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3 Big Mistakes of Home-Based Job Seekers
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
June 21, 2012
wide range of people would like to work from home, from home-based moms
to burnt-out commuters to boomers seeking to supplement retirement
funds. But we see the same mistakes cropping up often. Here are three
of the most common errors that home-based job seekers make, and how to
1. Assuming that finding a virtual job is like finding a brick-and-mortar job. Many
people who look for virtual work don’t normally “hang
out” online. Often, some sudden event (a layoff, unexpected
expenses, an elderly parent needing care) has triggered their decision
to work from home and go online to find a job.
Through no fault of their own, these job seekers search for virtual
work the same way they might search for a babysitter or a used power
drill. They use logical search terms such as “work from
home” and “work-at-home job.” They rely on Craigslist
for leads. They decide to spend money on a work-at-home
“opportunity” because of a good review in a work-at-home
However, scammers anticipate that job seekers will use the most obvious
search terms, and they craft their site texts accordingly. For a list
of better search terms, see http://tinyurl.com/bnyox4f. These terms
won’t eliminate scams entirely -- so keep your guard up -- but
they will reduce the number of bad apples.
As for Craigslist, it’s a wonderful resource for many things, but
the “scam ratio” among work-at-home jobs there remains
high. A better destination would be Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com, or,
if you prefer screened job leads, our own RatRaceRebellion.com.
Where work-at-home forums are concerned, we often recommend WAHM.com
and WorkPlaceLikeHome.com. But no forum can guarantee the good faith of
all members, and dubious or misleading messages can sometimes squeak
through. Similarly, disgruntled employees (or paid promoters) can post
online just as easily as objective reviewers, so take opinions with a
grain of salt till you’ve had a chance to verify them.
2. Taking it personally when employers don’t reply.
The demand for legitimate home-based work is strong, and even stronger
when unemployment is high. Many companies don’t even touch
resumes any more, and use software to screen applications. For better
or worse, the days of courteous replies on 20 lb. bond are long gone.
Don’t let it demoralize you. Just keep upgrading your resume,
networking, and applying to companies that fit your goals, even if they
haven’t advertised an opening.
3. Expecting to earn substantial fees for basic administrative work.
Many job seekers see ads touting “$1,500 a day for rebate
processing!” or “Data Entry -- $300 for 15 minutes a
day!” They suspect there’s something fishy about these
claims, but desperation blunts caution. Further, if someone sees enough
of these ads, even if they don’t believe them, they inevitably
begin to expect to make substantial wages for similar lower-level tasks.
The fact is that an offer of high pay for basic work is almost always a
“red flag” for a scam. Moreover, “rebate
processing” ads are routinely scams, and legitimate data entry
jobs are quite rare.
Several legitimate sites and companies now offer payment for tasks such
as running local or virtual errands (e.g., Taskrabbit.com) or
“doing things that a computer can’t do”
(Amazon’s Mechanical Turk). You can also find short-term
administrative projects at Elance.com and oDesk.com.
You may not make “$300 for 15 minutes a day,” but at least
you won’t get taken to the cleaners, or be left with a big credit
card bill, or worse.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM