Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Want To Work At Home? Try Telecommuting

My columns often talk to people who are looking to get out of their 9-5 jobs and start their own business, but if you are one of the millions people who enjoy their professions and who actually do not mind working for someone else, there are work at home options for you as well.

Sure, the American Dream has always been to set out for yourself into the world of
business, make a name for yourself with a product or service that only you
have thought of, and then turn your life from rags to riches.

Considering that many Americans have families, mortgages, and bills to pay,
the number of people who manage to successfully quit their jobs and become
self employed is small. Some would say the risks are high.

Many try it and quite a few have moderate successes, but a far greater number will go through their life’s savings, and in the end stand to lose their homes in order to meet financial obligations that went by the wayside and suddenly seem to pile up.

As I always say, you need a plan to ensure you are protecting your lifestyle when embarking on any business opportunity.

Perhaps you have sat in traffic time and again, bemoaning the fact that you
are wasting two or more hours of your time each day simply getting to your
job – the kind of time that could be put to good use! This is probably also
the time that you remember the many articles you have read on telecommuting,
and you are wondering if you have what it takes to take this step. After
all, if you were to approach your boss with a well thought out plan, she or he would might give you a chance to prove yourself.

Yet telecommuting is not for everyone who wants to do it. You need discipline.

First and foremost you will have to still consider yourself employed and thus bound by a schedule. While it is tempting to procrastinate on work until you finish that last load of laundry, mow the yard, or groom the dog, you do have to remember that you are on the clock.

Additionally, you will still need to meet deadlines and work to accommodate the work schedules of others in your company. This means that working in the middle of the night so that you can accompany the kids on a field trip the next day might not work.

Secondly, you will need to have adequate equipment. While almost everyone
owns a personal computer, there are a myriad of software programs out there
that may not be compatible, and you need to ensure you can easily connect to your corporate servers, databases and programs from home. Some business security prevents this kind of access so test it out before you go to bat with your boss!

There are a few more things you will need to have at home to replace your office. Will you need a fax machine or a scanner? Maybe you need to change your long distance plan to accommodate long distance calls?

It is important to have all your ducks in a row before you start! Do you see a theme here: have a plan and telecommuting is a work at home option that may work for you.

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