The idea of working from the comfort of your own home can sound like a dream. If you don’t want to deal with the financial uncertainty of freelancing or starting your own side business

but do want to work a flexible schedule at home, a remote position with a traditional employer is a great option.

But where are these jobs? Indeed, most employers still prefer employees to work from a physical office. But certain fields—and certain employers—have more remote positions than others. Here’s an overview so you know where to look

Skills and fields ideal for remote work

Before you start your search for online jobs, you must try to narrow down what type of work you’d like to do and what skills and equipment you have. Ideally, you’d need to have some basic computer and typing skills along with great communication skills.

You’ll need to prove to employers that you are responsible, independent, and can work efficiently remotely. Other skills you may need will depend on the type of work you want to do.

There are many different fields that provide work-from-home opportunities for candidates and those include:

  • Customer service
  • Medical coding and billing
  • Email and tech support
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Transcription
  • Translation
  • Tutoring and teaching
  • Research and analysis
  • Insurance

Customer service is probably the field with the widest range of opportunities but all these fields have legitimate work-from-home opportunities advertised online, if you prefer them. What you’ll need to watch out for is work-from-home scams for jobs that won’t really help you earn any money. Some common online work scam positions include:

  • Stuffing envelopes
  • Most sales jobs/pyramid schemes
  • Assembly jobs (Requires people to pay for a kit to put together some type of craft or product to mail back to the company to sell. Nine times out of 10, the product you assemble never meets the guidelines and doesn’t get sold.)
  • Email processing
  • Posting ads and links online

 Large employers who hire remote workers

  • Aberdeen (captionists and transcribers)
  • Alorica (customer service)
  • Amazon (customer service)
  • Apple (online chat jobs)
  • Come Recommended (digital PR and marketing—only hires in certain states)
  • Leapforce (research and analytical Work)
  • SiteStaff (online chat jobs)
  • Quicktate (typists)
  • Dion Data Solutions (part-time data entry specialists)
  • Working Solutions (sales, technical and customer support)

Reputable job sites

Some of these sites are obvious because they’re top destinations for any career search, while others cater to remote positions:

  • Indeed
  • Click N Work
  • FlexJobs
  • Net-Temps
  • Virtual Vocations
  • Craigslist

If I could, I’d put Craigslist in a class by itself because it can be hit or miss. Personally, I’ve found over half of my past jobs and some online jobs via Craigslist. With their free job board, it’s usually all about good timing and avoiding scams. When you see a job ad that interests you, have your resume and cover letter ready to apply promptly and follow up if you don’t hear anything after three days.

When searching for leads on job boards like Craigslist, avoid any ads that require you to pay something upfront, promise you that you’ll be earning thousands of dollars per week, or say anything about ‘earning potential’. You want a job that has a guaranteed pay rate and salary, not a potential opportunity to earn x amount of dollars.

Also, feel free to investigate each job ad and look into the company further by seeing if they are accredited by the BBB, have reviews online, past employee salaries posted on sites like Glassdoor, and real notable media mentions. All these factors are a very important part of your search.

Conduct your own search for credible virtual companies and organizations

If you want to avoid the competitive nature of job boards, try searching for cold leads on your own by using a specific keyword like ‘virtual’ or ‘digital’. You can add these keywords to any job search and come up with a variety of leads.

For example, if you are looking for work-form-home public relations jobs, you may want to search for ‘virtual PR firms’ and see what you come up with. Connect with a hiring manager and send them your resume and a pitch or cover letter to see what they say.

Summary

The process of securing legitimate work-from-home jobs doesn’t have to be a mystery and there are several ways to find jobs. First you need to narrow down your interests and skill set. Then, you need to weed out the scams and use only reputable job boards and company leads.

When conducting your own independent search, feel free to run your very own personal background check on the company you are interested in. You can also reach out to your own personal and professional network to see if they have any ideas or leads they could offer you.

Like with any job search, it may take time, but if you stick with it you’re more likely to see positive results.

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