Deciding Which Work From Home Jobs Are Right For You
Many people know they want to work from home, but far fewer know what kind of work they actually want to do. Work from home jobs typically fall within one of four categories:
- Freelance (1099)
- Direct Sales
- Hourly Employee (W-2)
- Extra Income
Before jumping into the different work from home jobs, a little self-reflection might help you narrow down your options. Only you know how you work best and under what circumstances you perform well. Once you determine which opportunity suits you and your circumstances, you can narrow the focus of your work from home jobs search and begin taking steps to secure your perfect opportunity.
Freelance/Contract/1099 Work From Home Jobs
Whatever you call them, these contract-based work from home jobs provide a ton of flexibility for workers. As a freelancer, you decide how and when you work and for whom. This has become an increasingly popular form of work for many as people embrace the so-called Gig Economy. In fact, many people start off freelancing to supplement their income and end up turning it into a lucrative, full-time career.
You can offer just about any services as a freelancer: graphic design, marketing, virtual assisting, data entry, consulting, writing, voice over–you name it, you can probably freelance it. There are a number of sites like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer that connect freelancers and people seeking their services. While these sites take a percentage of earnings, they are a great jumping off point for establishing yourself as a freelancer.
Once you’ve built your reputation, you can watch your earnings grow and grow and grow. And when you’ve really made a name for yourself, you might even explore the option of setting up your own website and directly marketing your skills.
I’ve had varying degrees of success on freelance websites. It seems that work goes through a constant cycle of feast or famine. And let’s be honest, the famine part is extremely stressful! That’s why freelancing isn’t for everyone. You spend a lot of time submitting job proposals and networking and sometimes, it just doesn’t pay off.
As a freelancer, you are essentially your own business. You are in charge of seeking work, tracking your expenses, payments, and paying your own taxes. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, there are some excellent books that can help you succeed as a freelancer:
If freelancing sounds like it might be for you, it is worth researching the various opportunities out there. Your best chance of success is going into the experience with as much knowledge about freelancing as possible!
Avon, Plexus, Jewelry in Candles, Pampered Chef, and the like are some of the well-known home business opportunities out there. These companies typically work under a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) platform where sales reps get paid commission for their sales and a percentage of the sales made from the salespeople they’ve recruited. Often these require a fee to get started.
Like any opportunity, MLM home-based businesses aren’t for everyone. To be successful, you must constantly be marketing the company, products, and yourself. This will require you to have a strong online presence through your own website and social media. You will probably be doing your fair share of in-person marketing too. Be prepared to pass out business cards to just about everyone you meet.
It takes a bit of a thick skin to be successful as a home-based business owner. After all, you will be selling products. And when selling, you will hear “no” more often than “yes.” Plus, since many home-based business opportunities reward you for salespeople you sign up, you will also be actively trying to recruit other sales persons (this can be difficult in and of itself!).
But if you’re highly motivated, have an entrepreneurial spirit, like the idea of being your own boss, and do not fear the word “no,” a home-based business can provide a good income. Many stay-at-home parents opt for this opportunity since it allows them to work around their kids’ schedules. Plus, many parents find it easy to network within their own group of friends and acquaintances in order to get their first sales rolling in.
There are a ton of home-based business opportunities out there. I personally have never tried any. But I do know many people who are successful. My suggestion is to only rep a company that you truly stand behind or are genuinely enthusiastic about. You can read this guide for starting your own home-based business for a little more insight.
If you’re not an active user of them, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to get others to purchase them and use them. So, if you are a beauty buff try Avon or Mary Kay. Master chef of your kitchen? Try out Pampered Chef. Extremely active health aficionado? Try Plexus.
If the idea of starting a home-based business has piqued your interest, but you have no idea where to start, I suggest reading:
Network Marketing: Network Marketing Online: Network Marketing Books To Use The Internet For MLM Recruiting New Representatives In Your MLM Business (Network … Marketing Online, MLM Network Marketing)
In these books, you will find valuable information on what kinds of home-based businesses are out there and help decide which opportunity may be a good fit for you. They can provide valuable insight into MLM businesses when other work from home jobs just don’t seem like a good fit.
Hourly Employee (W-2) Work From Home Jobs
When you are hired by a company, you are given a status of either employee or contractor. Freelancers and independent contractors work under a 1099 and employees are designated as W-2. I know it sounds confusing, but it’s really not.
The easiest way to distinguish between the two is as a W-2 employee, taxes are taken out of your paycheck. As an independent contractor (1099), you are responsible for paying your own taxes on money you earn.
Employees are usually offered benefits like insurance and paid time off while independent contractors are not.
Some people prefer to work as an employee because it generally will offer more stability than a 1099 contract position. Plus, having benefits like medical insurance and paid sick time is a definite perk.
So, if you’re interested in working at home but need the added security of a weekly paycheck, an employee position is your best bet. Fortunately there is a growing list of companies who routinely post employee-based work from home jobs:
- American Express
- Western Governor’s University
- American Public University
- Hilton Hotels
The above list is just a small sample of companies who regularly advertise work from home jobs. A quick Indeed search will often result in many more work from home jobs posted from companies who occasionally have virtual employee positions open.
Work From Home Jobs for Extra Income
Not everyone interested in work from home jobs are looking for full time, part time or even freelance work. In fact, many people are interested in learning how to make some extra money here and there in their spare time. Fortunately, there are no shortages of work from home jobs that offer the opportunity to make a little extra money each month:
To this day, I make an extra $200.00 or so each month just from doing a handful of usability tests with User Testing each week. The best part is, I think it is actually enjoyable to do the tests and so it never really feels like work. It’s kind of like being paid to check out different websites and apps (something I would do for free!).
Still unsure which work from home jobs are right for you? Don’t worry. It can take some time to figure out. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Work From Home Jobs Leads Page for a frequently updated list of various opportunities.