When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, my husband and I made the decision that I would stay home with him. It didn’t make sense for me to continue working as I would basically be going to work just to pay for daycare. At the time, my husband’s employment was not reliable and we still needed to have a steady source of income. I knew if I was truly going to make staying home with my son a reality, I would have to find a job I could do from home. From that moment on, I made it my top priority to find a work-at-home job.
As I was searching, I came across mostly jobs where I would be hired as an independent contractor. Being an independent contractor is a great option for many people, but at the time, it wasn’t for me. I decided to narrow my search to jobs where I would be hired as an employee of the company. Here are my reasons:
I am no tax expert. Tax laws completely elude me. I like the safety of having my taxes automatically withheld from my paycheck without having to be responsible for this myself. Plus, I knew myself. I knew it would be hard for me to set money aside specifically for taxes without spending it. I didn’t want to be scrambling come tax time. In addition to this, employees are not required to pay as much in taxes as independent contractors as they are required to pay self-employment tax.
There are often costs associated with being an independent contractor that employees do not have to incur, such as equiptment and start up costs. I did not have much money to spend on these things, especially with a new baby on the way.
3. Work load
Often with contract work, you are hired for one particular project, and once that project is completed you are out of work. In this scenario, you will continually have to find new work opportunities to pursue without any guarantee of actually getting work. As an employee, I would be hired by the company to do a particular job indefinitely (in most cases) with a set schedule or number of hours that I could rely on. As long as I performed my tasks well, I would continue to have a job without having to seek out new projects. With a new baby on the way, I was not sure I would have the stamina to constantly look for new work. I wanted to know what my responsibilities were without having to stress about not having a paycheck at the end of a certain time frame.
Side Note: I am aware that even if you are an employee, your job is not necessarily guaranteed to be there indefinitely. However, I do believe you are safer in an employment role vs. an independent contractor.
As an employee you are eligible for benefits. Not all work at home jobs offer benefits, but there are definitely some companies that do. If the benefits were available I wanted to be able to take advantage of them.
Once I had determined I wanted to find work as an employee, the next step was being hired. This was by no means easy. Work at home jobs are very competitive. And why wouldn’t it be? Who doesn’t want to be able to do their work from the comfort of their own home. You could work in your underwear if you really wanted to. And you can’t beat the commute! This was also during a major recession, so jobs were few and far between.I knew I would have to make myself stand out among the masses.
I applied to hundreds of jobs in every field for months. It was not easy and it took a great deal of determination on my part. When I got my first email back to schedule a phone interview, I was so excited! I replied almost immediately to confirm the date and time of the interview. The process was excruciating. It was a total of 5 phone interviews with a few days to a week of waiting in between each one to find out if I had made the cut. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time. At the final interview, they finally told me I was hired! I could barely contain my enthusiasm as I tried to be calm and not completely scare the pants off my new employer.
Since this time, I have been hired for 5 work at home jobs and I have learned a thing or two about how to be hired for this type of work. Below are the things that benefitted me the most in finding my perfect job.
Continue to perform well in your current job.
As I mentioned before, work at home jobs are very competitive. You are going to want to have stellar references from your current and past employers. For this reason, it is extremely important that you continue to do your current job well. Do not slack off thinking that you won’t be there much longer. Even if you won’t be, you are going to want your boss to recommend. Your references can really make or break you in your job search, so this is very important.
Polish your resume
I cannot emphasize this enough. You are going to want to make sure your resume is spotless and really highlights the best of you. It is also important to tailor your resume to each specific job you apply to. Be sure to carefully read each job description before you apply. Add in your skills that are relevant to the job and remove anything that is not important. This does not mean lie. It is very important to still remain truthful when listing your experience, skills and qualifications. You will just want to make sure your resume is well written. Put the most relevant details toward the top. For the most part, recruiters will only glance at your resume briefly before deciding if you are qualified for the position. According to The Ladder recruiters only take 6 seconds viewing your resume before it is tossed aside. This is why you want to make sure you catch their attention right away.
Determine which websites you will focus on.
There are plenty of good websites out there advertising work at home jobs. I have had the most success using Craigslist. I believe this is for two reasons, companies can post jobs inexpensively on Craigslist, so it attracts more employers and the jobs posted are meant only for candidates that live within the local area (for the most part). Many of the jobs posted on Flexjobs and other websites are looking throughout the whole country. So, as you can imagine, these jobs are much harder to get. These are all websites I have used. I personally have not had success being hired with flexjobs but there are definitely many great opportunities posted there.
Scour your websites to locate the work-at-home opportunities
Now that you have determined where to look for jobs, how do you find the work at home jobs without painstakingly reading through every job posted? The secret is in your keyword searches. Below are the keywords I use to search the job boards (particularly on craigslist) so that I can find work-at-home jobs fast and apply right away. You are going to want to run a search for each of these words at least once a day, more if you have extra time:
“work at home”
“work from home”
You will be sure to find some work-at-home jobs by searching these. I have also occasionally had luck running a keyword search for “mom”, “mother”, “assistant” and “personal assistant”.
Apply, Apply, Apply!
You are going to want to apply to any and all jobs that interest you. You also want to make sure that you apply fast so that your application is one of the first ones to be seen. This will greatly increase your chances of being hired. Even if at first you think that you are not qualified, just apply. You never know what might happen!
The only way to get hired to stay the course and keep applying to as many jobs as you can. Don’t get discouraged! I am confident that if you follow these steps you will find what you are looking for.
Beware of Scams
When searching for a work from home job, you are just about guaranteed to run into scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Stay away from anything offering a large amount of money for very little time or work. Listen to your gut, if something seems off ask lots of questions or just stop pursuing the job altogether.
What strategy do you have for finding Work-At-Home jobs as an employee? Leave your tips in the comments below.