work at home

self employment

Working from home is something most people only dream about.  Who wouldn't want to make a liveable income from the comfort of their own home?  No long commute, no dealing with rising gas prices.  It's a dream that most people feel is unattainable but it's not as unrealistic as you think.  The key is to consider the many factors that can negatively affect a productive work at home career.

Background Noise

Lots of new moms are looking for ways not to leave their infant with a babysitter.  They decide to look into working at home and realize that most work at home jobs require a quiet work environment, and some even state that its a MUST to have a fully operational home office.  It seems that many customer service phone jobs get many applicants that have children because they specifically state that no dogs, cats, children or ambient noise be present during work hours.  I have to admit working from home is hard enough without the background noise.  I live with one adult beside myself and even this can be a huge distraction.

The Work is Easy

Working from home has become synonymous with data entry.  These seem to be the most sought after stay at home jobs and scams typically entice people looking for this kind of work.  The truth is that the work is often difficult and tedious with very low pay.  Whether you're working for someone or working on your own website, you'll find yourself working long hours for little pay.  Work at home employers are aware of the fact that you're not commuting and they consider that when they pay you.   Additionally, most work from home opportunities hire employees as independent contractors which exempts them from paying you minimum wage. 


To actually be successful working from home you really need to have a strong set of skills.  If you want to do transcription you'd better have years of experience.  If you are going to be editing text employers will likely ask for someone with a masters in English.  You still need a solid resume and great references to nail down a stay at home career and be prepared for some seriously tough competition. 


Working from home is a lot like going to school online:  you need a lot of discipline to be successful at it.  Just because you're earning money online doesn't mean no one is watching you.  Much like online school you need to check in regularly and fulfill a certain amount of time working in order to get paid.  Most work at home employers have a way to keep a tab on you whether its taking periodic screenshots of your computer, calling you, or setting up skype appointments.  If you were that person that always missed classes in college, working from home is probably not for you.


Most people have the basic things that are necessary to work at home.  A computer, printer and a phone line are the starter kit for work at home professionals.  If you're equipment is a little old though, you may need to upgrade before you pursue working from home.  Jobs that require you to work online may ask you to have a computer with specific processor and memory requirements while others may also ask you to have a multi-function printer/fax and landline.  Still others may require you to have a complete, private home office.  Even something as simple as starting your own website can take a little investment like paying for the domain name and host.  If you are on the prowl for a work at home job, make sure you have the proper tools before you apply or you can find yourself at the bottom of the applicant list.