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The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking

The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking

As someone who works from home and runs an LLC writing business from the comfort of her own living room and bedroom, I can attest that having one of those much ballyhooed “zero-second commute” work-from-home jobs comes with plenty of benefits.

If you’re ready to delve into the work-at-home world, consider these job options – some of which require self-employment, others representing positions within firms that allow their workers to telecommute.

1. Author

A bevy of self-published author millionaires, such as writer Hugh Howey, are leading the charge and showing others that by bringing in more than $1 million in book sales via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing system, the from-home task is nothing to scoff at. His author earnings reports have readers salivating over how they, too, can become the next rich author – especially as the online retail giant makes it easier and easier for everyday folks to publish their tomes from Microsoft Word documents straight onto the Kindle platform.

2. Administrative Associate

The average salary for an administrative associate is $45,000 – and the duties tend to include a wide variety of skills based on the industry. However, most folks filling this position need excellent interpersonal skills, as well as a high level of organization and communication. Companies like Dell allow their administrative associates to work both on campus and remotely.

3. Business Development Executive

Expect to come equipped with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for this position, with certain firms such as Xerox preferring a master’s level degree for the role that requires developing strategies to sell products and services to others. The average salary range is $80,000 for this role.

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4. Virtual Assistant

The role of virtual assistant exploded onto the scene when author Tim Ferriss described how he hired folks from all over the world to perform everyday tasks for him. Whether you find yourself researching the best CD rates for a client in Australia, or scheduling appointments for a business owner in New York, you can find a plethora of virtual assistant jobs on sites like Upwork with a wide range of pay.

5. Travel Counselor

Surprisingly, large firms like American Express offer full-time, work-at-home jobs (see jobs.americanexpress.com) such as that of a travel counselor, which focuses on taking customer calls and helping to create “memorable travel experiences” for cardholders. The salary range for such a position is reportedly anywhere from $35,583 to $51,000 annually.

6. Customer Service Representative

Companies like Enterprise Rent-a-Car have work-from-home positions available starting at $12 per hour, with paid virtual 4 -to 5-week training classes. It makes sense that more firms would seek out professional, detail-oriented workers for jobs like these that may require lots of phone contact with customers, but don’t require the overhead expense of all of their customer service reps needing to be under one corporate roof.

7. YouTube Video Creator

Before you skip down to the next tip, consider the fact that Felix Kjellberg, better known as “PewDiePie” to his almost 30 million YouTube fans, raked in $4 million in 2013 from the ad revenue generated by his viral videos. It’s time to pick up your smartphone and start uploading.

8. Software Developer

The information technology field led the charge when it came to offering work-at-home positions, and these days, firms like IBM offer the potential for certain employees to work from home if necessary. Based on the level of programming language knowledge, software developers can earn anywhere from $55,190 to $138,880 annually.

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9. Illustrator

If you have a penchant for drawing, you could get your feet wet by selling your services from home for anywhere from $5 per drawing on sites like Fiverr – all the way up thousands of dollars once you develop a following and reputation to provide artwork to clients willing to pay a lot more for your craft.

10. App Developer

Games like “Make it Rain” have made a pretty penny in the iTunes App Store and via others across the online world, at one point pulling in $50,000 per day. Users might be shocked to learn that you don’t even really need to know how to code in order to open up an app development company from your home. Websites like Udemy offer online courses that not only provide the basic code for various gaming apps, but also teach users how to “re-skin” them to make the code their own prior to submitting it to the app store and hopefully creating a cash cow.

11. Instagram Print-Selling Photographer

These days, photographers like Daniel Arnold can decide to sell his Instagram photos as prints and make $15,000 in one day. He’s not the only one turning IG pics into profit. Ryan Parillo is only 15 years old, but his stunning photos are commanding fame as well.

12. Freelance Writer

Forget the image of the starving artist, waxing in a state of depression all Hemingway-style with a glass of bourbon next to his typewriter. (It should be a mojito next to a MacBook Air.) Writers these days are finding so many clients seeking quality content that “Valerie M.” of Words You Want shows earnings of $427,601 in the last 12 months – and more than $2 million total and counting – as of this writing brought in through her words that clients obviously want.

13. Graphic Designer

The average graphic designer makes approximately $50,450 per year to create a wide array of graphics that may appear as logos on packaging or bucolic scenes on brochures. The job generally requires being creative and adept at softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and others – and can involve you setting up shop and hanging out your own shingle, so to speak, in order to make yourself known via word of mouth or on job posting sites like Upwork and oDesk.

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14. Healthcare Worker

Choosing the option to “search career opportunities” on the Humana website and then selecting the “virtual/work at home” checkbox beneath their “work environment type” field turns up a bunch of jobs where working from home – at least a portion of the time – is a definite possibility. Certain positions listed include a compliance risk advisor, whose salary is approximately $62,000 per year. Other virtual roles listed, like an applications consultant, may command a salary of $77,400 on average.

15. SEO Specialist

Indeed states that SEO experts can bring in salaries of approximately $100,000 per year, and the great part about being a person who knows their way around the “search-engine optimization” field is that there are many people who are willing to pay them to help increase their website’s rankings and visibility in Google. Being very tech-focused, it’s a job that can be done from home as long as the SEO clients keep pouring in.

16. Google Trusted Photographer

Not all jobs being touted on the web as related to Google are scams. I personally know of one photographer who was accepted as a Google Trusted Photographer, and was able to earn an income by photographing various businesses to be displayed on the search engine’s results. Reports of these certified photographers earning $500 for one photo abound, along with the additional business that can come their way when local businesses want to buy more images and additional services.

17. Actuarial Consultant

Companies like Aetna hire actuarial consultants to work from home, as long as they are exceptionally equipped to handle the high level of strong analytical and in-depth data mining skills required for the job, which can pay from $52,000 to $112,500 per year.

18. Virtual Tutor

Websites like Tutor.com help connect people with a boatload of knowledge to share – such as experts in math, English, science and other subjects – with those who are willing to pay people to tutor them or their children, even on a virtual basis, because Skype has opened up a huge world for online teaching. While some tutors average approximately $16.20 per hour, reports of much higher amounts being paid have gone viral.

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19. Amazon Virtual Jobs

It sounds too good to be true, but Amazon actually has work-from-home jobs, those pegged with the “virtual location” text, whereby folks who live near the stated areas may garner a job as a regional brand advisor or a content acquisition manager, for example.

20. Telephone Representative

If you’re great on the phone, firms like Nestle still have work at home jobs for those willing to sell Gerber Life Insurance products. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the media pay of customer service representative jobs akin to these are $30,580 per year, or $14.70 per hour.

With so many virtual jobs available and opening up due to the Internet bringing all the tools a person needs right to their home to successfully complete their work from within the walls of their own home, there’s almost no excuse not to begin a journey into working from home. Just change out of those pajamas, okay?

Featured photo credit: KaronBT via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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