Get up in the morning, have breakfast, see the kids off to school. Then sit down at your desk – and go to work. No trains to catch, no traffic jams, no irritating colleagues to interrupt you.
If this is your perfect scenario the opportunities to work from home full time are certainly out there, but don’t assume it’s a convenient anecdote to the stresses of commuting to an office every day. Working from home comes with its own pressures but if your default position is that it’s going to be easy money, they are largely self-inflicted . Think about the following:
- What are you good at?
Think about what you really want to do. If you also happen to be good at it, that’s a bonus. But if you’ve identified a skills gap that’s stopping you from scoring that freelance contract you really want then it’s worth investing in the training to bring your cv up to date. Think of it as creating an even better product to offer potential clients in the future.
- Beware the “Get Rich Quick” scams
For every legitimate website offering work from home opportunities, there are 60 scammers. Those are daunting odds and it takes serious research to spot the fraudsters. Avoid companies that don’t have a legitimate office address or phone number, or promise big money for little or no effort or experience, or ask for money up front.
- Most work from home jobs require a PC and internet connection
A cursory Google search of current work from home opportunities produced the following list:
Internet researchers; blogging; freelance writing; online tutoring; transcription services; translation services; proof reading; transcript editing; fundraising; website design; website testing.
And those are just the top search results. Can you imagine doing any of them without a PC? The good news is that that you probably already have the basic home working infrastructure to begin.
- Do it for free or nearly free to begin with
Being freelance means you’re often in a bidding war for your services. This may be off-putting to start with but if you can afford it consider doing your first assignment for free or nearly free. This will help build your reputation, a client base and a portfolio of work. Once you get your first break, then you can start to raise your prices.
- Network, network, network
The work won’t come to you; you need to spend a large part of your time looking for it. Tell people what you’re doing. Update your LinkedIn profile. Make direct enquiries at organisations big and small in your target industry. Even if there are no immediate vacancies they will remember and appreciate your direct approach.
- Develop a work from home mentality
Working outside of a structured, traditional office environment requires you to be disciplined, conscientious and focused. Develop a strategy for working from home: keep regular, core working hours, have a dedicated workspace, eliminate distractions, and plan your time.