A woman working from home isn’t new. Back in the 80’s and the 90’s, women conducted tuition classes and classes for kids in music, art, dance or languages. Sari business was another popular passion of several women then. Let’s not forget tailoring; it used to be a big sought-after skill for an 80’s woman.
A few decades have rolled since then. Technology has leaped beyond our imagination. Sadly yet, there are several women out there confined within their homes, yearning for a meaningful career and decent income, but unable to give up their priorities of home and children.
Finding a work-at-home job is not difficult; it’s just a little different!
Whether you are on a career break to look after your baby, or you moved to another city after marriage where you don’t find a suitable office work, or you need additional part-time income, or you have retired from work and need a job to earn and be engaged, or you simply want to try your hands and luck in a work-at-home job – irrespective of what kind of life situation you are going through, you can always try looking for a remote work.
Some of you might keep hearing how women make lakhs of Rupees from being at home. But perhaps, every time you type ‘work from home jobs’ in Google, you end up wasting a couple of hours, getting nowhere close to finding one.
Finding a work to do from home isn’t as simple as a Google search. Nevertheless, it isn’t difficult either; it’s just a little different. There’s no one way to do this; you can be as creative as you can.
Here are a few tips to get you into the action mode:
- Decide on what kind of employment you’ll fit in
If you visualize working-from-home to be being in your soiled tee all day long, taking as many breaks as you want, and do shopping on Monday with the idea of postponing Monday’s work to Tuesday, you may be only partly right. Not all work-from-home jobs are flexible jobs. Understand the different kinds of employments possible with remote jobs, like the ones listed below:
- Full-time work with other entitlements like PF and leaves
- Full-time work with no entitlements
- Part-time work with fixed number of working hours per day
- Part-time work with fixed number of working hours per week
- Freelance work with fixed deadlines
- Freelance work without deadlines
Depending on the availability of your time and support, decide on what kind will fit into your lifestyle. If you have a newborn to look after and applied to a full-time job and got employed, you’ll be put to a difficult situation. That’s why I see this step as a priority because it will give you the first level of clarity on what type of jobs to look for.
- Make a list of your skill sets, strengths and interests
Believe it or not, there are at least a hundred sorts of jobs that can be done from home. And not everything is for you. In order to get a broader sense of what kind of industry you are to look into, answer to yourself, the questions below:
- What are you good doing at? You may possess specialized skills out of prior experience or you may have gained a skill out of self-interest. It may be even about being savvy on Facebook or Twitter. Remember, there is a value for everything out in the world. You may, perhaps, want to learn something entirely new. Write down – all of it.
- Do you want to build a career or do you want to explore random jobs? You may have worked earlier in a particular domain which you may wish to stick to or, you may want to switch over and jump into just anything that comes your way. Think about it.
- Where does your heart lie? Not all of us are privileged to take up jobs where our hearts delve. However, when you are beginning to make a career or living from home, you have the privilege to choose something that is close to you. I know of a friend who turned her passion in cooking to a business that sells packed ingredients for a recipe. Yeah, why not give a chance to that inner voice in you?
- Be clear on what you are not willing to do
This is as important as the previous point. For example, you may come across a lot of openings for writing opportunities, but if it is impossible for you to connect with words, get that straight on your mind. In my case, speaking on the phone can never be my cup of tea. I was clear not to look for roles that involved verbal interactions like voice process, recruitment services or customer support. Getting clear on your ‘No’s can help you rightly filter your preferences.
- Take up online courses or attend workshops to add or improve your skills
It may so happen that you hardly have a skill to call yourself good at. Many women give up the idea of finding a work-at-home job at this very thought. Know that free and funded resources like Coursera, edX and Udemy are available online. Explore the various courses available and their potential to help you compete for a remote job. Sign-up for the relevant ones, make sufficient efforts to master them and see how it adds to your bio and confidence.
- Get creative with your resume
As a remote job seeker, you need to be more creative with your resume. What does it mean? Listing out your education and experience in the reverse chronological order can do you no good. At the first glance, the skills relevant to the position you are applying for, must get highlighted. Cut short down anything that is not helpful in the scenario. That means you might need to create an altered resume every time you send it to a potential employer.
Well, from where do you start now?
Conventionally, one would begin a job search from Naukri, Monster, Indeed and similar sites. While it is not a bad idea to have your profile updated in these sites, you must be aware of platforms which offer exclusive work-at-home jobs. There are a plenty of them out there; one may work for you and the other may not.
Search and research the sources
I suggest you to begin a general search for sites, companies or consultants which offer remote jobs. When you do the search, remember to use a combination of various keywords like ‘remote jobs’, ‘flexible jobs’ and ‘work-from-home jobs’. Also, make sure to include your location (Ex. India) in your search. Make a list of such platforms and look into each in detail.
The popular ones you might come across are:
As a beginner, it might take some time to understand how the bidding system and work allocation works in these sites. You might be spending several hours a day with none accepting your proposal; it happens. It takes time at these places but could add value to your learning experience. Of these popular ones, freelancer.com works for me.
I like to mention two sample places, for the benefit of women who are stuck not knowing where to start. There are many others like these ones and you will have to figure it out.
- Appen: Appen is a company which creates data for machine learning and artificial intelligence. So, they need a lot of people like you and me to contribute to their training data sets. Appen mostly offers short-term projects like transcription, translation, web search evaluation, social media evaluation etc. which can be done without any prior relevant experience. I have heard women feeling discouraged to try work-at-home jobs because they are not confident in their English language skills. Know that Appen is one site which offers jobs in regional languages.
- Flexibees: Flexibees connects businesses and job-seekers, providing part-time, home-based jobs, specifically helping women to restart their careers. It is worth to give a try here.
Set job alerts
It can be frustrating to keep checking the various online resources randomly with no gain. Instead, when you set a job alert, you will receive in your email, openings that match your criteria. Again, setting too many alerts in multiple sites can only clutter your inbox. To begin with, I recommend LinkedIn job alert and perhaps, one or two in Naukri or Indeed.
Join relevant Facebook groups
You don’t need to be a social butterfly to find work-from-home opportunities; but just that, some resources on social media are greatly helpful. If you like using Facebook, look out for groups or pages which provide information on part-time jobs for women.
Be wary of scams
You might have heard this time and again when we talk about home-based work. I suggest you not to sign-up for a work which requires you to pay a registration fee. Many copy-paste, typing and form-filling jobs work this way. Of course, not everyone who take money from you is a cheat, but be aware that these are the common areas of scam.
Dig into the possibilities of becoming a home entrepreneur
Working-from-home for a woman need not always be about an employer providing you a job. You can create your own job and in fact, offer jobs to other women. Women home entrepreneurs who sell a variety of products and services are on the rise now. If your interest lies here, you shouldn’t ignore your calling.
This article certainly isn’t a comprehensive one. It’s intended to give you a kick-start and as mentioned, it’s up to you to be creative in your search. If you like to add helpful tips to find work-at-home jobs, please write them in the comments below. It might inspire someone reading it.
This post was originally published here.