I work at home in an office that is 3’ 9” x 6’ 6”. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Having the freedom to work in my pajamas, change the laundry from the washer to the dryer, and grab a drink from the fridge whenever I want are just some of the reasons I’m a big fan of working at home. A few other reasons: I can work a flexible schedule, wear what I want, be home to meet repairmen, and avoid dealing with traffic. I love what I do, and I’m so thankful for you all, who allow me to do my thing over in this little corner of the interwebs. 🙂
When the kids leave home, lots of empty nesters take the opportunity to travel, pursue additional education, or reenter the workforce. With more options to work remotely than ever before, a work-at-home job increasingly appeals to lots of us. Today, I’m sharing resources that help you if you want to find full- or part-time work that will allow you to work from home, from a coffee shop, or even on vacation.
Not all work-at-home jobs are legitimate. Unfortunately, it’s an area that’s ripe for con jobs and scams. I’m going to tell you how to spot the scams and provide you with reliable options for work-at-home listings (recommended by AARP).
How to Spot a Scam
Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) counts job and business-opportunity scams among its top ten types of fraud? There are a few red flags to watch out for when you’re checking out work-at-home ideas and options.
1. A job promising to pay more than seems right.
If it pays more than you dreamed, unfortunately, it’s probably not legitimate.
2. A firm that charges a fee to obtain more information about you.
Paying for the “privilege” of working is not acceptable.
3. A company that offers “advances” on your pay.
If they’re trying to get your bank information, that’s not normal.
4. A firm that wants your personal information.
Don’t give out personal information like your Social Security number. This could set you up for identity theft.
How to Check up on a Work-at-Home Opportunity
1. Do a background check on the company.
Use the Better Business Bureau website, along with your local consumer protection agency and state attorney general’s office. Another thing you can do is to Google the company name along with the word “complaints” and see what comes up in the results.
2. Get specific job information.
Find out what tasks you’ll have to perform, whether pay is salaried or commission-based, and how and when you’ll be paid. One thing to note that may surprise you: Many legitimate companies now use PayPal to pay employees. RewardStyle (the company behind LiketoKnow.it), and many of the companies that I collaborate with compensate me via PayPal.
3. Guard your personal information.
Don’t give out your bank information, Social Security number, or credit card information. Con artists can use this information to set you up for bounced check scams or identity theft.
Work-at-Home Job Listings
If you’re over fifty and you’re looking for a job in general, a good place to start is jobs.AARP.org. They (obviously!) feature job listings from companies that are committed to an experienced workforce that is age-diverse. If you’re looking specifically for work-at-home job listings, the following companies have been vetted by AARP, and specifically focus on remote work. They don’t charge job seekers unless I’ve specified. One important thing to note is that I have not personally utilized any of these companies (I already have a job! 🙂 ), but I did spend significant time on each website in order to be able to share my impressions with you.
FlexJobs.com – Probably the best-known of all of these types of companies. They charge a monthly $14.95 subscription rate, which they explain here. Interesting to note: This company reached out to me to offer me a spot in their affiliate program. This would mean that for any of you who signed up for a subscription, I would receive a commission! I refused the offer because I’ve never used them, so I didn’t want to recommend them over another one of these companies, and this isn’t the type of company I want to represent to my readers. (To read more about my extremely high standards for companies that I choose to work with, click here and scroll about two-thirds of the way down the page.) The fact that Flex Jobs promoted themselves via an affiliate program (by reaching out to people who had never used them) honestly kind of concerned me.
Jobspresso.co – This Canada-based site is primarily focused on remote employment in the areas of tech, marketing, and customer support.
RatRaceRebelllion.com – One of my readers reached out after receiving my email last Saturday telling you that I was working on a post about this topic! (Thank you, Betsie!) She said that she’d been looking at this site for about the past year and that she’d been “pleased at some of the postings from that site.” They screen all work-at-home opportunities to ensure that they are not scams. They also have a Facebook page.
Remote.com – This site was started by the founder of FlexJobs and doesn’t charge a subscription fee, but lists fewer jobs.
RetiredBrains.com – This site features retirement-planning tips along with part-time job listings specifically for people over fifty. After playing around on this site, it was definitely not my favorite for job listings, but they do provide some practical advice for retirement-planning. (It seemed more oriented toward that than toward job listings.)
SkipTheDrive.com – This company says that they provide targeted telecommuting job listings by utilizing filters to display results that are more relevant to the searcher. I like that they don’t require users to register and thought the way they listed job categories right on their home page was efficient and very user-friendly.
VirtualVocations.com – Limited access to job listings is free, and they charge $15.99 per month for full access. They provide tools to help job seekers with things like writing telecommuting-specific resumes and they hand-screen the numerous jobs listed in their database.
Work At Home Vintage Experts (wahve.com) – This unique company is a contract staffing firm that places older professionals in work-from-home jobs. An actual individual (!) works with each job seeker to match them to company-specific work requests, and if both the job seeker and the company agree that it’s a good match, WAHVE outsources the workers to the company on a contract basis. (There is no charge to job seekers.) This company really impressed me when I read about their services!
WeWorkRemotely.com – This site includes programming, sales, and other jobs.
If you’re looking for work-at-home ideas, just the search itself could become overwhelming! (I got kinda anxious as I looked through all of these sites on your behalf and I’m not even looking for a job! Hahaha!) To start, I would recommend setting aside some time to narrow down which of the above companies you might want to utilize. If it were me, I would probably check out the job listings at the free sites first, before considering the subscription-based sites. Also, call me old-fashioned, but wahve.com‘s personalized approach really appealed to me.
Whelp, here I am standing in front of my office! I’ve been using a standing desk for a while now, and I have to tell you that I’ve been shocked by how much I like it! Working standing up (somehow?!) seems to give me more energy, help my focus, and I know it’s better for my health. (I also bought this anti-fatigue standing mat to help cushion things for my feet.)
Do you work at home? How did you go about getting your job? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was good. We had horrible weather in Dallas, but it was fun to have our daughter in for the weekend! We headed to Waco for about 8 hours on Saturday for a meeting, and then on Sunday night, we went to dinner with our friends Mary Ann & John. We hadn’t seen them in about three years, and it was so good to catch up with them!
Photos by Megan Weaver