How to Get a Job Where You Can Work From Home

We’ve all said it when getting dressed or sitting in traffic: I just wish I could work from home! It conjures up a nice image of a leisurely day spent with your computer and of wearing sweatpants instead of a pencil skirt. The good news is that working from home is an actual possibility. It’s all about knowing what to look for.

There are different routes you can take when looking for a job where you can work from home. The first thing to decide is whether you’re interested in working from home all the time or just want the freedom of being out of the office a couple days a week. The first option gives you the benefit of a more flexible schedule and, in some cases, allows you to largely be your own boss. But the second means having an office and team of coworkers to socialize and sympathize with when the job gets you down.

Freelancing

If working from home every day is your jam, keep an eye out for job listings where the position location is “virtual” or “remote.” These jobs often deal with content writing, editorial or social media work, because in those cases, all you need is a computer and a steady WiFi connection. Also consider becoming a blogger or a full-time freelancer. They can be based anywhere! Admittedly, these sorts of jobs might not be enough to keep you completely afloat, but they definitely offer flexible hours. And if you take on freelancing work, there’s always the possibility of keeping multiple projects going at once, as long as you’re able to keep yourself organized.

Related: Contract Work: What You Need to Know Before You Take the Job

Of course, it’s one thing to decide to freelance and another to actually find work. But the internet has made that easier than ever and millennials are known for making the world wide web work for them. Michelle Adams, a freelance writer and editor, says, “There are a lot of online resources for finding work from home jobs! Personally, I like the job board at VirtualVocations.com because they check every job for spam and fraud before listing it.” It’s also worth checking out resources like Freelancer if you have a particular skill you’re interested in selling.

That can be anything ranging from marketing or editorial expertise to data entry and graphic design. Still, Adams offers some cautioning words: “You have to be really careful that the job is with a reputable company, not someone who just wants to scam you.” And of course, it’s important to remember never to give out your Social Security Number or bank account information until you’ve been officially hired.

At-Home Sales Rep

There are also companies that allow you to become a consultant or sales rep from your own home, Samantha Burke, a 2016 Siena College graduate, suggests. “The biggest downside is the money you need to put down to start, but I have a family member who does LuLaRoe and I know with LuLaRoe's leggings, your profit margin is over fifty percent,” Burke says. Other brands, like Chloe + Isabel, a jewelry retailer, have similar set ups. It’s important to do your research when considering working for with these companies, as a number of them amount to little more than scams. You will often also need to store your own merchandise. However, the more reputable brands can be great for someone who’s self-motivated and willing to put in the work.

Related: 5 Career Options with Flexible Schedules

A Few Days a Week

More traditional companies will also sometimes allow employees to work from home a few days a week, particularly in cities where traffic congestion is a real worry. Marketing professional Mara Hyman recommends that job seekers should “look for companies that offer a work laptop instead of or in addition to a desktop monitor!” Even if work is primarily done in a traditional office setting, “having a laptop allowed us the flexibility to work while away or if there was a snowstorm,” Hyman says. “By having a specific laptop for our role, we had all of the software and files necessary to perform our jobs at any location, as opposed to using a personal laptop and only having access to work emails.” It’s always worth asking potential employers if they allow work from home or if you can negotiate a certain number of days a week when you can do so.

The important thing to keep in mind while working from home is that you are still in fact on the job. As delightful an image as it is, it can’t all be pajamas and working on your couch. Make sure your workspace puts you in the right headspace. Don’t keep the TV on in the background or let yourself stop working every five minutes because you remembered you need to clean the bathroom or check your laundry. Keep the unnecessary internet time to a minimum (or at least on par with what you would do in the office). And maybe, sad as it is, consider skipping the pajamas.

Working from home can be a great option, whether it allows you the freedom to set your own schedule or just gives you the opportunity to skip the commute every so often. And if it sounds tempting, look into all the different ways to live the dream! Just make sure you’re cut out for motivating yourself. Procrastination doesn’t fly when you’re actually getting paid.