their reactions and concerns and keep the conversation open. Give them some time to digest what you’ve told them.   

If you want something extra to tip the scales, we might have just the thing for you. One of our students has written a letter about her experience working online and how it has impacted her marriage and her family. 

You can send us a DM on Facebook if you’d like to read this letter. It might help your partner or other loved ones to better understand what working online can do for you. 

3. Trust Your Intuition

Hopefully your research and action plan have taken away your loved ones’ concerns and they’re now fully supportive of your new online journey. That’s the ideal situation. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Just know that that’s alright.

Not everyone will understand this new path you’re taking just yet. They’ll come around in time, when more of the world will follow the switch to online or remote work. 

In the end, your own motivation and dedication is the most important. So check in with yourself: 

  • Is working online something that you know in your gut that you should be doing? 
  • Is this going to provide the lifestyle that you’ve always wanted? 
  • Are you willing to put in the time and the effort to make this thing work?

If you’re answering yes to all of these, then go for it. Trust your intuition and just do it. 

You might not have your loved ones’ support right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get it in the future. In some cases, they just need to be convinced with actual results. 

And know that you won’t be alone. You’ll meet so many new people when you start working online that are on the same journey. They will be your new support system, your go-to people for online work questions. 

There’s plenty of room for your real-life loved ones to join when they’re ready. 

Woman and child on couch with laptop

With or Without Support

Unfortunately, in some cases, you may grow apart from people you were once close with. Just know that every new phase of life means that new connections grow and others might fade. 

That’s alright, too. It most likely has already happened in your life, if you really think about it.

You’ve probably lost contact with a few high school friends you once thought you’d be friends forever with. Maybe you used to be super close with your niece, but you barely see her anymore. 

Or maybe you’re in the phase where friends (or you) are having kids, while others are still living the single life. 

You’ll grow closer to some people in your life and apart from others with every new step you take. Maybe you’ll reconnect at a later stage, if that’s what you both want. 

The same might happen with your work online journey. Some might see your success and join, others might stay behind. And some will stay with you for other reasons, like hobbies or family bonds, but aren’t interested in your new career. 

It’s totally up to you how to handle your relationships. Just know that you’re doing this for yourself (and your family), so not everybody has to be on board, as long as there is mutual respect. 

If anybody is putting you down over your new choices (or anything else in your life, really), it’s also alright to move on from that relationship. Don’t let anyone discourage or belittle you. Nobody needs that kind of energy in their life. 

Find the positive relationships that you thrive off of and nurture those. Support them in their endeavors and hopefully you’ll get the same thing back. Give people some time to see and understand your new journey in working online.

But don’t let that be the only thing you bond over. There are lots of aspects to your life, don’t forget that! Working online is all about having a good work-life balance, so don’t get lost in your new career either. 

Women supporting women

Trust Us – You CAN Work Online! 

In our experience, most people that love you and want the best for you will come around and support you. Especially if you show them that you’re serious.

Make those efforts and prove yourself. And cherish those people that are supporting you from the start. 

But always keep in mind that you’re not doing this for them, you’re doing this for you

Ultimately YOUR support is the only one that you really need. Support from everybody else is just an amazing extra.

If you’re committed to working online, you’ve done your research, and you’re ready for it, then go for it! 

If the idea of working online sounds amazing to you, but you don’t have a clear idea of what you actually want to do, then working as a virtual assistant might be the perfect start! It’s a really diverse career that you can build however you want it. 

If you’re interested in working as a VA, we’ve got a very informative FREE masterclass on How to Work From Anywhere as a Virtual Assistant. Esther, CEO and founder of Virtual Assistant Internship, will tell you everything about what a VA does, how to find legit work and what you need to get started working online. 

Right now, during the month of May, VAI’s signature program 90 Day VA is open for enrollment too. So if you’re ready for your VA career, but you don’t have any online work skills yet, now is the time to sign up and get the ball rolling. 

And hopefully, after following these 3 steps, you can do all of this with the full support of your parents, your partner, and your friends. 

And if you join 90 Day VA, you’ll get another support system in the form of a private Facebook group full of amazing women on the same journey as you are. 

So don’t worry if you haven’t been able to turn everyone’s opinion around yet. Our private Facebook community is full of love and support and there’s plenty to go around!



Katinka van den Berg headshot

Katinka van den Berg is a virtual assistant here to help businesses create a consistent online presence based on providing value to their customers. When she’s not assisting environmentally conscious businesses with their content creation and social media management needs, she loves to travel and explore new cultures.

She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from content creation and repurposing to social media and blog management.

To see all the services she offers and how she can help you, check out her Facebook page here.


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