Since I’ve worked full time from home for around five years (as of January 2020 when this page was created), one of the most common questions I’m asked is how to find a work at home job. Frankly, even with the internet and the amount of information out there, it’s a valid question. So, here’s what you need to know. And, as you can see, I’m not charging you anything to learn how to find a work at home job.
Know the Difference Between a Business and a Work at Home Job
I love what I do. I run my own business as a professional writer and editor. Many people see it as a work at home job. And, technically, that’s exactly what it is. I take on clients from around the world. I work at home. The difference in what I do and a job is that those are my clients. They are not employers. They are not bosses. They do not withhold taxes. They do not set my hours. Yes, they might set deadlines and know what they want, but at the end of the day, I am my own boss. Generally, what I do is just one version of what people think about when they are looking into how to find a work at home job.
Here’s where the real confusion comes in, though. It’s when that when one person who bullied you in high school or who didn’t give you the time of day in high school suddenly wants to tell you about their amazing work at home “job” opportunity. You know, good ole’ MLM / direct sales. To be clear, there are many legitimate direct sales companies out there. However, those are business opportunities with direct overhead involved. It usually involves you needing to buy a kit and probably needing to purchase a certain amount of product every month to qualify to earn commission. And don’t forget about paying the monthly website fee…and then bugging everyone you know and people you don’t know to buy whatever it is you have to offer. And look, if you absolutely love whatever that product is and you can afford the start-up and monthly fees associated with it, knock yourself out. Just please call it what it is: a business opportunity. It is not a work at home job.
Some Traditional Employers Offer Work at Home Jobs
So, maybe you aren’t interested in being fully self-employed. And that’s cool. As I’ve said on this blog, working at home for many people can lead to isolation and burnout. It isn’t always easy to create and follow a schedule. It isn’t always easy to handle the highs and lows of being self-employed. And, again, that’s okay!
The good news is that more and more traditional employers offer work at home jobs. Now, before you get too excited, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the mom and pop place in your town will hire a virtual receptionist (then again, they might). Yet, there are a lot of corporations hiring part time and full time employees (meaning they do your taxes for you and you work a set schedule. You probably even get paid time off and benefits, which you do not get when you are self-employed.)
In no particular order, some corporations that offer work at home jobs include:
- Amazon (often seasonal call center)
- Pro-Flowers (often seasonal call center)
- American Express
- UnitedHealth Care
- Kraft Heinz
- McKesson Corp
- U.S. Bank
- Kelly Services (a temp company that often places for work at home jobs)
- Robert Half International
- Magellan Health
- PRA Health Sciences
- Wells Fargo
- Rosetta Stone
- Red Hat
Honestly, I could keep going. As you can see, it is possible for you to get a work at home job with a legit company. What you really need to think about is the application process. In theory, it’s not much different than applying for a traditional job. You’ll need a cover letter and a resume.
Read the work at home job description carefully to ensure that you are capable of fulfilling the requirements. For customer service jobs, you may notice that you are required to have a quiet workspace that is free from barking dogs and family-related noise. You may be required to keep a certain schedule, have a computer or laptop that meets certain hardware requirements, have certain software, or have certain items such as a headset. You may also be required to have direct deposit for payment. It could also be a requirement that you undergo and pass certain online tests, including but not limited to a typing test and an internet speed test. The employer may also require that you do not rely on Wi-Fi, but use a hardwired internet connection. So, read carefully when you are applying for a work at home job.
The other thing to watch for is whether you will be an employee or whether you will be considered an independent contractor. If you will be considered an independent contractor, you will be responsible for your own taxes. You also may not receive other benefits that are offered to employees. Of course, if all the company is hiring for is independent contractors, then that’s one thing. You just don’t want to come away from the situation feeling misled.
You may also need to do a phone or online interview. That would necessitate having a phone (of course), internet connection, and a web cam. If you do have an online interview using a web cam, do not look at the screen. Look at the camera. While that will feel weird to you, doing so will make it look as if you are making eye contact with anyone who is looking at the other screen. If you look at the screen, it appears as if you are looking slightly down since built-in web cams are just above the screen. And, yes, you can occasionally, look at the screen to get an idea of how the person(s) are perceiving you.
How to Find a Work at Home Job? Job Boards!
If you want to be a freelancer or self-employed, there are a lot of great options out there. I love Upwork. My husband, Danny, created a great write up about some of the most popular ways to find a job as a freelancer.
You can also use Google (yes, really), Indeed, and pretty much every other online job board. You can even use FlexJobs. I always liked FlexJobs. It is pretty much the only pay to access remote jobs sites I like because they take the hassle out of looking for work at home jobs from some of the bigger corporations (and a lot of smaller places, too). To use Google, just think about what sort of work at home job you want. Then, use the following as a Google search replacing JOB with whatever it is you want to do:
That’s it. I realize the term “work at home” is what you looked up and how you landed here, but it’s not something highly favored by companies. You could also use “freelance” if you’re interested in being self-employed. Here are a few examples:
Remote technical writer
Freelance copy editor
If you found this page helpful, don’t forget to subscribe…and look around while you’re still here. If you want to be a writer or an editor, check out the free work at home writing and editing jobs list.