How I Learned to Find Legitimate Work From Home Jobs

Since I began working from home a few years ago due to my social anxiety, I have been asked hundreds of times about how to find real, legitimate work-from-home jobs. If you have a disability, struggle with anxiety or depression or just find it hard to work a “regular” 9-5 desk job, you’ve probably already Googled and searched and ended up frustrated. I know, I’ve been there too. But I finally did find legitimate jobs that I could do remotely from home – and I know with a bit of perseverance and maybe a few tips, you can too. I made this YouTube video about my journey to find work-from-home jobs, so if you haven’t watched that yet, press play below:

If you want even more information, tips and tricks to finding your own work from home job, keep reading…

As you may have noticed, we are living in a world DOMINATED by social media. Information can be exchanged in a matter of seconds, and almost everything can be done online – from grocery shopping to dating, and yes, even your job. It’s becoming easier to find remote, work from home jobs and actually make real money. No surveys, ad-clicking or “webcam modeling” required  😉

Before I get started, I wanted to post a little disclaimer to let you know that I am NOT going to try and get money from you, ask you to download anything, cut this blog off by telling you to purchase my e-book for more info (I don’t even have an e-book…yet), or link you to any scams. I am simply doing this because I have struggled a lot with finding a job, and I want to help others out if I can, by explaining what worked for me. It may not work for everyone – but it’s the best I can do and all based on my personal experience.

THE FIRST STEP: It may sound corny, but you have to do this. Think about what YOU are good at. Even if you think it’s silly, or not relevant to a job, make a mental note of it or jot it down. That’s what I did, and after thinking about what I really have experience doing and what I’m good at, I realized that I am pretty dang good at social media. I have been on YouTube since it launched almost 8 years ago. I not only manage my YouTube channel, I do all my own branding and promotion. I manage my Facebook pages, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, WordPress, Tumblr…. Along the way, I have gained a lot of knowledge about Google analytics, keywords, SEO (search engine optimization) and promotion. These are things lots of people have relevant experience and knowledge about in this day and age – without even having a degree. Think about it: You found this blog, right? You know how to use keywords to do a Google search, and I am willing to bet that you have at least one social media account that you manage. I know that you can put your skills in social media to work if you’re anything like me.

The first, and most reliable place I have found jobs focusing on social media is CRAIGSLIST. I know, I know… You’re probably thinking about all the horror stories, the scams, the porn. Yes, there are a lot of scams on Craigslist, but it’s such a popular site, you’re going to have to wade through that crap.  On the bright side – Craigslist allows you to search by keyword, category, and even lets you search specifically for “telecommuting” jobs. This makes it pretty easy to bypass most of the scams and nonsense that you find on Craigslist.

It’s important to note that not all work from home jobs are listed under “telecommuting” though. Actually, probably 70-80% of jobs that allow you to work from home are not listed under that section – but it’s still a good place to start. The word “telecommuting” is a bit outdated, so sometimes it’s more beneficial to use the keywords: remote, work-from-home, at home, anywhere or global.

You can also narrow down your searches specifically by keyword. For example, if you are looking for jobs in social media (this is a fairly broad category, anything from managing Facebook pages to recruiting for YouTube partner networks to social media sales) you can search specifically for “SOCIAL MEDIA”, and you’ll get jobs that list “social media” somewhere in the title or description. You can also use terms like: social networking, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google …etc. The same goes for anything you’re searching for – customer service to data entry. Just make good use of your keywords – and if you don’t see the results you like, don’t be afraid to search lots of different terms and keywords, even if you’re just changing one word, it can make a difference. It takes time and sifting through a lot of garbage, but if you’re determined, you’ll find something that works for you.

Another thing that has helped me immensely in my job search on Craigslist, is that when looking for remote, work from home jobs, you can search in ANY city! Think about it: you’re working from home, so it doesn’t matter where the company is located. I live in a smaller city, so I couldn’t find anything locally. I decided to search in big cities – Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, etc. These provide many more results, and I have found that companies that aren’t even located in these big cities are posting work from home jobs on the Craigslist pages for bigger cities! The first company I worked for was located in the heart of Los Angeles, California – thousands of miles away from me. The company I work for now is located in Canada – a completely different country! So if you don’t find what you’re looking for in one city, move onto the next.

*Note: (for countries outside of the USA who do not have Craigslist, replace with your favorite community listing site, ie: gumtree)

The final tip about Craigslist: Make sure to exclude the term “internship” or “intern” from your searches by using the minus (-) sign before the word internship.

Below is an EXAMPLE of a quick Craigslist search I just did:

CL Search Example

Example of a social media job search on Craisglist *click to enlarge*

If you don’t want to do this, you can always just skip past the jobs that have intern in the title, or if you’re unsure; scroll down to the bottom of each individual job posting and look at where they list the pay rate – that’s where it will usually say unpaid or internship.  Internships are usually unpaid – so unless you’re a college student who needs experience and college credits, these jobs won’t do you any good. However, if you are a student, these types of internships are great, because they can help to get a foot in the door, and something good to put on your resume.

Speaking of resumes…(CV to those of you outside the USA)

Most jobs on Craigslist ask you to provide a resume via email. This can be scary when you’ve never put together a resume before – or if you’re like me, and hadn’t worked a regular job in over 7 years. Not to worry – you can put together a functional resume that highlights your strengths, abilities and talents, and does not have to include your specific work history like a chronological resume does. This is a lifesaver for those who haven’t been able to work in a while and have big gaps in their employment history, or no employment history at all – while still looking professional and highlighting why you’d be a good fit for the job.

Some different types of resumes are:

FUNCTIONAL: A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history. It is used most often by people who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history. *This is the one I recommend!

CHRONOLOGICAL: A chronological resume starts by listing your work history, with the most recent position listed first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order with your current, or most recent job, first. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it’s easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.

COMBINATION: A combination resume lists your skills and experience first. Your employment history is listed next. With this type of resume you can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and also provide the chronological work history that employers prefer.

Here is an example of my personal resume to give you an idea of what a Functional resume looks like (although I have some work history, so mine leans towards a combination resume). Pay attention to the notes in RED for explanations of the sections and tips on writing your own resume:

resume example

Example of my functional social media resume (click to enlarge)

Here are some helpful links to read about resume writing, and to see specific resume examples:

Types of resumes: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/resumes/p/resumetypes.htm

Example of professional functional resume: http://jobsearch.about.com/library/samples/blresumefunctional.htm

Okay – So what if jobs in social media just aren’t your cup of tea?

Well, believe it or not, there are lots of companies who hire for at home (virtual) customer service positions. Even if the company has employees who work in-office, many of them are now allowing telecommuting, or work from home – because in the long run, it’s actually cheaper for companies to offer these work from home programs. Amazon.com is one of the largest companies that offer specific work from home customer service jobs. Some companies hire exclusively for the Holiday season (seasonal), and some companies (like Amazon) only offer these jobs in certain states.

Here is a list of a few others companies that I know offer work from home Virtual Customer Service opportunities (please Google these yourself, as sites or opportunities are subject to change and I don’t want to link to incorrect information):

  • Amazon.com
  • PayPal
  • 1-800-Flowers
  • American Express
  • West (west at home)
  • Alpine Access (Sykes at Home)
  • J Crew
  • Walgreens
  • Virgin

Now, that is not a comprehensive list – the best way to find out if a company offers a work from home program is to visit the website and find the jobs or careers link. If you can’t find it, then Google the name of the company and add “jobs”, “work from home”, “remote”, “virtual” or “telecommute” to your search – like I said, finding these jobs takes a bit of time and research, but it’s worth it.

Keep in mind that these remote Customer Service jobs usually require you to at least attend an orientation or training class in person (Amazon trains its Customer Service Associates online from home, but you have to attend a new-hire orientation), and most of these will require you to interact in some way with people – usually by talking on the phone (taking inbound calls) and offering customer service, although in some cases there are other options like online chat customer service, or email customer service.

A few more tips and resources when searching for jobs:

Watch out for scams! If something SOUNDS too good to be true, it probably is.

If the company asks you for money – run away! MOST legitimate jobs will not ask you to pay anything to get started or work with them! Some companies (like Avon, Scentsy or BeautyControl etc) will ask you to buy a kit upfront and then sell product for commission – but this is different. Always do your research and trust your gut.

Applying for jobs and working from home is virtual, but most legitimate work from home jobs will have a contact number, and you’ll be able to speak with someone directly. If you cannot find any information about the company with a quick internet search, proceed with caution.

Working from home isn’t for everyone – it takes dedication, motivation and discipline. You have to make sure you stick to your schedule, and although you can work in your pajamas, you have to make sure to get your work done! If you are the kind of person who requires a lot of direction and has a hard time being your own boss, working from home might not be right for you. The temptation to sleep in, text your friends, browse Facebook, make snacks and watch Netflix is strong when you’re working in the comfort of your own home!

Most companies will have technical hardware/computer requirements for employment – like high speed internet, a desktop computer with at least 62 bit and Windows 7 or higher, a home-phone line, etc. If you’re running on dial up (or even DSL sometimes) you won’t be able to do the job – especially the virtual customer service positions. As a virtual employee, you are responsible for paying for these things out of pocket. (For my Amazon.com job, I had to buy a new updated computer, install a landline phone and of course keep current on my internet bill).

Sometimes, you will be hired as an independent contractor. Especially for social media jobs. This is different than being an employee. As an independent contractor, you are working for yourself, and just hired as a contract employee by the company. Most of my social media work from home jobs have been this way. The biggest difference between an independent contractor and a regular employee, is that you do not have any taxes taken out of your paychecks – so you are responsible for filing and paying your own taxes each year. However, one perk is being able to write off some of the costs of working from home (internet bill, phone bill, power bill and even rent) at the end of the year. As as independent contractor, you will also not be eligible for employee benefits (like medical and dental). Make sure to discuss the terms of your employment with the company you are applying to before accepting the job, to make sure it’s right for you. Read more about being an independent contractor here: http://womenforhire.com/get_started_working_from_home/working_from_home_as_an_independent_contractor/

If Social Media jobs or Customer Service aren’t your thing – then you can find other jobs to do remotely, though they may be harder to come by. I have come across many different types of jobs in my searches, and with a little research and patience, you will be able to as well. Some of the other types of work from home jobs I have found are:

  • Data Entry
  • Proofreading and Editing
  • Personal Assistant
  • Tech Support
  • Website or Graphic Design
  • Promotion for bands or artists
  • Medical coder or transcription
  • Telemarketing (Surveys, Selling, Recruiting)

With a bit of hard work, research, perseverance and patience, you can find a legitimate work from home job that suits you. More and more companies are going virtuaevery day, and if your search doesn’t produce any worthwhile results today, check back in a week and your results may be different. Take your time to craft a professional and fun resume that showcases what YOU can do, and apply to jobs as soon as you find them – don’t wait!

I hope these tips were able to help someone out there in their quest to work from home like I do! Feel free to comment with any questions you may have about working from home, or if you have any tips that I haven’t included here, I know my readers would be grateful for any advice or tips you could share!

Good luck in your job search, I’m rooting for you! 🙂

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53 thoughts on “How I Learned to Find Legitimate Work From Home Jobs

  1. Wow! I saw your video in my feed and was excited to get into this! I too have horrible social anxiety and haven’t had a job in over 5 years. I’m hoping i can do sonething about it now. Thank you for posting this. 🙂

  2. Thank u so much. I found the information very useful as I have been searching for home-based job for some time now. I am in Jamaica, I don’t know if my location will impact negatively on my quest to work from home or not. Please advise.

  3. Hi Christie please contact me on my email really need a good online job i stop working 6months ago looking for a honest online job.Thanks contact me

  4. Now, I work wiith program call Digital Generation. It takes a 10% of my CPU to work in there own sector. Do you think it is a ligal commpany?

  5. You’ve given me lots of “food for thought”. I’ve been looking for work for three years. Get the interviews but not the jobs. Age gets in the way. Sad. Because I still have all my marbles, plus a lifetime of experience. Will try your method. Thanks.

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  7. i have been in a scam twice and i am currently in a scam right now which is the recent google work from home kit and i don’t know what to do at all. I hate these fricken scam. Why would anyone be so mean and do that to people who wants to make a living!!

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  9. You are completely refreshing! There are so many scams or people making youtube videos just selling crap. Every second of your video was well thought out, informative and worth watching. I have great ideas now on what to look for and how to look for job opportunities. I have just lost my job and my anxiety has been through the roof. It is so kind and brave of you to address that. I feel better just having seen this. Thank you so much for making this video/blog. I plan on following you on other social media formats too:)

  10. Hi sullen girl, I am bipolar and have social anxieties myself. Which make it hard to find suitable work. I also don’t have a computer but I have an iPhone( and internet) Are there any jobs that you’ve seen that don’t require an actual computer?

  11. Thank you so much for the tips. I have no choice but to work at home. I have a 9 years old boy who is very good he will keep quite when need be. I have no family to help and we do not want him to go into a day care. You are such a pretty girl and well spoken. Thanks again I will follow you.

  12. What would you recommend as an at home job for someone with no job history at all ? I am a soon to be mom and would like to still be able to work from home to provide extra money for my family

  13. Thank you for being brave enough to post a video that is helpful to people like me that just cannot deal with the outside world. I suffer from several disabilities that the social security administration feels like I dont deserve to receive help from them. I will take your advice and try and find somthing out there that I can do from home…….Thanks again…..Joey

  14. you are such an inspiation to many people, give yourselp a big hug and + A for well done job. do you have any idea how much you have help, so many people with all the information you have provided to them for free, love you and you are in my prays every night, god bless you many more……….

    Sincerrelly, michelle

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  16. Wow nice video .nice breath of fresh air. I am looking for a job from home because I have nothing but time on my hands .willing to try any thing ..dont have alot of skills .but I have a lot of time to give.I am a senior and hope you can set me in the right direction. Thanks

  17. I have severe social anxiety too. I have been working from home for 8 years. It was by circumstances that my job set me up at home however they are laying off the HQ department so now I will be without a job. So I’m seeking another work from home job. I need help I don’t know where to look. Thank you for the ideas.

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  19. Awesome article! And yes, legitimate WAH opportunities do exist. I had to search hard to find them (I also work from home) but now that I know where they are, I’m posting them all for free for Texas residents. If you know of anyone who is looking for WAH/Remote (which some people assume doesn’t require any travel at all; some remote jobs do require travel), please send them to http://texasworksathome.com It’s mostly for Texas but some jobs can be done from anywhere in the States. Thanks for the article!

  20. Thank you, I have had to stay home for the last 5 years due to being single mom of kids with disabilities. I am excited to see that someone has accomplished working from home. I have been looking for years. This gave me renewed hope.

  21. Nicely written while being clearly informative. It was great to finally get a straight to the point insight on work at home jobs without the one time special offer of 39.95 at the end.
    Thanks

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  24. Thank You for the useful information as I have been looking and was about to give up because everything I could find they wanted money from me to start with promises of making huge amounts in return basically too good to be true. I simply want to work from home and make money of course but I won’t pay them for the job so it has been very frustrating for me. I really was starting to think it was all scams but you’ve given me hope and places to look so Thank you.

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  26. Thanx for all the info you have left on finding work from home!! I am a 32yr old mother of 2 boys under the age of 2 and before I had my kids my husband moved me from Bronx, New York upstate to the sticks which makes it hard to find a job not only cause I have my 2 boys but because I don’t drive (HUGE PROBLEM WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE WITH NO TRAINS OR BUSES LOL) So in order for me to help my family from being in the street I have been trying to find LEGIMATE work from home jobs to help support my family and also to be home with our sons 🙂 Do you suggest also looking for work from home jobs on job search engines such as MONSTER for example?? would love to know your input….
    Thanx for all your info 🙂
    Nicole

  27. Thanks for tips. I’m 56 yrs old, divorced on disability/alimony. I’ve been searching for about a yr., can’t seem to find the right job. I’m also with issues like yours, but also back issues that keep me from working. Can’t sit for long periods of time or walk for long periods. So I thought I could easily find a job online to work at my own pace….scammed to many times. Learned one important thing, if they ask for money…its a scam, if they send you checks before you even do the job…scam!
    Good Luck out there!

  28. wow, i really appreciate your honesty and support. i hope i can find a job from work. i will try what you had mentioned. thanks

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  30. I have been looking for a work from home job for many years and never have found one that will hire me. I have many skills but nothing from working from home. I love social media… I know i can do that easily. I just dont know how to find it. I went to craigslist New york dont live there and put social media – intern and nothing shows up as for work at home. Please can you please help me get a job. I am struggling financially and have to stay home with my 1 yr old. I know your time is precious. thanks.

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  32. Great video. Thanks for the insight. I want to do this because I have school age kids and having a full time job out of the house is becoming overwhelming. Also it is difficult when school is closed for holidays I don’t have, in service, summer vacation. My son went to camps all the time when he was too young to be at home by himself. My daughter is five and I don’t want that for her. I think I do have social anxiety in a way. A lot of days I just dread being around people and have to act like I’m happy to be at work and I really care when I just want to be more of a mom to my kids and it is depressing. I should mention I was diagnosed with depression too a few years ago when my mom died. People at work just expect you to be normal like everything is ok. I should have taken medical leave of absence but I didn’t because of financial pressures. I do still feel depressed a lot even though I am on meds.. They help some but it won”t change until I change my situation. Hopefully your video and others will help. Thanks for having the courage to share your story!!

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  35. I clicked on this site of yours and several links, now I have 25 calls a day telling me thanks for signing up to find out more about getting a student loan financing number is 319-237-3618. And where you say you can click here and answer a few questions and select a few of the things offered, it won’t affect what I am doing, BS, i am now getting 50 + emails of spammed junk! I think you should remove your video from You Tube and these links as this site really is filtered with a crap load of spam, unwanted and unwelcomed emails and information, watch out for scams is right there lady and your site is the first one to watch out for!

    • You are very misinformed and sadly mistaken. I wrote a very long and informational blog and the ONLY external links I used in the blog were two links to “about.com” referencing job search tips for different types of resumes (about.com is an informational site and has nothing to do with getting a job, the links were only there for informational purposes for writing a resume.) The other external link I posted in my blog was a site called “women for hire” which has a great article on what being an independent contractor is – again, it is NOT a job site and is just an informational article. My YouTube video referenced NO external sites, and I did not link to any job searches or companies. You may have seen my blog reposted somewhere on another site with external links, I am not sure, but If YOU clicked on a comment below my post with a link, or if an informational site led you by an ad to a job search site and you’re getting calls, that is YOUR problem, not mine. Don’t blame ME because YOU signed up for something online that had nothing to do with me – I did not ask for your information, I did not ask for your phone number, you must have signed up somewhere on your own. I am not getting one cent for writing this blog and am struggling to find work from home jobs just like the lot of you, so how dare you say my blog and video should be taken down when it had nothing to do with your experience. This isn’t a “site” it’s just a personal blog with no ads or spam, it’s something I worked hard on to benefit others, for FREE. I would suggest to you that in the future that you do not ever click advertisements online and if you do, DON’T put in your phone number and personal information – and do not then go blaming others for your mistake.

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