How do I get a work at home job?
With the dawn of the Internet the possibility of working from home became more of a reality for far more people. Employees can now access the company Intranet or use email, IM, Skype and well, ok the old telephone still. But how does one find a job working from home? The obvious answer is the Internet. The question then becomes where to look on the Internet. There are many job databases available and you are probably familiar with Monster and Career Builder, but did you know there are job databases strictly devoted to work at home jobs? I have a long list of websites that fall into this category and I will make them available to you elsewhere on this website.
What sort of work can I do from my home?
There are many jobs that are available to do from home, but obviously there are limitations within some professions. Some of the most popular jobs are sales and customer service. Generally, anything that is phone intensive can be done from home. Another industry is web or IT related functions. Programmers, web designers and certain jobs within information technology can be done from home as well. There are also virtual assistants; data entry (although this can be tricky to find the real jobs from the scams); accounting; bookkeeping; medical coding, and transcription; online teachers and tutors; editing and writing jobs are common as well.
In addition to employment from home, you can also start your own business. There are many options here as well and I’ll address those later. Just know that even if you don’t have experience in any of the above fields, you can still make an income from home.
How can I find a work from home job?
There are plenty of resources on the Internet to find a job working from home. There are the standard sites that I mentioned above such as Monster and Career Builder. From what I have noticed lately, these sites are getting a little overrun with business opportunities and commission only gigs and not work at home positions. You can also look on Craigslist, which has become a favorite place for employers to post but again, it depends on the area in that case scenario. You are typically only going to find what is in your city or whatever Craigslist city you are searching in.
There are typical job boards that you can look at and use phrases such as “telecommute” or “remote office” and “home office”. Then there are the specialized sites such as flexjobs.com and homeworkers.net that only list work from home positions and opportunities. I will show you a complete list in another part of this website.
Can I make legitimate money working from home?
The amount of money you can make really depends on your experience in your field and the going rate for those types of positions. It can also depend on if you have experience working from home. Keep in mind that when you work from home, your expenses are significantly reduced so even if your wages are lower, you can still be making more money in the long run. Some sales positions will offer commission only, but that is common even among jobs outside the home nowadays. I don’t typically recommend positions like that as you may as well work for yourself if you are not going to get a paycheck.( Although if they have other benefits that may be an attractive offer to consider.) Which job you afford to take depends on your unique financial situation.
I have also seen phone jobs that track the actual time you are on the phone and pay you by actual phone time and not by the hour. Again, not a great scenario but it can help you get your foot in the door and get experience working from home to build that time up on your resume if need be.
You will see jobs that offer these two payment types as well as hourly and salary rates, and if you have strong experience in your field you may make more money. Also, you’ll be entitled to pay increases just like any other job.
How can I identify any work at home job scams?
This can be tricky and there is no magic answer. Here’s the thing: check out the company. Look them up online and check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Look at the email address of the person posting the position. A real job offer will be posted from someone with the domain name of the company they work for and not a Yahoo, AOL,Hotmail or any other personal address. If you talk to someone on the phone ask them the name of the company and the website.
After you see certain ads over and over again you will realize immediately who they are. Some companies give their affiliates certain ad copy to use and you’ll start getting familiar with those as you see them more frequently.
Never pay for a job! There are some databases that are subscription based and that is different. The Ladders, FlexJobs and others are sites that gather information from many sources and compile it in one place. This is a time saver and another benefit is the jobs you find on these sites are generally valid although something can slip through the cracks so always know there are no guarantees.
There are also companies that recommend you have certain equipment to work with them. You may want to wait until you actually have the job before your purchase the equipment. You may want to see if you can resell the equipment if the job doesn’t work out and also check with your accountant to see if it is tax deductible.
Do I need special experience to work from home?
This for the most part depends on the type of job you are applying for. Obviously a web designer or programmer needs experience. Some of the jobs in the medical industry are harder to get a work at home job until you have experience in an office with that particular job. You may see if you can work for a lower wage while you “prove” yourself. Mainly it is really up to the company and how well you sell yourself to them. Show that you are not afraid of being held accountable for your work and sell your personality to them. Just make sure you can back up what you say.
What are the best work at home jobs?
The best jobs to do from home are really what you enjoy. If you like talking on the phone, then sales would be great. You can make good money if you have a good product to sell. If you don’t enjoy talking to people, then bookkeeping, accounting, transcription and writing jobs are better suited for you. If you have experience in a given area, then that is where you should begin and build up your time working at home. Then later if you want to try something else, you will at least be used to what it takes to work from home and have some experience before moving on to a new field.
You may want to browse the job listings and see what appeals to you that you may not have considered before and research that particular vocation to see if it is a good fit for you and what type of pay you generally see. Don’t be afraid to call a company and ask what it takes to get a job. You may not get a job with that particular company but you will gain knowledge on what to do before you approach another company.
Are there part-time work at home jobs?
Part- time jobs are very popular with employers. They do not have to offer benefits and many times they are smaller companies who prefer to use part-time help while they are in start-up mode. Almost any job category will offer part-time help, not every company, but you will find plenty of listings in each category. This can be a great way for you to get your foot in the door or if you are a stay at home mom looking to make extra income and still need time for your family and other commitments. Some of these jobs will also be temporary, but again this is a great way to get your foot in the door, and there will be much less competition for temporary help. It’s also a good chance for you to see what working at home is like and if it’s a good fit for you.
Are any companies well-known for hiring at-home workers?
There are plenty of well-known companies that hire people from home. Did you know that Verizon has live chatters that work from home and that American Airlines hires work at home agents? If a big company is what you’re looking for, you may need to have a little time under your belt before you can get a job with them but never be afraid to put your application in each time you see a listing pop up. I will include a list elsewhere on this website that cites telecommute friendly companies.
Can I trust that I will be paid if I work from home?
Another tough answer and honestly –you don’t know. I have heard a few stories about people being paid late or not all (if a company goes out of business and they are in another state it can be even harder to get paid – especially if you are a contractor). If you are working for an established company then you should not have any problems, however, if you are working for a start-up or a company that does not have a lot of financial reserve, it can be risky. As long as you are an employee, you have recourse with your state for work claims.
However, I have seen some companies go out of business and it makes it more difficult for employees to collect. Your best bet is to thoroughly check out the company before hand. If you are on direct deposit and your check does not come when it is supposed to, don’t delay in letting your employer know. If there is a problem more than once that is a good indication that you should look elsewhere. If they are mailing you a check then you’ll have to give the mail appropriate time, but if you don’t get it within a week then something is wrong. You may also want to ask them if they are mailing checks to you that they send with some sort of tracking, you can do that even with regular postal service.
Is it better to be an employee or a contractor?
As an employee, you will have all taxes deducted from your check. The employer has the choice to offer health benefits or not (although the new healthcare laws may change this for companies of a certain size) as well as any type of 401k or other employee programs. You may be entitled to earn vacation and sick days or paid time off. You will either be salary or hourly and be paid accordingly. You will receive a W-2 at the end of the year and you may also be reimbursed for expenses from your employer, get that in writing. You will also need to work whatever specified hours your employer has hired you for.
As a contractor, you have no taxes taken out of your check. You will submit an invoice to whomever you work for, sometimes
referred to as your client. You will get a 1099 at the end of the year and be responsible for paying all of your taxes. You typically do not incur any paid time off and are not entitled to benefits. You may be able to set your own hours and you will be able to write off your business expenses on your tax return. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of work. It comes down to preference and what you are comfortable with.
What equipment will I need to do work at home jobs?
That is dependent on the type of job you do. You will most always, at the very least. need a computer with an Internet connection and a phone. You may be required to carry certain long distance such as flat fee or use a VOIP. You may be asked to have a certain type of instant messaging whether MS Live, AIM, or Skype. You may be required to have a fax machine or certain software. The employer may provide you with these or they may require you already have what they are looking for before they hire you.
Are there steps to take if I don’t get paid as promised?
Call the labor board in your state and ask for advice. They may ask you to file a claim immediately and will call the employer on your behalf. If you have had any problems with the company or are suspicious that they are stringing you along to buy time, do not wait. Even if you are still working for them, they cannot fire you for calling the labor board and they may get in more trouble if they do. If they are sending you checks or a voucher of your paycheck, it’s always a good idea to make copies and save those to show you have been getting paid. It’s also good to keep all written communication regarding disputes or questions related to your job duties and pay. Either print out emails or save them to a disk that is not on your hard drive so you have back up.
What kind of discipline is needed to work from home?
You should really ask yourself this question before you get started. Some people really need to work outside the home. They require more interaction with people on a daily basis. If you get distracted easily, your job will suffer. You must have the dedication and discipline to work on your own or your work at home career will be short lived. If you find that you cannot commit to a specific schedule then you really need to rethink working for someone else as an employee. Be honest with yourself as it will not benefit anyone in the long run.
What are the qualifications for working from home?
If you do not have a specific skill set for the jobs you see listed, see which ones you have the most in common with. Consider the experience you have and see what you can apply for. If you have always worked in a restaurant, there may be a sales job in the restaurant industry you could find. You may also end up doing well with customer service positions since the restaurant business is basically service related. If you have specific knowledge in one given industry, you may be able to find a writing job that is looking for knowledge and content on that topic. If you have been a stay at home mom and are looking to get back to work but still need flexibility, there are many part-time jobs and seasonal jobs that hire stay at home parents. They don’t always have the highest pay but you can build up your experience with them. Bloggers are very popular jobs these days as many people are looking for those with knowledge and time to write.
If there is a particular vocation you are interested in you may want to consider taking a certificate course for that particular job. There are plenty of online courses that you can take which will help you get into the type of job you are looking for. There are short courses as well as complete programs that take a bit longer and cost more but you may be able to increase your salary if you have a certificate or certification in a given industry. You may be able to get reimbursed for your education and certification costs or get scholarship money, and possibly write the cost off on your tax return (check with your accountant).
Which is better: full-time or part- time work?
There are plenty of jobs available both part-time and full time. It is dependent on what you are capable of doing. You may want to work full-time but are having a hard time finding a job that is a good fit and may want to consider trying a part-time job instead or even take on two part-time jobs if you really need the income.
If you have found an employer that you really want to work for but they only have a part-time position available, ask them if they may be able to bring you on full-time in the future and how long that may be.
Can I work from home without quitting the job I now have?
This is a question that many people fail to ask or are simply afraid to ask. Here are some tips. If your job can be done from home, then it’s ok to ask. You can consider how long you have been at your job and how valuable you are to the company. A good time to ask is when you are
up for a raise. Use that as negotiation. Consider not taking the raise and even offer a slight reduction in order to work from home. Do all of your calculations ahead of time and see how much you will save on gas, eating out, dry-cleaning, day-care and other expenses that you would be able to forego. Tell your boss that you can do a test run and see how it goes. It may be that you even increase your productivity because you will have fewer interruptions! They may be able to use the space for another employee or other designated area. It can be a real win-win situation for everyone.
Is it better to work for someone else or to start my own business?
This is one of the most important questions that get overlooked. So many people want to work from home but they either have a hard time with distractions or really want to work their own schedule or want to generate income on their own terms. You really need to decide if being an employee is what you want to do or if you want to start your own business. There can be many different things that you have not considered. It will typically take longer to generate income but it really depends on what you want to do.
Writers can make money pretty quickly these days and are in high demand. You can become an affiliate for other companies or become and Internet Marketing Specialist. You may want to build baskets or groom pets in your home or start a daycare business. There are so many choices. The best thing to do is find what you enjoy doing and turn it into a business. There is a market for nearly everything these days. I even remember hearing about a young girl who invented hamster beds and sold them on the Internet! Anything is possible so follow your passion.
How much money can I realistically earn?
This is an interesting question because many people want to work from home but can’t afford to because they make more money at a job they have now. Take into consideration the expenses you will be leaving behind if you work from home. I mentioned a lot of those earlier. Make a list of what those expenses are, even if they are not daily expenses. Add up what was spent in your last year and deduct any expenses that you did not get reimbursed for from your yearly income and see what you actually made. You may have a salary of $50,000 but after certain expenses are accounted for you may see that you can take a job for $30,000 and come out ahead. Additionally, you may end up in a lower income tax bracket. Don’t let the numbers fool you.
Can I qualify for benefits?
This is a pretty important question and one that needs to be thought through.Not all companies these days offer health benefits. Also, if you are going to work for yourself, or as a contractor, you will not have health benefits unless you purchase those on your own. If you are married and your spouse has insurance then you’re covered. If you are divorced with children see if the other parent can provide health insurance if they aren’t already doing so. If you are the only source of health insurance for your children, that is a major thing to consider when looking for a job. If you take a job without insurance you can purchase insurance on your own but you need to add that expense in when making decisions about how much money you need to make.
You can still find work at home jobs from companies that offer insurance, but just know that there are some that don’t so you will need to ask that question right away if it is a concern for you. You will want to look for larger or more established companies if you absolutely need benefits.