Many people prefer to work from home. Whether due to the need for a flexible schedule, familial commitments like being a stay-at-home mom, or just a strong preference to be under your own roof, there are many reasons why a person would want to have the freedom to find a virtual job.
Luckily it’s never been easier to find a remote job, whether it be part-time or full-time. In this article, we’ll provide a list of great work-at-home jobs that can help you bring in extra cash, the best places to look for those jobs, and what you should be looking for when considering a job that you can do remotely.
On top of that, we’ll tell you something possibly even more important: What to avoid when looking for remote work.
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What to Look for in a Stay-at-Home Job
When you are looking for remote jobs, the first thing you should be looking for are flexible jobs that pay well. More importantly, you are looking for jobs that pay fairly. There are many work-from-home opportunities across a variety of fields, but jobs should still adhere to all the rules and laws of your area. It’s important to research the job and be realistic about how much you can earn and if it is worth your time.
You should also be realistic about your own abilities. If you have a little drawing experience, it’s probably not fair to list yourself as a graphic designer ready to work with major clients. Be honest with yourself about your training, your experience level, the digital tools you have to do the work, and your abilities.
The most important thing is to make sure you’re signing up for legitimate work. Remote jobs are wonderful, but there is a chance that you find a job listing set up to take advantage of people looking for remote work, especially stay-at-home-mom jobs.
Avoiding scams can sometimes be difficult, but here are a few rules to go by. Be wary if:
- A job asks you to provide cash up front for “training materials” or anything else
- The company has a limited web presence (especially if it’s an online company)
- The salary seems way too high for the amount of work being asked
- The company promises checks down the road, and won’t pay via a trusted source like PayPal or direct deposit
The basic rule of thumb is: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Where to Look for Jobs
FlexJobs is a jobs site that specializes in remote jobs and virtual work. If you are committed to working remotely, the site is a nice resource for people who know that’s what they want. If wading through thousands of listings on a normal online job board feels tiresome and you know you want a virtual job, FlexJobs is a good place to start.
That being said, most online job boards do let you filter your search by remote work. Job sites will allow you to look for jobs that have an office presence but don’t mind if you work remotely, whereas FlexJobs tends to be jobs that are specific to work-at-home jobs and are often OK with a flexible schedule.
When reviewing jobs on any site, it’s important to check if jobs:
- Require bachelor’s degree
- Prefer if you are working on American soil or in a specific state (even if it is remote, this is often for tax purposes)
- Require a background check
Be smart about searching, too. It can really help with your job search if you filter your searches by job title, if the job is entry level, if it allows for remote workers, or is looking for part-time or full-time employees or independent contractors. You can do this right from the search field on most job boards. For example, here’s Monster.com‘s “Advanced Job Search” function:
Want to tackle it from the other side, and have companies look for you? Easy. A lot of freelancers and virtual workers have their own websites (easily built at Wix.com, WordPress, or Squarespace) and the cost of building and maintaining a website can be written off on your taxes.
If you want to list your services for hire, Upwork is a platform that allows companies to hire freelancers. To sign up, simply head to their website and fill out a profile with your expertise. Upwork allows you to market yourself to a wide audience, find new customers, ensure prompt payment, and work with top companies.
Stay-at-Home Jobs to Consider
Social Media Management
A social media manager is a company’s voice to the outside world, and a key figure in maintaining a relationship with customers. Social media managers may create content or manage creators for multiple platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and more. You lend a voice to a company on the internet, and craft a feeling that will be conveyed to social media customers.
Search Engine Optimization
It takes some learn, but there are plenty of job opportunities for those who can specialize in search engine optimization. A keystone of modern marketing, SEO work takes a company’s messaging and customizes it so that it can reach an audience that is searching for it on Google, Yahoo, or MSN. SEO experts can double as freelance copywriters or specialize on the technical side.
Freelance writing is a job that is becoming more and more important in the digital age, as companies realize that the phone book and classifieds are no longer going to do it when it comes to reaching customers. Brands must have a voice and narrative, especially online, that will tell customers their mission, value, and services. Writers can provide that for brands.
A virtual assistant can work with one or several clients, and can fill any number of needs. VAs can help with scheduling, organization, travel booking, and much more, and all can be done via the comfort of your own home.
Call Center Specialist
A customer service representative is often a company’s last chance to salvage a relationship with a customer, and is a vital team member who guarantees people feel good about a company and are eager to hire them in the future.
Companies are constantly hiring customer service positions, whether they are small businesses or major international corporations. Customer care is a major priority and often a differentiator for companies trying to break into or dominate a marketplace, and these will work hard to find strong customer service agents to act as ambassadors for their brand.
If you have a visual eye and experience with the Adobe suite of software, you can earn good money as a graphic designer online. Whether that is business-based or creating art directly for individuals, you can make a solid living as someone who creates graphics for digital or print.
Data entry is a major and ever-growing field, and covers a wide range of business. Data entry can include transcribing audio files, digitizing medical records, entering financial information, helping accountants come tax time, and more. Data entry jobs can be routine work, but for those who thrive on routine, it can be a great way to bring in extra cash and work in a lot of different fields.
If you have teaching experience, you can find great work as a tutor with ESL training, SAT test prep, or simply helping with homework. All of these can be a great way to bring in extra income and help young students across the world be better students and thrive in schools.
Finding the Right Job for You
At-home work is attractive for a lot of reasons, especially flexible jobs that allow you to set your own schedule and work from the comfort of your home office. Online jobs help you make money and can work well not only as a full-time gig but as a side hustle to bring in extra income.
Search smartly, find trustworthy companies that pay fairly, work hard, and you can bring in cash working from home, doing work that matters.