People often ask me how I found my (wonderful) second job, which allows me to work part-time from home. With this job, I was able to pay off my credit cards last year, and am now contributing almost 25% of my take-home pay to various savings accounts. I no longer have to worry about only having $8.13 in my checking account at the end of the month. Although my social life has been affected more than I'd like, the financial freedom it allows me is invaluable.
Recently, I came across another part time employment opportunity, one that has flexible hours, which I can work from home. Although my time is already pretty squeezed, with the two jobs and graduate school, this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So, I applied and am now in the assessment period, which takes several weeks apparently. If I am hired, I'll try to fit in from 10 - 20 hours per week (although likely on the lower end of that estimate). I anticipate having more time in the summer, when school is (mostly) out---so I wanted to get set up with this job sooner rather than later. . . Am I a little nuts to be considering a THIRD job, on top of my already full life? A little.
Perhaps more importantly, am I taking a job that someone else could use (maybe someone who needs it more than I do?) Possibly. My response to the guilt factor of "taking" someone else's job is that I did the legwork of applying for and getting the job in the first place. How do I know whether someone else who really needs employment is willing or able to commit to it as I have?
In any case, here are some of the things I do to make sure I'm catching those rare opportunities for legitimate work-from-home or other part-time employment:
- Always keep your resume updated. When positions come up, they often have thousands of people applying for them---why waste a week or more getting your resume polished, while other people are already in the interviewing process? Have it ready to go at all times.
- Use free sites like Craigslist. Every once in awhile I'll do a basic search on jobs that allow 'telecommuting', just to see what's out there. Positions are posted and disappear within days. It pays to check sites like this frequently, just as you would visit a thrift store again and again to catch the 'good deals' before someone else does.
- Haunt some of the other websites that discuss work-from-home jobs---there may not be listings on these sites, but some of the other forum users might let information drop that will allow you to research those positions on your own. One of my favorites is Work At Home Moms (WAHM).
- Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Although I don't forward resumes for people I don't know, if I'm familiar with someone and their work ethic (or lack thereof), I'm willing to send a resume to the supervisors of my part-time job, to let them know I have a friend looking for work. Someone you know may already be working the kind of job you want, and you'll never know unless you ask. . .
- Finally, be persistent, and be careful. It's not easy to find legitimate work-from-home jobs. Never, EVER send a business money so they can send you the equipment you need to be set up as an employee for them. More often than not, these are scams.