A substantial number of Americans are transitioning from a typical outside of the home working environment to telecommuting, allowing them the luxury of working from home or virtually anywhere. Many companies already have telework programs in place and more are jumping on the virtual bandwagon all the time. For the self-employed there are hundreds of potential opportunities out there, however, most tend to fall somewhere in the areas of questionable legitimacy and unscrupulous scams. Obviously you want to do your homework before venturing into any new endeavor and be very selective. Never invest money upfront and always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Now that we have the disclaimers out of the way, I am going to tell you about a few of the legitimate and easy to get into career avenues: call center, freelance writing and transcription services.
Call Center – In a new and popular trend, many call centers are going virtual. Qualified individuals may be hired to answer in-bound calls for sales or customer service, provide telephone support on a product line, IT support or place outgoing calls. Pay is typically hourly and may include bonuses or incentives.
Writing – From articles, to eBooks, to How To’s, to reviews; a freelance writer can work in nearly limitless areas and topics. Writing is paid on a per-piece or per word basis, or in some cases payment may be based on website traffic or the number of hits a particular piece receives.
Transcription – Dictation or transcription of voice files and/or handwritten materials is a rapidly growing “work from home” enterprise. Many transcriptionists get started without the benefit of formal education, however, in some instances class work and/or certifications are prerequisites for employment. Although transcription is prevalent in countless fields, legal and medical transcription is particularly common and may require specialized training. Compensation for this type of service can be made on a per word, per line or per recorded minute basis.
Each of these areas allows an individual the luxury of working from the comfort of their own home and should not require any upfront investments (with the possible exception of equipment costs for call center work). Although it bears repeating, always thoroughly research your area of interest and avoid disreputable companies and those who demand upfront payment for special “programs”, “packages”, “reports” and “software”.