by Glenda Glayzer 6/27/07
There are many reasons to work from home today. Gasoline prices are through the roof.
Car payments, insurance, repairs, maintenance and long hours getting to work make
telecommuting very attractive. Anybody with a brain can see that telecommuting is
the work-wave of the future.
Very few of the people who travel back and forth to offices today actually need to
be in the office to accomplish their jobs. Think of how many American jobs would not
have to be outsourced if those huge office complexes were pared down, with most of
the staff working from home, saving rents and other overhead. Think of the positive
impact that would have on the environment, not to mention the bottom line.
For families with children, daycare costs make it hardly worthwhile to go to a job
unless one is an executive, and few of us are. Yet, most American families have to
have a second income in order to keep up their standard of living, as inflation grows
and wages drop.
While all of the facts I listed are true, what is a person to do? Most people are
now computer literate and have offices already set up in their homes. Still, for some
reason mainstream corporate America refuses to embrace telecommuting and almost every
work-from-home idea is nothing but a way some unscrupulous person is trying to get
your hard-earned money.
I believe there are ways to protect yourself and continue to mine the internet for
legitimate jobs you can do from home. As a freelancer, I'm always on the lookout for
new positions, and I have a few practices I'd like to share with you:
1. I look up the company on the internet.
Do they have a website? If they do, how many employees are listed? Do they offer incentives?
What kind of career opportunities do you see listed? Is there a job description that
matches the one you're applying for, or one you feel matches your skill set more exactly?
2. I check out the company reputation.
Go to http://www.ripoffreport.com/, "a service of the badbusinessbureau.com." This
is a service started by a consumer and it is for the consumer. Type in the company
name and see if anybody has reported it for unethical or illegal behavior. You can
read the rip-off report, and you don't even have to register.
Continue the reputation check at http://www.scam.com/. You only need to register if
you want to post to the forum or join in the chat. I'm sure there are other places
to check out a company, but these two are always where I look first.
You can check out individuals this way as well. Sometimes jobs are offered under an
individual's name. Google their name and find out what you can about them. The internet
is a rich resource; just find out what you can for free.
3. I ask other people who freelance if they know of work websites which are safe (i.e.
not rip-offs or scams).
There is one site I always use to search for telecommuting jobs. It's called Virtual
Assistants (http://www.virtualassistants.com/) and I've personally gotten jobs there
which have paid promptly and well.
Belinda Stringer started VirtualAssistants.com in February of 1999. Prior to this,
she had worked in the staffing business for seven years. She decided to leave her
job as Operations Manager in December of 1998.
She started the site because she was looking into finding a telecommuting job. After
getting ripped off numerous times trying to find a work-at-home job, she decided to
create her own website. The sole purpose of the website would be to locate real work-at-home
jobs for other people. She thought that if she was having such a hard time and getting
ripped off, so were a lot of other people. That was the beginning of VirtualAssistants.com.
Belinda charges a fee to access her database, and many people don't like that. However,
I feel it is justified because most of the sites which allow free access, post any
ads and any jobs. A lot of people get jobs off big job boards like Monster.com and
others that are seemingly legitimate jobs and they end up getting ripped off. One
woman said that she actually went to work for one of the companies that she had found
on Monster for a payment processor only to find out that the check they had sent her
was no good and she ended up owing the bank thousands of dollars.
I think you need to find an expert in the field, someone you can trust. After doing
this for seven years, Belinda has seen about every type of scam you can imagine. She
screens all the posted jobs and tries to provide a safe environment for VA's to pursue
their goal of finding a real work-at-home job.
Of course, nobody can promise that you will find the perfect job, whether at home
or in the public venue, but we all have to work.
I hope this article has given you new hope and new ammunition to go out there and
get what you want!
Glenda Glayzer is an artist,
writer and website designer.