Working from home is a great option for those wanting to supplement their income in a flexible and fulfilling way.
There a plethora of work from home opportunities available. Here’s how to find a work from home job that would be a good fit for you and how to avoid the scams.
Assess Your Skills
Because there are an abundance of work from home jobs available you first need to assess your skills so you can match them up with the right opportunity.
- Do you enjoy certain social networks?
- Are you a good writer?
- Are you a good researcher?
- What do you know the most about?
When you’re deciding what to pursue take an inventory of both your skills and your interests. You need to match up the two.
Decide Whether You Want to Freelance or Work for One Company
After you have an idea what you want to do you need to decide if you want to freelance or if you’d like to work for one company.
Freelancing – Freelancing is when you act as an independent contractor and work for multiple clients instead of just one company. As a freelancer you’re responsible for finding your own clients, setting your own rates, and setting your own hours. (You’re also responsible for your own taxes.)
(Here’s how to get freelance clients.)
Also, consider the idea of working for yourself for a big company. Doing ridesharing (i.e. being a driver for Uber or Lyft) allows you to work on your own terms, but get paid through a big company. All you need is a car and some spare time. Just sign up with Uber or Lyft and start driving people around. You’ll make what you put into it. Harry at The Ride Share Guy has a lot of great resources about getting started, including a course about starting to RideShare for Profit.
Working for One Company – If you prefer submitting applications directly to companies rather than pitching prospective clients this will be a better option for you. There are many companies you’ve heard of that hire work from positions such as Amazon, American Express, and 1-800-Flowers. There are also companies you’ve likely never heard of like UserTesting (get paid to test websites,) and LeapForce (get paid to evaluate search engine results) that all hire home based workers.
If you want to find a company to work for determine exactly you want to be doing and then start looking for opportunities. It’s important to note that even though you’re working for one company you may be hired as an independent contractor rather than an employee.
As a general rule of thumb it will take you longer to build up a steady client base when freelancing but the income potential is much larger. While being hired by one company might seem the safer route you’ll probably be paid less and have less flexibility.
There are pros and cons for both sides, you have to decide which option best meshes with your personality.
What to Watch Out For
When you’re looking for work from home jobs there’s a few thing you should watch out for.
For Freelancers – As a freelancer I’ve worked with dozens of clients and have NEVER had a problem or not been paid. (Knock on wood!) The most important step you can take is to have a written contract before beginning work. Your contract doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Put together a document that includes the scope of work, deadlines, payment amount, and payment method that can be signed by both parties. If you want an extra layer of protection you can have half of your fee paid upfront and the other half upon delivery of work.
I’ve personally found freelancing to be pretty scam-free.
Getting Hired by a Company – When getting hired by a company as an employee for a work from home job first research the company on the Better Business Bureau and on GlassDoor. See what type of reviews the company has before performing any work. If the company has a bad rating on the BBB website do not work with them.
And lastly, you MUST follow the golden rule when it comes to work from home jobs – if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
There are plenty of people who will try to scam you. Use your own common sense and never pay money to work – that is completely backwards and screams of a scam.
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.