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Guide to Working from Home (2/2): Where to Find Legitimate Online Remote Jobs?
Updated: Nov 22, 2021 / Article by: Timothy Shim
This is Part-2 of our Guide to Work-from-Home. In Part-1 we have looked at some of the most well-paid work from home jobs available online. In this article we will look at the sites where you can find these online jobs, as well as tools you possibly need for the work.
The best thing about Fiverr is that it is relevant to not just a wide range of work from home job roles, but also can help those who are at many levels of their career.
For example, whether you’re a starving writer just starting out on your own or a professional with 30 years of experience – there are possibilities for you here.
Clients on Fiverr bid on your services based on pre-set project definitions that you establish. Custom requests are also supported and you can quote a potential client based on their exact project specifications.
Fiverr is suitable for many job roles and is a good place to start off your work from home endeavours.
Upwork is actually very similar to Fiverr in that it also caters to a wide range of job seekers. The key difference lies in the way that you are paid on Upwork. Where Fiverr lets you set estimated project costs, Upwork allows you to quote customers on a per-hour basis.
This allows for much greater accuracy in billing since you can bill for your time. If there happen to be additional requests or such, your fee will simply be increased due to an increase in the time spent on the job.
Upwork is good for almost any job roles but it helps if you have some experience before starting here.
Toptal is aimed at bringing the cream of the freelance crop to the top companies that want projects outsourced. True to its role in connecting people via its platform, Toptal itself has no headquarters and is truly digital.
To make use of Toptal you need to be able to pass a number of tests, which is how it keeps only the best on hand. Originally catering to engineers, today Toptal has expanded its score to include designers, accountants, statisticians, consultants, and more.
Toptal is good for engineers and some other specialized professional services and only accepts the top 3% of applicants.
SimplyHired may be a job portal but it also includes a fair number of openings for freelancers who can work from home. Uniquely, it offers more remote jobs than are merely registered on its platform but aggregates jobs from dozens of other sources as well.
SimplyHired is suitable for most job seekers but isn’t necessarily specialized for remote workers. There are opportunities though.
If you’re a writer or content specialist, you might be interested in Writer Access. This platform helps connect writers with the right remote jobs for them and features AI-based job matching as well. Of course, these advantages don’t come without a number of caveats.
Firstly, jobseekers on Writer Access are only sourced from a handful of countries including United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, or New Zealand.If you meet those criteria, you’ll then have to undergo an assessment from the Writer Access team to finally qualify.
This site is especially for designers who want an easy way to get their work sold. All you need to do is sign up with them and upload the items which you wish to market. Since Icon Finder is one of the biggest online marketplaces for icons online, you will have access to a ready market for your designs.
There is, however, a catch. Icon Finder will split whatever you earn on their site 50-50. This means that you only get half of whatever you are selling a product for. Still, it is an easy and quick way to earn some cash without having to find customers of your own.
ProBlogger is more of a community for bloggers rather than a dedicated job platform site. However, thanks to the resources of its members, you do get access to a dedicated jobs section there.
Most of the work available here is related to content production, be it ghostwriting or editing. Budding writers should definitely check it out for its ease of access as well as the huge amount of supporting resources.
Finding work as a video editor can be difficult since despite the popularity, it can be an incredibly niche field in many aspects. Thankfully we have ProductionHub which is specially for video editors and producers.
This platform allows you to not just apply for jobs but also upload and showcase your work so that clients can find you.
For those wanting to create courses and teach things, Teachable is one of the best ways to go. It works like a website builder, allowing you to create courses on its platform and then hosts the course and lets you sell it to students who want to learn.
While offering users the opportunity to get started quickly and easily, it does have some drawbacks. You need to pay for a subscription to use the service, plus Teachable takes a cut out of every sale you make.
One more resource not to be overlooked or underestimated is Facebook since it has many pages or groups dedicated to work. If you’re a designer or other specialist, look for communities on Facebook where those in your line of work gather.
In many instances, job providers will find these groups as well to offer opportunities. It is also common for group members themselves to share work opportunities to the community at large.
Since the key theme here is remote work, you should understand that there is basic equipment that you’ll need to have on your side to make things work. All of these will have to come out of pocket since essentially, you’re providing a service.
Some examples of the tools you may need can include;
For many roles, this can simply be a generic system that you can use to create documents, send and receive communications, or use web-based tools. However, in some cases, you may need a bit extra.
For example, video editors or graphic designers may need more powerful machines since video editing is very resource hungry.
Webcams, headsets with microphones, larger monitors – any or all of these might be needed depending on your role. For example, as a virtual assistant you mgy need to be frequently calling or otherwise communicating, so investing in a solid headset will be invaluable.
For those who work via platforms like Fiverr or Toptal, payments and invoicing are all handled for you. If you decide to work with your own clients you will need to be able to invoice them for work done.
For this, you can make use of anything from Excel sheets or invoice templates to more professional solutions like Cloud-based accounting and invoicing solutions. Zoho and Freshbooks are good examples of these and can be paid for on a monthly basis.
Although working from home is mostly a solo task you may have opportunities to work together with others in a supporting manner. If this situation arises, choose to use some tools that let you work together seamlessly.
Graphic designers will need some software which used to be quite expensive but now are thankfully available as Cloud-based subscriptions and “fremium” browser-base tools. home ideas of what may be necessary might include Adobe Cloud CC and perhaps a resource repository like Bigstock.
Depending on what type of work from home job you decide to go for, sometimes you may need special tools that are dedicated to specific tasks. For example, HootSuite lets social media managers work on multiple channels at the same time and even lets posts be scheduled.
For writers, Grammarly (my review here) can help you correct or highlight areas that need correction as you create text on the fly. There are dozens of specialized tools available for almost any need and many even have free plans available.
As with your own computer, keeping your work devices secure is one of the most important things you need to do. Imagine if a virus were to wipe out your work, or if a hacker could steal your client’s information from your system.
Always run an updated Internet Security software like Norton 360. It would also be best if you can always use a Virtual Private Network service to encrypt all the data coming in or going out of your device, especially since you’re working remotely.
Aside from a headset, you’ll need reliable communication software to work remotely. These can vary according to your needs, from simple video call solutions like Google Duo to presentation applications which come packed with features such as TeamViewer or Webex.
Note: Remember, this list of items and applications only serves as a guideline. Your exact needs may vary greatly, depending on the exact role and circumstances you find yourself in.
Is At-Home Careers Right for You?
What are the Benefits of Working from Home?
First of all, independence. Self-motivation, self-discipline, focus, and concentration. Four things that you will gain after working from your own home (and not just getting to work in your pyjamas at 8AM). It can be a stretch to find your source of motivation. One important tip would be trying to create your own dedicated work space (not your bed!).
I mentioned ‘your home’, but your work space can be absolutely anywhere.
Want to work at your favorite cafe down the street? Possible. Want to work from the comfort of your car? Possible. Anywhere you feel comfortable and lets you get the job done can be your workspace.
Commutingcosts can get cut drastically as well.
Imagine how much you can save in both time and money by not having to commute for hours each way to an office everyday. Instead, take those savings in time and money and reinvest them equally into your work and family.
For the procrastinators out there – most remote jobs have flexible schedules (we will get into this soon- keep reading!).
The Down Sides of Working from Home
Procrastors or those who are reactive rather than proactive can find working from home a challenge. The lack of clear distinction between work and leisure time are more suited for the ‘go getters’ who are highly self-motivated.
Having no face to face relation with colleagues can be tough. If you like surrounding yourself with people during work hours, working from home can sometimes get a bit lonely. If you are someone who thrives in physical connection, working from home may result in lack of physical interaction – which could potentially place your mental health at risk.
Self discipline is the key to working from home (and quite frankly anywhere). Having boundaries and holding yourself accountable is tough especially in an environment like home where there are many distractions.
Managing your own time and schedule allowing you to be productive is tough. There is no one to hold you accountable on a day-to-day basis. You can sleep in, procrastinate, work whenever you feel like it. Sounds great, but it isn’t.
We often complain about the regular structure a 9-5 job places us in, but it helps us stick to a schedule. However, we are certain that if you choose to craft your own schedule, you will certainly aim to follow it.
Avoiding Work-at-Home Scams
Since the majority of work from home jobs are sourced online, you need to be aware of the possibilities where you might get scammed or otherwise run into problems. Working with job platforms can provide some form of security since the platform itself acts as an intermediary and can assure payment for work completed.
Be especially cautious if you’re soliciting for jobs on your own via public channels such as Facebook or forums since these offer you virtually no protection. As with everything online, exercise some appropriate precautions such as;
Doing some background checks on potential employers.
Not giving out too many personal details.
Requesting deposits for work.
Always get work specifications spelt out clearly.
Always be aware of scams – reputable employers will never need you to pay them anything to get a job!
About Timothy Shim
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.