We get a lot of questions from people on the Single Moms Income Facebook page about how to get started with working from home and earning a solid income. When I say that almost anyone can secure a legitimate online job and work from home, I mean it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year at least 23% of all Americans worked from home and that number is rising each year.
From the outside looking in, it might seem difficult to grasp how so many successful people have been able to quit their 9-5 jobs and earn a sustainable income by working at their kitchen table or home office. Working from home allows you to have a more flexible schedule and gives you the freedom to choose where you live.
If you’d like to start building a career working from home, there are a few step you need to take. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and telecommuters have followed these simple steps to kickstart their online careers. If you’ve been wondering how to get started with yours, there are a few things you need to do:
Determine What Your Skills You Have
If you have special education or training under your belt or years of experience in your industry, I’m sure you have quite a few skills you can market in order to find work. Even if you don’t have much professional work experience or a college degree, you can still be successful working from home and make a good living.
Some basic skills you should obtain to help you start working from home include:
- The ability to work efficiently and productively without much supervision
- Proficiency with computers and good typing skills
- Superb communications and customer service skills
It’s important to determine your skill set and even write out a list so you know what you have to offer an employer or client and can market yourself accordingly.
Determine Which Skills You Want to Master
It’s helpful to have some idea what type of work you’d like to do and focus on a specific field instead of searching for anything and everything. Narrowing down your focus will help you avoid running into work-from-home industry scams.
If you are super organized and like to help people, you may want to work on establishing some skills that would help you become a virtual assistant.
There are literally tons of areas you can focus on so work on improving different skills to increase the value you can offer a client or employer and improve your changes of getting hired.
Decide if You Want to Work for Yourself or Work For Someone Else?
There are two paths you can take when working from home. You can either get an online job and work for someone else, or you can create an online job and work for yourself.
Working from home often means that you will be self-employed and in charge of finding and establishing new clients, setting your own rate for projects and managing your small business along with being in charge of paying taxes on it.
While being your own boss sure sounds like the dream, you may prefer to work for another company via a telecommuting position so you can have more job security and avoid having to pay more taxes on your earnings.
Create a Resume
Whether you’re in search of a company who hires location independent workers or clients who will hire you to work with them, it’s best to prepare a resume to utilize when you apply for work. A resume is not required but it’s definitely recommended because even though you may not use it every time, when someone asks for it, you should have it ready.
Even if you don’t have much to enter on your resume at first, try to list some of your skills and any relevant experience you have or positions you’ve held in the past whether they were actual jobs or volunteer work.
Build Your Network
Networking is key in the professional world. If you want to work from home and thrive, you’ll need a solid network of individuals to help you find and land jobs and support your professional goals. Start a blog to connect with others, utilize LinkedIn and attend local networking events.
Focus on establishing authentic relationships with people and consider what you can do for others instead of just what you can get from someone. The more positive and successful people you have in your circle, the more useful opportunities will come your way.
Many job leads are not advertised online so your network will come in handy when you need to find out who’s hiring and maybe even if you need a reference.
Search for Opportunities and Pitch Like Crazy
This is a very important step. If you don’t search for jobs and apply regularly, it will be hard to work from home regularly and earn decent wages in the long run.
The best places to look for companies that will hire you to work from home are job boards and websites like:
Just to name a few. I would search through Craigslist.org with caution. Most people advertising jobs on this site are legit, but it’s the ones who aren’t that bring down the site’s reputation. As much as I hear bad things about Craigslist, I can’t deny the fact that about 70% of the jobs I’ve had came from Craigslist leads.
You should also utilize your network when it comes to securing well paying online jobs and opportunities. Join Facebook groups or mastermind groups and let people know you are interested in working from home. If you blog, create a ‘Hire Me’ page to get the word out.
Since I started freelancing, I gained about 95% of my best clients as a result of my network. This is why it’s so important to connect with others, build relationships and help out without the expectation of anything in return. Surround yourself with people you admire and who have found success with the things you are striving to achieve.
And don’t forget about pitching! Pitching is less formal than submitting a job application. But it basically involves reaching out to someone you know or don’t know and and flat out asking them if they’d like to hire you.
Your pitch should be short, to-the-point and clearly tell the reader why they should work with you. You should definitely include samples of your work or link back to your website or portfolio.
Successful entrepreneurs and freelancers often send out several pitches per week to introduce themselves to new prospects and keep the work flowing in so you should always be ready to send a pitch as needed.
To wrap up, anyone can start working from home after following these steps. Depending on what type of work you decide to do, it may take a bit longer to build your income so you should have some savings set aside and you might even want to start out with a side hustle initially to see how well you to with the work.
Do you work from home or have you ever wanted to? Which one of these steps resonates most with you?