The idea of working from home is a dream for pretty much anyone in the workforce slogging through a standard 9-to-5 job (or in many cases, much longer days). Becoming your own boss and earning money from home sounds pretty darn appealing.
Think about wasting what feels like a lifetime in commuter traffic each day and listening to directives from a slew of supervisors. In addition, getting very little satisfaction from the meager amount of work you somehow manage to complete. Working at home alleviates all of that.
Of course, there are tradeoffs for getting to work in your PJs and setting your own hours. You may have to work extra hard just to get jobs when you work from home.
Plus, you cannot hope to earn a livable wage without a strong work ethic. You need personal motivation, and determination, not to mention some serious time management skills.
You’re going to have to hustle for work at times. This is true, especially in the beginning. You cannot afford to become mired in procrastination if you want to deliver projects on time. In other words, you’ll have to be somewhat of a self-starter to succeed when you work from home.
Now that you’re set on this career path, what the heck are you going to do? Can you really make money online working out of your kitchen?
The answer is yes. However, you have to go about it the right way. This means avoiding scams, improving your skillset, and finding legitimate work-from-home jobs.
If you want to take advantage of online opportunities to earn cash from home, here is some information on how it really works. Plus, some tips to put you on the right track.
Narrow Your Options
If you’re going to work for yourself, so to speak, the first thing you have to learn to do is spot scams. Sure, you can simply start perusing job boards or clicking questionable links in your inbox offering work to see what’s available.
However, if you want the best opportunity to succeed in the long run, you should perform a self-assessment before getting started.
There are really two things you need to determine: what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Your basic skills in, say, language or math will have a marked impact on the type of work you seek. So will your previous job experience, to an extent.
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However, you also need to think about what you enjoy. For example, let’s say you’re not a terribly good writer and you don’t enjoy communicating with strangers. Thus, certain job opportunities are going to be difficult and unsatisfying. This can put a real damper on your motivation to work.
If on the other hand, you have an artistic eye and a creative spirit, you might excel at creating stock images and graphics. These can be used in websites, blogs, and online advertising.
Before you jump into any online job, you need to plan for success. You need to consider what you’ve done for work up to this point. You also should think about what your strengths are and what you have a passion for.
How to Spot a Scam
Now that you have some ideas about the type of work you can do, it’s time to start looking for work. Searching for opportunities to make money online comes with a strong caveat – you have to watch out for scams.
There are plenty of legitimate jobs advertised online. Yet, there are also con artists interested in separating you from your money with big promises they won’t fulfill.
How can you spot scams? Here are several things to watch for.
It’s Too Good to be True
What? You’re going to start making an incredible amount of money right off the bat? You know it’s true because all their testimonials have people pulling in a six-figure income within a year? Yeah, right. If it sounds too good to be true, you should steer clear.
You Have to Purchase Set Amounts of Products/Materials
Scammers always want to get your money up front. What you end up with is a garage full of products you have no idea how to sell. You’ll also have a strong sense of being ripped off (you have).
You Have to Recruit to Earn
Nothing screams “pyramid scheme”. For example, goals that include getting tons of people under you (and tons of people under them). They promise that in doing so, you can earn a percentage of their sales.
It’s nice to think you can earn a passive income while others do all the work. However, that’s just not right, and it’s a pyramid scheme…it’s definitely a pyramid scheme. Run away.
You Have to Provide Too Much personal Information Early On
This is a major red flag. You should not have to provide your social security number just to get through the application process.
Once a contract for work is in place, it’s natural that an employer will need a social security number for a W-9 or 1099 form. If you’re worried about it, you can always apply for a taxpayer identification number for your business dealings. It can be used in place of a social security number.
Paying for Work vs. Paying for a Product
Paying up front is often an indication that you’re dealing with scammers. However, it depends largely on what is being offered in return. You should never have to pay for the opportunity to work.
Conversely, paying for training and tools that improve your ability to gain work is no different than going to school or signing up for paid job boards. These bring in companies seeking targeted workers with your particular skills and experience.
It’s an important distinction when identifying scams versus legitimate job opportunities in the online arena. Can you make money online with freelance writing, graphics design, marketing, searches, secret shopping, or online gaming? Yes, but you have to be able to tell the difference between scams and real jobs.
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You can do this!