By Sharon Davis
(See comments at bottom!)
Looking for a work at home job? I'll give you 5 good reasons why you should consider starting a home business instead.
1. Telecommuting jobs are rare- are you? The only real work at home jobs out there are for highly specialized skills like programming, translation, transcription and such. What they all have in common is that they require special training and employers that hire telecommuters always require experienced candidates- experts in their field. Employers just don't hire people to do things like typing from their homes.
A home business can be anything you want it to be. You get to follow your passion and do something that you truly enjoy. I think that if we all couldn't wait to leap out of bed each morning because we loved what we do, the world would be a much happier place. So, unless you have a passion for learning MYSQL / SQL database structure or how to translate medical documents from English to Japanese, a home business can offer endless possibilities in an area that interests you.
2. Telecommuting jobs don't afford as much flexibility as you might think. Your boss picks your clients and coworkers, not you. You may or may not like the people you find yourself working with day after day, which can be like a slow form of torture.
With your business you choose who your client will be. Maybe you want to start a business that has to do with kids and all your clients have kids at home with them. They would be more likely to understand and appreciate kid noise in the background while on the phone with you. You get to create your own "company culture".
3. You're not in control of your job security. Corporate downsizing will still apply and even if you have that rare and special skill that they once found indispensable, you might find yourself back on the job search track. Also, unless you have a written agreement that your telecommuting arrangement is set in stone, employers can pull you back into the office at their discretion.
4. Big brother will be there looking over your shoulder. Employers need to know that their employees are being productive. They just can't help themselves. This puts more pressure on you to meet deadlines, to prove that you will be at least as efficient (if not more efficient) that your on-site coworkers. Even companies that champion telecommuting often have strict checks and balances to ensure that you're not lying around watching television or heading off to the beach. Supervisors are often suspicious to the point of micromanaging their telecommuters.
You just can't afford to be lured away by the many distractions of the home office. The television beckons, the kids want your attention, you just want to get a load of laundry in... This is not to say that you can succumb to these distractions as a home business owner, but the difference is that you call the shots.
With your own home business, you are Big Brother, Big Sister, The Big Cheese- your own boss. You set the goals and the pace and it's up to no one but you how and when you meet them.
5. And lastly, but most importantly... when you are a home business owner you get to take a vacation whenever you want. Could there be a better reason to stop looking for a telecommute job and start a home business?
Reader feedback: "I have to say I was really surprised by your telecommute articles here. The articles say that positions in this field as hard to come by, especially without speciality experience. I have not found this to be true at all. I currently work for two of the biggest employers of Independent Contractors in the country. Live Ops and West Corp. I had NO experience when I applied to these companies and I found them doing a search on my own. There are many reputable websites where many women meet and support each other in this employment.. like WAHM.com being the other. I believe that telecommute positions are the perfect answer for women wanting to be able to contribute to their families income and still be able to be at home with their children.
I feel that by implying these doors are closed to the majority of women you are going to be preventing so many of them from being able to help themselves and their families. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to state my opinion."
I tried to reply to this message, but the email address given was fake.
We actually have many pro-telecommute articles here, even from Nell Taliercio (The Telecommuting Answer Lady). Even the author of the article above has a second article here about finding a telecommute job.
Perhaps as time goes by there are more and more entrance level telecommute positions. This article is probably from 2000 or so, so please do check out Nell's site for current information. The companies mentioned in the readers comments are for customer service, which is often entry level in the first place.
And, of course, many telecommuter employers "care about is whether or not you have the skills and experience needed to do the job and why they should hire you." But I wouldn't want anyone to stop dead in their tracks looking for more information because of that.
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