Some excellent advice for finding a telecommute job and beginning your new career working from home!
Finding Telecommuting Employment
It seems everyone wants to do it: Work from
home, that is. Whether it's being able to work in their
pajamas, or getting to spend some extra time with their
children, something is prompting people to consider giving up
their day job to look for this "alternative" form of
employment. The only problem seems to be actually finding a
work-from-home job! Where are these companies that have
openings for telecommuters? In the paragraphs that follow, you
will learn how to research and find home-based employment.
The first thing to be aware of is scams, such as
when a person or company poses as an employment firm, yet
requires you to pay X amount of money in order for you to be
placed. Or, a company claims to be a hiring company, but
requires you to pay X amount of money in order to "process
If you are looking for a home-based job, you
should follow the same procedures that you did when you sought
traditional employment: send a resume, get an interview, fill
out some tax forms, and agree upon wages or commission.
Thanks to the widespread use of computers and
the Internet, working from home has come a long way since
envelope-stuffing and craft assembly, To demonstrate, I've
broken down different types of telecommuting arrangements into
1) 100% REMOTE OR VIRTUAL Virtual or Remote work
typically means that you will never personally meet your
employer or your client. Your location is irrelevant. You will
go through the entire application and hiring process online.
Obviously, jobs under this heading will require that you are
very computer literate.
Typically, this is the hardest category of work
to find because there are trust issues. You will need to be
very good at selling yourself on your resume. Competition in
this category is extremely high.
2) HALF IN/HALF OUT This category refers to work
that is based from home but requires you to leave your home to
complete important functions of the job. You still might never
have to visit your company's office, or even personally meet
anyone that you work with or for. However, portions of your
job must be performed away from the home. Jobs in this
category will usually allow you to create your own hours, work
at your own pace, and work around your own schedule.
3) MAKING AN OCCASIONAL APPEARANCE some jobs may
require that you physically check in from time to time. Or you
might need to receive your initial training in person, or
attend weekly, monthly, or yearly meetings or conferences. If
you aren't local to the company's headquarters, you need to be
prepared for occasional travel, sometimes including overnight
stays to accommodate meeting or training schedules.
When you show up for a company meeting, be aware
that you will be re-evaluated. Be prepared to continue to sell
yourself as a valuable employee. Your boss will be asking him
or herself, "Why should I keep this employee?"
4) LOCAL CANDIDATES ONLY Some companies may
allow you to work from home, but want to make sure that you
are physically accessible. Either that's how they feel
comfortable or, perhaps, there are assignments that need to be
delivered to you in person. In this category, you will more
than likely be under an employee status, rather than an
independent contractor, which is common within the other
categories. You might have to pick up your work assignments
every day or week, and then deliver completed work to them
personally at a determined time
Once you have learned the various types of work
arrangements that exist, and you are able to avoid the scams,
the next step is to actually locate an actual job. For most
people, this is the hardest part. There are several good
sources to use when you look for home-based employment. They
include: 1) Job boards 2) Staffing firms' web sites 3)
Fee-based job sites 4) Work-from-home sites 5) Freelance web
The first place most job seekers look when they
want to find employment is in their local newspapers. However,
if you find even one legitimate work-from-home job ad there,
you'll be lucky. Companies rarely advertise at-home positions
The Internet, word-of-mouth, and creating
a job are the best ways to find a home-based job. For one
reason, the Internet is the primary way a home-based worker
and a company communicate. It also offers the widest array of
job-hunting sources. So, if you aren't Internet savvy it's
time to get that way.
The most common online source that's used to
find jobs is what I call Mega Job Boards. Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com are a couple examples of
Mega Job Boards. These are general job boards and they will
post any job, in any occupational category that a company pays
them to post.
While it is possible to find some good job leads
here, you will have to do a lot of screening. A simple keyword
search such as "work from home" will yield hundreds of results
that are usually spam, scams, or something in between. (We'll
talk about how to do a quick scan in a following paragraph.)
Fortunately, there are other job boards worth
looking into. One type is the NICHE job board, which only
advertises jobs within a particular industry or category. RetailJobs.com is an example of an industry
niche board. This site posts only job leads from companies
seeking retail-related workers. NetTemps.com is an example of
a category Niche board. Rather than posting jobs within a
particular industry, they post for any industry as long as the
job are all for temporary or contractual positions.
Another type of job boards is what I call
SUPERNICHE job boards. These boards focus on a single
profession within an industry. IHireNursing.com is an example.
This site focuses strictly on nursing jobs, and does not post
jobs for the entire medical field. IHireAccountants.com is
another example. Niche and Super-Niche boards carry a lot less
junk than the Mega Job Boards because moderators of these
boards screen ads more carefully before posting them.
Therefore, these are good sources for finding work-from-home
Now, when viewing search results from Mega Job
Boards, you can scan these ads without actually having to read
all of them. Look for some common denominators, so to speak.
For example, if you have 50 job results on one page, and most
of them start with "Work from home! Easy work!" you know to
ignore it. Or, if you see that one company is posting dozens
of the same ad for areas all over your country, you should
probably avoid those, too. (Such ads are probably ads posted
by a Webmaster or affiliate in an effort to lure to you a site
to purchase something.) Look for ads that advertise specific
positions, posted by a real-sounding companies or staffing
firms. For example:
Case manager needed for adolescents. Orange
County Appraiser needed. Account executive for Northern
Legitimate jobs rarely put "work from home" in
their job title. Why? Because working from home is a benefit,
or perhaps a requirement. It is not a job! So, scan past all
the amazing results and focus on the jobs.
Another internet job resource is STAFFING FIRMS'
WEB SITES There was a time when, if you wanted to apply for a
job through a staffing firm, you would have to actually visit
a firm in person. Now, you can simply visit their web site.
You can browse their lists of jobs--even using search words,
like on the bigger job boards--and submit your resume for
their database in the event that they have a position that
meets your criteria. And, since these companies are hired to
find people to fill job openings, they will actively seek you
out if you are qualified for a job they've been asked to fill.
I suggest that you leave your resume on every staffing firm
web site you can find.
FEE-BASED WEB SITES are another option Due to
the growing popularity of telecommuting, there are some people
who make it their business to comb the job boards, online
groups, staffing firms, and search engines for good job leads;
and then arrange all their information into sensible formats
so that, for a fee, you can simply log on to their web sites
and view nothing but legitimate work-from-home jobs.
Unfortunately, there are also people who think
they see a quick profit by promising job seekers that they can
help them find this difficult-to-find type of employment. Be
careful to research these types of sites before you simply
read the sales pitches and claims, and then pay their fee. You
may not get what you pay for.
If you do come across the right fee-based site,
you are doing well. However, if you buy into the wrong one,
you'll end up in a mess: applying to companies that don't
really hire home workers, or no longer exist, or do not want
their job ads posted on work-from-home web sites. Investigate
each site before you pay them their fee.
Just like spotting for scams, you should so some
research before you join a fee-based job site. You need to
check into the following:
1) Their guarantee of employment
2) The type of advertising they do
3) Their reputation
4) The length of time they've been in business
5) Verifiable references they provide
6) Contact information
Guarantee of employment If a fee-based job site
offers you a guarantee stating that by joining their site you
will get a home-based job, run. Whether home-based or other
wise, I think we all know that being employed is probably the
last thing anyone can guarantee us!
The type of advertising they do If you find that
a fee-based company advertises itself on job boards as a
company that is hiring, be wary. Advertising is fine; however,
if they are trying to lure you to their site by posing as a
hiring company, take that as deceptive advertising. If they
can't be upfront in the beginning, then don't trust that they
will be upfront throughout your membership.
Their reputation Before you invest in a
fee-based site--no matter how low the fee is--ask around.
Visit telecommuting message boards and chat groups and ask
members for their opinions of a particular site. Does the
company respond to customers' questions or complaints? Does it
refuse to give refunds when reasonable?
Length of time in business Just because a site
is new doesn't mean it isn't valuable. However, if they make
claims that they've helped thousands of people, yet they've
only been operating for three months, then you should stay
clear. You can usually check a site's age by looking on
Whois.net. While new companies might have the best intentions,
due to unforeseen circumstances they might not last. If you
invest money into a membership with one of them, and it folds
in three or four months, you're back to square one.
Verifiable references Testimonials look nice on
web sites, but are they real? Ask a site's owner/manager if
you can actually contact previous and current customers. Is
the owner open to letting you hear from other members? There
is nothing wrong with doing this. It's just like any other
service. Find out from these references if they ever found
work through the site in question. If not, was there at least
an ample amount of leads that could have helped someone? Also
find out what kind of support was available to members. Was
there someone to talk to when they had questions?
Contact information I can hardly tell you how
many times visitors of my own web site have called and were
surprised that they were actually speaking to me. It wasn't a
miracle; I simply posted my real contact information. If a
site is asking you to pay for their service, yet doesn't
provide a way for you to reach them, be leery. You have the
right to know who's behind a service you are paying for.
Take the time to look into these points
before you sign up with a fee-based job site. It's your money;
don't lose it trying to make it!
WORK-FROM-HOME WEB SITES
Another option to consider is the numerous free
work-from-home web sites out there. These sites are usually
graciously run by stay-at-home moms, for other moms. Although
they have only a fraction of the job resources that a good
fee-based web site has, and often contain non-job-related
content, they are still worth looking into. If you find just
one applicable job lead, you haven't wasted your time.
FREELANCE WEB SITES
A quickly growing type of web site is the
freelance site. AllFreelance.com is a one such site. Jobs posted on this site typically are
projects, as opposed to long term, steady employment.
Companies that have projects to be done, such a writing a
manual, sewing a line of dresses, or creating a database, can
post these projects online and let freelancers bid on them.
The person who seems the most qualified at the right price
wins the job.
CREATE YOUR OWN JOB
Staffing firms, job boards, and job lead
services are all valuable tools to use when seriously looking
for a legitimate home-based job. Another option is for you to
create your own telecommuting job.
If you are a technical writer or medical
transcriptionists, for example, why not contact a company who
is looking for such a person to work onsite, and then meet
with them to discuss working from your home? Some companies
are leery of using home workers. But, if you get an interview
and go in with solid qualifications and a clear blueprint on
how this type of work arrangement will actually help them, you
have a pretty good chance. This works particularly well with
very small or very large companies.
Just remember that you not only have to be
qualified enough for someone to hire you for a job onsite, but
you must spell out how you will be able to perform your duties
just as well--if not better-- offsite. To help negotiate the
arrangement, be willing to make a few sacrifices. For example,
since you won't have the commuting costs that other workers
have, maybe you could agree to take on a more difficult
project. Perhaps you could cover the office for them on
Saturdays. This will help you get your foot in the door, at
There are numerous jobs that can be
performed from home. With a computer, a telephone, and a fax
machine, there is almost no limit to the jobs that can be done
remotely, partially from home, or occasionally from home. If
you are clear on what your skills are and if you can sell
yourself properly on a resume and in an interview, you can use
the vast online resources to find a home-based job. It takes
effort. But if you use the ideas we've discussed here, you can
find a job that's suited for you.
Pamela La Gioia is Founder and Administrator of
Telework Recruiting (http://www.teleworkrecruiting.com), a
premier job-lead web site that provides thousands of job leads
and job resources for the US, Canada, and the UK. She is
currently writing a workbook on telecommuting, which offers
step-by-step guidance on finding real home-based employment.
Questions or comments are welcome and can be sent to Pamela at [email protected]
How to find a Telecommute job
Finding Your Home Business Niche
Freelance Job Leads
Just starting a Home Business?