What Every Work from Home “Want to Be” Should Know, Before Diving into Telecommuting

by Tara Brewer

Thousands of employees are coveting the chance to clock in from their home office. A fortunate few have earned this position through their workplace, while their co-workers are murmuring under their breath. Others are tired of waiting for their employer to offer this opportunity, so they are jumping ship and abandoning the job that once held the promise of security, for instability– and trading in the title of payroll employee for independent contractor. Before you take that dive into the home employment waters, have you weighed out what it will take to make it to your destination? You should have a tried and true plan to become a telecommuter, or you will be like so many others who have taken the dive and are now aimlessly flopping around.

First of all let’s talk about your source of income, in short– if you do not have a spouse or significant other that can carry your finances, you need to hold on to your day job. I have seen to often people unable to make ends meet because they were suddenly caught off guard when their job search out lasted their savings. Second, how’s your attitude? Do you have a strong tolerance for the tedious? How well do you handle rejection? Can you work independently? Are you open to stretching your skills?

Tolerance for The Tedious

Why do you need a strong tolerance for the tedious? Well if you are not of that fortunate few whose current job lends it’s self to telecommuting. You will need to consistently search and purge job postings. In order to get a job, you need to be doing this day & night, and then guess what! You do the same thing again tomorrow. I’m not telling you this, to discourage you– it’s actually exciting when you think about your ultimate goal, and the personal reward, working from home is going to give to you.

Assuming that you are new to the idea of telecommuting, I’ll briefly explain to you why you have to purge. I refuse to go into all the different scam scenarios you should look for because it has been done to death in almost every telecommuting article you can think of. The word S C A M has been thrown around so loosely by what I call “Scam Phobics”, even the image of legitimate work at home companies have been tarnished, just because the position did not turn out to be the dream job they thought it would be. So we want to focus on purging without being paranoid. To start, you need to be clear on what you are searching for. Your goal is to find a real job for a reputable company, so you are going to have to purge the posting that does not fit this profile. Some examples of this are; job listings that post over and over again, jobs that ask for money and what ever says start your own business… because you do not want a “business opportunity” you want a home based or telecommute job. For best results try key words like– telecommute, home based, virtual office, outsource, independent contractor and freelance. For more information on scams, just go to Google and search “work at home scams” you’ll find endless information

Handling Rejection

It is important that you know, you are entering a job market that is incredibly desirable to many. You may not get a job from your first application– second, third, fourth, or fifth. The truth is, it’s not likely, that the employer will ever get back to you to let you know they received your application, not trying to intentionally offend you, companies just do not have the time or man power to call every potential candidate to let them know the position has been filled. Nevertheless, you always approach the job with the attitude that you will get it and eventually you will. To cut down on the number of rejections you encounter. Here are some rules to follow…

  1. Always follow the instructions that the company have set for applying for the job. If they say, do not send your resume as an attachment, don’t do it anyway and think they will accept it–they won’t!
  2. Now that you are seeking a telecommuting position customize your resume to meet telecommute qualifications, you can do this without padding your resume with false information. Pin point positions where you have worked independently, owned your own business, show manger or leadership skills etc…
  3. Always have a cover letter ready, it’s fan mail for your resume. The CV’s job is to convince the employer to read your resume; Each CV should be tailored to the company and position.
  4. Make sure your contact information is accurate and once an employer calls you, they do not reach a voice mail with 5 minutes of your favorite song before the beep to leave a message, remember you always want to project a professional image. If possible give the employer more than 1 way to contact you.
  5. Get prepared for a telephone interview. A telephone Interview is the most common way to interview home based or virtual candidates.