Online Part Time Jobs

It’s a unique mix of soaring unemployment figures and increased Internet dependency that’s lead to a rise in work-from-home popularity; and why not? Online part time jobs offer more security than you’d ever find at a nine to five, considering that working for yourself means you’ll never technically get fired. Work on your own terms, adhere to a casual dress code, and lower the start-up costs that usually linger around small business opportunities. Don’t forget about those bumper to bumper exhaust headaches you love so much: Ditch them along with your daily commute and save money on fuel expenses by working part time online from the comfort of your own home.

Disclaimer. The income opportunity may vary from individual to individual.

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Ensuring Success and Finding Work From Home

The best work-from-homers are the hardy ones: There are going to be setbacks and down times, so you’ll need loads of persistence to see you through to the attainment of your goals. Also, don’t overestimate the depth of common pitfalls and watch out for them with a keen eye. It’s more tempting than ever to lounge around and fall behind on deadlines, or to get too lax when you know you have a schedule. Treat your part time business like a traditional one to make sure you don’t cut corners. Self-starters with strong willpower are the most successful, so make sure you’re capable of taking the lead and keeping a tight hold on the reigns.

Although it’s true that working from home lends a great deal of anonymity to client interactions, you’ll actually need stronger communication skills than ever to stay afloat. It helps to be skilled with phone and email interactions and to possess better than average writing skills. There’s little opportunity for face to face meetings and impromptu pep talks on the Internet, so make sure you’re prepared to articulate ideas and meet work expectations from behind a screen.

Having what it takes doesn’t necessarily ensure employment, so where do you find work? Know where to look (and how to look) to avoid all the scam artists out there. Melissa Ezarik of Bankrate.com reports that as of 2012, the popular online job website Rat Race Rebellion states that there are 57 fake job ads printed for every legitimate one. This means that you’ll need to get stealthy and perform thorough background searches to avoid being swiped. Make sure a company checks out by viewing its stats with the Better Business Bureau, and read online reviews for the firsthand lowdown. Ultimately, never pay for a job opportunity, and don’t even think about handing over your credit card number.

Legitimate Online Part Time Jobs

Following is a list of legit jobs to meet a range of needs, including financial goals, personal interests and skills. Everyone has their own abilities, so here’s a list that offers something for everyone.

1. Writer

Satisfy your hankering for the written word by becoming a freelance writer. Freelancers produce various forms of content on a project-to-project basis and work to satisfy multiple clients. Safeguard yourself by creating freelance contracts prior to executing work, and seek legitimate opportunities via online project bidding sites or job boards. Elance.com, Freelancer.com, Guru.com and ODesk.com are a few popular, trustworthy bid sites where freelance writers can compete for thousands of job opportunities on a daily basis. Some typical writing projects include Internet articles, web copy, promotional writing, advertising materials, newsletters and product descriptions, and the list goes on.

It helps to have an English degree or marketing experience, but especially-talented writers with a less-than-perfect educational background have been known to wing it. The most important requirement for web writers is a healthy portfolio: Showcase excellent writing clips to impress clients and get better paying gigs.

2. Web Developer/Designer

Tinker with the inner workings of software programs and online employers will dole out the cash. You’ll need advanced programming knowledge and mastery of programs such as CSS and Java Script, while an understanding of HTML is also helpful.

The lines begin to blur between developers and designers when it comes to aesthetics, and web designers generally handle fonts, colors, logos, layout, frames and other visual aspects of a website. Developers and designers will have the best luck finding work by scouring technical job boards (try Dice.com) for openings.

3. Call Center Representative

Ready to be of service? If you possess impressive customer service skills, you can—from the comfort of your own home office. Here’s a checklist of supplies and requirements to get you started: Headset, high-speed Internet connection, dedicated home phone land line, quiet room to serve as your workspace. Online agencies working with numerous clients strive to cut overhead costs and get the job done by hiring at-home workers. Many of these companies, such as Alpine Access, offer part-time work in claims, customer support and other representative positions. Be prepared to submit to a background check and undergo training as needed.

4. Travel Agent

Combine a love of travel with excellent customer service and you’ve got one exciting online job opportunity. There are a handful of legitimate online travel agencies that are willing to train and offer a spot on their team, or you can create your own agency and call the stops yourself. You’ll need to earn certification as a Certified Travel Counselor, Certified Travel Associate or Certified Travel Industry Executive before you open up shop. Salary and benefits are provided to employees of existing agencies, while some travel agents earn commissions on booking referrals. Check with your state and review regulations for travel sellers, as certain terms are instated to safeguard local consumers.

Taking the Leap

You’ve decided online part time employment is for you: Now what? Abide by a few tips and start off on the right foot.

  • Working online is non-traditional, and so are the payment methods. Be prepared to attend diligently to your finances and pay your own taxes. Working for yourself means you’re a micro business, so you’ll need to play by small business rules. Keep track of financial transaction records and make sure you’re shoveling adequate funds into a savings bank for tax time.
  • Market yourself if you want to stand out in the crowd. Network, network, network! Utilize social media outlets such as Facebook and tout your business every chance you get. Invest in a company website or online portfolio, create business cards and take advantage of advertising opportunities.
  • Working online can get competitive, so outsmart contenders by staying ahead of the curve when it comes to industry trends and niche skills. Read up on what’s hot, what abilities are desirable and what you can do to improve your offerings. Strive to keep your skills fresh by investing in online training materials and resources, such as Lynda.com.

What it ultimately boils down to is gumption. Take some initiative and do everything you can to keep the ball rolling: Too many successful online workers fall beneath the cracks on bad attitude alone. Stay focused, positive and on task, and you’ll carve out a little slice of financial freedom and flexibility for yourself that can only be found working online.

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