Telecommuting: Finding Legitimate Work at Home Jobs

How to Get a Legitimate Telecommuting Job

woman doing online search
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Legitimate Work at Home Job or a Home Business?

Let's face it, a home business isn't for everyone, but there are plenty of you who would like to find legitimate work at home jobs maybe to be with the kids, maybe because you're at your best when you work from home. For whatever reason, finding legitimate work at home jobs isn't an easy task, and I know that many of you have been looking for the perfect telecommuting job opportunity for quite some time.

I also know that the number of legitimate work at home jobs pales in comparison to the scams that seem to about everywhere.

Unfortunately, even when you do a Google search for "legitimate work from home" or "legitimate work at home jobs", many of the results are not legit either. The plain truth is that for every legitimate work at home telecommuting job opportunity out there, you can figure at least 9 of 10 are not the real deal.

With a Home Business You Have More Control

If you start your own home business (not one where you pay your way into an opportunity - there are plenty of scammers there, too) doing something you like to do, you'll have all the control and you can be absolutely sure you're not getting scammed. Your home business can be as legitimate as you make it.

Freelancing, becoming a consultant in a field you already have experience in, making products through a hobby, becoming a paid photographer, etc.

are all ways you can start a business of you own where you work from home on your own terms. So if you can do that, you're well ahead of the game. You don't have to drop everything and do your business full time. You can start part time and build your foundation. Then, when you're ready (or when you have to, such as if you get laid off), you're business will already be up and running.

There are plenty of resources for you here on Home Business. Here's a good start:

Working Your Way Into a Legitimate Work at Home Job

Another way to avoid getting scammed and get yourself into a real, legitimate work at home job that will let you telecommute is to either take a job in an office and work your way into a telecommuting arrangement with your employer or approach your current employer about working from home - maybe not every day at first, but a few days a week on a trial basis. My article, Convincing Your Boss to Let You Work at Home will get you started in this area.

You'll probably notice as you search for legitimate work from home that some jobs for companies you already recognize - like United Health Care, Aetna and others, will allow you to work at home after a probationary period, which may be up to one year in the office. If you can do that, you'll also be ahead of the game and will avoid getting scammed.

Participate in the Work at Home Forum Discussion

For those of you who would like to go into a bit more detail or voice your thoughts on legitimate work at home jobs, I welcome you to participate in the discussion on this topic in the Home Business Forum.

Let me know: If you've found a legitimate work from home job, how did you find it? Did you have a strategy or a work from home plan that worked? Do you have any suggestions for others who are looking for work from home jobs?

Searching for Work from Home Jobs

Basically, if you're going to search online for legitimate work from home, it's like any job search you'd do even for local office work. There's not much difference except that you really need to be on your toes and look for tell-tale signs that a job might be less than legitimate.

Your job search sources are the same - you can search on CareerBuilder or Monster, or for tech jobs on

You can also look through employment sites, like Robert Half, Net Temps, Kforce and others.

The real difference is in narrowing down your search to find telecommuting opportunities. So that means you'll be including search terms to specifically help you find legitimate work at home. Because different companies refer to telecommuting and working from home with different terms, it pays to be aware of some variations and work them into your search. For example:

  • Telecommute
  • Work from Home and Work at Home
  • Telecommute
  • Remote
  • Offsite
  • Virtual

In my years of experience filtering the legitimate jobs from the scammers, I've found telecommute and telecommuting to lead to the highest percentage of legitimate postings. Telework is also good, and is prominently used by Aetna Insurance and by the U.S. federal government. It seems like, for the most part, all federal job postings (or at least a vast majority of them) are now required to say that telecommuting is possible.

Whether it happens or not may be a different story, and if you apply for such a position you'll want clarification of the chances that you'll actually be allowed to work at home at some point.

Unfortunately, using work from home and work at home yields the fewest legitimate telecommuting opportunities.

Those two terms are very popular with scammers, so you need to be extra careful if you use them in search.

Job Search Aggregator Sites

Another practice you're likely to bump into when you're searching for legitimate work at home are the aggregator sites, which seem to crop up daily. If you see a job listing from one of these sites (you'll get to recognize them) try to go to the source site instead. For example, there are loads of sites that list legitimate work from home jobs from companies like United Health Care who aren't authorized to post the job. In order to apply, you may have to sign up, give up your contact information including your email address, and in some cases - worse yet - pay a membership in order to apply. That's a sucker's bet for sure. If you see a job posted with the name of the company, do a search for the company and use the job title in the search and you may be able to go direct to the employer's site and bypass the party who is trying to get your contact information or get you to pay for a membership.

In many cases you'll see the aggregator listings along with the legitimate search result from the company itself. Whenever it's available, always go direct to the hiring company or its authorized placement website.

For more information in this area, see:

Steering Clear of Work from Home Job Scams

In the vast majority of cases, legitimate work at home jobs shouldn't require that you pay anything for the privilege of telecommuting from home. There are a few legitimate exceptions where you may need to pay a membership fee to belong to an independent network of work at home professionals or you may have to pay a small amount for training or equipment that enables you to do your work from home according to the specific employer's telecommuting standards.

As always, tread carefully and do your homework on any company you're considering. Good luck, and here's hoping your legitimate work a home job dreams come true!

One final note. If you do get raked into a scam, you'll want to read, What to Do If You're a Victim of Work at Home Scam. In no event do you want them to get away with it, as they will only continue to scam others who are trying to find legitimate work from home.