Why "Easy Work At Home" Is The Wrong Choice For Your Job Search

One of the big questions I get sometimes is how to find “easy work at home jobs.” The appeal of an easy work at home job is quite clear – easier to deal with the kids, low stress, but still bringing some money in. The problem is that “easy” isn’t really a good criterion when looking for work, especially from home.

“Easy Work At Home Jobs” Rarely Pays Well

Easy jobs of any sort rarely pay well at all. The more skill a job takes, the better the odds are that it will pay well.

If you want to try an easy job, try using a microtask site such as Amazon Turk. You won’t earn a lot of money doing most microtasks, but it is easy and flexible work. It can be difficult, however, to even reach minimum wage with microtasks.

Fiverr can also be easy, depending on what you offer there, but making sure that you’re getting paid adequately for the time you spend on it isn’t always easy. You have to find something that you can offer that only takes a little time but people will pay you to do. Then you need to show up well enough on Fiverr that people find your listing and choose you. Some do very well on Fiverr, but the learning curve is not easy for most. On the plus side, you can charge more than the original $5 that the site started out with.

There’s no reason for employers to pay well when a job is so easy that anyone can do it. If anyone can do it, there’s no shortage of people able to do the job. You may have a lot of competition for the easy jobs.

“Easy” Is Usually Dull

Usually when someone asks me about easy work at home jobs, they ask about data entry and such. That’s very repetitive work, generally not interesting at all. It’s very difficult to keep interested in a really boring job, which means it’s hard to work long enough to earn enough money with it.

If you’ve ever had an easy job, odds are that it was also mind-numbingly boring. A little mental or physical challenge makes any job more interesting.

“Easy” Is Vague

One person’s “easy” may not be so easy for someone else. What you find easy, someone else may find challenging. Asking for help finding “easy” work isn’t going to get you a very clear answer.

Sometimes that’s a good thing. If you find writing easy, blogging or freelance writing may appeal to you. Be prepared for writer’s block and other issues making your job more difficult… and most writing jobs still don’t pay all that well. There are writers who do quite well, but they’re in the minority. They also write the more interesting stuff, rather than merely trying to meet a word count for a short article on a subject they don’t care at all about.

“Easy” Often Leads To Scams

Many jobs that claim to be easy are in fact scams. There’s the classic mystery shopping scam where they offer you a cashier’s check to “shop” a particular bank – you keep a couple hundred for yourself, and wire the rest to the scammer. The problem is that the check is fake and now you’re on the hook for the money you sent them. Suddenly you’re in a mess that isn’t all that easy to deal with.

Scammers love the lazy. If you want easy money, you’re more likely to believe their claims when they offer it to you.

So What Should You Look For?

When you’re looking for a way to work at home, consider your skills and interests. Sure, you may want something really flexible, something easy, something you can do without paying for childcare, etc., but that shouldn’t necessarily be your first consideration. Find jobs that are a good match for your skills and interests first, then consider if they’re a match in other ways.

You can also look for work at home jobs that are flexible. If you wanted an easy job because you have small children or other obligations that may interrupt your day, flexible is probably what you were really after anyhow. I have a quick list of sites with flexible work at home jobs, and I’m sure there are many more companies out there.

If you aren’t certain whether a job is flexible, apply anyhow and ask at an appropriate point of the interview process. You might land a job that meets your needs even though the job ad didn’t emphasize that it was flexible.

Never assume that all work at home jobs are easy. They aren’t. People work at home in very technical jobs as well. One of my sisters did software development from home for a time, before deciding that working at home wasn’t for her.

There are work at home jobs that require advanced degrees, and ones that don’t care about your education. There are work at home jobs that require significant experience, and work at home jobs that require no experience. With today’s technology, just about any job that doesn’t require your physical presence in a particular space has the potential to be done at home.

How Do I Find A Work At Home Job?

To get started looking for a work at home job when you don’t know where to start, check out my post about getting started working from home. It has a lot of tips that might help you get things moving with a more realistic view of what to expect.

If you still go for an easy work at home job, consider it a stepping stone to better work, especially if it doesn’t pay well. Much as I discourage anyone from accepting less than minimum wage as a pay rate, I can understand why it’s sometimes necessary to do something so easy that the pay is absurdly low, just to get any money coming it. Just don’t accept it in the long run.