Last Updated March 20th, 2018

What Does It Take To Work at Home In Customer Service?

What Does It Take To Work at Home In Customer Service?

Have you been considering working at home in customer service? It’s a very popular option for people who want a home based job. It’s perceived as an easy, almost anyone can do it job. Perception isn’t the same as reality, however, and many people find the requirements more difficult to meet than they expected. Do you have what it takes to work at home in customer service? Here are some of the things you need to know.

Are You Qualified To Work At Home In Customer Service?

It’s true that you may not need a lot of experience to work at home in customer service. There are a number of companies that hire agents for entry level jobs. A few are LiveOpsNexRepTalk2Rep, and [email protected]. You can learn more about these companies by checking out my entry level remote jobs post or by visiting the company job pages to see current listings.

Even entry level jobs have certain expectations, of course. They generally require at least a high school diploma. They may require a certain typing speed. You must also be computer literate. No employer will be willing to teach you the basics of using a computer that you should already know before applying for a job that mostly uses computers.

Other companies expect you to have customer service experience already. They don’t want people who are unfamiliar with the work. These jobs may pay a little better. It’s something to keep an eye out for as you build experience if your current job isn’t paying enough.

Some jobs will only be available to people who live in certain states. This can have to do with taxes or legal reasons. Other times they may expect you to come in for training at a certain location, and so need you to be local, even though your work after training will be done at home.

Have A Quiet Space To Work

Failing to have a quiet enough space to work is one of the big reasons customer service work at home jobs don’t work out. Employers check for background noise on your calls sometimes.

This means that if you have a baby or child who might start screaming for you while you work, you probably won’t last. Same for if the dog barks or the cat is noisy trying to get your attention. Noisy neighbors or someone coming to the door may be a problem as well.

Customer service is one of those work at home jobs you really cannot do at the kitchen table unless you’re home alone.

Some employers may expect you to have a door you can close to respect customer privacy. Most customer service agents handle at least a little private information, even if it’s just customer contact information.

Honestly, the requirement for a quiet workspace may be even more stringent than what is expected of people in some call centers. You’ve probably heard plenty of background noise when talking to people who work in call centers.

Of course, those are all sounds that go with a call center, not a person at home. Companies don’t want customers to know that their employees work at home, as some people regard that as less professional.

Have The Right Equipment

Good equipment is a must to work at home in customer service. Not only will it make your job easier, it may help keep the background noise out of your calls.

But before that comes the right internet and telephone connections. Most remote customer service jobs require a wired connection, both for your phone and for your internet connection. This improves the security of the connection, which protects customer privacy.

Your internet connection must be high speed, usually cable or FIOS. Wifi, satellite internet or cell phone data connections are not good enough. If you can’t connect to your router through a wired connection, you won’t qualify for most of these jobs.

Depending on the employer, you may use a VOIP connection through your computer or need a wired telephone connection. You may need to get a dedicated line through your telephone provider. This line cannot have call waiting or any other feature that might interfere with your ability to take calls for your employer.

To go with that, you will need a wired telephone headset. Some employers will prefer specific models, and it’s best to check with them before buying something. Most will insist on a noise cancelling model, so that very few background noises will make it through to your calls. It probably won’t fully cancel out a screaming child, but may help with other common background noises.

You can buy some models locally, but for a wider selection, is easier.

And of course, your computer must be current enough. Once in a while you will find a job that requires an older operating system, but most prefer a very current version of Windows. Some employers cannot accept applicants who use Mac OS.

Know How Flexible The Job Really Is

Many people want to work at home because they want flexible hours. It’s nice to be able to work when the baby goes down for a nap when you’re a new parent, or between other activities of your day. That’s not how it always works, however.

Most employers will expect you to set a schedule. You may have to bid for schedules each week and be expected to stick to that schedule. In other words, you can’t schedule based on how that particular day is going. Employers need to know that they’ll have coverage for incoming calls at all times.

If you have a set schedule or bid for a schedule, stick to it. Adherence is one of the big ways employers evaluate remote employees in these kinds of jobs. If you’re always late to your shift or quit taking calls early, they will notice and mark you down for it.

Some will expect you to work within normal office hours, while others are open 24/7/365, and expect you to be available for night and weekend shifts. Depending on the best hours for you to work, this can be a good thing. College students, for example, may love that they can get work hours after classes are out for the day.

If the job is more flexible about when you work, the availability of work may depend on call volume or by who signs in first. Just because you’re available at a particular time doesn’t mean work will be there waiting for you.

Understand Your Pay Rate

Many customer service work at home jobs pay on talk time, rather than hourly. This means that if you aren’t on a call, you aren’t getting paid. Obviously, this sucks if you have a shift that gets very few calls, but you have to sit there waiting.

Other positions may pay hourly.

Some customer service jobs may offer commissions or bonuses, especially if you’re expected to upsell. This can be a big help if you do well, but don’t assume that you will get top commissions right at the start. When considering your base pay plus commissions, it can be safer to assume you’re near the bottom so that any extra is a bonus, not something you’re relying on.

Understand Employer Expectations

Make sure you understand what your employer expects you to do. This goes beyond merely sticking to your schedule.

Many employers, for example, will train you on a script. On some jobs, part or all of the script may be a legal requirement, not just something your employer wants you to say. I had to deal with that when I worked for the phone company many years ago. While many parts of the calls we could be flexible, there were certain things that absolutely had to be said in a particular way each and every time.

Employers may expect you to try to make a sale on every call. This is a real pain when you’re dealing with a customer complaint. Once again, speaking from experience. There are times when you can resolve a complaint with a better product, but other times the attempt at a sale will only annoy the customer, and you know it will only annoy them, but your employer will expect you to do so anyhow. Having to make sales can be fun on the right calls, but there will be times when you wish you could just handle the problem without the pressure to sell something at the same time.

Beware Of Customer Service Job Scams

There are scammers who set up job listings that claim to offer customer service jobs from home. Make sure you don’t fall for anything too easily.

As with any other work at home job scams, there are some key things to look out for.

The first thing is to see how they’re contacting you or want you to contact them. You’re best off applying directly through the employer’s website, or through a link their website directed you to. It’s not at all uncommon for employers to have one job board or another handle job applications.

If the job contacted you or you found the job listing elsewhere (even here), look into it carefully. Make sure it’s the real thing before you apply.

Big warning signs include being directed to apply on a different website or being requested to send your application to some Gmail or similar address. Very few real employers have applicants send in their information that way.

Another warning sign is when the pay is too good to be true. Scammers rely on greed or need overtaking common sense. If the pay is oddly high and the interest in your qualifications is minimal, it’s most likely a scam and you should skip it.

If you have any doubts at all about a work at home job, research it before you give any personal information. It’s better to take a little extra time with these things and be safe rather than fall for a scam. Falling for a scam will take up a ridiculous amount of your time dealing with the aftermath, not to mention any money you may lose to it.

Expect Your Job Hunt To Take Time

Very few people find a work at home job of any sort right away. It’s no different from searching for any other kind of work in that respect. Just think about how many people you know who have searched for a job outside the home for months with little or no success. It’s no different when you’re looking for something to do from home.

Except that there are probably fewer jobs and more people applying for them. Most home based jobs are open to people in many states, and may even be available worldwide. You aren’t just competing with your local workforce for these positions.

Take Your Work At Home In Customer Service Job Seriously

Once you’ve landed that work at home in customer service job, take it seriously. You need to be every bit as professional as you would be if you worked in their office.

Adhere to your schedule, as mentioned before. Be professional with the customers you’re dealing with. Demand that family and friends respect your work hours.

That last may take some time, depending on how your family and friends view work at home jobs. Some have a lot of trouble taking them seriously. But if you are strict with them, they will learn eventually that they can’t expect you to drop everything with your work at home job any more than they would expect someone who worked outside the home to do that.

If you aren’t sure that your family will handle it, practice before you get started. Tell everyone you’re doing a practice shift, go into your home office, and do something on your computer. See if they can leave you alone and keep things quiet enough.

Talk to them after about what went right and what went wrong. This may help you come up with a plan for when you’re really working. Getting off to a good start is the best way to ensure that you keep your new work at home customer service job when you get it.

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 March 13th, 2018

Coworking Space Vs. Coffee Shop – Which Is Better?

Coworking Space Vs. Coffee Shop - Which Is Better?

What do you do when you work at home, but you don’t want to work AT home on a particular day? The coffee shop is the traditional answer for many people. You get your coffee, you get your wifi, and a little bit of socialization. So long as the coffee shop doesn’t mind you hanging around, it’s a pretty good deal.

But have you considered a coworking space? It costs more than going to a coffee shop, but it has a lot of advantages too. Let’s take a look at a coworking space vs. coffee shop so that you can decide which is better for your needs.

The Coffee Shop

Coffee shops have long been the choice for teleworkers who need to get out of the house for a while, but want to keep working. The free wifi and easy access to coffee and snacks, makes it a highly appealing place to work when you don’t have to be glued to your home office.

Even if you don’t chat with other customers, it’s a little bit of human contact, which many work at home parents need. You can even bring your kids if necessary, although bringing children means you probably won’t stay to work as long. Coffee shops aren’t made for little kids to sit around at very often, and there’s only so long that their tablets can keep them well enough behaved.

Coffee shop

On the minus side, you’re taking up space the coffee shop may need for other customers, and they may not like it if you stay too long without additional purchases. Most people recommend that you make a purchase every couple hours at least.

You shouldn’t make a lot of phone calls or do other noisy work while working in a coffee shop. You’ll annoy the other patrons, and it’s rude. These are things you should be doing elsewhere.

Meeting quietly with a client or coworker at a coffee shop isn’t too bad, so long as you aren’t disrupting the other patrons, and you have each purchased something.

A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be louder than the other patrons. If the shop tends to be quiet, your phone calls will be more resented than if there are a lot of people already chatting. Of course, a louder shop also makes it harder to hear the other person on the call, not to mention the background noise they may get. There’s a balance you should find.

Above all else, respect that the coffee shop is a business, and you’re using their facilities.

The Coworking Space

A coworking space costs more to use than a coffee shop, but it has a lot of advantages. It can be worthwhile to use one at times. Some work at home employers offer a stipend to use a coworking space.

The first thing to do when considering a coworking space is to see if they offer a free one day trial. Many do, and you should use it before you consider whether you want to use the space more often. This gives you a chance to meet the other people who use the space. You’ll get a feel for if the culture there is what you want. They should at least offer a tour if they don’t have a free trial.

Coworking space

You might be surprised by how affordable a coworking space can be. I took a look at the website of a local coworking space, called The Orange Space. I’m not going to quote prices, as these vary so much from coworking space to coworking space. A day pass may not far off from what you might spend in a day at the coffee shop. Coworking spaces may offer part time and full time memberships available too. If you used this kind of space regularly, it could come out cheaper than going to the coffee shop.

Plus this one, at least, includes coffee and tea. You’ll have to bring your own snacks.

Costs will vary quite a bit depending on your area. I saw prices ranging from $12 for a single day pass, up to the $500 range for a dedicated, full time desk. Prices get higher if you need a space for a team, but I considered what an individual might pay. Several places had monthly plans starting at $100 per month, which is very reasonable. A few go higher for individuals than $500/month, but those are in expensive areas.

You definitely don’t want to bring your kids to a coworking space. It’s a professional space, and the other people working won’t appreciate the distraction, even if the kids are mostly good. Many coworking spaces do not allow children at all.

A few coworking spaces offer childcare as well, which is great if that’s a problem you’re facing. It costs extra to use the childcare, of course, but if you need that help it’s a great convenience. Collab&Play is one such company.

The great part about coworking spaces is that everyone else is there for the same reason – to work! While you may chat with the other people working there, you all have the goal of having a productive day. Still, coworking gives you a great chance to network and connect with other remote workers in your area.

Which Is Better?

When considering a coworking space vs. coffee shop, it may not be clear which is better for your needs.

If your use will be rare and you don’t care about networking with other professionals, you may as well stick to the coffee shop for those days that you need to get out of the house. Libraries may be a good choice too.

On the other hand, if you like getting out of the house to work often, and enjoy the ability to network with other professionals, go for the coworking space if it’s in your budget. Take a look at the ones available in your area, and try out the ones that look good to you. See if they’re a fit. So long as you don’t need anything fancy in your coffee, many of them include that. You won’t even miss out on your caffeine.

These aren’t your only choices for places to work when you work at home. You have a lot more options. But both coworking spaces and coffee shops are popular due to the advantages they have to offer.

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 March 5th, 2018

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

You’re looking for a work at home job, and you think you’ve found something. But they’re asking for some information you aren’t sure that you should share. When is the right time to share the information they’re asking for? How do you know which information you should share when looking for a work at home job?

This isn’t always easy to answer. It can depend on the kind of work you’re looking at and how confident you are that the opportunity is legitimate.

When In Doubt, Don’t Share

We all worry about being scammed when looking for stay at home jobs. It’s normal. There are a lot of scams out there.

This makes sharing even normal personal information requested on any other job application more difficult when you’re talking about applying online. You just don’t have the reassurance that you get from applying with a local company. Most local companies you can drive by and see their actual location. You know they’re real because you’ve been there.

You can do a pretty good job of researching potential employers if you know how. Look up reviews for them online. Many companies are reviewed by current and former employees on sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor. You can learn about them on LinkedIn as well. Make sure you know the company’s name and do a little research on them before you apply for a job.

When in doubt, see if you can submit the online application without all the information filled out, and use the comment box (if available) to explain why you have left certain information out. A Social Security Number, for example, is necessary for a company to deal with taxes, and may be requested if a background check is being done. It’s really not necessary to share it otherwise, and you can take the chance of offering to provide it only if you make it that far in the hiring process.

Information You Shouldn’t Share Immediately

There is some information that you should not share with a potential employer until you know that the opportunity is legitimate and that the employer needs it. This would include your social security number and banking information.

An employer only needs your social security number once you’re hired or to run a background check. They shouldn’t need it sooner than that. If they want your social security number sooner, find out why and decide if you’re comfortable with their reasoning.

Your banking information can be very high risk to share. It’s wonderful when your employer lets you sign up for direct deposit so that you get paid sooner, but there is a risk in giving them access to that information.

You also don’t need to share information about your family or personal situation more than absolutely necessary. Talking about your kids or other parts of your family life can make you look less professional, and make it less likely that you will be hired for the job. It doesn’t matter that you want to work at home to have more time with your kids. Potential employers want to know what you’ll do for them, not what they’ll do for you.

In general, not just in your job hunt, you should never share your contact information, social security number, or birth date publicly. This includes on social media. Putting too much information out there in general sets you up for identity theft. And of course, never share your mother’s maiden name or any of the other information you may have used to secure your bank account.

Is Professionally Embarrassing Information Already Out There?

A lot of people have discovered that information they’ve shared online socially can impact them professionally. More and more employers check applicants out online to see what’s out there. Employers may expect you to give them links to your social media accounts so that they can check them out easily. If they want this, take some time to make sure your social media accounts won’t mess up your job hunt.

No one has perfect control over what appears on a search for their name online. I’m not currently on the first page for my name, one of the curses of having a very common name. But since I’m not exactly going for the guru thing I’ve never stressed about getting my name up there in the rankings.

But the factors you do control you should take into consideration. Look at how you’re presenting yourself on social networks and anywhere else you appear online. Work at home jobs will mostly be concerned with your professionalism, and depending on the position you’re applying for these things can be quite relevant.

Keep It Professional

One important thing to do when you’re looking for a job online is to make sure you give a professional appearance with the information you provide. This means you don’t want to have an email address that’s fun to have socially but might make a potential employer lose interest in you. An email address based on your name is best for most purposes, and it can be nice to keep your job hunting emails separate from the usual personal stuff anyhow.

Potential employers also aren’t going to be interested in your home situation. Even if they’re hiring you for a home based position, they don’t need to know about your kids or how you’re going to handle caring for them while you work. That’s your problem and the expectation is that you’ll handle it.

What they do want to know is why you’re the right employee for them to hire. Make a good impression in that area by emphasizing your relevant skills. Potential employers need employees who know how to separate their family life from their work at home life. If you can’t do that in the application process, they may feel that you won’t keep them appropriately separated when you’re working.

Don’t Speak Poorly Of Current Or Previous Jobs

Never speak negatively of your current or previous jobs. If you worked for a company and it went out of business, you can say that. It even gives you a good reason for leaving.

But don’t go into problems you had at your old job. Potential employers will only care in that they will wonder how you will speak of them outside of work or when you leave. Speaking ill of an employer, past or present, reflects negatively on your professionalism, not on the employer you’re talking about.

Don’t Be Desperate

You may be desperate to land a job. I hear it all the time from people contacting me about finding ways to work at home. They need money, badly.

That’s not the potential employer’s problem. Some might even take advantage and offer you a lower rate of pay than they might otherwise because they know they have the upper hand.

Any situation that isn’t relevant to that employer is something you shouldn’t share. That goes double if it makes you sound desperate for a job. Needing a job badly won’t make them more interested in you as a candidate. It might make them consider paying you less if they decide to hire you.

Hunting for a job always means sharing some personal information. Someone offering you a job (not a business opportunity) without wanting to know about your work history probably doesn’t have a real job to offer you. Make sure you know what the appropriate limits are, and if it feels wrong to share a particular piece of information, find out if it’s really necessary to share it.

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 26th, 2018

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

Being scammed is one of the big fears of every work at home job seekers. If you’ve done any research at all about working at home, you know that it’s a real concern. But the question is, how concerned should you be? How can you find safe work at home jobs?

In part, this depends on how you look for a work at home job. If you use the right resources, it’s fairly safe. The wrong ones, pretty risky. No matter how you look for a work at home job, there are things you can do to make your work at home job search safer.

Know The Signs Of A Work At Home Scam

The most important thing you need to know when looking for a work at home job is what the signs of a scam are. Knowing this will help you avoid them.

This will help you even if a scammer is using the name of a legitimate company to fool you. It happens – in fact, some companies that offer work at home jobs have warnings about this on their sites because it’s such a problem.

Your classic work at home scam will offer too much money for too little work. That’s the essential basis for scams such as the check cashing scam. They send you a check or money order for hundreds or thousands of dollars, tell you to keep a couple hundred for yourself and wire the rest back to them. It works on some people because they get greedy. The idea that you can earn hundreds for a half hour’s work, including driving, is pretty appealing to many people.

Poor grammar and lots of typos are often indicative of scams. Many come from people who do not speak English as their native language, so when they try to scam someone who speaks English, it’s not written the same way a native speaker would write it. It may also help to weed out those who are too aware, as the ones who dismiss the scam due to how it’s written may be too likely to see through it. Scams prey on the unwary.

I’ve written quite a bit about work at home scam on other occasions. Read these for more detailed information.

The Work at Home Job Seeker’s Guide to Scams
How to Spot a Work at Home Scam
4 Work at Home Scam Emails
What If The Work At Home Job Is Legitimate But Illegal Or Unethical?
The Check Cashing Scam Is Still Around

Know The Kind Of Work At Home Job You’re Looking For

It’s much easier to fall for a work at home scam if you have no idea what kind of work you’re looking for. This is because generic terms such as “work at home” are used to attract you even when you don’t have a type of job in mind.

I see so many people do this. They ask for help to find a work at home job, with no information beyond that because they haven’t thought that far. They want the advantages of working at home but haven’t truly considered it beyond that.

Know what you’re looking for. Are you open to a home business, starting a blog, etc., or do you only want a work at home job? What kind of job do you want? Do you have work experience? What skills, even if you haven’t used them in a job?

Being specific allows you to narrow down your search quickly. That’s vital for a safe work at home job hunt. It won’t guarantee that you avoid all the scams, but it helps.

Use Trusted Resources

Perhaps the best way to have a safe work at home job hunt is to use trusted resources to find a work at home job. I aim to have this blog and my remote job board be that kind of a resource.

If you aren’t certain about the kind of jobs you’re looking to do at home, for example, you can try my list of entry level remote jobs or my list of remote jobs with benefits. Either will give you a good number of places to start your search.

Even trusted resources can fail you. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone through my list of companies to find out that one or another has gone out of business since I last checked. That puts the company’s domain at risk for being used by scammers. Things change fast on the internet sometimes, and it’s not always for the better. This is why you must always use caution in your job hunt.

Use Caution With Your Personal Information

Always be careful when sharing your personal information online, especially your Social Security number, credit card number, or bank information.

Some legitimate companies have been known to ask for your Social Security number during the application process. I recommend trying not to share that until you’ve been offered a job – they don’t need that information until then.

Some companies will ask for credit card information to pay for a background check. I’ve never liked the notion of potential employees paying for a background check, but that’s how some companies do it. Be very, very certain that they’re legitimate before taking a chance on this.

Companies shouldn’t need any banking information until they’re paying you, and so that should never be shared in an application.

Anyone who is too eager to get your personal information too quickly should be eyed with caution. It might be normal for their particular business, but it’s not a good idea for you to go along with it too easily.

Places You Shouldn’t Look For A Work At Home Job

There are some places that are very high risk in your work at home job hunt. I would recommend avoiding these in general.

Street Signs & Public Bulletin Boards – You’ve probably seen the signs on the street or on bulletin boards advertising work at home or easy money opportunities. These are almost certainly scams. You may get the occasional person trying to recruit their downline for a network marketing company (a risk of a different sort), but many others are flat out scams.

Newspapers – Job offerings in newspapers can be legit, but how many people actually look in newspapers for jobs anymore? The scams that get posted in newspaper ads are looking for people who aren’t that savvy. You’re better off using your trusted online sources so that you can do research on the jobs you find during your search.

Newspapers are also too localized to be much good for work at home jobs. You might find one or two, but you can find so many more if you search online.

Comment Spam – How often have you seen spam comments on blog posts, forums, and social media advertising easy money earned from home? They aren’t honest. Usually, they just tell you to post ads of the same sort and make money on commissions. That’s not an honest model.

Craigslist – There are legitimate work at home jobs posted on Craigslist, but there are also scams. The community can flag the postings to shut them down, but they may still be up for a while. You’ll also find business opportunities claiming to be job opportunities. I’ve always hated that sort of deception, but people use it.

Can The Better Business Bureau Help You Find Safe Work At Home Jobs?

Many people will tell you to check with the Better Business Bureau when looking for work at home jobs. I’ve done so in the past, but these days I think there are better ways to figure out if a work at home job opportunity is, in fact, a scam.

Many people don’t realize that the Better Business Bureau is not a government agency. They are themselves a business. Companies pay to be members.

That said, sometimes you can use them to spot a scam. Just don’t use them as your only source, because they can’t tell you if someone is using the good name of a real company to scam you. They’re only helpful if scamming potential employees is all the business seems to do.

Know The Risks Of Home Business Opportunities

If you decide that your work at home job hunt is going to end with a home business opportunity of whatever sort, know what the risks are before you join.

Network marketing opportunities, for examples, are highly appealing to people who desperately need to earn money from home. Promoters can always point to the people who have earned a ton of money from the opportunity. You can usually check out the product before you join so that you know it’s something you’d like to do.

What often gets swept under the carpet is how many people lose money on these opportunities. Some people will lose thousands of dollars trying to keep up a good supply of products to sell. Most people who join even the best of the network marketing opportunities do not thrive at it. Others do very well, but it’s a risk you must be willing to take.

The same goes for blogging, much as I love it. You always hear about the people making five figures or more a month blogging. It sounds wonderful.

From what I’ve heard, most bloggers earn less than $100 a month. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

The great part about blogging is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything. If you decide you want to blog, I recommend spending a little on it, as good hosting and domain name aren’t free, but they are cheap. The risk is pretty low, and you don’t have to spend more until you’re ready to take that chance. Choose the right topic, and blogging is fun, regardless of the money made. I strongly recommend trying to earn money from your blog, just because it’s so awesome when it works, so long as you don’t overspend trying to make it happen.

Be careful of blogging courses and such. Many high income bloggers have them, and income from selling their courses may be a significant part of their income. Taking their course doesn’t guarantee that you’ll do equally well. The right course might just be a wise investment. The wrong one will be a waste.

The same goes for any other home business opportunity. Know the risks before you risk too much money. There are times when spending money is the best path to improving your home business. Other times it’s no better than a scam aimed at home business owners.

Safe Work At Home Jobs Can Be Found

If you give your job hunt time and don’t give in to desperation, safe work at home jobs can be found. Take the time to look over every opportunity carefully so that you know what you’re getting into before you share your personal information or spend any money. Do it right, and you’ll avoid most scams with ease.

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, 2018

Great Alternatives to Data Entry Work at Home Jobs

Great Alternatives to Data Entry Work at Home Jobs

One thing I’ve noticed in running this site is that many people who want to work at home start their search with something like data entry. It’s easy to understand why. Data entry work at home jobs sound easy, can be done on the computer by just about anyone, at any time of day, and with kids around. You don’t have to worry about noise.

No doubt the high appeal of data entry work at home jobs is why there are so many scams in that area. It’s easy to fall for things that are too good to be true when you’re looking for the easy solution.

There’s a simple truth about legitimate work at home opportunities. They’re work. It may come easier for some than for others, but it’s still work.

Pick right and you’ll enjoy your work more, but an effort on your part is still required.

So what can you do aside from data entry if you don’t think you have any work at home skills, need a flexible schedule and can’t count on a quiet household? Are you just out of luck?

Fortunately, no.

You Can Do More Than You Think

Mostly that’s because most people don’t realize how many skills they do have. If you have office skills, for example, you may be able to find work as a virtual assistant. If you have transportation you might try mystery shopping, although it can be hard to earn a good living until you have a lot of experience in that field.

You might find a job where you can do research online, or where you can look up court documents in your area. There are writing jobs for those with excellent writing skills. There are lots of freelance writing jobs out there.

If typing is what you really want to do, go learn general transcription. It will take some time to find a general transcription job that pays well enough to be worthwhile, but it has fewer training requirements than medical or legal transcription.

Beware The Work At Home Scams

In all cases, you want to watch out for work at home scams. They’re out there in spades. This is especially true if you are looking for something as popular as data entry work at home jobs.

If any job sounds good to you, check out the company. Ask on forums about them. Search the company name on your favorite search engine with the word “scam” and see what comes up. Take some time to think about it. Really understand what it is you are getting paid for.

And learn what the common scams are in different work at home industries. There are common signs that will help you to keep on the right path.

For data entry work at home jobs, one common scam is to try to get you into affiliate marketing. But not the honest kind of affiliate marketing. The scammers want you to post ads about how you can make money posting ads on forums, blogs, and social media. Never mind that these are places that ads are rarely welcome and most of you posts will be deleted. Or that the ads will be selling the same information about ad posting that you got from the ad you followed.

There are ways to make money as an affiliate posting on certain kinds of sites. These ads usually give you the wrong way. The very wrong way.

In general, anything that promises easy money is lying to you. Most ways that you can easily make money don’t work for more than a few people. Even in the areas where some people legitimately do make big bucks online, such as blogging or making YouTube videos, most people won’t make much at all. The ones that make a lot have worked hard at it, even when it looks easy from the outside. Just something to be aware of, even if you don’t let it stop you.

Learn New Skills

Let’s say there’s a work at home job opportunity that has caught your eye, but you don’t have the skills for it. What do you do then?

My simple answer: Go get the skills!

There are lots of opportunities to learn new skills that will allow you to work at home successfully. Some options are free, while others cost quite a bit of money. Whether you can do it depends on what you want to do and how much you can afford to spend.

Take medical coding, for example. Solid training for that through Career Step will cost you a few thousand dollars. But, their training is highly reputable, and it’s a job that has fair demand.

If you want to become a virtual assistant, the Horkey Handbook is a good choice, and costs $247 as of this writing. The course provides a ton of information, including 58 lessons and more than two hours of video. It also offers a full refund for if you aren’t satisfied.

A virtual assistant will sometimes do some data entry work, but much of the work is much more interesting than that. And it’s usually flexible.

You Don’t Want To Limit Yourself To Just Work At Home Jobs.

That’s not quite true. You might want to limit yourself to work at home jobs. Many people simply cannot picture themselves running a home business. You’re limiting your options when you do that, but that’s a choice you make.

But thinking about a home business means opening your options up tremendously. It’s not all direct sales and daycare… although those aren’t bad options at all if they’re what you will enjoy doing!

Considering a home business means opening yourself up to risk. You might fail. You might lose money.

Then again, you might make more money than you would have with a job. You might end up doing something you really, really love.

In a home business, you have the control. You decide what you do and learn how to do it. You decide when you work on it.

If you don’t work hard at a business, of course, it probably won’t go anywhere and won’t be more than a hobby.

But consider! You can start a blog about your life. Start an affiliate site about your favorite hobby. Sell crafts you make. Work as a website designer or other professional.

None of these will guarantee you an income, big or small. But it’s a lot of fun to try. Love what you write about, and you’ll give yourself a better chance than blogging about something that bores you. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll have fun trying.

While you still have to learn about scams when you start a home business, especially if you join an opportunity, you have much more control over what happens.

Much of my own online success has come from continuing hard work. Shortcuts have nothing to do with it. Low standards have nothing to do with it. Demanding a lot from myself does. When I’ve let work slide, my business has slid. And it’s hard bringing it back up.

You can do likewise when you decide to work from home, especially if you don’t limit yourself by thinking you don’t have the skills to succeed. These can be learned, even if you don’t get them on the first try. Keep working at what you’ve chosen to have your best chance at success.

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 I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.