5 Tips for Finding Your First Work-From-Home Job
1. Turn Your Regular Job Into a Work-From-Home Job
According to an estimate from Global Workplace Analytics, 56% of U.S. workers have a job that’s compatible with remote work, at least on an occasional basis.5 If you do most of your work using technology such as computers, mobile devices, and/or tablets, you can probably do your job from home.
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Data Entry Work From Home – indeed.com
Of course, “compatible with remote work” doesn’t mean “allowed to work from home.” To make the move without jumping to a new job, you need to convince your boss to let you give telecommuting a try. The best way to do this is to suggest a trial arrangement—say, one or two days a week—for a set period of time.
Before you ask, though, first lay the groundwork. Get a sense of how your boss feels about flexible work arrangements. Then, prepare a telecommuting proposal. Anticipate and address any objections, demonstrating your successful track record of work and your ability to manage your own time. Suggest measurable goals and check-in times to assess your progress. Be specific about how you’ll keep in touch during the day.
2. Consult or Freelance
If your current position isn’t an option for your first work-from-home job, don’t assume that you’ll have to find an entirely new role to make the leap. Freelancing and consulting can give you a chance to get your feet wet without leaving a secure employment situation. Working independently can also give you a chance to build up an emergency fund. Ultimately, you may even find that you like working for yourself so much that you’ll opt to build your own business instead of looking for another job.
The best thing about freelancing or consulting is that you can get started for only a few hours a week. You can find freelance job listings online or network your way into gigs via word of mouth.
3. Use Job Search Sites, Both General and Niche
Speaking of online job listings, job search sites are a great way to find work-from-home jobs. You can use your favorite job search sites (Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc.) for remote work opportunities by refining your search by keywords such as “remote,” “work-from-home,” “work-at-home,” and “telecommuting.”
To make it easier to find remote jobs, Indeed has added a search filter that lets job seekers filter roles that have been identified as remote. Click on “Remote” at the top of the search results page to access listings.
You can also use job search sites that target work-from-home jobs. Some, such as WeWorkRemotely, and Remote.co offer free listings, while others, such as FlexJobs, provide vetted listings for a small monthly fee.
4. Use LinkedIn to Find the Next Step on Your Career Path
What if you’re not one of the 56% of folks who have jobs that are compatible with working from home?6 If you long for the telecommuting lifestyle and your current gig doesn’t allow you to work remotely, maybe it’s time to consider changing careers.
Don’t assume that you need to go back to school in order to switch tracks. You may be able to map your transferable skills to a new career without investing years of your time and thousands of dollars retraining. And don’t forget the value of the soft skills—people skills, problem-solving, listening, and communicating—that you’ve developed during your career and can prove to be very valuable now.
Not sure how to get to where you want to go? Use LinkedIn to explore the possibilities. Look at the profiles of people who have the job you want. What skills, experience, and qualifications do they have that you presently don’t?
Once you’ve identified what you’re missing, you can fill the gap by upskilling yourself as appropriate. You might be just a class or a bootcamp away from your dream career.
5. Talk to People in Person (Or “in Person”)
Social networking is a solid jumping-off place for your new career path, but if you decide you definitely want to move into a new field, there’s no substitute for talking to people who are already there.
Set up informational interviews with people who have your dream job and ask them how they got where they are today. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be eager to talk to you. Best of all, some will share their missteps which can save you time and trouble during your career transition.
Too introverted, shy, or busy to set up in-person meetings? Ask to talk on the phone or via video chat. You’ll get the back-and-forth interaction you need, with no physical meet-up necessary.