Let’s face it.
You want to know how to get a work at home job but it seems harder than you ever bargained for. You’ve tried a zillion ways to make money only to move on to the next new opportunity you’ve read about.
You persevere, hoping something will work out for you.
But when it comes down to it, all the jobs you’ve tried fizzle out and you’re left back at the starting line.
So now what?
First of all, don’t get discouraged. When it comes to getting a work at home job, there is a ton of competition. I mean a TON. So it may take a while to get the right one.
Secondly, understand there are some important things you need to consider.
So I have outlined the 5 steps you need to take to make sure you get your perfect job.
How To Get A Work At Home Job In 5 Easy Steps
- Know what you can to do
- Use the best resources for legitimate leads
- Be aware of scams
- Spruce up your resume
- Prepare yourself for the virtual interview
How To Work From Home: The Nitty-Gritty
Step #1: Know What You Can Do
This is probably the hardest – but most important – step. It is the basis to learning how to work from home. It will let you narrow down the jobs and weed out the crap. It will let you realize how much, or little, you want to work. It will let you uncover your hidden skills. In fact, this step consists of several lesser steps but I promise it won’t take too long. Got a pen and paper handy?
The very first think you should do is figure out what you can and want to do.
There’s no shame in saying you will do just about any online job as long as you can make decent money. When I first began looking for a home job I was perfectly fine doing telephone customer service. As much as I disliked chatting on the phone I needed to make money. Plus, I didn’t really have any skills.
But if you’re a bit more particular, here are a few things you need to ask yourself:
- Why do you want to work at home. Medical issues? Children? Tired of driving?
- How many hours can you work in a day, week, or month?
- How much money do you want to earn?
Now, jot down all your skills and talents. How’s your typing? Do you like to use social media ? Are you good at researching things on the internet?
You get the idea.
Ok, now think about the status of job you want.
- Are you looking for a career?
- Do you just want a job that pays the bills but gives you flexibility in your hours?
- Do you want to make money online without the status of being an employee?
- Will just a few extra bucks get you through the month?
Here is what I came up with for myself, with a few years of skills under my skirt:
I am tired of the long daily drive AND working my fingers to the bone 40 hours per week. I think working 20-25 hours per week at $15.00 per hour would be just fine. I don’t really want a career, I just want a job that lets me work when I want to and adds to my husband’s income. I have a background in image editing and website maintenance (I used to create images for a gardening website) so something in the field of graphics and websites would be fun. I also like to travel and help my friends make travel arrangements. I don’t mind doing customer service – I have a pretty thick skin – but I would like to do it in the travel industry.
Step #2: Use The Best Resources For Legitimate Leads
By now you should have an idea of what kind of job you might like and how much you want to work. If you’re like me, you’ve already scoured the web to learn how to get a work at home job only to find out there is no shortage of resources.
Turns out so many of them are junk.
Just take a search through Google and I guarantee you’ll quickly tire of the same old stuff.
But there are some good resources out there:
- Indeed.com is probably my favorite syndicated job board but you have to be sure to enter words related to working from home, such as Work At Home Jobs -or- Remote Jobs.
- ProBlogger.com, an informative blog that’s full of tips to help you make money blogging, has a great resource for blog and web related jobs.
- Eddy over at WorkAtHomeNoScams does a fantastic job of reviewing ways to pick up extra cash.
- Ivetriedthat.com is a pretty good blog where they try out hundreds of online programs and products so you can make informed decisions.
- Online forums are extremely helpful. People give their personal experiences with many companies. The best ones I have come across are: Wahm.com, and workplacelikehome.com
- In my opinion, the best blogs that cover all things related to working from home are TheWorkAtHomeWoman.com, and SingleMomsIncome.com
- The Penny Hoarder, and wahadventures.com are great blogs that review thousands of companies.
- Craigslist can be useful AND scammy. I debated adding this resource here but I know you can find a lot of great jobs. You MUST do some due-diligence though. Research the company, post questions about the company on Wahm.com or WorkPlaceLikehome.com, check them out on the BBB website.
So, taking what I discovered about what I’m interested in and how much I want to work, I took a trip over to Indeed.com. I typed the word Remote in the “What” box, removed the city/state that was auto-populated in the “Where” box (and left it blank), hit the “Find Jobs” button and VOILA!
I was presented with a bunch of jobs I could apply for. And they are all remote jobs. Well, the majority of them. I have found that sometimes some non-remote jobs pop up.
I like to sort the jobs by date, just so I can see the most recently available jobs. The option to sort is on the left.
Oh look..there’s a job opening for a travel agent with AAA Allied Group. It’s a night shift job, which is ok, includes benefits, and doesn’t require too much experience. I’m feeling lucky!
Step #3: Be Aware Of Scams
A great segue from the Craigslist point mentioned above.
How do you know when it’s not a legitimate job, but a scam? You have to be smart and put in a bit of time researching the company and job.
Here are some ways to check if a job is a scam or not:
- This can’t be said enough: never pay to work. If they say something like “send us $30.00 and we’ll send you a list of jobs you can start today!”, pass on this. BUT, if you come across a job that says something like “You will be reimbursed for your headset or computer”, then this more-than- likely a legitimate company who just doesn’t want to shell out money to buy someone a new computer only to have them leave after two weeks. Also, it is becoming more common for companies to ask you to pay for background checks. This is ok to pay…if you’re comfortable having a background check done on yourself.
- Trust your gut and if it sounds too good to be true, it is. You cannot get rich stuffing envelopes. Data entry jobs are not common. You will not make thousands of dollars reading ads.
- Know who the company is. Type the name in Google and see what comes up. Are there any reviews on the company? Check out their website. Does is look amateurish? Do they seem to be forthcoming with information? If you found the job on Craigslist and there is no company name (a lot of companies don’t show their name to avoid an onslaught of applicants), send them an email asking who they are.
- Check out a company’s social profiles. I, for one, have posted my negative experience with a company on their Facebook page. Is the profile active? What are other people saying?
- Find out what others think of the company. You can search the company on indeed.com, glassdoor.com, and the Better Business Bureau to find out more about them. Many people write about their experiences – good and bad – and these are great places to tap into first-hand experience.
- Ignore the unsolicited emails that claim there is a job waiting for you. Even if your resume is posted somewhere online, any company that is interested in you will NOT have a spammy sounding subject line (such as “Your new job making $40,000 is waiting for you”. Yes, I really did receive an email like that).
So now is the time to do my research on the company I found on the indeed.com website. The second job listed, Allied Group, is a well-known company that provides roadside assistance to its customers. In fact, my best friend is one of their customers and she knows them to be a reliable and stable company. As with any customer-centered company, there will be complaints and bad reviews but based on my friend’s experience, this job is a GO for me.
Step #4: Spruce Up Your Resume
When it comes down to it, your resume is the piece of paper that really sells you. Sure, the cover letter it accompanies introduces you, but your resume is the guts. It will summarize your work experiences and skills. It will tell employers how you can help them. It will get you the job.
Take a look at it. Read it out loud. Have a friend read it. Does it need work?
I should mention that some online jobs don’t require a resume in the true sense of a resume, such as freelance jobs and quick little money making jobs. An online profile is all that is needed.
Take a read of my Need a Resume? article to get the nitty-gritty on work-at-home-job resumes.
Step #5: Prepare For The Virtual Interview
As nerve-racking as an interview can be, it is one of those necessary evils. It gives you and the employer the chance to get to know each other.
And, lucky for us, the majority of companies let you interview virtually. No travel time involved…yay!
But you need to know how to use the tools. Skype and Facetime are the most common video communicating tools.
You also need to know the proper virtual interview etiquette. No big deal, but there are a few things you should consider. Remember, your potential boss can see you – and your home office.
- Your surrounding should be fairly simple. No clutter or excess things on the wall behind you.
- Be neat and tidy in appearance.
- Do your interview in a dedicated space that is away from everyday noise and distractions.
- You can be nervous, it’s ok, but try not to let that show during the interview. You have to speak clearly and not fidget.
I’ve had a couple virtual interviews and learned a few things. Want to read my virtual interview tips?
There you have it. Simple things you can do to start working from home.