Work at Home Jobs - 

Working on your terms and your turf

There's many compelling reasons many people dream of work at home jobs. But let's face it, most commuting sucks. While not my longest commute, my worst commute ever was a daily 3 hour (one-way) trek that involved a car, a train, a bus and a bicycle to get to work 80 miles away from where I lived. My longest commute ever was when I lived in Chicago and worked for a company in San Francisco.

Of course, for that was the first of my work at home jobs, so all I had to do was get up, log on and start working. That was my best commute ever.

It used to be that it was almost impossible to work from home, you had to go into the office to use their equipment, access their files and prove to your boss you were actually working when you said you were. Only people who were self-employed could have work at home jobs, and even then it wasn't an easy undertaking.

Of course, if you go even further back in history, there was a time when almost everyone was self-employed and worked from home (or lived at work), but that was before the Industrial Revolution. Once people began to work in factories, offices and stores it became very difficult to do your work anywhere but at work.

Luckily, the internet, computers, cell phones and email have made work at home jobs a reality for a growing number of people. There are even some people who take this to the extreme, for example the guy who wrote "The 4 Hour Work Week" not only is an international bestseller, but he runs his business from all over the world. How awesome would that be? To run a business from whatever coffee house happens to have free (or cheap!) wi-fi.

You don't have to take it to this extreme, but you can certainly negotiate to telecommute at least one or two days a week if your job doesn't require that you serve customers face to face every day.

If you are between jobs, or looking for a career change that will get you out of being a desk jockey forever, consider purchasing a laptop and finding a new job (or jobs) that will allow you to work from anywhere.

My first telecommuting job was as a freelance writer. To this day, this is the way I recommend anyone who wants to start working from home, or just making some extra money, to get their start. The web is growing so fast that there is a wealth of writing work at home jobs that need people with a good command of English to fill. If your background is in something non-writing (cars? engineering? Real Estate?) you're even better situated because there is a huge demand (even in this economy!) for good, high-quality content to populate websites with information.

Click here for my guide writing jobs - and learn how I became a freelance writer without a degree in less than 2 weeks.

Do you have a blog? What about an area of expertise that you could write daily or weekly articles about? It's easy to get paid to blog, but getting paid well takes some expertise and marketing skills. However, if you think this might be something you're interested in, you can start this part-time while still doing office work which will make the transition much easier.

Click here to read more about how to make money blogging and get started today!

No matter your profession, if the product you create can be transmitted electronically you can find freelancing jobs at Odesk. Don't be discouraged if you have to bid very low for your first couple of jobs - most Odesk providers raise their rates 5-10 times in their first 6 months of working through them. This is a quick way to find work without the hassle of seeking out clients for yourself.

There are, however, a BUNCH of scam artists out there trying to make a swift buck from the poor office worker dreaming of a different life. Legitimate jobs are just that, jobs. Make sure that you choose the right one for you before you end up spending all your time stuffing envelopes and making pennies. These can and do include work from home data entry, but be aware that this is a highly scammed field.

To avoid the scams, evaluating a legitimate work at home opportunity takes some basic common sense, a few ground rules and a tight command of your wallet. Trust me, it's easy to spend $35 here and there trying to figure out what you're doing and wind up doing nothing different but finding yourself hundreds of dollars lighter.

If you're stuck thinking of ways you can find work at home jobs, simply check out other visitor's stories of making money online. Even if you don't do it the same way they did, these are always very inspiring.

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