How to Find Legitimate Work-From-Home Opportunities

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The number of Americans who worked at least one day a week from home grew by 79 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to Census Bureau data. If the self-employed, those who work outside an office and those from companies where everyone works remotely are included, this number may include as much as 30 percent of the American workforce. About half of these home workers are women. Many mothers are successfully earning a living working from home. If you want to work from home, the opportunities are there, but you need to know how to find them and avoid the scams.

Know What Scams to Avoid

The FTC provides information about some of the most common work-from-home scams to avoid. Popular varieties include Internet business get-rich-quick schemes, envelope stuffing, assembling crafts, rebate processing, medical billing, mystery shopping and some (but not all) multilevel marketing plans. Some of these scams are fraudulent versions of legitimate businesses while others are sheer fictions.

All illegitimate job promises share some common traits. Their goal is to part you from your money, so at some point, they will ask you to pay some money up front or give them your credit card information. They may also try to get free work out of you before paying you anything. To entice you into doing this, they will appeal to the desire to make easy money. They may promise that your initial investment will pay for itself down the road to convince you to give them money against your better judgment.

To avoid such scams, the FTC recommends taking a few steps. The FTC’s Business Opportunity rule requires all sellers to give you a one-page disclosure statement describing what they’re selling you, so you should request and review this. Ask questions such as what tasks you’re being asked to perform, how you’ll be compensated and what basis the company has for its earnings potential claims. Check out what kind of online reviews and complaints have been posted about the company. If you have doubts, check with your local consumer protection agency, state attorney general or the Better Business Bureau.

Know Where the Real Work Is

Bankrate provides an overview of some of the best legitimate work-from-home opportunities. If you’re bilingual, you can be a translator. If you’re good at customer service, you can work as a call center representative. If you’re good at typing, you might consider becoming a medical transcriptionist. If you have secretarial skills, you can become a virtual assistant. If you have computer, design or writing skills, you can work as a freelancer.

Services such as Airbnb’s lodging service, Uber’s driving service and Handy’s home cleaning service have expanded the range of traditional freelancing opportunities. If you’re good at sales, you might work for an employer such as Amway, which also offers career development opportunities in other areas.

FlexJobs provides a list of the top 100 companies offering remote work opportunities, including Teletech, Convergys, Sutherland Global Services and Amazon.

Use a Smart Job Search Strategy

After identifying some opportunities that match your skill set, pursue your job search using a smart strategy. Start by making a list of potential employers to contact and job search agencies and sites to explore. Monster suggests using resources such as company websites, placement agencies, professional organizations, networking and job fairs to assist you with this part of your search. Put together a winning cover letter and resume, using resources such as your state’s Department of Labor if you need help. Build an online portfolio you can show employers, using LinkedIn to showcase your credentials. Rehearse potential interview questions. Set a goal of taking a certain number of steps per week toward landing a job, such as submitting a job application per day or making a phone call per day to prospective employers.

Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.

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  1. I found this interesting it is so hard to find a real online job

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