Finding Legitimate Work-At-Home Opportunities

Work-at-home opportunities have grown substantially since the Great Recession began as people are looking to get back on their feet financially. These side gigs offer the flexibility of choosing your own hours and can be a great way to earn a little extra cash in your free time. What they will not do, however, is make you rich quickly.

Scamsters have also taken advantage of the increased popularity of work-at-home offers. So you have to be careful to avoid people trying to take your money. Among the most common scams:

  • People asking for sensitive personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth or checking account number
  • Instructions to deposit a check then wire a portion of it back to someone
  • Claims that someone has access to hidden jobs or government grants that nobody else knows about
  • Anyone requiring large amounts of money up front
  • Promises of earning hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in your spare time

Never, ever give out personal information or bank account numbers to anybody without a good reason.  Because most work-at-home offers are scams, you have to be vigilant in weeding out the bad ones.

So what should you do if you’re searching for legitimate opportunities to earn some extra dough? That depends on your interests and abilities. There are several types of work-at-home outfits on the internet, but I’ll talk about three of the most common ones.

Virtual call centers and help desks

Companies often outsource their customer support, so you might be able to find an opportunity helping customers solve issues on the phone or over the internet. Arise.com and LiveOps.com are two of the bigger sites for these types of opportunities.

Legal assistance to attorneys

Attorneys sometimes need help preparing for a trial. For example, you could be part of a mock jury or focus group helping to determine case value, find which facts to emphasize, and analyze public opinion of a particular topic. If you’re interested in providing this type of service, check out OnlineVerdict.com or eJury.com.

Freelancing

Do you know a foreign language? Are you a math whiz? There are people willing to pay for private tutors for all sorts of subjects. Take a look at what skills you can offer the world, and visit Fiverr.com or Elance.com to find people looking for your expertise. Even if you don’t think you have any skills, you’d be surprised what people are willing to do for a few bucks.

On Fiverr.com, people post what they are willing to do for five dollars. One entry I just saw is from a guy who is willing to put on a hot dog costume and dance for two minutes to a song of your choice!

Work-at-home opportunities won’t make you rich, but they can be a good way to earn a few bucks in your spare time. A good way to get a feel for the reputation of a company is to search online for what other people say about it. If you see a lot of negative comments, you know to steer clear.

A final word of caution: Be skeptical if something seems too good to be true. You don’t want to get taken by the scamsters!

Photo by classifiedwars.com

12 thoughts on “Finding Legitimate Work-At-Home Opportunities

  1. Better yet, developing legitimate professional connections and relationships (or, as some call it, “networking”) works just as well for work-at-home opportunities as it does any other job opportunities. It takes a few years and isn’t a quick fix, but in my experience it’s your best bet for sustainable, long-term freelance or contract employment from home.

    • I hadn’t thought of plain, old-fashioned networking as a source of work-at-home and freelance opportunities. You’re right – it’s not a quick fix and can take years of building relationships and staying in touch. I read a statistic that over half of jobs are found through connections, so it definitely pays to develop your network at every stage of your career. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. My husband works full-time as a copywriter. For the past two years, he has attempted to find freelance or part-time writing gigs. It is quite disheartening and quite grueling, has he has joined or at least attempted to find jobs through many of these sites. I have found, especially in our city, that the competition for freelance writing gigs is overwhelming. Many places want you to write for free or offer you only $5-$10/piece. It isn’t limited to our city either—many of these web-based freelance writing companies have so many people on them it’s crazy!

    I definitely agree with the person who suggested making connections. To me, this is one of the best ways to find a job. It sucks when you are socially awkward and an introvert like yours truly.

    Also, many places post freelance/part-time jobs/gigs on craigslist.org as well.

    • I didn’t realize the competition for copywriter jobs is so intense! It’s insulting that companies offer $5 or $10 for a piece. Maybe this is how they test job seekers, by weeding out the good from the bad and forcing potential freelancers to go through the grueling process. I realize that doesn’t make it any easier for job seekers though!

      I wish your husband the best with his job situation.

      • I guess I should say that he is not only applying for copywriting positions but really anything he feels he could do within the scope of writing. He has experience in other fields and other types of writing as well.

        The problem is, and now more than ever, is that there are so many people applying for these positions that they can offer essentially nothing in return. Nowadays everyone is a writer, I guess. Numerous times you will see ads for people who want someone to write for free because they are a “start-up.” Or they want a writing “intern” for even well-known sites.

        I remember when he applied for a job in which they wanted someone to write descriptions for board games for an online website. In only a couple of days, the guy had received over 150 resumes.

        • That’s crazy! It does seem that everyone is a writer, especially given the explosion of blogs and other informal writing online in recent years.

          We have several copywriters where I work, and it seems to me that competition for those jobs is fierce. A lot of people apply for only a few positions, but those who are hired are paid well. I couldn’t imagine having to write for free, unless it was part of the interview process.

  3. I was looking for weekend work to do about a week ago, and someone responded wanting to see my resume, but didn’t put a company name; I checked the girl out and facebook stalked until I found a photo album of where they worked. Turns out she was trying to headhunt me for Primerica Financial Services. You pay a $99 “fee” plus $25/month for their online help system, plus have to pay them $200 to take a test to get licensed. They claim to help families out financially, but you won’t be advanced or make a lot unless you’re actively bringing in new recruits and THEIR cash. Needless to say I just responded that I wasn’t interested in any company that I have to pay for the privilege of working for them.

    Thank god for facebook and google!

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