When I started looking for a work-at-home job – I didn’t care what the job entailed. I just knew that I needed to make some money and I wanted to be at home with my daughter.
I searched online, checked out the want ads, and even asked past employers if there was ANYTHING that I could do for them. I was willing to do data entry, make phone calls, complete research, run errands, anything … I was desperate! Unfortunately, desperation is often what leads to scams. And I came across a ton of them.
When you’re looking for a work-at-home job you need to be clear in your intent; meaning you need to slow down and take a personal inventory before you begin your search.
- What are your passions, skills, and prior experience?
- Do you need health insurance?
- Do you need a flexible schedule or can you commit to regular day-time hours?
- Do you want to start a business?
- Are you willing to invest in a course or go back to school?
When you cast your net too wide, you fail to find the right work-at-home job for you, because your search isn't targeted.
To assist you on your work-at-home journey, here are some common work-at-home scenarios, companies, jobs, and ideas that can help fast-track your search.
1. I Need a Work-at-Home Job with Zero Startup Fees
You hear this all the time — you should never pay for a work-at-home job. And for the most part, this is statement is true, however, many companies that hire remote workers, do require potential employees to pay for things like criminal background checks, drug screens, credit checks, and training manuals.
Luckily, there are a lot of companies that don’t charge a penny!
Here are some to get you started:
- Capital One
- Hilton Worldwide
- Stitch Fix Stylist
- SYKES Home
- Working Solutions
If you need more suggestions, we have a big list of work-at-home jobs that don’t charge any fees here.
One additional note on fees.
Most companies do require you to have your own laptop, high-speed internet connection, and headset. Check out this article for more information on what equipment you need to work-from-home.
If you want to start your own business, but you're short on cash, here are a couple of articles that talk about FREE home-based business opportunities:
2. I Need to Have a Flexible Work Schedule
When my daughter was a baby, there was no way that I could commit to regular office hours. Her nap schedule was all over the place (some days she napped for 3-4 hours, and other days not at all). Eventually, I ended up enrolling her in a mother's day out program which gave me small bits of time to work uninterrupted. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some companies that will let you work flexible hours and schedules. You can also try your hand at freelance work — which is what I did when I first started out.
- 24/7 Virtual Assistant – Hires Virtual Assistants to complete tasks for clients around the globe. They hire both full-time and part-time Assistants to work around the clock.
- Appen – Hires Social Media and Serch Evaluators, as well as Translators, Transcribers, and Data Collectors. According to their website, “opportunities range from simple surveys that can be completed in less than one hour to on-going projects that last for months or longer.”
- Apple – Hires At Home Advisors for daytime shifts, mid-day shifts, and graveyard shifts. Must have the ability to work some weekends and holidays, but there is the possibility to flex up or down depending upon business needs.
- DVMelite – Hires Client Advocates, Sales Reps, Marketing Managers, and Client Service Champions. Must be able to work 4 hours a day, Monday – Friday, but your work schedule is flexible.
- FancyHands – Hires Assistants for appointment setting, internet research, and data entry. Assistants are paid per task and can work around the clock.
- Gabbyville – Hires Virtual Receptionists. Hours are Monday – Friday, 9 am – 8 pm, and you can choose to work full-time or part-time hours.
- iSoftStone – Hires Web Evaluators and Crowd Workers in the US, Canada, and Australia. You can choose to work 10 – 25 hours per week.
- JustAnswer – Hires Experts to share their knowledge online. With this opportunity you can work anytime; however, it’s more of a side gig than a part-time or full-time job.
- VoiceLog – Hires Live Operators for 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-hour shifts. Must be able to work between 2 pm CST to 11 pm CST Monday-Friday and every other weekend.
If you're looking for a job with odd hours, Anna from Real Ways to Earn has a list of companies that allow you to work nighttime hours. Or perhaps starting a home-based business or working as a freelancer is more your speed, if so, check out this article for some flexible business ideas.
3. Help Me Earn Extra Money From Home
When I was searching for a work-at-home job, I did many of these side gigs to bring in money. While most people use these methods to bring in extra cash, some people make full-time careers out of working side gigs. In fact, Lori Cheek launched her mobile dating app just by completing side jobs.
- Complete Short Tasks
- Odd Jobs
- Paid Focus Groups
- Paid Surveys
- Paid Writing Gigs
- Sell Stock Photos
- Sell Stuff for Money
- Smartphone Apps
- Testing Websites
4. I Want to Call the Shots and Be My Own Boss
I’ve been working for myself for the past ten years, and I absolutely love it! I’m able to increase or decrease my hours as needed. I’m doing work that I love, and there’s no limit to how much I can make … pretty awesome! If you’d like to be your own boss here are some great work-at-home businesses to consider.
- Career Coach
- Direct Sales Consultant
- Graphic Designer
- Event Planner
- Freelance Writer
- Personal Concierge
- Virtual Assistant
Need more ideas? Check out this article, 99 Work-at-Home Career Ideas for Women.
5. I Don’t Want to Take Phone Calls!
One of the most prevalent work at home jobs is that of the Customer Service Agent. While this is a good gig for many individuals, a lot of people just don’t want to be on the phone — which I totally understand. If you’re looking for a non-phone job here are some gigs to consider.
Copywriter – Are You Persuasive?
Copywriters write the words in TV commercials, radio ads, magazines, newspapers, billboards, flyers, websites, catalogs, and direct mailings – wherever something is being sold, copywriters are hard at work writing alluring and compelling advertisements.
Resume Writer – Do you have a way with words?
Professional Resume Writers use words and formatting to create powerful images to sell a job seeker to a potential employer.
Social Media Manager – Are you a social butterfly?
Social Media Managers help companies and businesses market themselves through various social media channels. In-depth knowledge of the different platforms and having your own active accounts is an excellent way to get started.
Teacher – Do you love kids?
If you have an active teaching certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree you may be eligible to teach online. Everything from kindergarten to grade 12 is available with lots of variety in subject matter and topics.
Check out this post for more opportunities for teachers and tutors.
Translator – Are you fluent in more than one language?
If you can speak more than one language and you’re accurate, you may be eligible to complete translation work. Many companies will require you to take a fluency test, but once you pass, you’re ready to go.
Website Tester – Are you tech-savvy?
If you can navigate your way around the web, you can make up to $10 for 15 – 20 minutes of work. Most companies require you to pass an evaluator test before you can begin.
Check out this article for more sites that offer website testing gigs.
Didn't find what you're looking for? Here are ten more jobs that don’t require phone work.
6. I Need Health Insurance
If you’re not covered under your significant other’s health plan, you will need to find a company that offers insurance. If you’re able to work full-time hours, you’ll have a relatively easy time finding companies that offer health benefits. In fact, I have a huge list of legit companies that offer employee benefits.
If you’re only able to work part-time hours — it becomes more of a challenge. However, I did find a few companies that offer benefits for part-time employees.
- Apple – Hires At Home Advisors and Team Managers.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Hires Bilingual Rental Reservation Reps and Customer Service Reps.
- Nike – Hires Equipment Designers, Apparel Designers, Digital Community Managers, Sales Executives, Business Planners, Administrative Assistants, and Business Analysts.
- Staples – Remote Technical Support and Account Managers.
- Starbucks – Hires remote Human Resource Associates and Administrative Assistants.
- SYKES Home – Hire Customer Care Professionals.
- U-Haul – Hires Customer Service Agents, U-Box Agents, and Center Sales Agents.
7. I Want to Use My College Degree
While I have two college degrees, I knew that when I became a stay-at-home mom that I did not want to work in either of these fields. However, if you have a college degree in a field that you still enjoy — there are lots of companies that hire remote professionals like doctors, nurses, and lawyers.
Here is a list of some of the most common professional niches and companies that hire for these roles:
Which is the Right Work-at-Home Job for You?
Figuring out which is the right remote job will take a little exploration into the varying factors of your life. Once you create a list of items you need, and the variables that you don't want, you can start narrowing down the opportunities that are best suited for you.
Still, having trouble finding the right work-at-home job? Leave a comment below with your passions, skills, and requirements, and I'll reply with some personalized suggestions.
Originally published September 16, 2015. Content updated in June 2019.
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