We’ve all seen the ads: “make $1,000 per week stuffing envelopes from home”; “fire your boss”; etc. Whether it’s to mitigate daycare costs or avoid the stresses of traffic and high gas prices, more people are looking for legitimate ways to earn a living from the comfort of home. Right Management, a subsidiary of Manpower, found that 65 percent of Americans and Canadians are unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied with their current jobs.1
The desire to quit your current job or simply make a little extra cash causes many people to let their guards down and get scammed by phony work-from-home opportunities. A general rule of thumb: if you must take out a cash advance to pay some sort of startup costs, or if the job sounds to good to be true, run for the nearest exit. But there are legitimate work from home opportunities out there, some with well-known companies. The types of jobs you’ll be able to land will come down to your skills and education. There’s never an excuse not to exercise due diligence, and if you are truly in financial ruins, seeking a cash advance is a much smarter option than falling prey to some kind of get-rich-quick scheme. Here are a few prospective gigs to jumpstart your search:2
Customer Service and Sales
The fact that only a phone, computer, and the right attitude are needed to do customer service and sales make both occupations ideal for telecommuting. Uhaul, one of North America’s most recognizable names in moving and storage, hires sales and reservation agents to work from home. New Corp, a company that handles third-party customer relations for DirecTV and other large corporations, offers virtual training for its work-at-home agents. Most other remote customer service and sales jobs will be geo-specific. For instance, tele-fundraising company MDS Communications in Mesa, AZ offers local prospects the opportunity to work from home.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects slower than average growth in the journalism industry from 2010 to 2020,3 mainly due to strong competition and print publications going out of business. But SEO (search engine optimization) and blogging have increased the demand for good journalists and writers. The internet has changed the way news and information are delivered, which opens the door for thousands of writers looking for work. Problogger.com lists several opportunities daily, some for large publications and others for smaller blogs needing contributors. Elance is another job board not only looking for talented writers, but also app developers, programmers, and marketers. Craigslist is also a great place to look for writing jobs in it “gigs” section for your respective city.
The Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College found that more than 6 million students (or one-third of all degree-seeking students in the U.S.) took at least one online course in 2011. This means educators have more opportunities to work from home as instructors. Those with teaching degrees or credentials in a specialized field can start by searching the websites of schools that only offer online courses. The Apollo Group, which operates the University of Phoenix, Axia College, and Western International University, lists teaching jobs on its own website and job boards like Careerbuilder. You can always check with local colleges and universities as well to see if any online teaching opportunities are available.