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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
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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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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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