More than 35 percent of the United States workforce does at least some freelance work each year. Though those positions cover different roles, many of them allow people to work from the comfort of their own homes.
The idea of working from the couch in your slippers is definitely tempting but finding freelance jobs from home that pay the bills can be tough.
You need to know where to start and how to leverage your abilities to get the work you need to grow your income. Here are a few simple tips to help you find the best work-from-home jobs so you can start ditching the office life quickly.
Talk to Your Current Employer
The best place to start your work-from-home journey before looking for freelance jobs is to speak with your current employer. Obviously, this won’t work if your position requires providing services in-person, but it can if you work an office job.
In fact, many employers are becoming more open to the idea of letting employees work from home. Your boss might just not have thought about making that arrangement possible yet.
Try speaking to them and see if they’re open to the idea of you working from home at least part of the week. If they say no, you can pursue freelance jobs with abandon. However, if they say yes, moving your current job into a remote position can help you ease into the idea of working from home or becoming a freelancer.
You’ll keep your same benefits and won’t have to learn an entirely new job at the same time that you’re figuring out how to work outside of the office.
Identify Your Skills
Before you can figure out how to get started working from home, you need to identify the skills you have that will make freelancing possible. The best place to start is by making a list of the things you love to do.
For example, if you love playing with photo editing programs, you could become a graphic designer. If you love writing, you could become a self-published novelist or a freelance writer.
The only limit here is your imagination. If you have a skill or are willing to do a certain type of work, you can typically find people that are willing to hire you for those tasks.
Don’t rule anything out even if your skill or passion seems unconventional.
Figure Out What Type of Job You Want
Once you have an idea of where your skills lie, you need to think about the types of jobs you’re willing to accept. Within the freelance world, there are many different ways to earn a living.
Some freelancers work in the gig economy where they claim jobs one at a time and get paid for each task they complete. Others work on a contract basis and earn an hourly wage much like they would in an office. Still, other freelancers effectively work full-time jobs with a single employer from the comfort of their own home.
Before you start applying, think about the work arrangement you might prefer.
If you know you need structure and a predictable schedule, look for jobs that schedule you to work certain shifts. If you like variety and want to control your income and hours, the gig-work setup might be better. You may even find some employers that want you to work on a freelance basis to see if you’re a good fit for a future full-time position.
Knowing what you prefer will make it easier for you to find the right types of jobs for your needs.
Invest in the Right Tools
Before you can start looking for great freelance jobs from home, you need to make sure you have the right tools in place. For most work-from-home professionals, this means having a computer and a reliable internet connection.
If you don’t already have both, do what you can to acquire them before you start applying for freelance work. Just make sure to shop around before you choose either a computer or an internet provider.
Take your time to review popular deals and get prices from different companies before you make a decision. Keep in mind that going with the cheapest version of a computer or the most affordable internet you can find isn’t always in your best interest.
You want to be able to get work done. This means you might need to pay a bit more for higher quality products.
Start Applying for Work
Once you have an idea of the types of jobs you want and the types of work you want to do, you’re ready to start applying. The best place to start is by searching the internet for companies you admire.
See if those companies are hiring for freelance positions that you’re interested in. If not, look into their competitors and see if they have any openings.
If you’re not sure which companies to look at, try searching for the type of job you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking to be a writer, search the internet for freelance writer jobs. If you’re looking to start a career in web design, look for freelance web designer positions.
You may want to narrow down your results by searching for remote or work-from-home jobs in those areas. This way, you’ll weed out any positions that require you to come into an office.
As a general rule, apply to each position you’re interested in even if you don’t think you’re qualified. Just because your resume doesn’t check all the boxes for the job’s requirements doesn’t mean the employer won’t feel intrigued by your application.
Check Job Boards Often
New remote and freelance jobs open up every day. However, with more people looking to start a work from home journey, those positions get filled fast. That means you’ll need to check the job boards often if you want to get your foot in the door.
Sites like Indeed.com and WeWorkRemotely.com let you sign up for a newsletter and job notifications based on your interests. They’ll send jobs you might find interesting to your email address so you can stay up to date at all times.
If you don’t want to sign up for any email lists, create a new daily routine. Check the job boards over your morning coffee and save any jobs you’re interested in. As long as you check back often, you’ll avoid missing out on potentially great fits.
Be Aware of Work-From-Home Scams
Unfortunately, some work-from-home job advertisements aren’t real. In fact, they’re scams designed to get your personal information.
This means you’ll need to pay close attention to each job you apply for. Make sure the position is real and that the company actually exists. If an employer tells you to send them information to a general email address not affiliated with the company they represent, proceed with caution.
If they ask you to pay a fee to gain access to a work platform, don’t pay them a cent! Reputable employers that hire freelance workers will never ask you to pay them for the privilege of working for them.
It’s also good to pay attention to the types of promises the job posting offers. As you search for work, you’ll come across postings that will claim you’ll make an outlandish amount of money for doing almost no work. This is a surefire sign that the posting is a scam.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and protecting yourself is always the right move.
Everyone wants to work from home these days. This means there’s a lot more competition for the jobs you’re interested in.
You can expect to get rejected by at least a few employers in the beginning. Don’t give up. Keep applying for different positions and get your resume in front of more recruiters.
Your effort will eventually pay off. It might just take longer than you expect.
Diversify Your Income
Though it’s tempting to throw everything you have into a single work-from-home gig, don’t. If work dries up with that employer, you’ll find it hard to stay current on your bills.
If you can, try to diversify your income. For freelancers with a stable day job, your freelance work is supplemental. However, if you’re freelancing full-time, you’ll want to work with several clients at a time.
This way, you won’t have to worry about lean times hurting your bottom line and you’ll always have enough work to keep your bank account full.
Now You’re Ready to Look for Freelance Jobs From Home
Making the decision to start looking for freelance jobs from home means you’re ready to take your income into your own hands. This is a big step, but it’s the only way to help you achieve your work-from-home dreams.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to find the right type of work for your needs and goals. Just remember to be persistent and don’t give up even if you have to apply to dozens of jobs at the beginning. The more you apply, the more likely it is that an employer will have a great position for your skillset.
For more tips and tricks to help you be as productive as possible while working from home, check out our latest posts.