In our last issue we discussed using your current skills to work from home. We also identified potential job titles for several skills. Now we are going to examine how to find a market for those skills you already possess.
Many jobs historically held by full-time employees are now being outsourced in order to reduce costs, such as employee taxes, healthcare, vacation, sick time, etc. Employee benefits can add 25-40 percent (or more) to regular wages or salary.
For example, an employee being paid $20 per hour actually costs the company between $25 and $28 per hour. Multiplied over the course of a work year, this equates to $10,000 -$16,000 in employer costs (50 weeks x 5 days/week x 8 hours/day x $5-$8 per hour).
Individuals working from home on a contract basis offer the perfect solution. You have the opportunity to work from home, and companies can afford to compensate well for those efforts while still enjoying significant savings.
This article assumes you have already identified your current skills and have narrowed down potential job titles to those you are interested in pursuing. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but will put you on the right track to finding a market for your desired position.
Online job boards. The obvious first place for you to seek job opportunities to match your skills is the Job Listings page here at www.VirtualAssistants.com. Also check out other online job boards. Conduct your search using the job titles identified in the last article. Include words in your search such as telecommute, telecommuting, work from home, contract jobs, outsourcing, or virtual assistant.
Current employer. If you are currently employed and enjoy your work but would ideally like to work from home, talk with your boss and see if telecommuting full- or part-time is an option. You may be surprised at how open you boss is to such an arrangement. (Be aware that if your boss immediately rejects your proposal, it may cause future tension. Tread lightly.)
Websites you frequent or blogs you read. Many websites and blogs are still in their infancy and have remote positions available for positions ranging from customer service representatives to bloggers to programmers. Check out the Careers or Opportunities pages of your favorite sites to see if there is a fit.
Local businesses. Smaller companies with a need for services may lack the budget to hire an employee. Or they may have never considered outsourcing as an option. Individuals seeking positions in accounting, web developing, programming, advertising, administrative/clerical, transcription or copy writing (to name just a few) may find a solution close to home.
Visit local businesses, dressed professionally, armed with copies of your resume, portfolio, business cards, or flyers. Introduce yourself to the owner (or other decision maker) as a local and cost effective resource. Ask if there may be an opportunity for you to work together.
Alternatively, create a professional-looking flyer listing your services and fax to local businesses. Be sure to include your contact information. Follow up with a telephone call to confirm receipt of your fax and try to schedule an appointment with the decision maker.
Newspaper classifieds. Scan the classified section of your local newspaper to identify business that might benefit from your services. Make contact as directed in the ad (send resume, apply in person, etc.), or fax your services flyer (described above) followed by telephone contact.
Real estate firms. Those with real estate experience or licensing may wish to visit several RE firms (again, dressed professionally, with copies of your qualifications) to inquire about possible telecommute positions.
Publishing websites. Individuals with skills in writing, editing, proofreading or translation may visit websites of publishers or online magazines. Locate the Careers page to find out if they are accepting applications.
As companies continue cut costs, outsourcing provides a viable solution for both employers and job seekers. Whatever the position you seek, keep in mind that working from home requires the ability to meet deadlines, multi-task, prioritize, solve problems, and work in a solitary environment. If this appeals to you, there are plenty of opportunities out there for the taking.
Good luck and happy job hunting!