At some point, you’ve probably thought to yourself: “I want to work from home.” (Why else would you be reading this?) And, you’re not alone.
Harvard Business Review found that most workers would trade-in their current job for a remote-friendly one. Honestly, for good reason.
A new study found that telecommuters are more content than their office-dwelling counterparts. And this contentment leads to all around greater job satisfaction and a better outlook on work.
Sounds great, right? It is! It’s no wonder, then, that you find yourself saying “I want to work from home.” The good news is, you’re in luck.
I’m a Certified Professional Career Coach that happens to specialize in remote work. I have super-specific expert advice to help you kick your cubicle to the curb.
Identify Your Ideal Way To Work
Not all work from home jobs are created equal. There are a variety of ways to earn a living from home. As soon as you declare I want to work from home, you need to figure out what type of position is right for you. I’m not talking about job title or responsibilities but, rather, the much broader classification of how and when you work.
Part Time Jobs
When you work part time as an employee from home, you’ll have a set schedule with shorter shifts. Typically, you work at least 20 hours a week but no more than 32. However, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics considers part time work to be anywhere from 1 to 34 hours each week.
Employers are not required to give their part-time employees benefits like healthcare or paid days off. However, part time employees are still covered by Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which involves concepts like overtime and minimum wage.
Many people choose to pursue part time work from home jobs voluntarily. Less hours per week worked may work better for your schedule if you’re a parent, caregiver, student, disabled, or have commitments that take up a big chunk of your time.
Full Time Employee Jobs
Chances are, you’ve held at least one full-time employee position in your life. You probably worked 40 hours a week (or more) and punched your card at a physical location like an office or job site.
Full time employee jobs from home are just like these but instead of ‘going’ to work every day, you get to work from your home office.
As a full time worker, you likely qualify for health insurance, paid time off, and other perks. However, you will be expected to keep a set schedule and be available during ‘office hours’ even if your office is your home.
Full time employee positions from home are great for anyone who wants to take their career virtually. You can climb the corporate ladder without having to commute.
But, keep in mind, when you opt to work full time from home, you are expected to keep a quiet home office free of distractions. You simply cannot try to manage childcare and daily responsibilities while putting in a full day’s worth of work.
Independent Contractor Positions
Independent contractor (IC) positions may be full time or part time. Instead of being classified as an employee, you’re considered a contractor. As an IC, you bill for your time or services and are paid accordingly. Taxes are not withheld from your pay and become your responsibility.
Because you are not an employee, you are not eligible for benefits. You are also not guaranteed work. That is, some days or weeks you may find yourself with little or no tasks to perform.
However, as an IC you get a lot more freedom in how and when you work. For example, one week you might decide to accept more work and the next opt to work as little as possible. Similarly, you can choose to work on the days and times that work best for you. ICs get to choose a schedule that works best for them.
For many of my clients who declare I want to work from home, IC positions provide the flexibility that drove them to seek at-home jobs in the first place.
You too may prefer the IC life if you want to have a pool of work available to you when you have the time and inclination to get it done.
When you freelance from home, you are quite literally your own boss. You are in charge of finding work, pricing your services, collecting payment and paying taxes. Essentially, you become the CEO of Y-O-U.
Freelancers often offer services to clients on a contract basis. A contract can be ongoing or a one-time deal. For example, freelance writing is a popular career path from home. As a freelance writer, you could have daily short writing assignments for a blog, weekly newsletters for online publications, or a one-time research report for a large corporation.
Like ICs, freelancers get to choose how and when they work — late into the night or early in the morning. There is no standard 9 to 5 here. But, keep in mind, freelancers find their own work. That means you have to pitch your services to potential clients before they award you a gig.
Some freelancers choose to sign up for large freelance marketplace sites, like Upwork, others opt to source work directly via cold emailing or networking. Either way, many people create amazing careers as freelancers. It’s exactly how I got my start and continue to make a living as a Career Coach.
I Want To Work From Home but Which Type Of Job Is Right For Me?
It’s easy to say I want to work from home. It’s much harder to actually find remote work. I get it. Often, this difficulty comes from the overwhelming number of options there are to work from home. When you’re presented with too many choices and bombarded with an equal amount of extra information you can be hit with information overload.
Fortunately, I’ve worked with many job seekers in your shoes. The single best thing you can do for your remote job search is determine what type of work makes sense for you. There’s no sense in looking at IC gigs if you value employee-sponsored benefits just as you wouldn’t even bother considering part time work when you need a guaranteed 40 hours a week.
So, before you even look at a single work from home job lead, first figure out what work from home job type is right for you.
Here are some core guiding questions to ask yourself to help definitively narrow it down:
- Do you want to work full time or part time?
- Can you work a set schedule?
- Is there a quiet home office you can work from that is free of distractions and noise?
- Are there other responsibilities that take up a large chunk of your time during normal business hours like caregiver responsibilities?
- Do you place a lot of value in employee-sponsored benefits like health insurance, 401(k), and paid time off?
With the answers to those questions in mind, objectively look at the pros and cons of each of the following type of at-home positions to figure out which one works best for you.
Consider Full Time Employee Positions If…
- Your career ideals include career advancement, recognition, and benefits
- There is a quiet place you can work out of free of distractions
- You do not have conflicting responsibilities during typical business hours
- You have availability to work 40+ hours a week, Monday – Friday
Part Time Works Best If…
- You’re unable or don’t want to commit to a 40-hour a week schedule
- You consider employee perks a plus but not a necessity
- There are at least 20 hours a week you can devote to work
- During those 20 hours, you can provide a quiet office
Independent Contractor Jobs Might Work If…
- You want to set your schedule and work as much as you want (when work is available)
- You’re not concerned about health insurance and other benefits
- You are able to keep track of your income and pay taxes accordingly
The Freelance Life Is Best If…
- You’re ready to be your own boss
- You understand that you will have to source your own clients
- You have skills you can sell to clients like writing, virtual assistant, design, etc.
I Want To Work From Home. Help!
Remember, don’t jump into a work from home job search all willy nilly. All successful remote job searches have a plan, and the first step in that plan involves identifying career ideals and what type of work is best for you.
Take it from a Certified Professional Career Coach who has helped hundreds of job seekrs, like you, find remote work that best suits them.
If you need help developing your own personal job search plan, consider my one-on-one coaching services. Simply send me an SOS via email at ashlee(at)workfromhomehappiness(dot)com with the subject line I want to work from home.
P.S. This post might contain affiliate links which are a way for me to earn money without costing you anything. Check out my disclosure statement for more information.
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