Dear Dr. Civitelli,
I’m a mom looking for a flexible schedule, maybe working at home. Are all work at home options scams or are there any legitimate work at home jobs? If there are some legitimate possibilities, where do I find them?
There are definitely legitimate work at home jobs, but you do have to be careful because so many advertised work at home “opportunities” are scams. In fact, the work at home job experts at RatRaceRebellion.com estimate that the scam:job ratio is about 60:1.
To help you avoid falling for a scam, you might want to get the book, “Work at Home Now: The No-nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living,” by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren. The authors warn you to steer clear of jobs where you are asked to pay an application fee or make an upfront investment, where the ad says that no experience is necessary but the implied earnings are unrealistically high, where the prospective employer asks for personal financial data, or the posting itself creates false scarcity by stressing that only a few openings exist.
There are four legitimate work at home jobs sites that I like for exploring work at home options:
RatRaceRebellion.com – Free
Skip The Drive – Free
FlexJobs.com – $14.95/month with savings possible if you buy multiple months
VirtualVocations.com – $6.99/week or $15.99/month with savings possible if you buy multiple months
Flexible work expert Pat Katepoo says that in the past, most people who telecommute are able to do so only after convincing their boss at their current full time job to allow them to do so, and most such agreements involve telecommuting one to three days per week rather than 100% of the time. Ms. Katepoo provides reasonably priced proposal templates to help you negotiate flexible work schedules such as telecommuting, compressed work week, part time, job sharing, and maximum maternity leave.
Another option for people seeking work at home careers is to be self-employed and to offer expertise to customers or clients. For ideas, this article by Entrepreneur gives 50 Jobs, Gigs and Side Hustles You Can Do From Home.
One excellent book about starting a home business is, “Best Home Businesses for People 50+” by Paul and Sarah Edwards. I wrote a review about why I like this book about home businesses. Don’t let the title fool you…the book lists great home business possibilities for everyone, not just people older than 50.
While finding or creating a flexible schedule might be challenging, please don’t give up. It is worth some effort to find the best solution for your work/family integration.
Hope this helps!