A rising number of Americans have found themselves so disillusioned with the traditional work landscape that they're seeking far more flexible job opportunities.
This includes specifically looking for work that can be done from one's own home.
The very words "work at home" often conjure up images of being able to make money from the comfort of your kitchen or bedroom, often without having to kick off your bunny slippers.
The reality behind work at home jobs isn't necessarily so simple (or stereotypical).
There are genuine opportunities available for individuals looking to work from home or anywhere other than at the office.
Finding a legitimate paying position is a matter of both knowing where to look and what so-called job offerings to avoid like the plague.
— PayScale (@payscale) May 27, 2014
Drop "Work From Home" From Your Vocabulary
When browsing the search results for "work from home", you will likely see a mountain of links to work at home job postings with the vaguest of job descriptions. Yet they will promise hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of dollars per day.
The words "work at home" or "be your own boss" are often used to emotionally manipulate you into putting comfort before common sense: If these jobs were real, and paid so much...why isn't everyone making this money doing the exact same thing?
The tasks are often overly simple for such a big payout, which is itself the only real hint you need that the work at home ads are scams.
The jobs ads you should be looking out for are more apt to include words like "telecommuting" or "remote work available".
These ads will often not mention working at home at all since it's already understood that it's a non-structured job position. Where you get the work done is often irrelevant so long as you get it done!
Are They Trying To Hire You Or Sell You Something?
It is true that employers often have to sell themselves to would-be employees in order to attract good workers. However, if you are being offered a WAH opportunity that sounds too good to be true or asks that you open your wallet, you are better off walking away.
Aside from the different work environment, a telecommuting job opportunity will be typically advertised to you in the same way as any other job legitimate position.
— Our Milk Money (@OurMilkMoney) May 26, 2014
You will be given the name of the company, what position is open, what the pay is, and instructions for applying for that job. Because these persons are looking to hire and not scam, they aren't going to operate using generic slogans like "fire your boss" and post photo-shopped pictures of guys holding up checks as some sort of proof that it's a paying job.
The best way to distinguish opportunities from scams is to read the ad carefully and answer this question: Are they trying to hire me for a specific job or are they trying to sell me the idea of working from home in the broadest possible way?
Work-at-Home Scams - Don't Become a Victim http://t.co/v2aNItGCUM
— Irmine Wick (@abbey396) May 24, 2014
7 Rules that Weed Out Work-at-Home Scams http://t.co/IJWw1Fki8c
— Telemill (@Telemill) May 23, 2014
Where To Find Legitimate Job Opportunities
Before you get out to find the work-at-home jobs, you need to have a plan.
What are your unique talents and interests? What did you study in college? What is something you could do everyday and not be bored?
From this introspection and review of your previous work history should come a list of jobs. You should then approach the specific job positions while searching for "remote" and "telecommuting" opportunities.
Craigslist is probably the best site for casting the widest net (I'm talking about going from city to city and state to state...) while a site like LinkedIn or FlexJobs can probably produce more genuine openings from trusted businesses than Monster or CareerBuilder.
No, You DON'T Have To Pay Anyone For A Job
The exception to that is of course Avon-type jobs with reputable businesses.
Other than that, it should suffice to say that ANY job demanding money from you in order to work is not worth the hassle.
There are plenty of jobs out there that don't cost any money.
The 10 Worst Work-At-Home Scams For Moms http://t.co/o1vBuEkuTj
— Mommyish.com (@mommyishdotcom) April 30, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons