New to the world of work from home? Are you worried about working at home because you’re afraid you’ll have to spend money to make money? You can rest! The truth is there are plenty of ways to make an income from home – a full-time income, no less – that require no financial investment. I’m going to break down the main types of remote jobs for you, share legitimate work at home opportunities, and even show you how to avoid scams.
Let’s dive right in.
One of the holy grails of working from home is having an employee position with a company online. In these terms, you are not an independent contractor or freelancer. You’re a real employee, and you get all the benefits—from your employer handling your taxes to health coverage and many benefits like PTO and vacation pay. You may also enjoy a greater sense of security, since you are traditionally employed and are not concerned about the completion of the project or the completion of the contract you were hired to complete.
Since finding employee work is similar to landing a traditional job, you never have to pay anything in a land. You just apply! There may be companies that require background checks, and those that require you to pay – but that’s the only legitimate expense you may need.
Here are some employee jobs for your consideration:
- Alorica at home – Alorica provides outsourced communication solutions, and is a popular choice due to their flexible schedules which is demonstrated by their hiring of students and retirees.
- American Express – American Express employs both customer service representatives and travel agents to work for them from home – they pride themselves on their 24-hour concierge service for their members.
- Hilton @ Home – Hilton hires both sales specialists and customer care representatives, so you can find the role that best suits you – both involve helping people with their hotel reservations.
- Sitel work at home – Seatel offers more in the way of customer service work – just like Alorica, they are an outsourced customer service solutions company – although they only hire from certain states (see if your state is on the list here)
- Sykes – SYKES employs customer service agents to take inbound calls and assist their customers, and like the above companies, they also offer paid training.
You can learn more about remote employee work and find more companies hiring employees to work from home in my post here.
Independent contractor work
You’ll find that the most common remote work offers online set you up as an independent contractor – they pay you an agreed amount for a project or contract and that’s it. They don’t manage your taxes – you have to keep track of it. You will not get any benefits. But, often, you get an incredible amount of control over your schedule, making freelancing a very powerful option for those who only have short, uninterrupted hours to work (stay-at-home moms) or those who keep unconventional hours (night owls!).
Not only should you never pay for independent contractor work – unless you decide to get yourself certified to open up your work options – but you should never give away work for free when bidding on a job or pursuing a contract. Don’t work on spec – meaning, don’t produce a finished piece of work before the client has formally agreed to pay you.
Writers and artists, especially don’t write or design anyone who promises you great exposure and nothing else – remember, exposure is something people die for.
Here are some independent contractor jobs for you to consider:
- Freelance Writing- You can write anywhere, anytime – find paid jobs by working through a service (eg BKA Content or scripted) or by checking job boards (eg Problogger)
- Transcript – There are many companies out there that are hiring transcriptionists – check them out There are 23 companies Newbies are welcome – and it’s a gig you can turn into a career by specializing in medical or legal transcription (which involves certification).
- User Testing- You won’t make a living this way, but it’s good side gig money – especially if you fall into the most targeted demographic and can do a lot of testing. $10 for 20 minutes of your time is not a bad ratio: Find 13 Legitimate User Testing Companies here.
- Teaching English – This industry is growing rapidly – every time I turn around, I seem to find another English as a second language tutoring company; Most have relaxed requirements (you just need to be a native English speaker), but many also require a college degree. here 18 companies to consider.
- moderation – There are so many unmoderated communities on the Internet – from social media to message boards to comment sections – that many large companies need help policing those spaces and making sure community guidelines are being followed. Check out companies like ModSquad And ICUC For open positions.
Watch out for scams
Have you ever heard the phrase, “A sucker is born every minute?” Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people in the world who have heard the same thing. While the Internet has brought a great equalizer in making remote jobs available to more people, it has also made it easier for scammers to prey on people.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Want to know more about common scams? See my post “The best way to spot and avoid work-at-home scams“
Start your own business
There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and some types of work-from-home jobs require an upfront investment. But that investment should be in yourself – like buying a headset to perform customer service tasks, or buying materials to make jewelry that you plan to sell in an online store. Or officially starting your own business – or enhancing your marketable skills through courses and certifications.
There’s still a lot you can do without spending any money up front, of course – you might have to put up some sweat equity! Business as yourself, build your brand, your portfolio, your reputation and earn.
Here are a few businesses you can start today:
- Social media manager – Create a basic website for free on WordPress.com and start looking for customers; Professionally curate your own social media until you build a portfolio and testimonials.
- Graphic Designer – If you’ve got design skills, flaunt them! Create a free website to host your portfolio and post it on various job boards (eg real jobFor clients until you create your representative.
- Freelance Writer – Many of the tasks mentioned above can also be done with you as the boss! Freelance writing is one of my favorite remote opportunities for those looking for a flexible schedule and great earning potential. Learn more here.
- Virtual assistant – If you come from an administrative or customer service background. Virtual assistance may be for you. Small – and large – businesses worldwide are outsourcing their office functions these days Turn your skills into cash. Learn more here and here.
- copy – If you have excellent typing and listening skills, you can start a transcription business. But this industry is not for everyone. This free 7-day course can help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Proofreading – Maybe you love grammar, but aren’t interested in becoming a writer. There is also a great demand for online proofreaders. This is definitely one that will require your skills, however.
Now ready to start that work-from-home career? That’s what I thought! No money needed, so get out there and get started.