Category Archives: Work and Business Articles

Five Tips For Landing a Legitimate Work-at-Home Job

According to the latest American Community Survey data, there are approximately 2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers, who consider home their primary place of work. The struggling American economy has created the need for companies to cut back as much as possible. This has created growth in the work-at-home industry as it allows companies to save on expenses like office space, equipment and insurance costs.

However, the telecommuting world can be a hard place to get your foot in the door. Linda Dickerhoof, Public Relations Director at VIPDesk, one of the leading virtual concierge and virtual customer service providers in the United States, reports that they receive as many as two hundred resumes a day. With that kind of competition, it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for telecommuting employment.

Do Your Research – This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of your work-at-home job search. There are many legitimate companies that hire at-home employees. However, in order to weed out at-home job scams, you need to know what “red flags” to look for.  A legitimate work-at-home opportunity won’t ask you for any sort of “affiliation fee,” nor will they send you any type of list of employers to contact.

A legitimate opportunity will also not offer an unrealistic salary. The ads that you see offering $5k/wk with no experience usually are just what they sound – too good to be true. Avoid work-at-home opportunities advertised via infomercials, signs taped to a lamp-post, stop signs or via spam e-mail. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of reputation the company you are considering has, then follow up with an Internet search to see what is being said about the company in blogs, on twitter, and in the mainstream media.

Resume Success  – Applying for a working-at-home position should be treated just like any other job application process. The company may allow you to work from home, but they will not tolerate an unprofessional attitude. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that your resume will be selected if it’s anything less than top-notch.

In order to get ahead, put together a professional resume outlining your job experience and highlighting any special skills or training applicable to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resume to one page, if possible.

Interviews Are Important – The interview process is more critical than usual in the work-at-home world because the interviewer will not be meeting you face to face. Most at-home employers have a strenuous screening process to filter out applicants who do not fit the professional standards required.

Prepare ahead of time for questions not only about your employment background, but also about what your home work environment will be like (they do not want to hear animals or children in the background). Interviewers will be listening intently to how you present yourself over the phone, so be as prepared and professional as possible.

Know What To Expect – One of the best ways to succeed in any career is to know what your employer expects of you. Before your interview, put together a list of questions that will help you understand what to expect from the employer, and what they expect from you. Ask about things like training, support offered during work hours, and specific job expectations.

Get Set Up – Once you’ve begun the process of searching and applying for telecommuting positions, it’s time to make sure your home workspace is appropriate. Most employers will be looking for you to have a noise-free home office that includes: a landline phone, a computer (most companies will have specific computer requirements that will need to be met),  and high speed internet.

If possible, do your research ahead of time to ensure that your home office set up will work for a telecommuting opportunity. There are some employers who provide the necessary equipment, but most will require you to have these items in place.

Telecommuting can be one of the most rewarding career decisions available today. It provides flexibility and scheduling that many other types of employment are unable to offer. Prepare yourself to stand out from the job applicant crowd and you’ll find yourself with a remarkable new job in no time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, a website that provides resources and encouragement for women who work from home. She is the author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and has been featured in places such as The Wall Street Journal and FIRST magazine. But mainly Jill is a wife and mom of two. She lives with her family in Nebraska.  Visit Jill at or contact her at

Staying Motivated When Working From Home

The decision to work from home involves many considerations; however one consideration that is often overlooked is that maintaining motivation when at home can be a challenge. Many people find that after the initial excitement of starting their own business, it is difficult to sustain the motivation that spurred them to action originally. Some people will find that without the collaboration of co-workers, work no longer holds the same level of creativity and energy that they once experienced in the work place.

There are many suggested ways of creating a work at home environment that will facilitate staying motivated. In the same way that launching a new business takes careful planning, overcoming the obstacles that can interfere with sustained motivation requires a well mapped out plan of action. Devising a system that will help you to preserve your motivation is a key ingredient in succeeding when working online.

Tips to Help Maintain Motivation

1) Remember your “WHY”. Most individuals who make the decision to work from home have a strong WHY along with long-term goals. Having your why and your goals in constant sight can serve as a powerful motivator. Many people use pictures or motivational quotes to assist them is staying motivated.

2) Maintain Scheduled Office Hours. Treat your work at home job the same way you would a real job that you would have outside the home. During scheduled work hours, do not attend to personal matters or take personal calls. Utilize this time for accomplishing those tasks you have identified as vital to the success of your business. Plan your schedule so that you focus your energies on your most challenging jobs at the time when you are at your best and least likely to have interruptions.

3) Schedule Breaks. Just as important as setting hours when you are to work is determining times when you will take short breaks throughout your work day. An occasional break during the workday will help to renew and refresh you. It is also important to include time for short vacations; vacations are needed whether you are working outside the home or working from home.

4) Review Your Accomplishments. Begin each day with a To Do list. As you complete tasks on the list, cross them off the list. At the end of the day, review what you have completed. You can also set deadlines for your scheduled tasks; make note at the end of the day of how many deadlines you have met.

5) Reward Your Accomplishments. Set daily and weekly goals that will lead you closer to your long-term goals. Track these goals and determine a small reward for reaching them. It can be as simple as a coffee break or going out to dinner; the important thing is to recognize your progress and compensate it accordingly.

6) Take Care of Yourself. It is vital that you get enough rest, eat well, have time to exercise and engage in relaxing activities; consequently, when you are at work you will be more likely to have the necessary energy to stay focused on those tasks you have identified for success.

7) Don’t Isolate Yourself. Working from home should not mean that you completely isolate yourself. It is important that you maintain work contacts both online and off line. There are groups both online and off line that have been established for the purpose of networking. Having others with whom you can share your goals, consult about problems, and develop ideas can serve as a strong motivator.

8) Maintain Off Hours. Equally important as working during work hours is learning not to work on the hours you have scheduled as free time. Over the long run, constantly overworking yourself will cause you to feel discouraged and frequently will diminish your motivation instead of fueling it.

What methods prove effective in sustaining motivation will vary for each individual; it may involve trial and error in an effort to discern those methods that successfully help each person to stay motivated. Recognizing the importance of providing ways to stimulate and maintain motivation will help an individual to successfully transition to his/her new work at home business.

David Alexander is the creator & developer of a number of a stupidly SIMPLE online opportunities used across the United States & Canada Helping those in need of extra income find real solutions online.

Helping Everyday Folks Earn Extra Income Online…. The Online Work Home

5 Things to Avoid in a Job Interview

When you get a job interview, your main focus is to transform this opportunity into a job. To demonstrate how best you are suited for the job, you often do things, knowingly or unknowingly, that ultimately ruin your prospects instead of doing anything good. It’s always better to be on the alert against such common things, if you really want to click the job. Here are tips on 5 things that you must avoid in any interview for job:

1. Misrepresentation: You must not divert facts or state them in a manner that does not uphold the truth. Whether it is about your background, your past experience, reasons for your quitting previous job etc, always state the actual facts. Trust is very important in anything we do. If they know that you are misrepresenting facts, their trust on you would be lost forever.

2. Getting Personal: Don’t try to be very personal with the interviewer. Unless you are specifically asked, do not address the interviewer by his name. It’s better to call him by his surname, prefixing Mr. or Ms. As may be applicable. Even if you happen to know an interviewer personally, as a college friend or a neighbor, maintain a professional distance, unless he or she opens up.

3. Outlandish Dress: Whatever may be the profile of the organization where you are attending the interview, avoid outlandish dress like jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, tight-fits etc. Go in your best formals. A conservative style is not harmful; at least, better than going overdressed or underdressed.

4. Boastful Statements: Do not make you understood as a jack-of-all-trades, but master of nothing. If you have innumerable skills, tell only those that are relevant to the job. Even if you have an impeccable track record of performance, place it humbly. Avoid taking challenges; instead go for a try-my-best-for success attitude.

5. Dropping References: Everybody dislikes dropping of references at random. I know the Minister; I know the Secretary-people often get disinterested in persons who unnecessarily claim to identify themselves with such high echelons. Tell them, when specifically asked, about the people you know. If they are quite high in position, tell the interviewers how you came to know them. This gives credibility to your statement.

Attention to these little things keeps you sufficiently ahead in the race for the job.


Mom, Want to Boost your Resume?

I’m worried about my resume. I love being a stay at home mom, but eventually I’d like to get back into the business world to make money again. What should I do to keep my resume from having a big empty gap in it?
Signed – Cathy Career

Dear Cathy,
Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to keep your resume hopping. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking.

1. Volunteer.
Not many people are aware of this, but, if you live in the United States, there’s a Presidential Volunteer Service Award that you can earn for the time you are spending volunteering in your kids’ activities. Whether you’re helping at school or through Scouts, you can earn this award. Although it isn’t business related, it does show an employer that you are motivated and dedicated.

Or you can find leadership positions where you can volunteer. Titles like the President of the PTA, School Fundraising Coordinator, or a Board of Directors for an Organization look great on your resume, plus you’re setting a wonderful example for your children.

2. Go Back to School.
If you’ve wanted to get your degree or an advanced degree like an MBA, you can now do it online. While baby is sleeping, you can study and take your tests. It’s not easy, but it also shows that you had incentive during the empty time on your resume.

3. Build a Business
Look into ways you can build your own business. If you do the legwork while baby is young and get the foundation built, then you can either sell the business or choose to jump in with both feet once you face going back on the career path.

4. Be an Activist
Make a name for yourself fighting for a cause you believe in. Before you go on an interview, compile press releases you’ve written, interviews, and articles along with results and accommodations. When you’re asked “What have you been doing for the last five years.” You can reply, “I’ve been working to reduce child abuse by helping to pass a bill that….” Pretty impressive. And, again, you’re setting a remarkable example for your children.

Here’s my big warning. All though all of these activities will look great on your resume, they all take time. If your goal is to stay home and enjoy your children, don’t get so loaded down with volunteering, studying and helping others that you end up missing out on all the childhood wonders in your own home.

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Nicole Dean is the Mom behind a free and fun resource helping moms in all areas of life. Stop by to find out more about ways to earn your Degree Online.

10 Easy tips on how to work from home

1. Plan your day the night before.

Have a list of to do things ready the night before of high and low priority. Aim to have things done before they become urgent so you are not always putting out fires. It is always easier to remember the things you need to do next when you are in the flow of activity, and so easier to get back into the zone the next day.

2. Take half a day to plan your week.

This was the hardest one for me to get into the habit of doing. I mistakenly thought that I could not afford to take that time out of my busy schedule. What I found after putting this into practice is that ‘busy’ time is not always productive time. Better to know exactly what you need to achieve and have a week that is already booked up with appointments or activities to move you towards your goal than to be planning minute to minute and just reacting to day to day emergencies.

3. Sharpen the saw.

This is a popular one in the personal development books. Another biggie for me in that I have always favored the manic approach to work. I would do as much as I could possibly cram in, and stop only when exhausted. People with those kinds of additive personalities especially need to pay attention this one. Take a day off at least once a week. The winning formula is to really take that time. Don’t keep jumping onto email and mobiles as you will not be refreshed. I found the world and the workplace keeps turning even if I go to the cinema for a couple of hours! Put yourself first or you will be of little use to anyone else.

4. Take regular breaks.

This is a discipline for most people. Some thrive on exercise but it seems that most don’t! We lead sedentary lives and the more successful we are with online activities the less likely we are to move around. Schedule in some breaks and do what you love to do. DVD exercise sessions are good to do at home. Sit in the garden and relax for 20 minutes while you eat lunch instead of hunching over the laptop and dropping crumbs in-between the keys! I’m a great one for power napping. Take 20 minutes of guilt free power nap – that is a huge benefit of working from home. You will find that this can add hours of extra productive time to your day. Einstein did it so don’t feel guilty on this one.

5. Limit internet time.

I am a terrible culprit here. I confess to being a skype addict and hop on and off my e mail as many times as my daughter’s will let me near the laptop. This is an obvious one and we know when we’re doing it so the best thing is to just stop! Develop a routine i.e.; first thing in morning check e mails and jump onto skype or whatever your communication tool is. Send the messages you need to send and then get off. Log off so you can then focus on daily tasks without distraction.

6. Resist being on call 24 hours (aka. The superhero syndrome)

Your team/co workers can survive without you – I promise! They may even surprise you and come up with something better than they would have done with you checking on them every couple of hours.

7. Have office space.

Working from home is a serious business. Make the space, even if it’s a desk in the corner of the bedroom.

8. Set the family rules and guidelines.

Your family need to understand that you are serious about this and the benefits are huge but they need to be taught to respect your working space and time.

9. Focus on specific tasks

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean it’s time to vacuum or dust mid-morning. Have a schedule and stick to it. If that’s what you want to do in your break then fair enough!

10. Employ yourself test

Keep a note of all your completed work tasks for the day. Look in the mirror at the end of it and ask yourself, honestly, whether you performed to the best of your ability that day. The truth will be looking right back at you!

Rachel Henke coaches people to work from home, using Randy Gage’s proven MLM system. Find out how you can join the Agel mentoring program by e mailing her on

By Rachel Henke, © 2007

Article Source: Ezine Articles