So, you're serious about this working from home thing. You've made a good choice, and a difficult one. That's a huge step, and you'll soon see that it is the first of many, many difficult decisions that you'll need to make. This last statement especially applies to those who haven't made their first dollar from within their own four walls, but many who choose to quit the rat race find that diversification is an effective way to find what best fits their individual expectations and needs.
The next logical step is to decide how to go about it. Nobody may have told you yet that these decisions are going to get more difficult before they get easier, but that's how it's starting to look at this point.
There are a lot of folks who literally just want to work from home in the most basic sense of the phrase. Maybe start at 8 or 9 in the morning and put in eight hours, maybe take an hour for lunch. Just without the getting dressed and leaving the house part.
This has the potential to be a very nice arrangement for those lucky enough to find an employer offering it. Employers the world over have become aware of the money that can be saved by working with home-based help. If you're one of the many wondering how I can read your mind and blog at the same time, don't get too excited yet. As it turns out, being an at home job seeker may just be more competitive than any industry out there (without the benefits of actually being an industry, if you're the one doing the job hunting).
That said, it's not realistic for everybody. In order to be successful on this route, you'll have to treat it like any other job hunt. Identify your marketable skills, and decide on an industry or industries where you're likely to be able to make best use of them. Write a resume, and get it out there. If you don't have any marketable skills, you're going to have a tough time finding this type of work from home, right from the start.
Sound familiar? It should, it's not that much different than looking for work outside the home in these respects. Except that as a candidate for a telecommuting position, you could be competing against people from all over the country or world, rather than only those who are located within commuting distance. It is also a good idea to consider adding an additional section to your resume, one that briefly outlines your home office capabilities. This is where you'll call attention to your high-speed internet connection, dedicated phone or fax lines, and any special software you have installed.
Whether this is the best approach for you depends on your reasons for wanting to work from home in the first place. If you're trying to get away from working for "the man," need a very flexible schedule or do not have any special training or experience, you should probably be looking at alternatives to the often unrealistic 9-5 work at home job.
These will be covered next time, stay tuned.
Labels: getting started