It’s frustrating. You’ve been thinking about working from home for a long time. Maybe you’ve even been applying to various jobs, but nothing has worked out yet.
You hear about the scams, the rip-offs, and the companies that charge a bunch of money up front. Sometimes it seems like that’s the only thing you hear about.
But you know there are some legitimate companies somewhere because there are people who’ve been successful finding great work at home. You’ve read their blog posts, you’ve talked to them online, and you might even know some in person. But where do they find those jobs? And how do they land them?
I have been working from home since 2007. I was looking for a work-at-home job long before that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “you should never pay for a work at home job” or “getting a work from home job shouldn’t cost you anything.” While that’s true in many cases, there is no one-size-fits-all in anything. That goes for those t-shirts as well.
As someone who has been around the biz for over 10 years, I have found a lot of the myths and “rules” come from people who have either had a really easy job search or those who have had a horribly miserable one and have been taken by every scam around. The majority of us fall somewhere in the middle. What rules apply to us?
The Issue With Looking for Online Work
When you’re looking for a work-at-home job, the most important thing you can do is research every option thoroughly. Read reviews about the company on sites like Glassdoor. Look for videos on YouTube. See if anyone you know works for them already. That’s what we mean when we say “do your research” — don’t just stop at the company’s website. See what other people are saying.
It takes time to find a work-from-home job. Sure, there are some success stories of people who transitioned out of their day jobs into remote work, or people who had connections and got jobs quickly that way. Those are legitimate stories — and using any connections from your work history or your personal network is always a great way to get a job, home-based or otherwise.
But you’re also familiar with all the things that can go wrong. Scams. Rip-offs. Companies that want to take hundreds of dollars out of your pocket before you can start working for them. Recruiters who lead you on with their “work at home opportunities” that amount to direct sales (which are a legitimate way to make money from home, but not what you want if you’re looking for a more traditional job). Sending your resume into the online resume vault, never to see the light of day again.
How do you tell which job opportunities are legit and which ones are a waste of your time? Are there really any legitimate work-at-home jobs being posted online these days?
The Good News
One of the amazing things about being alive today is that we have the Internet — and not only do we have it, but we’ve had it long enough that it’s become an integral part of our lives and our workplaces. Businesses, both large and small, have started to recognize the incredible value of having remote workers, which means that more and more of these remote jobs are opening up every day.
The downside to this positive growth is that the opportunities to get ripped off are also growing. When it comes to finding a work-from-home job, there’s one basic golden rule to follow: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
There are absolutely legitimate work-from-home jobs posted online — I write about a lot of them right here on the blog. Many of these jobs don’t necessarily have terrific pay (a typical entry-level hourly rate is between $10 and $12 per hour) but there are many companies that pay their remote employees well, offer benefits even to part-timers, and fold in other perks that make these jobs an attractive and viable option.
And for those of us with more specialized education and experience, the field of remote jobs is also widening. There’s way more to working from home than being part of a call center.
All you have to do is find the job ads. It seems simple, but it isn’t always easy.
The Best Place to Find Legitimate Work-at-Home Job Openings
If you’re looking for traditional work, you can always go to the traditional job boards (like Indeed, Career Builder, and Monster) and search for jobs using keywords like “remote” and “telecommute.” You can also search for industry-specific job boards online and see what kinds of ads are posted there — and how frequently.
You can read blogs like this one, where I write about all the different work-at-home opportunities I can find. I also share hot job leads in my email newsletter, which is great because it means the job ads come to you instead of you having to go find them. But if you rely on sites like mine, you’ll know about the great jobs out there but you’re potentially up against some steep competition when it comes to landing them.
If you rely on general job boards like Indeed or Monster, you have to spend more time, dig deeper, and sift through all kinds of results that may or may not actually be relevant to what you want. They may even be scams in the mix.
If you want to zero in on legit work-at-home jobs, and quickly, a specialized job board is the way to go. That’s where FlexJobs comes in.
A Little Background on FlexJobs
FlexJobs was started in 2007 when founder Sara Sutton Fell was frustrated with her own flexible job search. As the founder of an entry level employment service already, Sara knew what employers and potential employees were looking for and set out to fill the gap. FlexJobs is now the top-rated job board for telecommuters.
But, it’s not all telecommute positions either. You can find jobs offering flexible schedules, seasonal work and other types of alternative scheduling. FlexJobs partners with a lot of high-quality companies that offer telecommute positions on a regular basis. You can see a list of some of those here.
Is FlexJobs a Scam?
Here is one thing I want to make clear upfront: FlexJobs is not a scam. This isn’t some BS system that we see so often in the work-at-home world where you sign up for something only so they can send your information to some spam list somewhere or start recommending that you sign up to a bunch of other services if you really want to work remotely. None of that here. It’s a totally legit job board just like Monster or Careerbuilder. The main difference is FlexJobs concentrates their efforts on flexible positions as opposed to traditional 9-to-5s.
Why Should I Sign Up for FlexJobs?
There are two main reasons I fell in love FlexJobs after months of subscribing:
- They research every listing. That means NO SCAMS! Every week I hear from people in my community that they found a good-looking job listing and applied – or sometimes never fully applied – only to be sent information on signing up for a business opportunity or something really sketchy phishing for personal information. FlexJobs does the legwork so you can apply with confidence.
- I am really in love with their Advanced Job Search. Frequently on job boards like Indeed, you search for work-at-home jobs and are returned a huge list but once you start digging in you find that it’s only partially work at home or on-site training is required, or maybe Indeed’s robot thinks it’s work from home but it really isn’t at all. FlexJobs’ Advanced Job Search lets you search by keywords, work schedule, telecommute level, career level and more. That means if you are only looking for full-time 100% telecommute entry level positions that’s what you are going to get. You get to decide what kind of job you want and then spend your time applying to those jobs instead of digging through job listings.
How Much does FlexJobs Cost?
This is the best part. It’s pretty inexpensive.
- Month-to-month subscription: $14.95/month
- Three months: $29.95 (about $10 per month)
- One year: $49.95 (that breaks down to about $4/month)
6 Other FlexJobs.com Benefits You May Not Know About (Yet)
Not only are you going to find scam-free work-at-home job leads once you become a FlexJobs member, you are also going to have access to some other awesome perks. Some of which, you may not yet be aware of!
1. Free Resume Evaluations & Discounts on Resume Writing Services – One of the most frequent requests I receive from job seekers is, “Where can I get my resume reviewed?” If you have been applying to jobs and not receiving a response, you are likely wondering if there is something wrong with your resume.
Through FlexJobs partners offers, you will find several companies that offer not only free resume evaluations to FlexJobs members but also great discounts should you decide to just hand the reins over and have someone else write your resume in its entirety. You will find these recommendations under the Special Partners Offer tab > Job Search.
2. Skills Testing – Every so often you will see a specific skill listed in a job lead and wonder if you are qualified. Maybe you have a little bit of experience with that platform or service but are you really up to snuff? Then doubt sinks in… Should you still apply? Maybe you shouldn’t apply…
Find out once and for all with the free skills testing available to FlexJobs members. Tests available range from databases to medical transcription and writing to web design. There are over 170 to choose from!
If you receive a score over 70% it will be listed on your profile. However, the only employers that will be able to see your test results will be those you apply to directing from within the FlexJobs portal or those who find your resume on FlexJobs (should you choose to include one).
3. Applicant Profile – You can create an online resume within your FlexJobs member profile that will be visible to employers. They allow you more than one profile so you can create one specific to each type of job you are interested in. We know how important targeting is when applying to work-at-home jobs!
4. Email Notifications – There may be no other job category in which it is truer that the early bird gets the worm than work-at-home positions. Many job positions are filled within 48 hours of posting because the competition is so steep.
You can’t be late to the party if you want to get a job. Get the job leads you are most interested and qualified for sent right to your inbox as soon as possible.
5. Other Partner Discounts – FlexJobs has negotiated discounts for some other great services needed by telecommuters. One discount I took advantage of was 40% off an annual meal planning service. For less than $45 annually, I get awesome tasty meal recommendations, recipes and shopping lists. That’s where a lot of the free meal plans fail in my opinion. I want (and need) everything in one place that I can print off, take to the store and stick to the fridge to keep me on track the rest of the week. And this one includes special diets like gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, single people and more. They didn’t have a low carb plan, but the paleo plan is one I can easily modify for our needs. And the recipes are delicious!
6. Advanced Job Search – If you are not already a FlexJobs member, you may not realize just how awesome their job search tool is. Unlike most online job boards where you are going to spend hours digging through leads to find those that meet your specifications, FlexJobs allows you to search by part-time/full-time, 100% telecommute/partial telecommute, entry-level/professional, employee/freelance and more.
Those are just a few of my favorite perks at FlexJobs. This is in addition to their stellar no-scam job leads that we have all come to know and trust.
Is FlexJobs Worth the Investment?
I absolutely love FlexJobs because it has become the go-to hub for non-traditional work arrangements, especially remote work. If you want a work-from-home job and you don’t want to have to dig through piles and piles of job descriptions to find the one open job that might actually be right for you, give FlexJobs a chance. It’s what they are known for and what they specialize in.
If you’re serious about finding a work-at-home job, you want to be sure that the job ads you’re looking through are legitimate. Better quality job ads plus less competition means it’s even more likely that you’ll be able to find your perfect at-home job… without coming anywhere near a scam or a rip-off.
And don’t forget they offer a 30-day money back guarantee! If you aren’t happy with their service, you can get your money back.
Ultimately the question is, how valuable is an at-home job to you, and how much would you be willing to pay to leapfrog the competition and land one sooner?
Focus your time. Focus your efforts. Apply! Start your FlexJobs subscription here.