This morning I took a look at the Work-at-Home poll results on the top right-hand of the site. It’s been a while since I’ve checked, and so far more than 200 people have cast votes for their preferred work-at-home situation. The last time I checked, more people were in favor of starting/running their own online or home-based business, with finding a company that hires people to work from home and freelancing trailing close behind.
I must say, I was rather surprised to see the jump in people favoring work-at-home jobs/employment over self-employment. As I write this post, 52-percent of voters prefer working for someone else, 37-percent want to run their own business, and a scant 11-percent would consider freelancing.
I really shouldn’t be surprised though; there are some definite benefits to securing a telecommuting employed position, or working in a long-term contractor role.
- You don’t have to deal with the financial “ups and downs” that can occur during the first few years of launching and building a new business or freelance career.
- If you land a position as a telecommuting employee, you may be entitled to the same perks as the company’s brick and mortar employees – paid vacations, sick days, medical and retirement benefits, etc.
- If the company and industry are secure, you have a good chance of enjoying a steady income for the long-term.
While I hate to be a wet blanket, I’m obligated to be truthful with you. Work-at-home jobs like this are not easy to get. Heck, not many jobs are easily gotten right now-the job market is quite competitive with many qualified candidates and a limited number of jobs available. So while the number of well-paying work-at-home jobs is growing, there are still nowhere near as many of these opportunities as there are candidates hoping to secure one.
Every now and then I get a PM on Facebook or an email asking for help finding a job working from home. This blog has been around since May 2010, and I’ve started to notice a pattern. If you’ve been trying to find a work-at-home job for months or years and nothing’s panning out, one or more of the following issues may be to blame:
#1 You have no idea what you want to do.
The key to any job search, work-at-home or not, is knowing what you want to do and have the skills to do. It’s a key starting point. You’ll spend a significant amount of time doing the work you’re paid to do, so it should be something that compliments your personality, skills and interests.
I caution anyone unsure about what they want to do against spending too much time job searching without conducting some sort of self-evaluation because your search could become unfocused and leave you frustrated.
#2 Your job search is inconsistent.
As a job search coach, I repeatedly remind my clients that consistency is important when job hunting. I’d say it’s doubly so for those seeking work-at-home/telecommuting jobs. You have to incorporate it into your daily routine and stick with it.
#3 You have no action plan or strategy.
Do you have a professional resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile ready for potential employers should they request a copy/link? What’s your job search strategy – job boards? Social media? Craigs List? Contacting companies directly? You need a plan, and more importantly you need to WORK the plan.
#4 You’re wasting time applying for jobs you’re unqualified for.
This happens more often than you might think. Sometimes a person stumbles across her dream job and she know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’s perfect for the position! Sure the employer is looking for someone with 3 years of IT managerial experience, and a B.S. degree in Information Technology; and even though she doesn’t meet those requisites, this job is everything she dreams about so she applies anyway…
Look, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, and sometimes taking a big chance pays off; but be realistic about your skill set and experience so that you don’t become frustrated and discouraged.
#5 You’re impatient.
Years ago, when I was searching for a work-at-home job, I put in time every day searching for the right job. Thankfully I also joined a work-at-home forum where the more experience work-at-home community members helped prepare us newbies about what to expect on this journey. Long wait times between applying and hearing back from the companies I applied to was just one example.
My financial situation at the time was not the greatest; but what choice did I have but to be patient? I prayed each day for Allah to grant me sabr as I searched. There were days I grew frustrated and wanted to give up. Of course Allah is the best of planners, and before long, I received my first offer – along with several others in succession that I’d also applied for!
#6 You’re not networking.
Networking is the best way to find a job. Most job seekers will secure positions through someone they know. I still have relationships with some of the companies I’ve worked for, and I recommend qualified people for open positions when I can.
The great thing about networking is you can do it in person or online. Back in the day when I was a busy mother with a newborn and three kids five years old and younger, networking online is all I could manage. Thankfully it was more than enough. Today my kids are older and in school during the day; being the true introvert that I am, I still prefer to network online more than offline. Leverage email, social media, forums, master mind groups and other online platforms – just do it!
Job hunting is hard work, it’s a job in itself. If you’re serious, you’ll have to be motivated and stay determined to meet the goal.