The Help Files: Want a Work-From-Home Gig? Here are 8 Websites

Side hustles or side gigs are all the rage now. The Great Recession is over, but many companies and managers still haven’t grasped that fact. We can hardly blame them. The effects of the last recession lasted nine years. That’s a long time.

Business entities got used to doing business in the trenches, so to speak. Circle the wagons. Guard the business. Lose a contract? Lay off a few people. Raises were reduced or done away with altogether. Extra monies were plowed back into the company. Why dole out a surplus to the employees when they have no place else to go and they are all happy just to have a full-time job? Business owners got used to operating in a foxhole in the recession frame of mind.

Now that the recession is in our rearview mirror, employees are asking for and expecting raises. Managers and recruiting firms are just starting to realize that they no longer have the recession to use as an excuse. Raises, however, can be slow in coming (if at all)  and low in percentage points when they are doled out.

Getting an extra job used to involve getting home from your regular job, grabbing a bite to eat, changing your clothes, and then heading out again into the dark of night perhaps to staff a cash register at the local jewelry store. Some of these jobs barely paid enough to cover the gas you needed to drive there.

Enter the web. If you need extra cash and you don’t want to leave the comfort of your house (who does?), now you don’t have to. The web has opened up a wealth of opportunities for you to earn extra cash. You need to be a little careful so you don’t get scammed. And if you don’t have a laptop and headphones, you might want to think about getting these items so you’re eligible for more opportunities.

Before you plunge in, keep in mind that you can use the websites I mention below to look for both part-time and full-time work-from-home positions. If you’re a parent to young children and you want to be there when they get home, you might want a position where you work from your kitchen table only during school hours. This could also apply if you’re caring for aging parents and you need to be there for them, but you also need an income.

Enough of my blather. Let’s get going and see what’s available for you to earn some dollars.

FlexJobs

FlexJobs appears to be the granddaddy of the whole “Anti-9-to-5” movement. If you do not want a job where you are required to physically show up every day and be seen working at your desk during established business hours, then you need to visit FlexJobs. They offer free and paid accounts. I actually paid for one many years ago. They weren’t able to help me very much, however. Here on the East Coast, in the Greater Philadelphia Area, employers are not going to pay you a salary when you’re not in the office every day. Period. Mind you, I got decent listings, but they were in other states, and they all still wanted you in the office on certain days. The “flex” part of FlexJobs does not necessarily mean “permanent work from home no matter where you live.” FlexJobs is well known and has been featured by many major news outlets. The best part is that they screen the jobs for scams before you see them. That’s right. They scrub out the scams. And there are a lot of scams. If you want to know where to start, go to FlexJobs.

The Work at Home Wife

The Work at Home Wife offers an eclectic mix of jobs as well as ways for families to save money. And no, you don’t need to be either a woman or a wife to subscribe! After all, I’m neither! Perhaps the site was started for wives who stayed at home to care for young children. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Whatever your gender or marital status, if you’re looking for something to do for some extra cash, you’ll probably find it here. Wife offers articles such as Side Hustle Jobs That Pay Weekly & Well and 7 Ways of Making Money Online that You May be Overlooking, and that’s only scratching the surface.

The Penny Hoarder

The Penny Hoarder lists ways for families to save money as well as things to do to earn cash. Don’t be fooled by the website’s name. It’s not just about saving money or scrimping. This Hoarder article recently caught my attention, for example: 15 Reclusive Ways for Introverts to Make Extra Money While Avoiding People. This article is the best kind for me, because it demanded my attention and made me laugh. After working in a crowded office all day, the last thing I want to do as an introvert is deal with more people. If you write during the day, as I do, maybe you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve writing. We all need a break from routine now and again.

Work From Home Happiness

I have only just begun following Ashlee Anderson’s website. There is a lot of stuff here, too much to digest in one sitting. You should be able to find something that piques your interest. I am following Anderson on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I joined her free mailing list and in return received a password to her library of material. This material includes advice on pitching to new clients, landing your first client, WordPress themes for new freelancers, and more. She offers guides on freelance writing, proofreading (seems as though proofreading isn’t as dead as I thought it was), blogging, becoming a virtual assistant, and doing transcription. She also discusses other websites, tools, apps, and so on. Pick your poison and start reading.

GuruFreelancer, & Upwork

Other sites I have heard about for side gigs are www.guru.com and www.freelancer.com. Some of the reviews I’ve read aren’t stellar, but your mileage may vary. If you’re interested in freelancing on the side, these are worth checking out on your own.

Another site I’ve heard of is www.Upwork.com. I actually joined, but let my membership lapse. One freelance copywriter I follow, Danny Margulies, who owns the site www.freelancetowin.com, swears by Upwork and doesn’t use any other site to make a living. I haven’t used the Upwork myself because I don’t like their system. I don’t want to pay to take tests to improve my visibility to clients by increasing my score. I would rather take my chances in the wild. I still follow Danny Margulies, however, because of the knowledge he has accumulated regarding copywriting. I would recommend you give them a try for yourself and see how it goes.

Virtual Vocations

Last-minute mention: Virtual Vocations. I had heard of it, but confused it with another business whose name sounds similar. Virtual Vocations involves, and I quote, “hand-screened telecommuting jobs leads that offer real pay for real work. From account management to writing, all of the job openings we bring you offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.” That sounds a lot like FlexJobs, mentioned above. I noticed the phrases “hand-screened,” “real pay,” and “real work.” They caught my attention. Definitely check this one out. Heck-fire, even though I strive to keep up with such entities, this one clean escaped my notice. It’s on my radar now.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at craig.cardimon@gmail.com. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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