Undoubtedly, anyone with an email account has received Work From Home! Make A Fortune! ads touting what are almost certainly scams. Pay us and we’ll tell you how to make zillions at home stuffing envelopes. Never happen…
Does that mean, though, there are no real, legitimate work from home jobs? Of course not. As a matter of fact, many, many home-based jobs exist with more being added every day. The reason is simple. Our modern computers, even our smartphones, are immensely powerful machines which can do almost everything done by machines in an office. Many home offices are also equipped with fax machines, becoming every day more obsolete, as well as all-in-one printers which will copy, scan, fax and whistle Yankee Doodle. These machines, once the province of costly office setups, are now cheap and abundant. Equipped with these tools and maybe a camera or a flip camcorder, also cheap cheap, the average homebody is ready to find home employment.
Here are a few likely scenarios. How about a customer service rep? You may have noticed that customer service reps today seem to have no geographic relationship to the home office. Some I’ve queried are in Halifx, Cork, Bangalore, Tennessee, Manila and points in between. What do you need to get going in this gig? How about a computer, an email account, a telephone or possibly two phones, including a landline, a headset and a comfortable chair. Oh, yes, and a good command of English. It’s this latter that is sending companies back home to the USA due to popular demand.
Most employers offer training sessions and experience as a retail clerk at some point in the past is an asset. Most companies require at least 20 hours per week with some weekend work. The pay runs about $9 per hour but can go higher for better employees. No benefits, but that’s pocket change of a minimum $180 per week.
How do you get such a job? some potential employers, such as Hilton Hotels [or other hotels], American Airlines [or other airlines], 1-800-Flowers [or other 1-800 businesses] might hire direct. Other positions are available from virtual call center operators, such as Alpine, Convergys, liveOps.com, Arise.com, WestatHome.com, WorkingSolutions.
Did you know that attorneys and law firms are constantly looking for virtual potential jurors? This is not your civic duty, but rather a dry-run group for attorneys. How would someone in your demographic view this type of case or this defendant? That’s what they want to know before the trial, and they are willing to pay their make-believe jurors for their time. Pay runs from $10 a case up to $100 depending on the time involved and the complexity of the case. Check out online jury companies or go to ejury.com, onlineverdict.com and jurytest. Qualifications are the same as for a regular juror–no felons, please.
Maybe you had an office job, know the Microsoft Office suite like the palm of your hand, but got laid off or injured or whatever. Have you ever thought about becoming a virtual assistant? This is another online offering. You offer your services or pick a job from employer postings. The job could be as simple as making a spreadsheet look more presentable to helping an author put together a book. Or, it might be cold calling, lead checking, or any of a number of other tasks. Today, many entrepreneurs use virtual assistants; some use nothing but. Think of entrepreneurs with heavy paperwork such as real estate agents, investors, internet marketers or any of a variety of others. If you have special qualifications, such as paralegal, accounting or medical, then you are golden.
Since you are your own employer as a virtual assistant, you set the fees or accept the fee offered. Negotiating skills are helpful. Just remember that as in customer service rep jobs, competition comes not only from North America but from other countries where English is spoken. Today that includes India and the Philippines. Again, many employers prefer native English-speakers who are culturally similar to themselves and will pay a premium for their services.
Where do you find such jobs? Check out elance.com, virtualassistantjobs.com or teamdoubleclick. It may take awhile to attract a following, but impress even one steady employer and you can guarantee yourself quite a bit of extra income.
Another home job is virtual tutor. Many parents and students need extra help which schools are no longer offering. The solution is a regular, visiting tutor or a virtual tutor. Some of the skills most in demand include writing and grammar, but also physics, chemistry, biology, math, and all the sciences. This is where students today need the most help. To do this job, you don’t need a teacher certification, though it helps, or years of experience. What you do need is patience, patience, patience and a thorough knowledge of your subject.
Where to find such jobs? Check out Tutor.com, Kaplan and SmarThinking.com. Meeting hours are generally after school, on the weekends and on vacations. Expect to make between $12-$14 per hour a minimum of 5 hours per week. More experience, in-demand tutors of more advanced subject matter can make up to $65 per hour. At Tutor.com, the “most active” chemistry tutors earn anywhere from $800 to $1,600 a month.
These are just a few of the many legitimate job opportunities for those who prefer to work at home. Of course, it’s still work. Wearing jammies and drinking coffee may be, though, a far easier way to make a few dollars than “dressing for success” and trying to beat the traffic on a long commute.
Thanks to AARP Newsletter for ideas for this post.