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How to Look For and Get Legitimate At-Home Work From an Employer in Your Area

Maybe you’re a new mom, amazed and drawn to the joy of motherhood at a level deeper than you ever imagined. You can’t bear the thought of returning to your job after nine short weeks of maternity leave. Or maybe you have returned to work, your children are a little older now, and your dream of at-home motherhood is calling you just as strongly as the day you gave birth.

It’s the modern day dilemma for moms in the outside working world.

Often, while your heart keeps pleading for you to stay at home, your head keeps talking you out of it. You can’t afford to quit your job and give up the income, right? Well, maybe not.

Today, quitting your outside job doesn’t necessarily mean having to give up an income. For the entrepreneurial type, the good news is small home businesses are on the rise, and there are an array of resources to help you get started. But what if you’re not the entrepreneurial type. Maybe investing in your own home business isn’t an option, or it might be that you work best within the structure that corporate American provides. But is working for an employer from home really a possibility?

Believe it or not, corporate downsizing has actually increased your opportunities for working for an employer from home. Work usually done by full-time employees is being contracted out, and the need for part-time and/or seasonal work has grown.

More than ever before, earning a livable income from home is possible, including doing work for an employer. With a sincere effort on your part, some help from sources you’ll read about in this Info Guide, and, of course, determination to follow your heart’s desire, you can stay at home and still earn the income you need.

Where Do You Look for At-Home Work Opportunities from an Employer?

Below are some ideas to help stimulate your thinking and point you in a direction that can help you uncover work-from-home opportunities from employers near you. Be sure to enlist your own creativity. Where else might you look; what other talents, skills, or hobbies do you have that you personally use but haven’t applied to a job setting yet; what other benefits of a work-at-home arrangement can you present to a potential employer to gain their interest in giving you a chance?

Just a line of caution: what we are talking about is working for an employer that has offices in your area. We are not endorsing independent work-at-home, assembly-type or other work offered nationally by companies that may or may not have an office in your area.

Classified, Help Wanted, or Employment Ads

One of the most obvious places to check on what kind of work is available in your area is in the classified advertising section of area newspapers and shoppers. You’ll probably find that most often an employer wants you on-site. However, some employees can be persuaded to hire you on your terms, working from home, if you have the skills they are looking for, and the work lends itself to this arrangement.

Personnel Departments at Major Local Employers

Call and talk to people in the personnel departments of the larger employers in your area. Find out which ones are open to alternative work options for their employees. Find out what kinds of skills they’re looking for, and about the need for contract work.

Past or Current Employers

Be sure to explore all the options that might be available to you in your current job, or jobs past. If you have been a reliable, contributing employee, chances are good that your boss will listen to your ideas for working at home rather than risk losing your valuable skills.


Ask your relatives, friends and neighbors about employers they’re aware of that are in need of help and/or are open to alternative work options. Once your family and friends are aware of what you are trying to do, they’ll also be on the look-out for an opportunity for you.

Mailing Services / Fulfillment Houses

Many businesses offer assembly/production-type piece work. And many times, this is work that can be taken home. Check with businesses that produce parts, fulfill orders, or provide mailing services for other larger businesses. Sheer volume often forces these types of businesses to look for help however they can get it, and they remain flexible to varying work options. As you consider these businesses in your area, also keep in mind which ones may have seasonal pushes, i.e., especially busy during Christmas, springtime, and/or other times of the year.

Printers / Publishers

Again, volumes of material produced by printers and publishers often leaves employers in this industry flexible to work options that include at-home work.

Schools and Universities

If you are skilled at word processing, you might consider checking with local schools and universities on the need for contracted services. You could help them with processing their own paperwork, or be available to students or faculty who need typing assistance for a research project or thesis paper, for example.

Temporary Agencies

Check with temporary agencies in the area about their work-from-home opportunities. Temporary agencies are a good source for finding part-time work that can later be turned into a work-from-home situation after proving your value and negotiating such an arrangement.

On-line Employment Agencies

You may be able to find a job with a local business on-line, with the many job opportunity Web sites, but the chances are slim. More likely you’ll find various computer-related jobs such as telecommuting, research, Web site board or "channel" moderators or developers, etc. There are legitimate jobs on-line, but remember, the same opportunity scams that are in the newspapers are on-line, plus more! You must be very cautious, and check-out both the opportunity and the business carefully through the Better Business Bureau, Attorneys General, etc. Unfortunately, you may not easily find a mailing address, etc. Insist on this type of information plus references before getting involved.

Ask, Ask, Ask!

Ask everybody and anybody you get into conversation with, who they know of that might need your help and would be open to talking to you about work options. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen in their book, The Aladdin Factor, suggest asking according to the following principles:

1. Ask as if you expect to get what you want.
2. Ask someone who can give you what you want.
3. Be clear and specific about what you want.
4. Ask from your heart.
5. Ask with humor and creativity.
6. Give in order to get.
7. Ask repeatedly.

And, most importantly, keep asking! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain; all the while you are asking, you are increasing your odds of finding just the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

Consider the list you’ve just read a start. Nothing can replace your own ingenuity and the knowledge you have of the business community in which you live. Hopefully the above suggestions have stimulated your thinking and have given you the push you need to begin your search. Your greatest ally in reaching your dreams is your own personal desire and commitment. If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. Simply keep focused on your goal, through the valleys as well as the peaks, and leave no stone unturned until you have landed that at-home job you have worked so hard to get.

Preparing Yourself for Getting At-Home Work

1. Write a resume similar to one you would prepare for any other job.

List your technical skills and experience, of course, but be particularly sure to stress qualities that reinforce your ability to be as productive from home as the work site: reliable, highly self-motivated, efficient, independent worker, trustworthy, focused, goal-oriented, etc. Don’t forget to include references that will verify not only your technical abilities but your valuable personal qualities as well.

2. Include a cover letter that lists the advantages of hiring an at-home employee.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Studies have shown improved productivity by 15-20%.
  • Reduced cost of office space and equipment.
  • Improved morale, which consistently raises performance. At-home workers are pleased with their work arrangement, which shows in the quality of their work.
  • Improved management skills and outputs result from creating clear goals, measuring results, and managing work and time.
  • Access to new labor pools. The skills a company needs aren’t always available if full-time, on-site employment is the only work option.
  • Less office socializing and wasting of time and money.
  • Reduced turnover. At-home workers value their work arrangement.
  • Reduced cost of training due to turnover.
  • Reduced need for parking and other logistical concerns.
  • Bottom line: Work-from-home saves money when planned and managed properly.

Also, stress your flexibility to drop-off, pick-up, attend important meetings, work on a trial basis, etc.

3. Advertise yourself!

Placing a classified can be an inexpensive way of gauging what’s out there. Your ad may read something like, "Highly skilled, highly motivated worker looking for flexible work option. Benefits are: increased output, quality, and productivity. To discuss, call me personally at 123-4567. Jeann." Make the ad personal by listing your specific skills and include the benefits you think sell your offer the best. You may even use classified advertising to advertise the varying skills representing a network of mothers looking for at-home work (see #4 below).

4. Consider forming a network of mothers who are all seeking at-home work.

With the power of numbers in everyone’s favor, the network acts as a marketing force, where everyone is looking for opportunities for everyone else. You can also advertise the collective skills of the group, and pass along work between each other when a project requires many hours and/or different sets of skills.

Going the Extra Mile

You’ve worked all the angles, remained persistent, and have finally landed the work-from-home opportunity you set out to get. The hard part is over, right?

Basically, yes. But to insure that all your hard-fought effort doesn’t slip between the cracks, you need to go the extra mile in carefully managing your work arrangement and boss’s satisfaction as closely as the work itself.

Include regular communication with your boss as a part of your work schedule. Checking in on a consistent basis to talk about how things are going and to identify any problems, helps you avert anything that could jeopardize your job. And continue to sell yourself by gently reminding your boss from time to time of the benefits the company is gaining from this work-from-home arrangement.

In the end, it’s up to you. Finding a work-from-home job arrangement and then following through with the work in a way that pleases the company will take time and determination on your part. But with a strong desire in your heart and your goal clearly focused in your head, you can build a lasting work-from-home arrangement and live the at-home motherhood lifestyle you’ve been dreaming about.

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