Last Updated April 24th, 2019

How To Prepare For A Work At Home Job Interview

How to prepare for a work at home job interview

Once you’ve applied for a work at home job, you need to be ready for interviews. You need to prepare yourself for your interview, so you do well. It can be different from what you may be used to from other jobs, as your work at home job interview may be done over the phone or by video. Make sure you’re ready to show your best qualities during your interview.

Make Sure The Interview Looks Legitimate

It’s not unheard of to realize that you’re on the path of a work at home scam when you schedule the interview. Some scams hide pretty well until they give themselves away at this point.

For example, work at home job interviews held over Google Hangouts are almost always scams. If things are looking good but they say the interview is on Google Hangouts, consider this a red flag. It’s possible that a few legitimate employers use this, but it’s far more commonly used by scammers.

Schedule Your Work At Home Job Interview Carefully

schedule remote interview

You can usually request a particular interview time frame. Make the most of this and choose a time when you won’t be interrupted. Make arrangements for any children to be gone at school or with friends or family if at all possible. The fewer people in the house, the less likely it is that they will interrupt your work at home job interview.

Make sure you know what time zone your interview is scheduled in. A 10 a.m. EST time is very different from a 10 a.m. CST time. Getting the time zone wrong can make your hours early or late for your interview.

You should also find out what kind of interview you will be preparing for. There are several types, and knowing which sort to expect can help you prepare for it.

Research The Company And Position

These days it’s easy to research potential employers online. Most have websites which give at least basic information about the company. Search for news releases about them as well.

You can also learn about them from what they post on social media. Consider the kinds of things and the tone they use. This can give you a feel for how the company wants to be seen.

It’s can also be a good idea to find out what working for a potential employer is really like. Look up potential employers on sites such as Glassdoor to see what others think of them. Glassdoor is a great place to find out what employees really think of the companies they work for.

That said, remember that these reviews can be done anonymously, and may not be completely accurate. A disgruntled employee or customer may post things that aren’t true.

Be Ready For The Usual Questions

There are some questions you will almost always be asked during an interview. You should be ready with clear answers for them. These include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What’s your biggest weakness?
  • Questions about your work history and qualifications.
  • Why are you interested in the job?
  • How will you handle the lack of face to face interaction while working remotely?
  • Why do you want to work remotely?

When possible, use solid data in your answers, especially when discussing your accomplishments. If you work in sales or marketing, you may be able to discuss dollar figures or percentage improvements you’ve made. Writers can discuss how many words or articles they can write in a time frame. Managers can include how many people they supervised and the results.

Be sure that your answers are focused more on how you benefited your previous employer, not on yourself. Focusing too much on yourself can make discussing your accomplishments look like bragging.

When it comes to your reasons for working at home, go ahead and mention your personal reasons, but also discuss how working remotely will make you an effective employee.

Whatever you do, don’t create scripted answers for yourself. You can create notes on points you want to cover, but you’ll sound more natural if you don’t force yourself to keep to a script. After all, the things you want to say may change during the interview. If you’re relying on a script, you could end up struggling for words.

Review Your Qualifications

remote job interview

Go over the job listing carefully, paying close attention to the qualifications required. Consider how your skills, training, and experience meet these qualifications.

Think about what you can say about your qualifications during the interview. How did you get these skills? Are they advanced or is this your first job in this area out of school?

The more closely you meet the requested qualifications, the more the company is likely to be interested in you. It’s vital that you be able to talk about them clearly.

Be Ready To Demonstrate Skills

Sometimes interviewers will ask you to demonstrate some of the skills you would use on the job. A customer service interview, for example, may have you pretend to be helping a customer. Software developers may have to demonstrate their coding skills.

It’s also a good idea to develop your skills with common online productivity and communication tools. You may need to be familiar with Skype, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Dropbox, Google Docs or other such tools.

Try to find out what the company uses in advance so that you can learn how to use any tools which are unfamiliar. It’s a big advantage if you can say you know how to handle these things. Not many companies do significant team communication over email during the workday.

Prepare Questions

Employers expect you to have questions during the interview. You want to ask the right ones.

Don’t ask questions that you can readily find the answers to on your own. Some positions, for example, will tell you straight up that there are no fees associated with the work, or that there will be a fee for a background check. If you ask questions on this subject, make sure your question shows that you know the basic information, but simply want more detailed information.

Have a list of questions ready beforehand, but be ready to cross some off if they are answered earlier in the interview. Also be ready to add some new ones if you come up with ideas during the interview.

Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • What is a normal workday like?
  • What challenges can I expect on this job?
  • How will I be trained?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • What are your expectations of employees in their first 30, 60, and 90 days?
  • Are meetings by phone, on Slack, or otherwise online?
  • How frequent are meetings?
  • How often do you gather in person?

Ask for more information on the responsibilities of the position, training, scheduling, minimum/maximum hours allowed, and similar subjects. You can also ask about opportunities for advancement. Ask when the job starts and when you might hear back about it. You want to show your interest in the job.

Have Work Samples Ready

take interview notes

Having work samples ready to share at your work at home interview can also be a huge help. There’s only so much you can do for some positions – it’s not likely that you have a sample of a customer service call you’ve taken, for example. But for any position where samples are relevant, have them ready.

Depending on your work, this could be a link to a blog, a GitHub repository, or files saved to your computer and ready to share. Actual samples of your work can show far more of your ability than anything else you do in an interview.

Prepare Your Workspace

Make sure the place you’re going to work in is ready before your interview. This is especially important if you’re doing a video interview or if you need to send pictures of your home office.

This means having a clean desk in an uncluttered area of your home. Be sure that the space you use for your interview would be acceptable to the employer as a workspace should you be hired. If they expect you to be in a room where you can close the door, you need to interview in a room with the door closed.

Test Your Equipment

One of the surest ways to fail a work at home job interview is to have an equipment failure. If it’s beyond your control, you may be able to explain and get a new interview, but if it’s something you should have prepared, that’s a major problem.

An interview over the phone will be pretty easy to handle. A landline may be a safer bet than a cellphone if available, as the connection may be clearer.

If the interview is over Skype or similar services, practice on it with a friend. This is especially important if it’s a video interview – you need to be sure that you know how to make it all work.

You should also turn on your webcam if it’s a video interview to see what your interviewer will see. You may notice some things you hadn’t spotted just looking around the room. Position your webcam right above your monitor so that you appear to be looking at the camera when you look at your screen.

Headphones with a good microphone will be a huge help. This will help keep other noises out and avoid echos.

If at all possible, use a landline telephone or wired internet connection for your interview. The connection will be faster and more reliable. Cell phones, in particular, may have poor connections right when you need them.

No Background Noise

This is utterly vital if you’re trying for a job that requires you have a quiet workspace, and still very important for any other work at home job. This shows potential employers that you won’t be constantly distracted by things around the house as you work.

Talk to your kids, spouse, and anyone else in your home about what you’ll need from them during your interview. If someone can take the kids out of the house during your interview, so much the better. They can’t make background noise if they aren’t home.

Another advantage to getting everyone out of the house is that it keeps them off your internet. You don’t want your connection to lag because someone else is streaming videos or playing online games.

If you have pets, make plans for them as well. The dog may need to be taken for a walk, and the cats closed up in a room well away from your home office or wherever you’re doing your interview.

Contact Your References

If you haven’t already let your references know that you’re job hunting, now is a good time to do so. It’s nice for them to know that they may be called.

Help your references out by letting them know what kind of work you’re interviewing for. This will help the know what to say if they’re called. If there’s a particular skill you want highlighted, don’t be afraid to let your references know.

You can also try to get more recommendations for your skills on LinkedIn. Potential employers are likely to check you out there as well as on other social media.

Practice

Whether your interview is over the phone or on video, or even in person for a more local company, take some time and practice for your interview. Read up on job interview skills and have someone help you practice using them. Remember to smile – a smile can help project a positive attitude even if they can’t see your face.

Have a friend or family member help. This will be more effective than practicing on your own.

Plan For Problems

No matter how carefully you prepare for your work at home job interview, sometimes things will go wrong.

home office desk

Some may be minor. A sick child might stay home, in which case you need to make sure they stay quiet. Your internet connection might lag. A neighbor could start mowing their lawn during your interview.

Others can be disastrous. Know what you’re going to do if your internet connection completely fails or other such problems occur.

These preparations will also be useful if you get the job. The day I was supposed to start my work at home medical transcription job, the phone line I was supposed to use for it was turned off for fraud. It took hours to convince the phone company that their employee had entered some information incorrectly (I used to work for that company and knew exactly how it had happened), and that there was no fraud on my part. My employer, fortunately, was both understanding and amused, as that was the most unique reason they’d ever heard for failing to start work on time.

Dress Appropriately

If your interview is by phone, this is less important, although you may find it helpful to dress nicely for psychological reasons. If it’s a video interview, you definitely want to look appropriate. For home based work, this is probably not a suit, but you should be neatly dressed. A video interview may be your potential employer’s only visual impression of you, and you want it to suit the position you’re after.

Get Some Rest

All this interview prep can be exhausting, but you need to get some rest too. This way you don’t look completely stressed out when it’s time for your work at home job interview. If you’re tired during your interview, you probably won’t perform as well as you would otherwise.

Be Ready Early

Don’t wait until your scheduled interview time to get set up. Have your computer on and log onto anything you’ll need to be logged into for the interview several minutes before your interview is scheduled to start. This will give you time to deal with any minor issues that may come up.

Punctuality is a huge deal for some remote jobs. If you’re taking technical support or customer service calls, for example, you may be expected to adhere to a very strict schedule. If you’re late for your remote interview, that won’t look good to the employer.

For other positions, it still matters. Being punctual shows that you are capable of managing your time well.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 11th, 2019

Should You Only Work At Home While Your Children Are Small?

Should You Only Work at Home While Your Children Are Small?

Having children is one of the big reasons why people get started working at home. It saves a ton on childcare and you can still earn some money. There’s often a question, however, of how long you should keep working at home. Should you only work at home while your children are small, or do you keep going when they’re all school age?

Honestly, there’s no one answer to that. It really depends on how well working at home is going for you and if it still meets your family’s needs.

Consider The Financial Aspects Of Continuing To Work At Home

Money will be a huge factor for many families. Once the kids are all in school, childcare costs go way down, making working outside the home more affordable. If your work at home income is minimal, that can make a big difference in your desire to remain at home.

successful working at home

On the other hand, you may be earning more from home than you’re likely to earn outside the home. In that case, finances aren’t really a consideration. Odds are good that you’ll choose to keep working at home unless you’re really just done with it all.

Think about your future as well. Will your career advance as well working at home as it would working outside the home?

What About Retirement?

Of course, your finances now aren’t the only consideration. Are you able to save appropriately for retirement while working at home? You may not feel the pinch now, but what about later on?

Certainly, you can keep on working at home even past retirement age, so long as you keep your skills up and you’re physically able, but not everyone will want to. If the work you do at home isn’t earning enough for you to save for retirement, you need to think about how you’re going to handle it.

It’s a good idea to save for retirement as a stay at home mom or dad regardless of whether you work at home, of course. That’s not possible for everyone, but if you can find a way, make sure you put aside money for your retirement. You’ll be glad of it later.

Are You Still Enjoying It?

working mom

Working at home is wonderful in many ways, and terrible and others. Many people find it isolating. It can be hard to put your work aside enough to have time for yourself. You may be finding it more difficult to be productive simply because you aren’t enjoying being at home so much anymore.

This may or may not be a reason to find outside the home work when the kids get bigger. We all have times in any job where we’re just tired of it. Location doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. On the other hand, you might just be done enough with the whole work at home thing that outside the home work will be better for you.

What Kind of Work Can You Get Outside the Home?

Getting back into the workforce is hard for many people. Working at home means you at least have something to put on your resume, but how will it relate to the work you’d like to do? Are you going back to a field you used to work in, continuing in more or less what you’ve been doing at home or trying something new? Are your skills up for what you’d like to do?

to work at home or not

Finding an outside the home job is hardest, of course, if you haven’t been working at all for a few years, and are trying to get into a demanding field. It’s much better if you’ve kept up on your skills, and better yet if you’ve been actively using them. Things can change quite a bit over a few years. If your skills and experience are somewhat out of date, you may have to start lower than you anticipated.

If you’re having trouble getting back into the workforce, consider updating your education. Figure out what you need to learn to move your career in the direction you’d like it to go. This may involve going back to college or taking classes online.

What Does Your Family Think?

While the final decision must be yours, take your family’s feelings into consideration. Kids who are used to having you at home may not be all that comfortable with you heading out to work. Be prepared to deal with the adjustment if you decide that you aren’t remaining at home. The kids will adjust – they’re flexible like that – but it may take a little time.

As for me, when the time came, I chose to keep working at home. All of my kids are in school now – one is even learning to drive! It’s not always easy, and there have been times that I’ve considered heading to work outside the home.

It comes down to this: I like working at home. I like working on my own schedule. And I love that I can be there when my kids need me. They still do sometimes. They’d be shocked if I started a job outside the home, although I’d be lying if I said I never considered it.

Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty if it’s not what everyone in your family wants you to do. You’re allowed to consider your own needs as well as those of your family.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 25th, 2019

What To Do If You Get Fired From Your Work at Home Job

What To Do If You Get Fired From Your Work at Home Job

It can happen. You find a work at home job, but for one reason or another, things don’t work out. You get fired from your work at home job. Now what?

Getting fired is a painful, difficult time, especially if you rely on the income. If you need your job to be home based it can be worse in some ways, as legitimate work at home jobs can be very hard to come by.

But it’s not time to panic right away. You have more important things to do. Take a deep breath and deal with the situation.

Find Out If You Qualify For Unemployment

Not everyone who works at home will qualify for unemployment benefits. First and foremost, you may not have been paying into the system if you were considered an independent contractor. If you or your employer aren’t paying into the system, you don’t get money out.

Secondly, whether or not you qualify for benefits will depend on why you were fired. This may vary from state to state, so you can only tell by contacting your local unemployment office. I can’t tell you anything about whether you’ll qualify or even if you should try for it.

If there’s a chance you will qualify, file for benefits right away. You only hurt yourself by waiting. Sure, you may think you can land a new job right away, but what if you don’t? Do what you can to keep money coming in by filing.

Do not listen if your employer tells you that you can’t file for unemployment because you were fired. They aren’t the ones who determine that.

sad after fired

Be Professional

Whatever you do, take a professional attitude toward your former employer. Don’t contact former coworkers or clients with complaints about being fired. That can look worse on you than on your former employer.

Don’t talk bad about the company that fired you to potential employers either. That’s a great way to ruin an interview. If you speak poorly of your previous employer, the interviewer will be concerned about how you’ll speak of them if you’re hired.

Ask Your Former Employer How Your Departure Will Be Described

One of the awkward parts about looking for work after being fired is wondering how your former employer will describe you to future potential employers who are checking out your work history. You can ask.

It’s not too uncommon for companies to only confirm your dates of employment or give minimal information. Depending on why you were fired, they might keep things that simple for you. You should still be honest about having been fired when interviewing with potential employers, but knowing what your former employer will say can help you decide exactly how much to say.

Know What You Should Get From Your Employer

Just because you were fired doesn’t mean you no longer have any association with your former employer. There may be some things you still get.

Some positions may offer severance pay, even if you were fired.

You may also be able to continue your health insurance for a time through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). This will be more expensive, as you will be paying the entire cost, but it may be important.

Don’t forget to compare what you can get through healthcare.gov.

Know your rights if your employer asks you to sign a nondisclosure or noncompete agreement. Employers usually cannot enforce a noncompete agreement in California, for example.

If you have a 401k with your employer, you have a few options. You can leave it there, roll it over into a 401k with your new employer, move it into an IRA, or cash it out. Consider your options carefully.

job hunt planning

Review Your Finances

Just what is your financial situation without your job? Are you going to be okay without a job for a while, or is it a major crisis? How can you stretch things out if necessary?

Depending on whether or not you get unemployment benefits and what other money your family has coming in, you may or may not have a huge rush to get a new job.

You’ll do best if you cut out unnecessary expenditures, so what money you do have lasts as long as possible. You don’t want any trouble if the job hunt takes longer than you thought it would.

Contact Potential References

Just because you were fired from a company doesn’t mean that no one there will be a good reference for your new job hunt. If there was a supervisor or someone else you worked well with, you may still get a good professional reference from them. Ask if you think it’s possible.

Also start contacting references from previous jobs if possible. Places you volunteer may be another place to find references.

Think About Why You Were Fired

Don’t focus on this right away. Give it a couple days first, then think about why you were fired? Was it something you did, or completely out of your control? Be honest with yourself. This is something you should learn from.

Think About What New Kind Of Work You’d Like

One thing about being fired, you’re now free to consider what direction you’d like your career to go. You no longer have the security of a job keeping you from seeking out better or just different.

You can, of course, stick with your current career path if that’s where you want to be. Even with work at home jobs, there are a number of companies to work for in most industries. Even when things didn’t end the way you wanted it to, you have some amount of experience in it. It may not be significant if you weren’t on the job long, but if it was a position you held for some years, that’s good.

This may be the perfect time to update your skills and education if you can afford to do so.

find job

Start Job Hunting

Once you’ve had a little time to deal with the shock of being fired, it’s time to start looking for a work at home job. If you’ve already had one work at home job, you may remember having a difficult search. It’s not at all uncommon to have a hard time finding remote work.

Prepare yourself for your work at home job hunt. Planning ahead will help you deal with them. You can greatly improve your chances of getting a work at home job if you have the right training or experience when you apply for jobs. Employers hate dealing with all the people who think they can land a job that they have absolutely no qualifications for.

Make sure that you clean up your social media so that you look good online during your job hunt. Especially for remote jobs, this may be one of the major ways you make an impression on potential employers. You want it to be a good one.

Get Your Resume Ready

Take some time and prepare a good resume. Odds are it has changed somewhat since you last looked for work. You want your new resume to reflect where you want to go next and be easily targeted toward potential new jobs.

Prepare a basic cover letter too. Like your resume, you’ll customize this to target each potential employer, but it’s a lot easier if you have a basic version ready to start.

You do not need to bring up that you were fired in your cover letter or resume. Deal with that issue honestly when it’s necessary, not before.

Never lie on your resume or job application. That would give future employers cause to terminate you.

Network

No matter the reason why you need a new job, networking matters. If you have contacts in your industry, especially if they might know about work at home positions, let them know you’re in the market for a new job. You never know who will know about something.

Think About How To Handle Your Firing In a Job Interview

The question is going to come up about why you left your last position. You need an honest reason. Don’t say anything bad about your former employer or why you were fired. Focus instead on what you learned from it. You may be able to turn it positive and show how you’ve grown as a potential employee.

Look For Ways To Earn Money While You Hunt For A Job

Don’t spend all of your energy looking for the perfect long-term job. Taking on freelance jobs and side gigs can make a lot of sense when you’re unemployed. There are lots of super flexible companies out there that allow you to earn money on your own schedule. That’s a huge help when you never know when a job interview will come up.

Remember to report any income when you file for unemployment if you’re receiving money from them! You do NOT want to pay a penalty for failing to report income. Report any and all income.

Don’t Be Ashamed

Lots of people get fired. It hurts, it’s easy to be embarrassed or ashamed at first, but many people have had the same experience. It’s rough, but it can be an opportunity too. Don’t let the fact that you were fired from your work at home job keep you from doing what needs to get done.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 12th, 2019

What Kind of Schedule Should You Expect When You Work at Home?

What Kind of Schedule Should You Expect When You Work at Home?

One of the major reasons people want to work at home is to have a flexible schedule. The problem is that not all home based jobs are as flexible as you might hope. Some are downright strict about their scheduling in fact. When you work from home for someone else, your schedule is often subject to their needs. Some have more flexible needs, while others need more of a routine from you.

Full Time, Regular Business Hours Work

Some employers will expect you not only work full time, but to stick to regular business hours, starting about 8 or so in the morning, finishing around 5. Things such as picking the kids up from school that many people want to do when they work at home, may not be possible at these jobs. Childcare of some sort is probably a necessity, so that you won’t have too many distractions. Then again, that’s a good idea for most work at home positions.

The good: You know when you’ll work. You might sometimes have overtime, but that’s true at many jobs. You’re working full time, but you don’t have to worry about horrible traffic during your commute.

The bad: It’s not flexible. You can’t decide to start work when it pleases you.

work at home scheduling

Full Time, Off Hours Work

Some jobs are full time, but the hours are nontraditional, maybe late night or early morning, but still a fairly regular schedule. These jobs can be great if they match with your preferred work hours or make it possible for you to work when the kids are asleep rather than pay for childcare.

The good: If you need to work slightly nontraditional hours but also want a predictable schedule, you may enjoy working an off hours schedule.

This may be a help if you need to drop children off at school or pick them up, or if you just like working different hours from the traditional schedule.

The bad: It may involve working overnight, which may not suit you. The schedule may be set up more to accommodate people working at the main office rather than remote workers wherever they may be.

Full Time, Flexible Hours

Other employers want a full time schedule out of you, but when you work may be more up to you. If you need to change things up, they don’t mind so long as your work gets done. There may still be scheduled meetings that you have to attend online. Communication and collaboration are important, after all.

The good: If you have obligations during the day, you can still meet them, so long as you work enough hours. That’s great for parents of school-age children, so long as the kids don’t interrupt you while you’re working.

The bad: Flexible hours doesn’t always mean flexible in your favor. Sometimes it means you work the hours your employer needs you, not the hours you want to work.

Part Time, Regular Hours

Many part time work at home jobs still require that you work a regular schedule. You have your days and times to work, and that’s when you work. If you need to change your schedule, you have to plan in advance with your boss, just like with an outside the home job.

The good: You know when you have to be at work.

The bad: The hours your employer wants you to work may not be the hours you would choose if you had the option.

wahm schedule

Part Time, Changing Schedule

Some part time work at home jobs expect you to follow a schedule, but you choose the schedule on a weekly or other basis. Once you’ve signed up for hours, you’re expected to work them, and if you need to make a change, make sure you clear it with management.

The good: If you get to pick your hours, you can select ones that work with your needs. Want to chaperone a field trip? Sign up for a schedule that allows it, and hope you get it.

The bad: You may not always get the schedule you want. Some employers may not be all that understanding if you have to make a change in the schedule you selected.

Part Time, Flexible Hours

Other part time home based jobs are more flexible. You may not have to report your schedule, just so long as you get the work done. Sometimes all you have to do is sign on when you’re ready to work, making for a super flexible job. If you can’t commit to a regular schedule, that’s a great thing.

The good: You need to run an errand? Do it! Work when you want.

The bad: Some jobs that let you pick your own schedule only have limited work available. If there’s nothing available when you sign on, you’re out of luck. It may be difficult to earn enough money in these cases.

100% Flexible Hours

Full time, part time, what’s that? Who cares about schedules?

Some jobs aren’t much concerned with when or how much you work, just that the work gets done. The challenge may be getting work when you’re ready, as some jobs like this have a bunch of employees, and if there’s no work available when you want to work, that’s just your tough luck.

The good: You can set up the schedule you want. That’s great if you prefer to break your day up more than usual.

The bad: They expect you to get how much done? By when? Sometimes the demands are high when you’re given a lot of control over your schedule. It’s also easy to work too many or too few hours for the needs of your job. Then again, you may be competing with others for available work,

Also, remember that some flexible jobs are flexible in favor of your employer’s needs, not yours. They may change your schedule to suit their needs, not yours.

schedule planning

On Call

Not all jobs really have a schedule as such. Sometimes you’re on call. There should be some sort of schedule for the days and times that you’re on call, but they may be pretty broad, depending on how much work comes of being called on. You have to be ready to work when your employer needs you.

The good: You know when you’re going to be on call in most cases, so you can plan around it to a degree.

The bad: You never know when you’re going to work or how much you’ll need to do. If a call comes in the middle of the night, you still have to handle it.

Know What’s Right For You

When you accept a work at home job, be sure that you can handle the schedule expected. Few things lose you a job like being unable to handle the expected workload.

Think carefully about what kind of schedule you can handle. Be realistic about the demands you expect on your time, especially if you have children or aging parents to care for. There are situations where working outside the home makes more sense, even if you want to work at home with all your heart.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 15th, 2019

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

How badly do you want to earn money from home? Maybe you need the money desperately. Maybe you just need a side hustle. But when you need to earn money online around your schedule, it helps to know which sites offer the flexible opportunities you need.

But wanting to earn money online with a flexible schedule doesn’t mean you need to accept low pay. You should know what your time is worth so that you aren’t accepting absurdly low pay for your efforts. There are lots of ways to make the most of the skills you have to offer.

These sites vary in what you’ll be doing, how much you’ll make for it and how fast they’ll pay. None of these pay in points toward a drawing or other rewards – you deserve real money when you do the work.

I also considered whether it’s likely to pay enough to be worth your time. I really don’t like to see people earning under minimum wage just because they’re working online. That’s not a good way to build an income, whether you want to live on it or just supplement what you already earn.

Always be aware of the signs of a work at home scam when you’re looking at ways to earn money online. You want to make money, not lose it.

computer and coffee

1. Upwork

Elance and Odesk have merged, and now their main platform is called Upwork. The old Odesk site redirects to Upwork, while Elance is still available. However, they intend to go to a single platform eventually, so if this is the route you want to take to freelancing, I would suggest simply signing up with Upwork.

Upwork is a general freelance site. You can offer many kinds of work as a freelancer there, such as web or mobile developers, designers, writers, customer service and more.

Upwork does not accept all applicants. If they feel there is not sufficient work in their marketplace, they will decline your application.

For this reason, I suggest that you list a range of skills. There are tons of writers on Upwork, for example, so you need to stand out as more than just a basic writer to get your application approved if that’s the kind of work you’re looking for. There’s a post with some great advice on how to get your Upwork application accepted here.

2. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a freelance site with a focus on web design, development, content and promotion. You can search for jobs and send proposals as you do on other sites, but you can also offer Hourlies, which are fixed priced jobs you offer that can be started quickly and completed in as little as an hour.

3. Etsy

If crafting is more your thing, you can open a shop on Etsy and sell them. You can sell handmade or vintage items there. Just take a look at the many things people sell there and think about what you can do. You have to be careful about making up not only the cost of the items you sell, but your time spent making or finding them when you sell on Etsy, but if you’re good at it, you can make a good profit there.

There are plenty of books and ebooks available that can help you get a good start at Etsy, such as Your Etsy Profit Machine or Etsy Empire. As with any business, there are ways to make your early days easier as you learn all the ins and outs of it.

computer and flowers

4. VIPKID

Did you know that there are flexible teaching jobs out there? VIPKID doesn’t require a ton of experience, although they do expect you to have a Bachelor’s degree as well as at least one year of experience in teaching, mentoring or tutoring.

Perhaps the most challenging part of teaching for VIPKID is that the peak hours are often in the middle of the night. There’s a little more range on the weekends. Your students will be in China, so your availability has to be when they’re ready to learn.

Pay ranges from $14-22 an hour, and it’s a six month contract. You choose your own schedule. They recommend being available for at least 7.5 hours a week. Students book with you, so the more available you are, the more classes you will teach.

5. Appen

Appen hires people as social media evaluators. You have to commit to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, with at least one weekend day, according to a current opening listing. The work is improving newsfeed relevancy on social media websites.

6. Lyft And Other Driving Jobs

Lyft and other driving jobs are extremely popular. It’s easier to earn money from them in some areas than in others, as there are simply more people needing you to drive them or run errands.

The great part about these opportunities is that you decide when you’re open to accepting opportunities. You don’t need a schedule as such, although there are better and worse times to be driving. Certain times may even be worth a premium.

The biggest challenge for some may be the age requirements for the vehicle you drive. If your car is too old, you simply may not qualify, regardless of how well you’ve maintained it.

Make sure you consider the cost of gas and maintenance when considering whether a drive is worth it. Sometimes it comes out on the low side.

laptop on desk

7. Boost Media

Boost Media is a good choice if you’re expert with improving ad performance with either copywriting or optimized images. Advertisers hold contests for ads they want improved, and you get paid if they pick yours. Yes, this means sometimes you’ll write or create something that won’t earn anything, but over time you’ll get a better feel for what works. Apply using their “Write For Us” link to get started.

8. Fiverr

What do you have to offer that someone would pay $5 for? Fiverr allows you to offer a wide variety of products or services that you charge $5 for. They keep a share, so that is not exactly your pay, however. Anything you offer at that price needs to be something you can fulfill with minimal time and effort; however, you can charge more for addon services.

Some people offer some pretty unusual things on Fiverr, so much so that there’s an entire category called “Fun & Bizarre.” Prank calls, wild rants, psychic services and much more are listed there. You don’t have to stick to serious business offerings. You can have some fun.

9. Gigwalk

Gigwalk is a different kind of job. You download an app to your Android or iOS device, register an account and do gigs in your area. You might be sent to verify that a product is on the shelf in a particular store, check on a marketing event, and so forth, things that need to be done locally but that might be otherwise inconvenient for a company to check on themselves. Reports often need to include geotagged photos. Gigs can take from minutes to hours, and the pay range reflects that.

typing chart

10. TranscribeMe

If you want to try transcription, TranscribeMe is a highly flexible way to get a bit of work when you want it. The audio you will be transcribing is less than a minute long. Pay is per audio hour, and you must keep that in mind when considering what you’re earning. It may be a bit challenging to get a good work flow going with such short files. You must have the Chrome browser to access the work hub.

The pay is not good enough for a professional transcriber, but if you’re just starting out, this is a place to try out for a time.

11. Quicktate

Quicktate is another transcription site, with audio ranging from a couple minutes to a few hours. There is a $15 fee for a background check, which is a negative, but Quicktate has a long record as a paying employer. Transcription work may involve voicemail, memos, legal or medical files, conference calls and so forth. They’re associated with iDictate, which you may also apply for if you test well enough at Quicktate. Your hours are completely up to you.

As with TranscribeMe, pay is not very good, but when you’re a beginning transcriptionist looking for work, it’s an okay start.

There Are Other Flexible Ways To Earn Money Online

While working at home is not always flexible, there are many other ways to earn money online on your own schedule.

Blogging is popular, but you never know if your blog will earn money or not. It’s super easy to start your own blog, however, and I strongly recommend you do so if it interests you at all. So long as you understand the risks it’s worth a try. It might just work out.

Freelance writing is another option. There are lots of companies that use freelance writers, beyond what I could ever keep up with on this site. And of course there are all kinds of freelance opportunities out there.

If you’re looking for still more work at home jobs, take a look at the Home With The Kids job board. There are hundreds of possibilities there, with new ones added on weekdays.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.