What you Need to Know about Work from Home Jobs

If you’re reading this article then you’re probably looking for work.  You might be a fresh graduate searching for your first job, recently laid off, a parent taking care of the kids or a retiree who just wants to have an additional means of income.  Regardless of where you are in the world a job is hard to come by and you might spend months to even a year looking so you can’t be picky.

If you haven’t landed that dream job then why not go for something home based in the meantime.  It can save you money, allow you more time with your kids and give you more independence when working.  If anything it can help foot the bills while looking for better work.  So if you’ve got the skills, discipline, motivation and a decent computer with internet, then the work from home market would definitely welcome you.  This article serves as a general guide to work from home jobs from what you need, reputable jobs available and what to look out for in your search.

Work from Home: Getting Started

To start things you need a computer and good internet.  It doesn’t have to be the best computer out there, but it’s highly recommended that you at least have windows XP or a decent OS that’s up to date to keep up with any programs or communications sent by the office.  It’s also good to have a laptop, that way you can bring your work with you when you travel.

Now when applying for these jobs its good to know the skills required, certifications needed (if any) and the necessary equipment or software to do the job.  You might need high internet speed and a good headset if youre going to take calls, Advanced Microsoft Excel knowledge or a Dvorak keyboard for faster typing speed.  In addition, knowing your skills and getting them assessed will also help you land that job faster.  So get all relevant skills assessed as this will help you A LOT especially when employers are looking for specific skills in job search engines and other databases.

Great Work from Home Jobs

Looking for online jobs entails a lot of patience and follow-up.  Understand that your prospective employer gets thousands of applications per day so expect late responses, flat out rejections or no responses at all.  If you’re really interested in a job you’ve applied in, make sure to do a follow-up e-mail or call.  It takes a few days to weeks for a response so broaden your horizons and look into any job that you can do.  Some of these home based jobs range from the traditional to the unusual so don’t limit yourself to what you know.  Below are some reputable jobs you can look into:

1.       General Transcriptions

This job entails listening to a speaker and typing what they dictate into a text file.  Topics can be anything from sports, finance, military briefings and even movie subtitles.  It can be interesting to listen to a lot of topics and if you’re fast and accurate you can expect a promotion as a team leader or editor.

2.       Writing/Editing/Proofreading work

With the internet taking over the printed mediums (i.e. magazines, newspapers) many people have found employment as writers in the web.  If you have a knack for writing, proofreading or editing then you’d be more than welcome in this job even without experience.

3.       Call Center Agents

To cut costs many companies outsource call center jobs which can be anything from customer service, tech support and even sales.  Your salary can vary depending on the account specifics (i.e. shifting schedule, per call or per hour payment), level of skills and experience you have and the commissions, bonuses and account incentives offered by employers.  You may need to pay for the initial training, equipment and software installations, but be careful of bogus rates.  There are many scams and fly by night call centers on the market.

4.       Web Developer/Designer/Webmaster

If you’re an IT graduate or just someone with an extensive knowledge in writing scripts, using lots of programs and setting up and maintaining websites then this job is definitely for you.  There are many small businesses that need people who can set up and advertise their websites hence the thousands of job postings for Web Developers/Designers every month.

5.       Home Based Businesses and Consulting Services

You might have a skill in cooking, arts and crafts or even an in-depth knowledge of architecture from your pre-retirement days, so why not start your own small business or be a consultant.  The best thing about this is youre self employed as your own boss within your expertise.  To start you may need an initial investment, important contacts and the dedication to see it through, but if it takes off you can expect a higher than average income and a career as an entrepreneur.

Spotting Real Work from Home Jobs from Scams

Home based work particularly online jobs can be very lucrative and there are many people who make money online without having to go out of the house.  However there are many unscrupulous individuals ready to scam the eager job seeker of their money.  So be very wary when applying as there are more scams than legitimate jobs.  Some general indicators of good employment prospects are:

-          Known reputable companies that have established themselves in the field.

-          Job ads that include the company information complete with the name, address, website, email, phone number or contact persons.

-          An HR contact ready for any questions about the job.

-          Detailed job descriptions and responsibilities along with the company policies, benefits and other employment information.

-          Lastly, a step by step application process which might include a request sample of work, face to face interviews and contract signing.

Now as for spotting scams a general rule of thumb is to be wary of any job that promises a lot of money for little effort.  Make it a point to know as much of the job as possible before applying by contacting them for questions, doing your own background research and looking into job forums and the internet for feedback.  It pays to be careful and you wouldn’t want to lose money before you start.