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Want to Work at Home? Weed Out the Scams: 10 Legitimate Opportunties

Want to Work at Home? Weed Out the Scams: 10 Legitimate Opportunties

When it comes to finding an opportunity to work at home, the fear of getting scammed can be overwhelming–but you shouldn’t let it deter you. A simple rule of thumb is to never sign up with a company that asks you to pay for ANYTHING related to the business. If you start your online career by shelling out, whether it’s for materials or more information, the only group making any money is going to be the scammers–from out of your pocket.

By contrast, if a business provides any of the following in their ad, they’re probably a legitimate company:

  • The name of the company (which you should research to learn more about its credentials)
  • An email address that is linked to the company’s website (not a blind address)
  • Mention of benefits or other policies associated with traditional commuter jobs
  • Details on the application and interview process
  • Mention of a human resources staff member to whom questions can be directed

Of course, providing the above information is not always enough proof that is a business is legitimate. The following 10 home-based online business offers are usually scam-free and have the potential to net you reliable money without your ever changing out of your pajamas.

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Call Center Representative

In the past, calling a company’s customer service line usually connected you to employee of a huge call center that might even have been outside the country. But businesses are increasingly routing calls to representatives who work from home. If you’re hired as an employee rather than a contractor, you may be eligible for benefits. Convergys, Alpine Access, and West Corporation are all reliable sources of work.

Web Search Evaluator

Search engine results don’t rely on algorithms alone. The major search sites all hire real live humans to analyze search results and make recommendations. You’ll need to pass a test before getting web search evaluator work, but Appen Butler Hill, Lionbridge, and Leapforce all hire reliably once you’ve passed.

Medical Transcriptionist

Though you’ll need a certification or associate’s degree, working from home as a medical transcriptionist can net you up to $50,000 per year with the possibility of benefits. If you’ve got the necessary skills, check out Amphion Medical Solutions, M*Modal, and Precyse for job listings.

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Web Developer

If you’ve got web design skills or knowledge of code and computer programming, you may be qualified to freelance as a web designer and consultant. If starting your own business isn’t an option, you can choose from the thousands of short-term jobs available on sites like ODesk.com or RatRaceRebellion.com.

Translator

Fluent in another language? Make your linguistic skills work for you. Translation is one of the fastest-growing fields of at-home work, so if you’re capable of translating audio files or documents than you could quickly set up a robust online business. SDL, Argos Translations, and We Localize are three top companies that hire freelance translators.

Virtual Assistant

More and more businesses are hiring virtual assistants rather than in-house staff members. This is great news for you, if you’ve got experience in scheduling, event planning, bookkeeping, preparing memos, or other office-type work. The International Virtual Assistants Association provides a job board through which you can find these at-home positions.

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Tech Support Representative

Companies are now increasingly routing tech support calls to at-home representatives instead of large call centers, so if you’ve got relevant experience and the necessary certification, a stay-home tech support business could be perfect for you. Large companies tend to hire directly, but you can also find work through independent agencies like PlumChoice.

Survey Taker

There’s a robust market out there for those willing to spend their time giving opinions online. Though survey taker jobs don’t pay as much as some of the opportunities on the list, they can be one of the most fun and engaging opportunities for those who work from home. Check out RatRaceRebellion.com for reliable survey taker resources.

Tutor

Depending on your level of education and expertise, you could make a very comfortable wage sharing your knowledge in online classrooms and live chats with students. Tutor.com and GetEducated.com are good resources for finding work.

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Freelance Writer/Editor

Though it can be hard to break into, freelance writing and blogging can be a very rewarding way to make money from home. Proofreaders and editors can also make significant cash by plying their trades online. ODesk.com is an excellent resource for all types of online freelance opportunities, while companies like Cactus Communications and FirstEditing are geared more toward proofreaders.

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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