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Samantha Greenfield

Tempted to work from home?

Believe it or not, there are legitimate opportunities to work from home! I have outlined some money-making options for you to consider to earn a little extra income until your next dream job comes through.

1. Provide business services: Businesses - from sole proprietors to Fortune 500s - turn to Elance.com and oDesk.com to hire individuals off-site to perform tasks ranging from coding Web sites to writing press materials. Both sites allow you to create a free profile to tout your skills and take assessments to certify your skill level. View postings and bid on appealing projects, and determine your hourly or project rate. (Project fees can range from $50 to design a logo to more than $10,000 to develop a Web site.)

2. Answer customer calls: When you call customer service at your bank or place an order with a retailer, the voice you hear on the other end might well belong to someone working out of their living room in this country. If you've got solid customer service skills, high-speed Internet, a dedicated phone line, a workspace free of noise and at least 20 hours a week, you could do likewise. Pay ranges from $8 to $15 an hour. Connect with AlpineAccess.com, LiveOps.com, WorkingSolutions.com, TeleTech.com, VIPDesk.com or Arise.com. Each operates differently, so visit the sites to learn which is best for you.

3. Get crafty: Etsy.com is an online community connecting sellers of handmade items, including candles, clothing, ceramics, jewelry, pottery and even food, with a worldwide audience. It's free to get started and the site takes 3.5 percent of your sales, plus a 20-cent listing fee.

4. Be a mystery shopper: If you'd like a home-based opportunity that allows you to get out of the house occasionally, consider being a mystery shopper. Make anonymous visits to retail stores, restaurants and gas stations to monitor specific behaviors, and make sure they're up to brand standards.Another option involves merchandising, where you're charged with helping manufacturers present their product in a retail environment to generate sales. You may assemble displays, distribute coupons, sample food, restock shelves or demonstrate products. Two trade associations list legitimate companies: the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (mysteryshop.org) and the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (narms.com). Pay starts at about $8 to $10 and can go as high as $30 to $50, depending on the requirements. Never pay to be a mystery shopper or merchandiser; no legitimate opportunity requires a fee or certification.

5. Give care to a senior: Make money in someone else's home by providing seniors with non-medical care, including companionship, errands and light housekeeping, meal prep, scheduling doctor appointments and other tasks. A number of national companies hire such workers, including Home Instead, Senior Helpers and Comfort Keepers.

6. Craigslist: Bring extra income in by advertising services you can provide; think pet sitting, house cleaning, carpentry type services. Sell that extra stuff you have laying around: cars, furniture, vegetables from the garden, yard sale items. In our area, there is actually a Winchester tab where you can place an ad for free!

7. Online tutors: Online tutors make an average of $10 an hour, but by lining up your own clients and visiting their homes in your neighborhood, you can command many times that amount.

Don't forget to add to your resume if you decide to pursue any of these "work from home opportunities." They may come in handy if you find there is getting to be a large gap in time from your last job!

Winchester Workforce Connection Schedule for April 12-16:

  • April 13 @ 8:30am- Networking Job Club

  • April 13 @ 9:30am- Mastering The Electronic Job Search

  • April 15 @ 1:30: Marketing Yourself in a Highly Competitive Job Market!

Best regards!


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