We’re contacted daily by women how wish to leave full-time employment for work at home or create balance in a stay-at-home situation. The need for legitimate work at home opportunities continues to grow because more women are opting out of the full-time workforce to meet family needs at home.
The problem is there are so many scams under the “work at home” guise that most people don’t know where to begin. In reality, there are legitimate work at home jobs out there but they’re not as plentiful as work in the office jobs. As employers become more comfortable with at-home worker there will be more opportunities.
Our experience with moms returning to the workforce has been that candidates with recent work experience, strong skills or those who have spent time obtaining training and certifications, while at home, are more easily employed. Therefore if work-at home opportunities come along they are ideal candidates.
Our main advice to work-at-home job seeker is to investigate opportunities thoroughly. Don’t just assume that fantastic claims equal legitimate work. Many moms, desperate to work at home and care for their kids get taken by these scams. Don’t fall for huge monthly earnings claims and beware of the words “No Experience Needed”.
Here are some tips for evaluating opportunities and checking resources to determine legitimacy:
- An internet search is a good place to start. Check the company name with complaints.com to see if any complaints have been filed.
- Conduct a national and local search through the Better Business Bureau.
- Contact your state Attorney General’s office and local consumer protection agency regarding complaints. But be wary, the absence of complaints does not necessarily mean it is a legitimate work at home company. Unscrupulous companies may settle complaints, change their name or move to avoid detection.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace. FTC also provides information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid fraud. Seek out the FTC to file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics.
- You may also Google the word “forum” and the company name or product name. Many moms share useful information via forums. You may find posts or post your own questions about the venture you are considering. If any member on that site has experiences with the company in question you will learn about it, good or bad.
Here are some suggestions for searching online:
- Very important to remember: Legitimate employers won't require payment from you.
- Visit general employment sites and work at home employment directories.
- If there is a phone number or email address, test it out. You should get a person who is willing to speak with you. They should be professional and answer all your questions. If they are vague or the answers seem confusing it is probably too good to be true.
- The website on which the work at home employment opportunity appears should be easy to navigate with clear information and the links should work. For instance, if the link to email follow-up questions does not work – do more research.
Questions to Ask the Employer:
- The earnings for the particular job functions should be realistic. Check the industry standards by researching your online or paper version of area newspapers for similar positions. Also use a salary data website. If your research reveals that actual salaries being paid are vastly different from the promises made in a pitch to you, beware. Do more research.