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Work: At Home (Freelance Or Your Own Business)

How To Find Work At Home

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There are many type of work which can be done at home. If you don't have current marketable skills, consider volunteering in a manner that will cultivate skills that can transfer to a paid job. If you do volunteer, ask if the nonprofit group will provide you with a job reference.

A few examples of the types of opportunities available for people with no specific training to work at home are:

  • Virtual call centers/customer service agents. Many companies use people working at home to man their call centers. While foreign workers may be cheaper, American culture doesn't always translate. You will need a dedicated phone line and internet access. To find potential employers, search on such terms as "call center" and "customer service." Also check out the following examples: 
  • Make and sell crafts. In addition to local sales either to local stores or as a yard sale, you can sell them on the internet on such sites as offsite link.
  • Start an online store or sell items at online web sites such as, offsite offsite link or offsite link.. You don't have to own the merchandise or have a lot of money to start.  For example:
    • You can help friends sell their items and keep a commission of anywhere between 20% and 50%.
    • Find items in your area that are selling at below the national average. Make sure there are lots of the item available. Then you can advertise the item on your site. When you find a buyer, you can buy the item locally and ship it. (Make sure there is enough money involved to pay shipping cost and to give you a profit).
  • Medical coders translate doctors' written diagnoses and lists of procedures into the codes that insurance companies use for billing. Generally people need to qualify by passing an exam, which generally involves a 12-18 month course. For more information, call the American Academy of Professional Coders or see offsite link
  • Write Ethical Wills or resumes for people. For more information, see Ethical Wills.
  • If you have an expertise:
    • Consider tutoring both person-to-person and/or online. If you don't have special skills, perhaps you can teach a language you speak or other people how to do your hobby. For example, see offsite link  (It helps to have an impressive LinkedIn account.)
    • Answer questions online if you have expertise in any area. For instance, check out:
      • offsite link The site provides answers to questions. Applications are online.
      • offsite link You can answer questions from consumers or businesses. Applicants must take a subject matter test and submit to a background check.
  • Post content on blogs. Topics vary widely. For this type of job, see web sites such as:
  • Type a transcript from a recording. You generally get paid based on the amount you transcribe. For companies that hire home-based people to transcribe, see:

There are many web sites that help find part time work at home.  A few of the better known sites are:

At offsite link you can list things you are willing to do for $5.00. You get $4.00. The site gets $1.00.

Following are a few firms (in alphabetical order) that help find work for people who want to work at home. The list was compiled by the Wall Street Journal. We have not had had experience with any of these firms. 

How To Determine If A Work-At-Home Program Is Right For You  

The answers to the following questions may help you determine whether a work-at-home program is appropriate for your circumstances, and whether the claims can be realistic. Ask the promoter:

  • What tasks will I have to perform? (Ask the program sponsor to list every step of the job.)
  • Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on a commission?
  • Who will pay me?
  • When will I get my first paycheck?
  • What is the total cost of the work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment, and membership fees?
  • What will I get for my money?

Then ask yourself whether the claims are based on wishful thinking - or real market conditions.  

NOTE: Watch for sites that are scams and prey on people's desire to find work. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission legitimate work-at-home program sponsors should tell you in writing what's involved in the program they are selling

Before you commit, and defintely before you send any money, check to find out what the Better Business Bureau knows about the promoter. See: offsite link. Also check to see what other people who work at home have to say about a particular employer. For instance, look at:

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