coffee-mug-laptop-deskWorking from home can be a rewarding opportunity. That is, if you’ve already found a work-at-home job. If you haven’t, it can be a tricky, but worthwhile endeavor; finding the job can be a job in itself, especially if you don’t know where to look.

Don’t worry though. From setting up your personal office to acquiring a job, here are the basics of working from home, so you can get started toward a lucrative career all without having to commute to work every morning.

Step 1: Preparing For Your Search

Because there are a lot of online scams floating around that are related to working at home, it’s best that you first protect your computer before you set out on your job search. Besides an anti-virus program, I would suggest that you install a VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and what it does is anonymize your internet traffic.

When your internet traffic is encrypted with a VPN, it’s highly unlikely that any scammers will get into your personal information. This is because an encryption is a tough code to crack, and it takes both a powerful machine and patience; cracking these codes doesn’t happen overnight. The average hacker isn’t going to bother going through all the trouble when they can just move on to the next person’s PC that’s likely to be unsecured.

Click here to read more about VPNs, as well as find out how to choose one.

Step 2: Find the Job(s)

Now that you have your PC protected, onto the job search! The easiest and most effective way to find an online job is to search freelance websites such as Upwork or Guru. Though there is lots of competition on freelance websites, you are sure to find a job eventually as long as you keep your profile updated and also search and apply to job listings regularly.

Though freelance work typically brings to mind the word “temporary,” some employers on freelance websites are actually interested in hiring long term. The key to being successful on these highly competitive websites is to stay motivated. Most importantly, search for and apply to multiple jobs, and pay attention to how old the job listing is; you have a better chance of being hired if you apply to the job within the first half hour of it being posted.

Besides staying on top of the job listings, remember to sync your email account with your smartphone, so you will know when potential employers message you about any jobs you might have applied to. If you set up your profile with information about your skills and experience, you might even find that an employer will send you an invitation to interview, even if you haven’t previously applied for their job listing; freelance websites make it easy for employers to search for candidates based on their skills, making it a worthwhile experience for those who are seeking work-at-home opportunities.

As with any work-at-home job listings, be on the lookout for scams. Not every job or site is legitimate; so keep that in mind when you’re on your job hunt, and never reveal your banking information to those you meet online.

If freelance sites aren’t your thing, this Forbes article should lead you in the right direction. Of course, there’s also the option of starting up a business of your own too!

Step 3: Setting Up a Home Office

cat-on-deskHave you ever tried to work from home with a cat around? If so, you know the importance of setting up a home office. Not only will it lessen any background noise, but it’ll also keep Fluffy from taking a paw to your keyboard.

Depending on the type of work you’ll be doing, I would recommend that you invest in an L-shaped desk. When you’re using an L-shaped desk, it’s easier to have all of your tools and devices in one place so you won’t have to wander around the room in order to complete different tasks. Since you’re most likely going to need a printer/scanner combo, computer, and possibly even a landline phone, you’ll find that the L-shaped desk is the best way to go.

Another important piece of furniture for your home office is the chair you’ll be sitting in. There are many different types of office chairs to choose from, and depending on your stature, you might prefer one type over the other. Whichever type of office chair you choose, check for the seal of approval from the American Chiropractic Association.

Some stores will have this information in clear view when you’re shopping for your office chair, and if they don’t, an employee should be able to tell you or check the box for you. It’s important that you purchase a chair that is approved by the ACA because it’s likely that you’ll be spending a lot of time in it if you plan to work from home.

Step 4: Take a Look at Your PC

You are going to want to check your computer to ensure that all of your software is up to date. This will prevent your device from being vulnerable to hackers because the older the software you are the using, the more likely it is that hackers have figured out a way to gain access to it and spread viruses to its users. Besides keeping your software updated, it’s also important that you keep your hardware updated as well.

You’re going to need a machine that will be able to keep up with your digital tasks. While it’s not always necessary to be running the latest operating system, it would be a good idea to have a computer that is no more than 5 years old, if possible. The main thing you want to ensure is that your computer can run at a speed that is necessary in order to complete your job(s).

For more help on this, check with your local computer repairman; any store that sells computers should be able to help as well, though this isn’t a guarantee! Stores that specialize in electronics, such as Best Buy, would be a good place to start if you cannot locate a dedicated computer store.

Another tip as far as computers go is to backup all of your data onto a flash drive or external hard drive. Even with them backed up on one of these devices, you should always keep a copy of your files on an extra computer as well. The reason for this is because external hard drives can sometimes become corrupted and fail, so make sure you have more than one copy of your files saved on multiple devices; if your computer ever crashes (though it shouldn’t if you stick to using a VPN), you’ll be happy that you do!

Step 5: Get To Work!

Now for the fun part: getting to work! If you haven’t picked up a job yet, finding a job will be your job for now. Stay motivated, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get hired immediately. Working at home takes determination on your part in order to become successful.

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Filed under: Freelancinghome businessWork From Home

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