Want to Work at Home? Stop Chasing the Easy Solution
By Holly Reisem Hanna
Each week my inbox inundated with emails from women looking to work at home. Some have lost their jobs, others are new moms who want to stay at home with their babies and yet others are looking to reenter the workforce – whatever the situation they all share the common thread of wanting to work at home.
Some will give me some detailed accounts about their background and skills and other will just tell me the basics. No matter what their situation, I take to time to write them back and offer up suggestions.
I always end each email with – “please keep me posted on your progress”. Sadly, I never hear from the majority of these individuals again.
The truth of the matter is that finding a job is hard work, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the traditional 9 to 5 or if you’re looking to work at home – there is no easy solution! The hard, cold truth is that nobody is going to deliver you a home-based job opportunity on a silver platter – you have to work for it.
So are you ready to put in some hard work and find your work at home bliss?
Here are 7 action steps to get you started.
Make a detailed list of your skills, previous job experience, education, passions, hobbies and strengths. Once you have your master list, create another list of jobs you can do be because of your previous knowledge and experience. Remember to think outside the box, try searching for opportunities by your skill set. Your nursing background and love of social media could make you the perfect candidate for a Social Media Marketer in the healthcare field. Need more ideas, see Finding Your Niche- How to Find a Career that You Love.
Polish Your Resume:
Just like any other job search you need to update and polish your resume. A work at home gig is a highly coveted position and employers are looking for the cream of the crop. Update and freshen up your resume, references and cover letter – make sure you stand out from the crowd. Remember to tailor your resume to each specific job that you are applying for; now-a-days resumes are first scanned by a computer searching for key words and phrases that were used in the classified ad or job description.
Get With Your Network:
I’m always talking about this and there is a reason why – it’s because networking works! Three out of four of my last jobs I got through networking, and here’s why. First people are more apt to trust a known person’s recommendation over a stack of totally unknown resumes. Secondly, people enjoy helping other people out, so let it be known that you are searching for a work at home job. Start off by telling your friends and family that you’re looking for a home-based position and if they hear of any to let you know. Get involved in some social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn where you can connect with old classmates, colleagues, friends and family.
When you find a position that sounds promising make sure that you do your due diligence and research the company and opportunity extensively. You can start by checking the Better Business Bureau website to see what kind of ratings they have. A Google search will pull up negative, as well as positive reviews. Search for contact information (a phone number, physical address and email address) – individuals that are promoting scams don’t want to be found. Look for people already employed by the company and see what their experience is with them.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “The early bird gets the worm” and when searching for a job the same is true. Once you’ve found the company and opportunity to be legit – quickly send them the requested information. Make sure to read all of the small print, some companies will make you follow a series of steps to see if you can follow directions. Remember to follow up with a phone call, if allowed.
Since you will most likely be applying for more than one job, you’ll need to keep a detailed journal of your job hunting activities. Start by creating a spread sheet listing the company, position, important dates and other imperative information. Not into spread sheets? Jibber Jobber is an online career management platform that allows you organize and manage your job search, target companies and even track jobs that you apply to.
Don’t Give Up:
According to an article by eHow, it takes the average individual 21 weeks to find a job. A couple of other considerations to take into account, is those who are older (55+) and those who are looking for higher paying jobs ($100,000+) tend to take even longer. The key is to be patience and persistent. If you start to feel frustrated find a support group – Meetup has various groups in various locations just for unemployed individuals.
With some hard work and persistence you too can be working from the comfort of your home.