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Techniques for Finding Telecommuting Employment

Part 1 of 2

It seems everyone wants to do it: Work from home, that is. Whether it’s being able to work in their pajamas, or getting to spend some extra time with their children, something is prompting people to consider giving up their day job to look for this "alternative" form of employment. The only problem seems to be actually finding a work-from-home job! Where are these companies that have openings for telecommuters? In the paragraphs that follow, you will learn how to research and find home-based employment.

The first thing to be aware of is scams, such as when a person or company poses as an employment firm, yet requires you to pay X amount of money in order for you to be placed. Or, a company claims to be a hiring company, but requires you to pay X amount of money in order to “process your application”.

If you are looking for a home-based job, you should follow the same procedures that you did when you sought traditional employment: send a resume, get an interview, fill out some tax forms, and agree upon wages or commission.

Job Categories
Thanks to the widespread use of computers and the Internet, working from home has come a long way since envelope-stuffing and craft assembly, To demonstrate, I’ve broken down different types of telecommuting arrangements into four categories.

  1. 100% Remote or Virtual

    Virtual or Remote work typically means that you will never personally meet your employer or your client. Your location is irrelevant. You will go through the entire application and hiring process online. Obviously, jobs under this heading will require that you are very computer literate.

    Typically, this is the hardest category of work to find because there are trust issues. You will need to be very good at selling yourself on your resume. Competition in this category is extremely high.

  2. Half In/Half Out

    This category refers to work that is based from home but requires you to leave your home to complete important functions of the job. You still might never have to visit your company’s office, or even personally meet anyone that you work with or for. However, portions of your job must be performed away from the home. Jobs in this category will usually allow you to create your own hours, work at your own pace, and work around your own schedule.

  3. Making An Occasional Appearance

    Some jobs may require that you physically check in from time to time. Or you might need to receive your initial training in person, or attend weekly, monthly, or yearly meetings or conferences. If you aren’t local to the company’s headquarters, you need to be prepared for occasional travel, sometimes including overnight stays to accommodate meeting or training schedules.

    When you show up for a company meeting, be aware that you will be re-evaluated. Be prepared to continue to sell yourself as a valuable employee. Your boss will be asking him or herself, “Why should I keep this employee?”

  4. Local Candidates Only

    Some companies may allow you to work from home, but want to make sure that you are physically accessible. Either that’s how they feel comfortable or, perhaps, there are assignments that need to be delivered to you in person. In this category, you will more than likely be under an employee status, rather than an independent contractor, which is common within the other categories. You might have to pick up your work assignments every day or week, and then deliver completed work to them personally at a determined time

    Once you have learned the various types of work arrangements that exist, and you are able to avoid the scams, the next step is to actually locate an actual job.

Next week we’ll look at the sources to use when you look for home-based employment.

-Pamela La Gioia
Copyright 2004, Pamela La Gioia
Pamela La Gioia is Founder and Administrator of Telework Recruiting, a premier job-lead web site that provides thousands of job leads and job resources for the US, Canada, and the UK. She is currently writing a workbook on telecommuting, which offers step-by-step guidance on finding real home-based employment. Questions or comments are welcome and can be sent to Pamela at