Working from home or alternative work locations can be a highly portable, flexible career option. Advances in information technologies are making it possible for more employers to offer virtual employment opportunities. Here are some tips for finding virtual work.
Avoid scams. Some work-at-home positions are not legitimate, so heed the warning signs. If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Steer away from positions requiring you to pay a fee for information, training or a starter kit. If an advertisement states you can make a lot of money in a hurry with no experience, it might be a fraud. Skip virtual job postings using terms like "immediate hire" and "fresh talent needed." If you have any reservations, ask for references or check with the Better Business Bureau before continuing the hiring process.
Use applicable search terms. Finding virtual employment online is like finding onsite employment, but virtual positions often appear in employment searches with some specific keywords. Use terms like the following in conjunction with terms that apply to your job field:
- Anywhere U.S.
Use the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. The MSEP Job Search is a great resource if you are seeking virtual employment. Learn more about MSEP Partners who offer virtual work opportunities.
Look for independent contracting positions. When you work as an independent contractor, you own your business. You determine your schedule and hours; your work is typically project-based and you have the necessary skills to complete assignments. Learn more about independent contracting versus employment on the IRS Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee webpage. Some MSEP partners also offer independent contracting positions.
Finding work as an independent contractor requires you to market yourself and your talents to businesses, within your target area and online. Networking is critical. Contact companies directly, speak at meetings and networking groups, build a reference and referral base and create an online portfolio.
Working from home or an offsite location can provide the flexibility and portability you are looking for, especially in remote locations where the local job market doesn't have a lot to offer. Virtual employment or independent contracting opportunities may keep you from searching for a new job each time you move and allow you to modify your schedule when your service member is away. For additional information on virtual employment, contact a career coach at 800-342-9647.