Working remotely for an established company is similar to working a desk job except you get to work at home. Most jobs require you to chat with customers online or via the phone, but their biggest draw is the fact that you’ll earn an hourly wage and receive a (relatively) steady paycheck. You’ll usually be asked to work regular hours, but you can do it in your pajamas if you’d like. Even better, some companies might actually provide you with benefits.
A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
“The remote job market often mirrors the wider job market as a whole, which is why we see fields like medical and health, and computer and IT with the most remote jobs,” said Brie Reynolds, Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs. “They're some of the top fields for jobs in general, and they tend to hire for roles that translate well into a remote environment, where work is done largely on computers, phone, and email.”
How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search "surveys" on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment. There are many survey services out there that are fraudulent.
Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings. She aims to provide practical information and resources to help people navigate the flexible job market to find jobs that fit their lives. With a background in human resources and career advising, Brie has 12 years experience working with job seekers and employers, and she offers career, hiring, and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs Blog and media outlets like Fast Company, Forbes, and NBC News.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010, who is always in need of stylists. A few others include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website — all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
Freelance writers can more easily be thought of as a “writer for hire” or someone who is contracted out to write about a particular topic. If you have some writing chops, but don’t want to deal with all the extra work that goes into running a blog, you can hire yourself out and write for newspapers, large online publications and even other bloggers.
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