home office

The internet is full of work from home schemes, many of which are scams. Thankfully, many real opportunities for remote work are out there. The ability to work from home has been wonderful for me — I can be there for my wife’s doctor’s appointments, give my parents a break caring for my grandmother, and use my commuting time for something more valuable.

If you have a computer, high-speed internet, and a quiet place to work, there’s a remote job that’s right for you.

Your current job

Many jobs can be done remotely, at least part of the time. It’s not unusual for a boss to let you work from home part of the week or for a few months rather than lose a good employee.

Talk to your manager about working from home before you decide you need to quit. You may be able to use FMLA to keep your current job.

Web developer & designer

You can design a website or write code from anywhere and many companies are happy to hire the best talent, regardless of where you live. There are tons of online programs to learn how to code, both paid and free, as well as intensive in-person courses to get you up to speed quickly. Before you jump in, think about what language you want to learn and what you’re looking for.

Where to find jobs:

Community manager

Responsibilities for community managers can vary greatly. Some require a lot of face-to-face work, while others are 100% social media. It’s a mix of writing blogs, supporting customers, and marketing work.

Where to find jobs:

Translator

If you’re fluent in multiple languages, there are a lot of opportunities for translating texts. Many of the documents are corporate or technical in nature, so your previous job experience can be important to landing better paying projects.

Where to find jobs:

Customer support

When you call customer support numbers, many of the people you’re speaking to are at home, not a call center. Working as a virtual agent allows you flexibility, as long as you have strong customer service skills.

Where to find jobs:

Writer & editor

If you have strong writing skills, there are many opportunities out there to get paid to write articles, website copy, marketing copy, technical documents, and reports. There are also opportunities for editing and proofreading. Learn more at The Write Life.

Where to find jobs:

Online tutoring

You don’t necessarily need a professional background in teaching to be a successful online tutor, although it doesn’t hurt. Just about any skill you’ve mastered is something you can get paid to teach.

Where to find jobs:

Online selling

As an online seller, you’re not getting a job so much as you’re making a job. You can set up your own online store and sell just about anything. Etsy and Shopify both have strong support and seller communities to help you get started. Just don’t invest your life savings in Beanie Babies.

Where to set up your store:

  • Ebay (online auctions)
  • Etsy (handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies)
  • Shopify (make your own store)
  • WooCommerce (make your own WordPress store)

Want to learn about other ways to make money online? I’ve Tried That is a fantastic blog that — you guessed it — tries out all the different opportunities out there and lets you know which ones work. Here’s their directory of how to make money online.

Remote job sites

There are a few sites I can’t not mention. These sites have a variety of different remote jobs that are worth keeping an eye on.

  • Power to Fly was founded to help moms find remote jobs. Their listings are vetted.
  • Idealist specializes in jobs with nonprofits and mission-driven companies. Their site has the option to filter for remote jobs.
  • Remote OK has a ton of jobs, from web development to non-technical positions.
  • Angellist has a fantastic startup job board that allows you to filter for remote positions.

How can you spot a scam?

Stories of scams abound on the internet. You don’t want to get caught up in one of them. Steer clear of:

  • Anything that’s promising that you’ll make thousands of dollars with hardly any work or getting you to enlist your buddies is probably not a legitimate business.
  • Anyone who’s asking for your personal or financial information.
  • Anything that requires you to spend money upfront (aside from the requisite laptop and printer). Any money you wire is gone forever and credit card protections don’t protect you from poor business choices.
  • Job offers that appear without an interview or even an application.

None of the options above are ‘easy money.’ They all involve a lot of hard work — you can’t just set up an account on Elance or Shopify and watch the money roll in. It takes time to establish yourself and find work. And don’t forget to check into the tax implications of freelance work.

Get to work

Of course, working from home doesn’t mean you’re available all the time. It’s important to set boundaries so you can take care of your family while getting work done.

Written by Cori Carl
As Director, Cori is an active member of the community and regularly creates resources for people providing care.

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10 Comments

  1. As someone who works out of my home and cares for my husband with labile T1 diabetes and ESRD, the short answer is “No.” The long answer is “Yes, but…” What really makes the difference is that I work for myself. I still have client expectations to meet, a business to market, and taxes to pay. I can (and have) worked from doctor’s office waiting rooms and from the visitor’s chair in hospitals. (God bless WiFi!) When we have one or two doctor’s appointments every week for five weeks straight, I don’t have to deal with an uncooperative HR Department and I don’t have to keep track of how much vacation time I have left. But, as any freelancer will tell you, there are slow times (which gives me unlimited amounts of time to worry about our income) and there are times when I have to turn down more work than I can accept (which allows me to enjoy those Saturday night trips to the ER with the Monday morning deadline bearing down).

    Reply
  2. As someone who works out of my home and cares for my husband with labile T1 diabetes and ESRD, the short answer is “No.” The long answer is “Yes, but…” What really makes the difference is that I work for myself. I still have client expectations to meet, a business to market, and taxes to pay. I can (and have) worked from doctor’s office waiting rooms and from the visitor’s chair in hospitals. (God bless WiFi!) When we have one or two doctor’s appointments every week for five weeks straight, I don’t have to deal with an uncooperative HR Department and I don’t have to keep track of how much vacation time I have left. But, as any freelancer will tell you, there are slow times (which gives me unlimited amounts of time to worry about our income) and there are times when I have to turn down more work than I can accept (which allows me to enjoy those Saturday night trips to the ER with the Monday morning deadline bearing down).

    Reply
  3. Yes. Probably that’s the thing I hate most about being a caregiver. In 2009 I left a job I hated with a good retirement deal (I had loved the job for years but it got increasingly monochromatic and stressful as interactions with people were replaced with interactions with “systems”) and hoped to have an encore career that was a little livelier – even something based on gigs, as my retirement deal included staying on the company’s health insurance plan. Almost immediately after I left that job I became a caregiver, which meant that I needed to be able to make my own schedule. So I found work as a freelance copyeditor that I can do not only at home, but on my own schedule. In 2016 I began collecting Social Security, so I can work fewer hours, but it’s dull and isolating.

    Reply
  4. I have been my parent‘s caregiver for 25 years. When I became a mom to micro preemie twins 17 years ago, I became a member of the sandwich generation, caring for my elderly parents and my young children in our home. I am grateful to have found a way to earn an income here at home. I market and advertise for the largest health and wellness online shopping club in America.

    Reply
  5. I worked from home for many years as an IT consultant. I set my own hours and was well paid. It was a great career; I was one of the lucky ones.

    Reply
  6. Yes indeed, I set up my Counselling and Family Therapy practice at home, so I have greater flexibility. I incorporate essential oils in my practice and am building an essential oils sales network online. 30 years of full-time caring…

    Reply
  7. Massage Therapy practice in dad’s old room, that I turned into a therapy room.. Still hv mom, 95, bedridden at other end of home. : (
    Have had My practice for 17 yrs
    My full time care for parents 13 yrs

    Reply

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