Social media is a helpful communication tool for businesses as it allows them to communicate directly with customers and engage them in conversations. Social media can also help you to increase your customers’ brand awareness and find new contacts or business opportunities. If you want to become active on social media, but don’t know [...]
From Corporate Cubicle to Home Office: Would You Change Careers to Work From Home?
If you're tired of fighting traffic and forcing yourself to listen to yet another round of office gossip, technology might provide just the reprieve you need as more and more jobs can be done from home using a computer and a good internet connection.
In some ways, this isn't a particularly new development. Telecommuting has been around since before the millennium. The difference is that, in today's market, more and more companies are encouraging this trend, and more and more jobs are being created where telecommuting isn't an option - it's the job.
It makes sense from an employer standpoint. Employees who work from home don't require a desk to work at, a chair to sit in, or a bathroom to take unnecessarily long breaks in - at least, the company doesn't need to be the one providing these things. For many telecommuting jobs, you won't even be given a company computer, and for some you might be considered an independent contractor, relieving your employer of things like offering you insurance or paying tax on you.
But what if your current job just isn't interested in this trend? Would you make the leap and change jobs so you could work from home? What kinds of jobs are out there and what are the benefits - and drawbacks - of doing something like that?
Why work from home?
There are plenty of good reasons to want to work from home. The great thing about the time we live in is that finally there are enough opportunities out there that almost everyone who wants to go this route could probably do it.
Here are some of the best reasons to work from home:
- More time with the kids
If you work and you've got kids, chances are you don't get to see them as much as you'd like. But if you work from home, you can take back that hour-long commute each day and use it to connect with them.
- You're the boss
Sure, you might have someone who pays you and deadlines to get work done, but no one is standing over your shoulder to make sure that you're punching in on time and being productive every second. And if you become self-employed and work freelance projects, you won't have bosses - you'll have clients.
Maybe you don't want to start at 8am today - or ever! As long as the work gets done, no one will know that you really began at noon. What about skipping next Wednesday and going to the beach with friends? Again, as long as the work gets done.
- Better potential growth
Yes, it's always possible that you can work hard and get promoted at a company, but by working from home as your own boss, the only limit to the money you make is you. That's right - because you're responsible for finding yourself work and getting it done. And if you're good and fast, you might be able to grow your business quickly.
- Save money
Working from home means you won't need a car - or at least won't be filling it up as much commuting to work. It also probably means less wasteful spending like those daily Starbucks runs or lunch out with coworkers. And chances are you won't go through as many clothes, either, because who cares what you're wearing if you're home all day!
Of course, there are drawbacks, too. Just by the nature of working from home, you'll have fewer social interactions and may find yourself suffering from a bit of cabin fever. There's also less job security when you go from gig to gig, and a lot of people find it difficult to deal with the stress of wondering where their next month of rent will come from.
Still, for the right people, there are lots of great jobs you can do from home, like:
- Medical transcriptionist - Are you a fast typist? Good at deciphering accents? Willing to spend several hours transcribing a single thing? Medical transcriptionists are always in demand, but most places want someone who has experience or training doing it.
- Web designer - If you know how to make web pages with all the bells and whistles, this is the time for you. Pretty much every existing business wants a web presence, and a good number of new ones are starting life online because of the low overhead.
- Writer/editor/translator - With all of those new websites popping up, companies need content. For the wannabe writer, this is a potential boom time - even more so if you're bilingual and can work in more than one language.
- Travel agent - Do you like to travel and look for the coolest places and best deals? It may seem strange, but at-home travel agencies have actually grown substantially over the past decade. Put your knowledge to the test and help someone take the trip of a lifetime.
- Any kind of entrepreneur - If you've got an amazing product or service and know how to market yourself, the sky is the limit with the power of the internet.
Anyone can work from home, but the people who really shine at it are the ones who have good self-discipline and know how to balance their personal and professional lives to make sure they're able to finish what they set out to do without external support. If you think that describes you, then a work-at-home position might be just what you need.
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Building a Strong Personal Brand and a Powerful Network
How can building your personal brand help you achieve your goals? A strong personal brand allows you to network more easily and to connect with more people (and have them connect with you).
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