Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities

By Xin Lu on 20 March 2008 (Updated 17 August 2010) 28 comments

[Editor's note:  If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of tips and resources for the recently laid off.]

When you search for work at home opportunities on the internet, oftentimes you will find sites pitching programs that could make you thousands of dollars a week.  Usually these programs are scams designed to take your money.  So how do you go about finding legitimate work at home jobs that pay you for your time?   Read on for some ideas and resources.

1. Craigslist - The Craigslist job board is where I have found all of my jobs after college, and it is a great resource.  When you search for jobs you can check the "telecommute" option for jobs that allow you to work at home.  I have found a work at home job with a technology company this way that paid $15 an hour when I was in college, and I was able to pick my own hours and fill out my work online.  

2. Freelance siteseLance and iFreelance are two sites that allow you to find freelance jobs and bid on how much  you wish to be paid.  The problem is that you will be competing with people all over the world so the pay may not be as high as you would like.  However, as long as you do quality work it is possible to charge a premium for your services.  You can also try your hand at freelance writing at a content hub site like Suite101

3. Virtual agent companies - If you do not mind working as a customer representative or an virtual assistant, companies such as LiveOps and Working Solutions might be right for you. Both of these companies have on demand call centers, which means you take calls at home.  I know LiveOps pays 25 cents per minute, which works out to be $15 per hour of talk time. 

4. Work at home online communities - A great site that I read from time to time is WAHM.com.   They post job opportunities for free on their site and they have plenty of tips on avoiding scams and starting your own business.  The forums is also a great place to find out other peoples' experiences with various opportunities.

5. Your current job -  Would your current employer let you work at home?  Some of my coworkers actually live in other states and work from home exclusively.  If you can show that you can be extremely productive at home, it may be worthwhile to ask your current employer for the opportunity to work at home. They may be more accomodating than you think.

Most of these work at home opportunities are part time contract jobs that require you to do your own taxes and do not have benefits.  However, there are fulltime positions that offer an entire benefit package including health insurance and 401k.  You should always find out the terms of the job before you start.

Finally, if some opportunity requires you to pay a startup fee and promises an incredible amount of return, it is probably too good to be true.  As with any endeavor, you should do your research before you plunge into a job.  Search for what others say about your potential employer, and see if the job matches your interests.  As long as you are professional and cautious, you will be able to find great opportunities that allow you to work from home.

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Guest's picture

On my blog, I'm also exploring work-at-home opportunities - particularly online ones ... real or scam ... I'm still undecided, how about you?

The financial key, though, is if you do find an opportunity that makes you money to save at least 10% of it (if it is your PRIMARY source of income) or at least 50% of it (if it is a new /additional source of income) ...

Guest's picture
Eddy

That was a great article. I totally agree about freelance sites. They're great for people that live outside the U.S. looking to work at home. But for U.S. based employees it's better to focus on some of the resources you provided.

But with that said, there are many more resources than Wahm that provide you a wealth of free work at home information, leads, videos on how to avoid scams.

I would encourage you to visit:
www.WorkAtHomeNoScams.com
www.WorkAtHomeCareers.com

In terms of avoiding scams you should visit the following pages:
www.WorkAtHomeCareers.com/scams
www.WorkAtHomeNoScams.com/scams
www.WorkAtHomeNoScams.com/2008/02/27/work-at-home-scams-video/

Just thought you may want to know about all the other resources available. Wahm is great but it's definitely not the only free and comprehensive work at home resource out there.

I hope this helps.

Eddy

Guest's picture
Monica

Hello,
That was a great article, thanks! However, would you clarify something? Where do you find the "telecommute" option on Craigslist? And is it only for certain larger cities?

thanks,
Monica

Guest's picture
Brian

I have looked on craigslist before too but never found a legit, good job to apply for. You said you did so before, do you have any additional tips for finding someting as you had done?

Thanks so much!

Brian

Guest's picture
Melanie

I found this quick, to the point and informative. Wonderful post! Thanks for the information. Craigslist, I do find useful for many things, and many times, I forget to look there. Thank you for the excellent reminder.

Guest's picture

These all sound really good. I also work from home with Associated Content writing articles. If you would like to learn more you can visit my blog for details.

Guest's picture
andrea

You found real work at home jobs on Craigslist??? The only ones I find ask for money and then tell you to list an ad like theirs on free websites! Such scams! Beware people..... if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

Guest's picture

I sometimes feel that finding a legitimate work at home job is a bit like trying to find the Loch Ness Monster - impossible!

Guest's picture
Alex Cavnar

What's the deal there? You're a service provider, yet you still have to pay?

I'll stick with advertising elsewhere, tyvm...

Guest's picture
Seth

My wife is currently looking for a job similar to this, to provide us with extra savings money. I'll have to forward her this link and thank you all who posted extra links and personal experiences.
We will have to do our homework and avoid scams.

Guest's picture
Shabba Dowd

Sounds like "nicole" is fishing for suckers...no, you shouldn't have to put up money for your job and, no, you shouldn't expect to make "six figures in two years" (:rolleyes)

GTFO!!

Guest's picture
Ashley

I recently had a work from home job find me. My friend invited me to try what she was doing, and I loved it. I had never thought to ask her if she did anything besides stay at home with her kids. Sometimes, the best ideas come from the people that we know!

Guest's picture

Thanks for sharing!! hope everybody looks and gives it the credit that I did!

Guest's picture
Gene

I love the tip on freelancing, but not everyone works in a freelance field. The one thing that just about anyone (with a little practice) CAN do, however is some freelance writing.

Not only is there a ton of opportunities for freelance writing gigs, but if you start blogging for yourself, before you know it, you could open more doors or even find an independent passive income from it.

Guest's picture
tamaras

There are plenty of problems you encounter when you work from home.Issues regarding stress, support, life balance, and isolation issues can be overcome with careful planning and a good attitude.

Guest's picture

CL is not good any more. 95% of every job on CL is a scam of some kind. Virtual agent companies are full for the big cities and intern jobs is the new employer scam to get people to work for free.

Guest's picture

Be certain you do your homework before jumping on one of Craig's Lists ads. You are correct when you say a majority of them are bogus. Research thoroughly everything you look at first before you make any decisions.

Guest's picture

Its wonderful post! Thanks for the information. Craigslist, I do find useful for numerous things, and many times, I forget to watch there. Thank you for the excellent reminder

Guest's picture

Yes! its true, there are many other resources than Wahm that provide you a wealth of free work at home information, leads, videos on how to avoid scams realated jobs.

Guest's picture

very lovely and all post are very good

Guest's picture

Finding honest people to work with online is just like finding them offline. Knowing that you are good and honest will lead you to like minded people to work with, and when you find them, you simply hang on to that lead...it is sorta like making new friends when you move to a new area. Work from home is a wonderful option, even better when it is your own business, and you can work for yourself.

Guest's picture
Brie

I'd also highly recommend FlexJobs.com, a site which compiles and screens legitimate telecommuting job opportunities so that members don't have to spend as much time digging through scams to find real work-at-home opportunities. They also list part-time, freelance, and flexible schedule jobs and every job is pre-screened before being listed.

Guest's picture
Guest

Melanie

I find it interesting that most of the work at home jobs are scams.
Really sucks when You are trying to find a legit job to do for extra income.
I have looked at WAHM, and got pulled into melaleuca. Which I only buy the products because I like that they are safe.
I am wanting to find something good to do from home. Can anyone suggested something that is working and legit?
Thanks.

Guest's picture

I think one of the toughest aspects of working from home is finding a “Real” opportunity and not a scam. There are a ton of sites out there that claim to be unbiased but usually they are just affiliate marketers trying to make a commission. www.lucrativeminds.com is a research and education website that provides a lot of information on work from home opportunities even what social media is saying about them. It is worth a look if you are looking to work from home they can even match you.
Good Luck

Guest's picture
Bernard

Some excellent tips - thank you!

Working from home is awesome. I have been doing it for years. The important thing is that you find something that you are passionate about, or something where you can help others while taking care of your own needs.

I have been fortunate, and I encourage everyone to keep searching for something that excites you. There is nothing better than spending more time with the family, or taking time off to vacation every now and again.

Best of Luck!

Come visit me: http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret.php?id=bernardb

Guest's picture
monique

I work from home I have been doing it for 3 months now, a friend of mines told me about a work from home listing, as soon as I registered I started working within my first week, doing data entry..I am a stay at home mom, so this has really helped me financially. Oh and I do believe their is a small fee, but it was completely worth it.you can check it out for your self..Good Luck.

http://3b43bdsjsjz8stc2qbl9y44z10.hop.clickbank.net/

Guest's picture
edelmiro

Thanks for the information! Cause finding a legitimate work at home isn't a easy job job when you are a newbie! I came across a lot of scams before I found the one I am in now! Lost a lot of money too! But I got a lot more with this new online job! So I want to encourage you to first take a good look around on the net and read reviews about the different work at homes and then choose of the confidential ones!

Guest's picture
Lola

I really wanna work at home. The main reason for me is I always dislike my boss. Get tired of listening to him. And thanks for the useful tips.