Let’s face it: having to commute to work is no fun. Especially if certain aspects of your life make it particularly difficult to leave your house for hours at a time most days, working away from home can be very inconvenient. There are also those of you that may be incapacitated and unable to leave your home due to injury or various other medical conditions. If that’s the case, it can be extremely frustrating to find a paying job that fits your needs.
The key to finding a work-at-home job is to first know your strengths and weaknesses, and the types of work that you may enjoy the most. Once you determine all of this, then it’s time to narrow it down. Do some research and figure out the types of jobs that can be done from home (like an online transcriber), and you’ll start to get a better idea of the type of job you wish to pursue.
The internet has made the task of working from home easier and more profitable than ever, but that also means that plenty more people are pursuing the same type of work. Once you are comfortable enough working from the comfort of your own home, you may even be able to start your own business! However, it’s important to take it one step at a time.
Don’t know where to start when looking for an at-home job? Read on and discover what we and seven other people had to say about effective ways to begin that online job hunt. We recommend using as many of these options as possible.
Keep Consistent Tabs on Available Jobs
There are many different tools that you can use in order to keep tabs on potential job availabilities, so it’s important that you find the ones that work for you and consistently utilize them. For example, setting up a Google Alerts for the industry or job that you are looking into is a simple and automated approach to keeping track of job opportunities. Setting up a Google Alerts is easy: all you have to do is register your email address with a certain keyword and Google will send you emails whenever those keywords are stated online. For example, use keywords like “freelance writer wanted” or “virtual assistant needed,” or just keywords based on your skill set.
Here’s what others have to say:
“FlexJobs is a paid job board, but the leads are researching and telecommute. They always have high quality jobs listed. There are some great Facebook Groups for freelance writers, social media managers, virtual assistants and more. Leads are often shared in these Groups and may have less competition than those you find on the Problogger Job Board or sites like Upwork.”
– Angie Nelson, Owner of The Work At Home Wife
“It was by pure chance that I stumbled onto freedomwithwriting.com which can send people emails about websites that are looking for content submissions. They pull info from all over to show you many different types of sites, magazines, etc, so you’re not just looking at info about one type or style of writing. From sailing to fishing to women’s health, poetry, fiction, business…I think that those who are just wanting to look at what’s out there could find great leads from signing up to get this!”
– Carrie Aulenbacher, Freelance writer in Erie, PA
“Search for telecommute jobs on craigslist.org and other job websites. Freelance or contract work, although it’s not steady, may be an at-home opportunity. Consider negotiating with an employer to work at home on some days and make an occasional appearance at the office for meetings, to pick up your mail, etc. Fast-growing companies and startups who may not be ready to invest in additional office space would likely be more amenable to a work-at-home arrangement. They may be more willing if they are paying for performance, such as project completed, rather than by the hour.”
– Cheryl Rogers, Founder of Mentor Me Career Network
Make Yourself Easier to Find
Employers and recruiters often look online for potential employees, so increasing your visibility and online presence is very important if you want to get yourself noticed. These recruiters will use keywords when searching through search engines and social networks, as well as employer applicant tracking system and resume databases. Within all of your social profiles, ensure that you have the right keywords for the work-at-home jobs that you’re searching for.
Regardless of how extensive your qualifications are, they won’t help you get found unless you optimize your pages and profiles with the correct keywords. This will allow your profiles to appear in search engines when those employers and recruiters start to conduct their research.
“There are a lot of keywords you can use to help job search efficiently, for example: your professional name, your target job title, current and previous job title, your current or your target city, state, and Zip code, your current or target regions name, your skills, job-specific, profession-specific, and industry-specific tools and techniques, etc. You must be sure to include those words and phrases, where appropriate, in your resume and your professional social media activities, so your resume and profile will appear near the top in search results.”
– Leah Thurber, Get Academic Help
Offer Services to Online Businesses
While there are plenty of businesses that specifically offer work-at-home positions, some may not advertise that option or just have never considered it. If you conduct research and find an open position that can often be performed from home, then specify in your communication with that company that you would like to work from home. Sometimes opportunities aren’t always right in front of your face.
You can also network with potential employers and show them your abilities and the value that you could bring to a company. For example, if you are proficient at writing content, then reach out to a company that you feel could use a content writer. Offering services like this could be the first step in you starting your own business.
“Businesses are always looking for writers and if you a join a website such as Upwork or Freelancer, there is no shortage of work opportunities to be found. It should be mentioned that there is a lot of competition like with anything, but if you can excel at writing or other online marketing skills there is a lot of work to be found.”
– Alex Reichmann, CEO of iTestCash
Network, Network, Network
Never question the sheer power of networking. The internet today makes this way easier to accomplish, as there are plenty of online groups that you can become involved in and get yourself noticed.
“I run [my] business primarily from my home and suggest that those who have administrative office skills get involved with networking groups or online membership sites that cater to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Those are the people that seem to be most interested in Virtual Assistant services. From there, doing an excellent job for your clients leads to word of mouth recommendations that can add more clients.”
– Beth Beutler, Consultant, Business Soft Skills Trainer, Writer
Make Your Applications Appealing
Once you locate an employer that you’re interested in working with, it’s time to initiate an interaction with them. When communicating and sending them your applications, you need to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forwards.
We reached out to an employer who gave us the following tips:
1. Get some previous employer feedback.
Even if it means taking on a short contract for less pay than you would normally want, building up feedback from at least one or two previous employers is essential, as those without it will normally be completely overlooked.
2. Respond quickly.
Often we need a piece of work carried out at very short notice, and applicants who get back to us quickly with the required skills are much more likely to be rewarded the contract.
3. Be honest about your ability and availability.
From our point of view as an employer, it can be very frustrating when an employee does not live up to expectations. If you are serious about building a career working from home, it is best to be honest with prospective employers as this can help build your positive feedback on your profile.”
– Andrew Firth, Love My Vouchers
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities that await anyone seeking an at-home job, or even wanting to kick start their work-at-home business career. All it takes is research and patience, but don’t just let the internet play matchmaker for you. You need to engage online and look for all of the opportunities that you can.
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