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You ASKED Electra
"At home" positions, in most businesses, are a perk rather than an essential part of the job description. "At home" positions are also so desireable that an employer rarely has to look far to find someone willing to do the job--chances are a current employee will snap it up on the spot. Because of these two factors, you won't find positions advertised with the "work at home" option included.
Probably the best way to get hired as an "at home" employee is to find a company that really really wants you and then, when the job offer is made, negotiate this as a requirement for joining the company. Many employers won't go for it...but you might find one that will.
The advantage of being an employee, though your work site is home, is that you can expect health benefits and other perks offered to regular employees.
Insider Reports offers a very useful article, "Is Telecommuting for You?" with telecommuting resources & tips on convincing your new boss to consider a telecommuting arrangement.]Because this option seems PERFECT to millions of folks who want to work at home (benefits, a bit of security and an at-home job), you'll have to be careful. Ever see those ads: "Make hundreds of dollars a week stuffing envelopes at home?" Sounds wonderful! Next thing you know, you've spent a hundred dollars for an "Exclusive Guide to Money-Making Opportunities." SOMEONE made a hundred dollars...but it wasn't you. [See the Better Business Bureau's Work at Home Schemes for a run-down of the most common scams.]
Electra can't vouch for any of these sites, but you may want to take a look. Beware of wild promises and big checks (yours.):
Contractor or Employee?]
Once you've established that being an independent contractor is for you, your next question is going to be:
How do I find potential customers? (Remember, they are customers NOT employers.)
Here's where you start constructing your marketing plan!
Do you have skills or experience that make you more valuable to one kind of business than another? For example, which databases do you know and have on your computer at home? What kinds of companies use these databases? Are they used for mailing lists? (Think about mail order companies, direct mail marketers, publishers of newsletters, etc.) Are they used for inventory? (Think about businesses that need to have paper-based inventory information entered into the database.)
You'll have to focus and target the best companies for YOU. This will take networking (contacting people to find out about their needs) and research. Take a look at JobStar's Hidden Job Market. You're going to work through the Step-by-Step Hidden Job Market to find companies that will CONTRACT with you (instead of hiring you.)
The great thing about being connected to the Internet is that your customers don't HAVE to be located near you. You can communicate via e-mail, send files to your customer or post directly to a ftp site.
The bad thing is you have to learn how to SELL, line up customers, price jobs, negotiate deliverables and make contacts with people who can help you get contracts. So there is a fair learning curve involved.
Some websites that might help you get started:The websites listed in JobStar's Contractor or Employee?
Making Your Case for Telecommuting: How to Convince the Boss
SOHO Online--Resources for Small Office/Home Office Entrepreneurs
SBA - Manage your business from start to finish
Home Based Business
Page last updated: 11:06 AM on 5/22/09