How to Work From Home Successfully
Can we talk silver linings for a moment? Out of the turmoil and upheaval that the past year has brought to us, one of the most positive changes has been the rise of working from home. The benefits of being able to structure your own workdays around family life and other commitments are unparalleled. If you’ve been dreaming of ditching your 9 to 5 and want to know how to work from home successfully, you’re in the right place.
Find Something You Enjoy
One of the most attractive aspects of working from home is that you can work anywhere that has an internet connection. Not being limited to your local area opens up the entire world to you. When you start looking for a job online, start with your passions. Do you spend a lot of time on social media? Do you enjoy art and creative ventures? Are you skilled with computers? Your work at home journey will be that much more satisfying if you actually like what you’re doing.
Sometimes it takes digging around to find a golden opportunity, so be prepared to do a good bit of research. Here are a few ideas to get you started in your job hunt:
There is a ton of writing work out there for the taking. You can get gig jobs on platforms like UpWork and Fiverr if you want to try your hand at freelancing, or you can look into content creation companies. Digital media marketing firms or any company that creates written content for online use are always in need of excellent copywriters. Starting your own blog is an option here as well.
If you’re highly active on Social Media, you can turn that into a marketable job skill! Companies that used to sell products door to door have moved online now. Makeup and skincare companies, insurance agencies, fitness and wellness brands, the list goes on. Find a company you like that hires sales consultants and put your social media skills to work.
Being passionate about helping others can translate easily into online jobs. Many tutoring organizations have gone online, helping their students with everything from test prep to learning English as a second language. The best part about this is that many of these places don’t require you to have a degree, just that you’re skilled in what you’re going to be teaching.
If you’re a professional, online work is available in abundance. No matter what your field, you can probably turn it into working from home. Telehealth companies hire doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Software development and other IT-related companies are in need of skilled engineers and developers. Even real estate is becoming an online venture to some extent. If you love your field and want to work from home, there are options out there for you!
Almost any job you can think of can be done from home in some fashion. Whether you get hired on with a company or venture into the world of freelancing and entrepreneurship, working from home can be attainable for almost everyone!
How to Weed Out The Scams
For every legitimate work at home opportunity out there, there are approximately 60-70 scam operations. Trusting your gut and knowing the signs of a scam can help you protect yourself as you search for your dream job.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Rags to riches stories, promising a lot of money for very little work, and mentions of quick and easy money are big red flags.
- Asking for personal information very early in the interview process is a bad sign. Until you’ve been told you’re being hired and are filling out your tax documents, an employer shouldn’t be asking for your DOB, SSN, bank information, or any other personal information.
- Being hired on the spot may seem great, but if an employer doesn’t ask about your work experience or check your qualifications/ability to perform the job, there’s probably something wrong.
- Personal Email addresses as company contact information and huge or obvious grammatical errors in the job posting point to scams. At the very least they indicate an unprofessional and disorganized company which should be avoided.
- Asking for several up-front expenses can be a sign of a bad deal, so trust your instincts. Some legitimate companies do have a small application fee, and some require you to purchase the equipment you need to do your job, but anything outside of that should alert you that something’s not right.
There are a couple of truly legitimate sites we like, WAHJobQueen and RatRaceRebellion. These sites work hard to offer real listings for work at home opportunities and are a great starting point for you.
Just like with a normal job hunt, it can take some time to find the right opportunity. The worst thing you can do is fling yourself into the first thing you find. Be patient. Research every job listing or opportunity before you apply. What are other people saying about the company? Look at their social media presence. If anything looks fishy at all, move on to the next one. Finding the right job is part of being successful at working from home.
Essentials of Home Office Design
Whatever work from home job you get, you’ll probably need a home office of some variety. Setting up your workspace properly can help you boost your productivity, creativity, and performance.
There are a few questions you should be asking yourself before you start planning.
- What kind of work will you be doing?
- Will you be making video calls or attending virtual meetings?
- Do you require any equipment or creative space?
- Will coworkers or clients be visiting?
- What time of day will you be doing the bulk of your work?
Having an idea of what you need from your office can save you time and money. Prioritize what you really need to get started and adjust as you need to.
Once you know how your space will be used, take a look around your home. Which room would be best given your answers from above? Obviously having a whole room that can be closed off is ideal, but that’s not always an option. Small spaces can work too. You can clean out a closet, create a curtained-off area in your living room, or set up a nook in your bedroom.
Once you have somewhere to sit with your computer, arrange any other equipment you need to do your job. The fewer things in the area, the easier it will be to focus. Make sure there’s not a TV to distract you, and that you can close your office off from the daily bustle of your home. If you have a piece of artwork or a couple of knick-knacks that inspire you, incorporate those into your office design.
A clean, simple area to work in will help you be more productive and stay focused. Have fun making the space your own!
After you get past the exciting parts, there are some practical things you need to think about. Getting paid from a work-at-home job is a little different than the brick and mortar job you’re used to, and it’s important to know what to expect. Whether it’s by direct deposit or to an account with a company like PayPal, find out how you’re going to get paid and make sure to have your accounts set up ahead of time.
Taxes may not be fun, but to be successful and make this work, you need to know how your new job will affect your tax filing. You’re probably used to taxes being withheld from your paycheck and getting a big refund come tax time, however, at many work from home jobs you will be classified as a private contractor or something similar. Be sure you find out how you’ll file your taxes and if you need to put money aside each month to avoid an IRS headache come April.
Being aware of these details and making sure you know how your finances will work before you completely transition into working from home can make the whole experience much smoother.
Your First Work From Home Opportunity!
Working from home can be an incredibly liberating lifestyle change, and if writing interests you, $99 Social is always accepting applications for Content Specialists. We’d love to have you on the team! You’ll be curating social media content for our clients, making sure they have creative, well-written, and captivating daily posts to their Facebook and other social accounts.
My personal experience working with $99 Social has been incredible. I started out as a Content Specialist, and I loved it! Having the freedom to be creative for my clients and work when and how I want has truly changed my life for the better. Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or just want something small to earn some extra money, this is a great place to start. I hope I’ve given you a better idea of what’s actually involved in working from home so you can be successful too!
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