Young woman sitting in a hammock in a garden with laptopI’ve run into so many people who all wish they could work from home. The reasons are usually along the lines of:

I’d love not having to wake up early every day.

How great would it be to work in my pajamas?

Ugh, I hate my commute and working from home would eliminate that.

There’s nothing better than being your own boss and making your own schedule.

There are lots of reasons why a person might want to find a way to make an income working from home. Perhaps you really need to be at home to take care of young children; or have a health issue that prevents you from working outside the home; or, like the comments above, you could just be one of the millions of people who likes the freedom of being able to set their own schedules (within reason, of course).

Working at home or freelancing can be rewarding ways to make a living. However, finding a legitimate work-at-home job that is truly worth having can be easier said than done. Here’s how to go about locating and landing the right opportunities for you.

Navigating Online Listings

While it’s certainly possible to locate legitimate online listings for real positions that come attached to wonderful opportunities, it’s important to understand that there are plenty of scams out there mixed in with the gems. Many people – especially those interested in working on a freelance basis – find they have better luck frequenting freelance job communities such as Elance or Guru and combing the listings for jobs in their field.

Exploring Telecommuting Options

Many people who work out of a home office started out as employees at a standard position that involved going to an outside office like everyone else. They either landed positions that involved the option to telecommute as part of the package or else they have been there in the traditional capacity for long enough that their employer decided it should be an option for them. If you already have a job where you think this might be a possibility for you, consider asking about it.

Research Jobs Known for Typically Hiring Work-at-Home Employees 

If you’re able to be flexible about the field you go into, you might consider looking into an employment field that actually hires people who work from out of their homes right from the get-go. For instance, many jobs in retail sales, telemarketing, customer service, data entry, and writing are pretty much offered on the assumption that the person hired will be working out of a home office. You can also consider looking for work as a virtual assistant, a transcriptionist, or an online tutor.

Making the Remote-Worker Lifestyle Work for You

Ultimately, the thing to remember when it comes to seeking work-at-home employment is flexibility. The more flexible you are and the more types of bases you’re willing to try to cover for potential employers, the better you’ll ultimately do. Seriously consider being willing to work on a freelance basis or taking on several part-time positions – possibly both.

Most important, you need to be disciplined and diligent when it comes to looking for new work opportunities and following up on those you’ve already investigated. People who work from home or who are in business completely for themselves on a freelance basis definitely need to understand the importance of concepts like discipline, resolve, responsibility, and thoroughness in order to become successful.

Examine Motivations

This final point is extremely important. Sure, it sounds good to not have to get dressed every day if you don’t feel like it, and to do your work in the comfort of your own living room or office. But, as stated above, you must understand the importance of self-discipline when it comes to being a remote employee. Really examine why you desire to take on this type of role, because, like most things in life, it’s not for everyone. Are you disciplined enough to get up and work each day, even when no one is immediately over your shoulder telling you to do so? Can you set a schedule and actually stick to it? Or will you being in the comfort of your own home provide too many distractions? These are all very important things to consider when ultimately deciding if pursuing the work-from-home lifestyle is best for you.

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