5 Burning Questions to Answer Before Applying for a Work-at-Home Job
The freedom that working at home represents is attractive to many people. But with all the scams and questionable opportunities presented online, it can be difficult to actually believe it’s possible to get a work-at-home job.
Here’s the truth: It can be done.
But before you even think about applying for any online job, there are five questions you need to answer to determine if working at home suits you, your skills, and your lifestyle.
1. Is working at home really for you?
Just like any other job, working at home isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of factors that affect your ability to do your job and do it well. Among the things you need to consider include your environment, your home life, the equipment you need, and your personality.
Many people have this weird notion that working from home is not “real work.” Your family and relatives may not understand and will feel free to drop by and disturb you while you work. Having a family member who needs your constant attention or relies on you for many things may also prevent you from taking full-time work. Also, if you’re an extrovert, someone who needs to be with other people in order to feel energized, you may want to think twice.
Be sure to address these issues right off the bat before even considering any work-at-home job.
2. What are you good at?
Make a list of all the things you’re good at. It doesn’t matter if it seems unconventional; list down all your skills and talents so you have a clear view of your abilities. Most often than not, people who want to find work-at-home jobs do so without having clear goals or services.
Your list will help you zone in on what you’re good at and the possible services you can provide.
- Are you good at organizing, writing, arts and crafts, web design?
- What was your best subject at school? Can you teach it to someone else?
- Do you have a great idea that’ll solve a common problem for a specific group of people?
3. What are people willing to pay for?
After knowing what you’re good at, the next step is to find out what people are willing to pay for. Your skills are literally worthless unless someone pays you to use them so there must be an intersection between what you can do well and what people will pay for.
The best way to find out what people are willing to pay is, of course, research. Find out if there’s already a market for what you’re offering and whether it’s big enough for a new provider (you) to make an entrance.
Two prevalent mistakes among those just starting out include making their services so unique, no one is interested in them, or so common that they don’t stand out. Don’t worry though, you’ll learn to find the balance as you go along.
4. Do you want to be a freelancer, a full-time employee, or a home business owner?
Working from home can mean different things when it comes to the actual work. You can be a freelancer, an employee, or a home business owner. Decide which one you want to be first so you know which to target for.
A freelancer is “a person who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.” As a freelancer, you can work for many clients at any given time.
An employee works for one company or business. There are some jobs which forbid you take on any other jobs or side gigs, making you an “exclusive employee.”
A home business is considered as a work-at-home job by some since you build and maintain your business from home. Home business owners are essentially self-employed and earn by selling a specific product or service.
5. Are you willing to spend time finding the jobs that suit you, learning new skills, marketing yourself, and building relationships?
It may take you a while to find the job that suits your lifestyle. The fact is, there are many legitimate work-at-home jobs out there, but not many of them may be the kind of jobs you like, want, or need. You also have to learn new skills or improve the ones you already have in order to beat the competition.
Working from home, especially as a freelancer or business owner, means you have to constantly build your network. Whether you’re looking for more clients or customers, expect to do a lot of marketing, especially at the beginning. You’ll probably more admin tasks before you start creating.
Did your answers cut it?
Contrary to the popular notion that working from home requires no effort at all, you need to work hard and smart when looking for and maintaining a work-at-home job. You need to be able to balance your work and home life and provide excellent service or products to your employer or clients.
There are multiple legitimate jobs on the web. You just have to find them and make sure you can deliver.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/104178037@N08/10069702514/