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Telecommuter's Guide to Safe Job Hunting

If you are a newcomer in the hunt for a telecommuting position this information will help you avoid the "not so promising" jobs and the outright scams.

Once you spend some time browsing for home-based job openings you soon discover there are gobs and gobs of "jobs" that are... well, not really jobs. In fact, work-from-home scams are so prevalent that many people simply give up searching.

watch out for cleverly worded “job” postings which are nothing more than advertisements for an “opportunity”

There are real jobs out there for telecommuters, but the playing field is large and the sharks are plentiful. So if you want to get that job you must be determined and knowledeable.

Know What You Want From A Job

You should be clear about what you want before you begin searching for work. Are you looking for a job as an employee, a freelance contract job, or would you like a start-up business? Are you looking to be your own boss and invest in an opportunity, or do you need the predictability offered by an employer? Recognize what you want as a home-based worker and you are better able to spot what is worth checking into and what you should avoid.

Look at the list below for descriptions of the various ways people work from home. With this information you can cut through the "job search clutter" and focus on job options better suited for you.

1. Transitioned Jobs

The vast percentage of today's home-based employees, or "virtual" workers, transitioned into the home from the job they formerly performed solely in the office. Many split time between working in the office and working at home. If you are currently employed and feel your job can be done at least partly from home, you may want to consider presenting the idea to your boss.

2. "Off-Site" Teleworker Jobs

Many companies have employees of the "off-site" designation. These are teleworkers who may or may not work in a home office. For instance, their work may involve some combination of traveling in the performance of their duties, working in the office, and working at home. You'll find that job postings requiring travel, in fields such as engineering or sales, are often telecommuter friendly.

3. Telecommute-Option Jobs

While more and more companies are adopting telecommuter friendly policies, the majority of telecommuters still spend some time in the workplace. You see this in job postings with a "telecommute option." The option is viewed as a benefit of the job and usually is not an invitation to work from home every day of the week. So if you're not against having a traditional job, with the idea of working into a telecommuting arrangement, then your job possibilities greatly expand.

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