Picture this: You roll out of bed, when you feel like it. You eat a hearty breakfast and then hit the gym. After a quick shower, you throw on some comfy clothes and stroll into your home office. No morning chaos. No commute.
Fresh and focused, you start your workday — on your time, on your terms. Imagine what you could accomplish.
Sounds ideal, right?
Before you give your two weeks’ notice, ask yourself these questions:
Do You Want Full Time, Part Time or Freelance Work?
When it comes to job benefits, flexibility and work-life balance rank at the top for most job seekers. Having a say in when or where you work — or even what projects you’ll work on — sounds almost too good to be true. Nowadays, though, workplace flexibility is more common, and employers who value autonomy are reaping the benefits of their employees’ increased productivity.
Full Time or Part Time
Let’s say you already have a traditional full-time job. Before you jump ship, ask your current employer about work-from-home options. If you have the chance to work from home, try it out. See how you like it. More progressive employers now allow their employees to work from home one or two days a week. Around 38 percent of traditional employees of traditional employees enjoy this benefit.
Working from home isn’t for everyone. It does require discipline. You’ll also need a designated work area and the elimination of distractions like TV and social media.
Maybe there’s an option to work from home part time. If you can afford to take the cut in hours and pay, this might be your ticket.
But if your current employer doesn’t offer the flexibility you need, then consider researching work-from-home opportunities.
When you hear the word “freelancer,” you might imagine someone who is entrepreneurial, a jack of all trades, a free spirit, a risk-taker. For sure they are confident and creative.
Freelancers tend to seek variety, in life and in work.
Freelance jobs are aplenty. They can be in-house or remote. They may be temporary or indefinite. Many freelancers like the flexibility of remote work, but some like an office they can go to.
One drawback is that, often, freelancers have no job benefits. Another drawback is the lack of camaraderie or an overall feeling of support. It’s easy for freelancers to become siloed and feel excluded.
Keep in mind that freelancers are usually responsible for their own taxes. For questions about your status as an employee or freelancer, or how to pay taxes, IRS website has guidelines you can follow.
What Types of Work-From-Home Jobs Are Available?
Given today’s technology, you’d think that any job could be done in the comfort of your home office. This may be true, but some of the most common work-from-home positions include call center reps, technical support, website design, writing and editing, sales, appointment setting, transcription/translation services and teachers/tutors.
Health care and government are industry leaders when it comes to working from home. Pharmaceutical companies, for example, employ contract research organizations (CROs) that hire employees and contractors who work from home full time. Try Googling “top 10 CROs” for a rundown of job types.
Maybe your eye is on the bigger picture. You want to change the world — from home. If you’re set on making a global impact, check out the work-from-home opportunities at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Opportunities in life can be yours if you seek them.
Do You Know Your Niche?
You already know your strengths and weaknesses. You know the type of work at which you excel. But your skills might not always align with the demands of the current job market.
Say, for example, you’re a writer and a copyeditor. Although you’re better at copyediting, you realize that there is a bigger market for writing. In your spare time, brush up on your writing skills. Take on a few small writing projects to build your confidence and credibility. Keep your copyediting gigs, but branch out to the more lucrative writing gigs. You’ll expand your skill set while you rake in the money.
How Strong Is Your Online Presence?
Nowadays, it takes more than a good résumé to attract recruiters and employers. Top candidates have a strong online presence. Take the time to establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Offer a service in your field that no one else offers. Showcase your know-how by blogging or by engaging with others on LinkedIn. Use a multimedia approach when selling your brand. Upload a video presentation or publish a white paper. Use all the resources at your disposal.
To snag a work-from-home job, you’ve got to stand out.
Do You Know Where to Look for More Opportunities?
If you choose the freelance route, you’ll quickly discover that the work comes in waves. One month you might be working on three projects, but the next month you get only one. Because the stream of work is unpredictable and because income is rarely steady as a freelancer, it’s best to be on the lookout for your next project.
Most freelancers have 5 to 10 sites they visit regularly for work-from-home jobs. Opportunities come and go so quickly, so it’s good to know what company is offering what. Stocking up on job leads will pay off during the dry spells.
A good practice is to keep a job leads folder on your desktop or mobile device. When a posted job catches your eye, screenshot the job and company’s information. Even if you aren’t in the market now, you’ll know who to contact in the future.
Ready to make the switch? Start with this list of employers, and go from there. With a little research, you’ll quickly discover a plethora of opportunities.
The good news is that the number of companies offering work-from-home opportunities will only continue to grow.