So, you want to work from home. The very idea can be both thrilling and terrifying. Thrilling because of the potential flexibility and savings on normal “work” expenses like gas for the commute, appropriate clothing, and lunches out, but terrifying because maybe you’re not convinced you can actually earn money by staying at home. Well, you can! But before diving into anything, you should do some thinking. Here are a few of the most important things to consider before beginning:
- How much you need to earn
- How often you need to be paid
- How you need to be paid
- How many hours you can realistically put in
- Your strengths
- Your weaknesses
- Your educational background
- Your computer hardware
- Your backup plan
If you have a general idea of all of the above, you’re well on your way to picking out that perfect work at home opportunity. So, let’s start at the top and work our way down:
Chances are good you need to earn a certain amount every single week. The jobs and opportunities I have listed here vary greatly in regard to pay. You’ll need to apply for a job that has the potential to provide you with the amount of money you need to earn. In my reviews, I always list payment info if I have it as well as whether or not the opportunity is a good source for extra money or an actual income. This should help you make your decision.
This is also very important. Some people need to be paid weekly, while others can manage on just one monthly payment. You’ll need to apply for something that allows you to get paid when you need to get paid. There are opportunities listed here that pay as often as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and sporadically (or whenever you have enough money in your account to request a payout).
Payment method is also very important. Some companies will send you a paper check in the mail, which means you’ll have to wait for it to arrive. This could take a while depending on where it’s coming from. There are also many opportunities listed here that offer Paypal as a method of payment, and in my opinion, this is the most convenient. You receive your money the instant they send it provided they do not use an e-check with Paypal, and most companies don’t. There are additionally companies that pay you via direct deposit, which is usually a little faster than waiting for a paper check to arrive, but also a good bit slower than Paypal.
How flexible do you need your job to be? Some companies demand a certain amount of hours to be worked in a given week or day, while others are OK with letting you log on and work at your convenience, although they may still have a monthly minimum for you to meet. There are also some companies that want you to sign up for shifts just like at a real job. It’s probably best NOT to apply for a job requiring a weekly minimum of hours if you’re not sure you can always be available.
Now that you’ve got a good idea of the basics, you can start figuring out what kind of work you can do from home. Ask yourself what you’re good at. Are you a “people person” that others tend to gravitate toward? If so, you might want to think about getting into direct sales. Home call center work is also generally well-suited for people who are friendly and open. Are you good with words? Did you excel at in English in college or high school? If so, definitely check into freelance writing. Many of the opportunities listed here require no professional experience to get started. Can you type fast? If you do, data entry is a great choice. Are you comfortable navigating the web with a good general knowledge of how the Internet works? Consider search engine evaluation.
Obviously, you might want to stay away from jobs that you aren’t cut out for, and unfortunately sometimes it takes doing a certain job to figure out it’s not for you, so you can expect a little bit of trial and error in your work-at-home journey. If you’re not sure you’ll be good at something, try it and see. If you KNOW you won’t be good at something, it may be best to save yourself the headache of applying. There’s likely another job out there you are cut out for that you can bother with instead.
Many of the opportunities I have listed here do NOT require a college education to get started, but some do. I try list educational requirements toward the beginning so you’ll know before reading the entire post whether or not you can apply.
Many, many opportunities listed here have certain hardware requirements. Definitely check to see what these requirements are before applying because it would be incredibly disheartening to apply only to get hired and then realize you’re going to have to spend some money upgrading your system before you can even start work. If you decide to pursue call center work, you will probably have to invest in a headset if you don’t already one. Also, pay close attention to the requirements if you have a Mac. Many, many companies will ask you to use software that is not Mac-compatible.
Have a Backup Plan
I’ve been working at home myself for a few years now, and one thing that is certain is that things change. Companies cut pay, run out of work, and go out of business completely on a regular basis. This is also the case in the real world, but it seems that when it happens online it’s even harder to recover from because the workers are often the last to know, whereas in the real world there may be rumors of such changes flying around for months before anything happens, thereby giving you time to prepare. On the Internet, these changes often happen overnight with little to no warning. It’s also the case that people who work from home are independent contractors, which means there is no option for unemployment or severance pay if you suddenly lose your job.
If you have time to take on more than one work opportunity, you should. That way if one job goes down the drain, you’ll have the other to fall back on. If your main job is one with certain hourly requirements, it might be smart to take on a second work at home job with no hourly requirements so you won’t have to worry about finding the time to juggle both.