First Steps to Finding a Work From Home Position

Before you start digging through the help wanted ads, take a moment to step back and think about what kind of job you’re looking for (other than a work from home position!).

Personally, I don’t want anything with restrictive hours or that ties me to a phone or desk for 8 to 9 hours straight.  What good does it me to be at home with my little boy if I’m working the entire day?  It’s not fair to me, my son or my prospective employer.  And frankly, at this point, my commute to work is only ten minutes.  It’s not my commute I’m trying to eliminate.  I want my work schedule to be more flexible around my family life.  This is my most important criteria in my job search.  Knowing this, I’ve already eliminated a selection of potential positions.  This saves me a lot of time as I go through the job ads.  I can easily discount a number of jobs that won’t fit the schedule I desire.

Now would be a good time to start a list of what kind of job you’re looking for.  (I know, what’s with me and lists?  I like lists…ok, ok, I admit it, I LOVE lists.)  Add on to the list you started earlier with the specific jobs you’re qualified for.  What kind of hours are you looking for?  For example, do you need full time or would part time work better?  Are you okay with working rigidly fixed shifts or even rotating shifts?  What about weekends?   Beyond just job duties and responsibilities, think about how your job will fit into your life.  Some people are okay with jobs that have erratic hours.  It’s easy to pop into your home office for an hour and finish a project, but do you want this sort of intrusion into your home life?

Another way to add to this list is to consider things about your current or past jobs that you’ve enjoyed and things that have annoyed you.  Will these be issues with a work from home position?  Add anything pertinent to your list.  Salary or hourly wages are a good item to add to this list.  What do you need to survive?  What do you need to be comfortable?  Do you want a guaranteed monthly income or can you deal with the fluctuating income of a commission based position?  What about benefits?  Can you arrange to get health insurance at a reasonable rate from another source if your future position doesn’t offer it? 

Now, prioritize your list.  My priorities are flexible work hours and a steady income.  I don’t need a full time position, in fact I’d prefer part time, but I do need a minimum monthly salary. 

All right, now you should have a detailed list of what kind of job you’re looking for, not just a job title, but a list covering all aspects of a job.  Will you be able to find the exact job you’re looking for?  Maybe not, but you should now know what your priorities are in your job search.  This will keep you from wasting time applying to jobs that will ultimately not be the right match for your skills or for what you desire in a work from home position.

Keep that list handy.  In a few later posts, I’ll address detailed aspects of the job search, but first I’m going to blog about two topics I consider extremely important when you start looking for a work from home job.  First, in my next post, I’ll blog about how to avoid scams.  In the following post, I’ll help guide you in deciding if a traditional employee-employer based work from home position is what you’re looking for or if you should consider starting your own business or franchise.

Stay tuned for more pit stops on my road to finding a work from home position.

H. Lounsbury

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