contains advertisements as well as screened job leads. Please
visit our FAQ page for more.
From The Email Bag -- Free Antivirus Protection
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I'm on a strict budget with my home-based
business and would like to postpone buying antivirus protection for my
computer. Do you know of any free options that are reliable as well? -
Colleen in Revere, Mass.
Dear Colleen: While you should spring for a comprehensive commercial
package as soon as you can, there are some free tools that can help.
AVG has a free antivirus option, available at free.avg.com, and
Malwarebytes, at malwarebytes.org, offers free protection, too. As with
any antivirus tool, make sure you update the software regularly.
Hackers are notorious for their malicious creativity, and mount new
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I have 11 years' experience as an executive
assistant and have been thinking about starting a virtual assistant
business. But my husband says that "VA's" in India and China are much
cheaper than VA's here, and I wouldn't make enough money to justify the
effort. What's your opinion? - Cheryl in Yakima, Wash.
Dear Cheryl: It's true that virtual assistants in India and China
generally charge lower rates than VA's in the U.S. However, it's really
a question of the types of services you plan to offer and your target
For example, if you want to provide more basic services such as
calendaring or data entry, your fees will have to take offshore rates
into account. But if you offer higher-end services in a more exclusive
role, such as a personal assistant for senior executives, lawyers or
prominent consultants, you can not only charge more, but build in some
competitive protection, too.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: People say you should never pay someone for a
work-at-home job, but I've read in online forums that sometimes a
legitimate company will charge for training or background checks.
I'm afraid of being scammed. Who's right and who's wrong? - Sarah in Toledo, Ohio
Dear Sarah: Many job seekers have been victimized by "pay-to-work"
schemes, involving such standbys as envelope stuffing kits, outdated
mystery shopping lists and "certifications" that don't lead to promised
jobs. This state of affairs led to the often-repeated warning that you
should "never pay to work." But there are exceptions.
Companies that hire independent contractors, for example, are often
obliged to charge for training in order to avoid having the IRS
reclassify their contractors as employees. If this happens, substantial
penalties can follow. But we're not tax experts, mind you, so to get
the full skinny on these distinctions, just search using "independent
contractor vs. employee," and go to the IRS pages you'll see in the
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
COPYRIGHT 2011 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM