by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Thinking of launching a career in which you can work from home? Consider these key home-based employment rules and guidelines in your planning process.
- Don’t be sucked in by those dozens of e-mails you probably get every day pushing get-rich-quick schemes and too-good-to-be-true work-at-home offers. Same goes for those opportunities you see posted on little signs stuck in the ground along the road or plastered onto telephone poles.
- Do research work-at-home opportunities scrupulously, and read some good articles on avoiding scams, such as 10 Tips for Avoiding Scams, 6 Common Scams You’ll Find on the Internet, How to Avoid Home Business Scams, and A Word About Scams.
- Do consider your own passions and interests when thinking about starting your own home-based business. Then check out books and Web sites that offer lists of home-business ideas to see if others have been successful doing what you’d like to do. Find lots of good ideas at Work at Home & Home Business Ideas and Find the Hot Home Business for You. We offer capsule reviews of two books of work-at-home ideas. And you can find a larger collection of Work-at-Home Books in our online bookstore.
- Do think about whether you might need additional training to proceed with your chosen home-based career and look into obtaining that training.
- Do determine whether you have the right kind of personality to successfully work at home. Scrutinize your discipline and ability to work without much social stimulation. Decide if you’re assertive enough to sell your product or service. Ask yourself if you’re self-motivated, or do you need someone to tell you what to do? You may want to take the Are You Ready to Work from Home Quiz at iVillage.com. See also a list of vital home-worker personality traits at Are You An Entrepreneur?. And check out our own Consultant/Free Agent Quiz.
- Do know what to expect from a home-based career. Seek out people with home-based careers and interview them. Many sites devoted to home-based careers have message boards or online discussion forums where you can get a feel for what you might be getting yourself into. Although geared to graphic designers, a good article on the sometimes unrealistic expectations people have about working from home is 10 Myths About Working from Home. Similarly, The Freelance Report lists the