I am a recruiter in my “day job” and have worked from home for about six years now. I work on a contract basis, meaning I am not a permanent employee and my work is project based. I have had assignments last six months and one lasted nearly four years. I have 14 years of recruiting experience as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management with a certificate in Human Resources. I have many people in my industry without degrees though who have been successful. So what types of jobs can you get working from home? How does it work? And what is it really like?
The types of jobs you can get working from home range from Recruiting like me to software development, customer service representative, collections and a whole bunch of other things besides. The trick is in finding reputable companies. In general, if an organization is asking you for an investment it is likely something you should steer clear of. Here is a list of organizations that offer legitimate work from home opportunities that I have verified are reputable:
Alorica At Home http://apply.aloricaathome.com/
Working Solutions www.workingsolutions.com
Rosetta Stone http://www.rosettastone.com/
Kelly Services (my employer) KellyServices.com
Connections Education connectionseducation.com
You can search “virtual”, “work from home” or “telecommute” on traditional job boards for positions that might interest you. Flexjobs.com has many listings and every year Forbes.com puts out a list of the top 100 companies for remote jobs.
How does it work? For me, I was required to have a dedicated office with a door that could be closed where I could work without distractions (no working from the dining table). I had to have a dedicated phone line for work and a fast speed digital internet connection. I also had to have Microsoft Office 2016. I actually have Microsoft Office 365 which gives me the most up to date version of their products and only costs $99.00 a year. http://bit.ly/2jjc4Kt It was not required but I did also buy a headset because I am on the phone all day long and I can’t stand holding the phone in the crick of my neck and trying to type at the same time! I replace this probably once a year but it’s worth its weight in gold and I couldn’t work without one. Each employer will have their own set of requirements for phone, the internet, office space etc so read the requirements carefully. Some jobs like mine you must have pretty extensive experience and they prefer to have people that have worked from home in the past.
I am paid by regular paycheck because I am a full-time w-4 employee but sometimes you might be paid on a 1099 basis, which I have done in the past as well (which means you need to pay your own taxes). For small projects like writing articles or things like that you might be paid with PayPal and at the end of the year you would get a 1099 from them showing your income. That goes to the IRS as well so if you end up going that root you will need to get advice from a tax professional about the best way to handle all of that.
What is is really like? Personally, I love it! I used to have a pretty long commute at the beginning and end of my day, at least an hour one way and often much longer in bad weather (which happens in NH winters, weekly), now I just walk up the stairs. In the beginning, I did have children at home, it was an adjustment for them and my husband to understand that I was “working” and that they couldn’t just disturb me at any time. It didn’t take too long before they “got it”.
It can get lonely working at home. You don’t get the same camaraderie with your coworkers that you have in a workplace. Depending on the type of job, you have to be independent and just get your work done. I am a homebody and do not mind being here most of the time. That might bother you if you are not getting out and socializing with others often enough. I could just do all sorts of things, like laundry, make dinner etc, rather than work but if I did that I would not meet the goals of my position and pretty soon I wouldn’t have one! I arrive at my desk between 7:00 and 7:30 every day and am here until 4:30, (I was able to choose that schedule). I do get an hour for lunch but often I sit at my desk and eat my lunch because I have things to do. My friends and family know I am working so it is rare that I get a call but if I do I will talk for a moment and then let them know I have to go. This is probably the hardest thing for me because I could chat all day! Instead, I am spending my time talking with my candidates and my hiring managers. One of the biggest parts of my job is connecting with people on the phone, forming a relationship and gaining their trust. For me, I love connecting people to work. I change lives for the better on a daily basis and I find it very rewarding.
Only you can decide if “Work From Home” opportunities are going to work for you. I read an article once about this woman who thought she’d be able to work from home and keep her toddler at home as well. One day she was in a pretty important board meeting where she was presenting. To keep her daughter from interrupting her she would spray whipped cream into her mouth when she would go to speak to her. It was that moment that she realized that she would need to still have her in daycare! So if you think you can do this type of work with small children at home, you might be wrong. By the time I started working from home my oldest had moved out and my youngest was a teenager so this was not an issue for me. My advice would be not to expect to be able to keep your kids home with you. In my position it would be impossible for me to care for a small child and do this. It just wouldn’t work.