There are many reasons why people seek out work from home jobs.
Common motivators include:
- Saving time and money by not commuting.
- Balancing childcare responsibilities and work.
- Flexible scheduling options.
- Having more control over one’s working environment.
- Finding alternative employment options in challenging job markets.
Unfortunately, navigating remote and telecommute job opportunities can be challenging. Job-seekers regularly encounter scams, phishing attempts and other predatory schemes masquerading as job opportunities. They may also struggle with freelance positions, which are inconsistent and unreliable sources of income.
Fortunately, with the right tricks and techniques, it is possible to find steady and legitimate work from home jobs hiring now.
Learn About the Types of Work from Home Jobs
As the nature of work continues to change, more and more companies are offering work from home jobs of every kind. However, it is important to read job descriptions carefully as not all such jobs will be equally appealing or appropriate for your needs. In general, you can expect to find the following types of remote jobs.
- Volunteer or internship positions. Companies and not-for-profit organizations routinely post unpaid volunteer or internship positions on job posting sites. To save time, use search filter options to eliminate these from your results entirely.
- Freelance positions. Freelance positions are typically short-term, single-project jobs. While they are paid and usually fully remote, they are not steady employment. Freelancers typically spend significant amounts of time searching and applying for projects, with no guarantee of consistent work or income.
- Partial remote positions. Companies often list jobs as “remote” even if they require prospective workers to spend some percentage of their time in a physical office environment. Again, you can use search filter options to screen for these and remove them from consideration.
- Fully remote employment positions. Steady and legitimate work from home jobs hiring now fall in this category. Unlike freelancing, they are consistent jobs with one employer that provide a reliable flow of work you can do from home to earn a predictable income.
It is important to read job descriptions carefully and use the search filters on search engines and job sites to weed out illegitimate, unpaid or inappropriate job postings so that you can find the positions that are right for you.
About the Flexible Schedule versus Fixed Schedule Work from Home Jobs
Work from home jobs may be either fixed schedule or flexible schedule. Fixed schedule jobs require you to be at your phone or computer during specific hours, such as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Flexible schedule jobs require you to complete your work within a set amount of time, such as 48 hours or one week, but place no limits or mandates on when within that time you do the work.
Which type of scheduling is better for you depends on your personal needs and situation. Fixed schedule positions, for example, can be good work from home jobs for moms who have consistent open periods of time on weekdays while their children are in school. Flexible schedule jobs can be better for workers juggling more chaotic and unpredictable schedules and home-life demands.
Learn About Common and Reliable Work from Home Jobs
One of the most common forms of work from home jobs is data entry. Data entry jobs are typically quite straightforward. Employers forward workers documents in some original form, such as case files. Workers then enter the information from those documents into an online system or a spreadsheet that the company can then use as needed.
Transcription remote jobs are similar, but where data entry jobs are well suited to workers with strong visual skills, transcriptionists need excellent auditory skills. This is because transcriptionists are generally tasked with listening to recordings and typing everything that they hear into a pre-approved format. Examples of documents that may need transcribing include medical appointments, court records and legal testimonies.
Medical billing and coding positions are also plentiful and are another variation on this type of job. While these jobs are not glamorous, they are legitimate and consistent. You can get started in them with a minimum of training or equipment and can expect to earn a regular and reliable paycheck.
Where to Find Remote Jobs
You can find work from home job listings in most of the same places that you find regular job postings. These include:
- Major online job search sites.
- Local print job listings.
- Employers’ websites.
- Industry or organizational newsletters and publications.
You can also find remote listings on dedicated telecommute job listing sites. These sites typically offer enhanced screening options which allow you to narrow down your choices more efficiently. However, some of these sites will require memberships to access all of their screening options, so be sure to review their terms of service up front.
Before You Apply for a Remote Job
If you are interested in working from home, it is essential that you prepare yourself for success before getting started. First, make sure that you have the right equipment for the types of jobs you want. This may vary slightly, but will usually include:
- A reliable laptop or desktop computer in good condition.
- Basic, up-to-date software such as a standard word-processing program and anti-virus protection.
- A functional home or cellular phone.
- A dependable high-speed internet connection.
- Appropriate workspace, such as a desk and comfortable chair, and a filing cabinet, shelf or other space in which to store work-related files if appropriate.
- A bank account into which your paycheck can be direct-deposited.
Second, remember that legitimate work from home jobs do not require any less effort or attention than “normal” jobs, even though you do them at home. It is important to communicate with other members of your household about your needs and your schedule just as you would in any other job.
Third, update your resume if you have not done so recently. If you are applying for work from home jobs in data entry or transcribing, be sure to highlight the number of words per minute you can type. For all remote or telecommute jobs, consider highlighting your time management skills, ability to work independently, and experience communicating with clients or teams via phones, email and project-management software, where applicable.