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November 24th 2007 Update - I signed up for Go Freelance's service because I wanted to see whether it was for real, and what kinds of opportunities they offer. Although I have not actually applied for a project, the types of offers that I have seen seem to be on the up-and-up.

Here is an offer I just saw that seems like it is a working from home opportunity:

is a real company - they do credit repair and the like - something that many are interested in these days, so you may want to check out the offer.

DEAR RETRO HOUSEWIFE

Working From Home

Working From Home, 2007-06-06

Dear Retro Housewife,

I am very conflicted about my desire to be a housewife. I know this is what I have wanted to do forever. Unfortunately, with todays economy it can be a bit of a financial burden for my husband. I have looked into working from home on the computer. It seems every website I find to do this is a scam. Do you have any suggestions or know of any companies that I could work from home for? I am truly happiest when I am home to take care of my family. I love having dinner warm on the table when my husband comes in from work. I know there has to be a way for me to be a stay at home wife. I just need a little extra income to help us out. Thank you so much for listening.

Suzanne

Retro Housewife, Thank you so much. In the past i was a receptionist for about 10 years in beauty salons. I answered phones, did basic bookkeeping & inventory control. Accounts recievable & payable. I also graduated from cosmetology school in 2004. I did try working in salons, but I wasn't comfortable with the party atmosphere & working 12 to 15 hour a days. I have tried to look into doing something like medical billing from home, but I am having a very hard time finding a legitimate company. I know they are out there because I've heard people talk about it before. I'm just not sure where to find them. I really appreciate your help.


Suzanne

RE: Working From Home
    Dear Suzanne,

    It is entirely possible to work from home, and there are reputable companies and websites where you can find such jobs. It's a shame that so many are scams. I will try to put a little list together for you, but in the meantime, I will email you to see what skills you have...that would make my job much easier!

    RH

    The first thing that you have to realize, is that you are basically starting your own little business. Everybody I know of who works from home is an independent contractor rather than an actual W-2 employee. Starting and running your own business is a lot of work, especially in the beginning, but is absolutely worth it. Your main challenge is going to be drumming up some business.  There are a bunch of  "Work from home" sites, and you are right, there are a lot of bogus offers out there. I am researching a couple sites to see if they are for real, and have sent out some inquiries to some of my contacts. In the meantime, here is what I would do to get started:

    1. Put together a resume. If you already have one, great! Just make sure it's current.
    2. Put together a list of services you would like to provide. Data entry services, responding to email, customer service, etc.
    3. Get some references together. Trust is going to be an issue in any sort of freelance opportunity, so your references will be very important.
    4. Figure out how much you would like to charge. Start by finding out what an in-house person would make, then gross it up by about 50%.
    5. Start making a list of resources to help you in your search for your first client.

Status: IN PROGRESS

Working from Home - How to Find Work

It's all about contacts! Assuming you have a marketable skill, finding work as an independent contractor is about who you know. Fortunately, there are some legit ways to give yourself a boost!

  1. Craig's List - Start scanning Craig's List for opportunities (smaller companies will often post job openings here because it's free), and consider posting a listing yourself. Be sure and look under gigs as well as jobs. You will find listings that are specific to one area (in which case you should find your area) as well as "location any". I have had pretty good experience with Craig's List, but as always, exercise common sense when responding to offers. If they want money from you, be skeptical.
  2. Linked In - Join up and start building your network. The purpose of Linked In is to expand your professional contact base using the "knows somebody who knows somebody" tactic. Since it is business oriented, it is expected that you advertise your skills and say that you are looking for independent work. Since each person's network starts out with people who actually know them, it tends to keep people honest because otherwise it'll come back to haunt them. Linked In is free to join. They also offer paid accounts that give you more tools for finding and reaching the right people, whether or not they are in your network.
  3. Monster.com - Probably the biggest job board, lets job seekers post resumes for free. Remember that resume I told you to write? Post it now! You should specify that you are looking for contract work. Monster also has helpful career advice and articles like this one about How Much Should Contractors Charge? from Monster Career Advice. Finally, I would poke around in the Monster Career Advice Community
  4. SnagAJob.com - This site specializes in hourly jobs with flexible schedules. This may be a good way to make contacts in your area that could turn into a work from home situation. The benefit of starting out in a normal hourly on site position is that your employer can see first hand what you can do and if they like you, may be willing to let you transition to your home office.
  5. GoFreelance.com - This site offers freelance opportunities such as writing and editing work. I haven't tried it myself, but the sign-up charge is only $2.95 so you can try it out at a fairly low risk. If you do try it, let me know how it works out!

 

        Purple Flower

 

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