Working from Home as a College Student

The current wealth of jobs available to those who work from home means you may be able to remotely work while still attending college.

Given the commitment required for most college courses, you may only be able to work part time hours. However, the flexibility allowed by many work from home jobs provides much more freedom than a traditional part-time job. Working in this way can put a significant dent in your college expenses and any potential debt. You may even be able to start your career while you are still earning your degree.

In order to work from home successfully, you will need to know the types of jobs you should be searching and applying for, as well as which to avoid. It is also important to have a plan in place to balance your paid work schedule with your school work schedule, making sure you do not sacrifice your grades or your professional standards.

Finding Work Online

In order to work from home, you will usually need to be able to find work online. There are many jobs available through online employment databases. Try to make sure you use reliable sites with a wide variety of listings. Fortunately, many online jobs are not geographically limited, so you can broaden your search to all states or even all countries. You can use online networking tools such as LinkedIn or Facebook to help you in your work search. If you have not held an online job before, you should research the tools you may be required use, such as online discussion boards, video conferencing and apps.

You may choose to work as a freelancer, which will require you to search for individual jobs as a private contractor. This may result in greater freedom when it comes to scheduling but will require more time and effort every time you apply for a job. Regular employment for a single company might have stricter demands on your time, but you may find paying taxes much easier. You might even qualify for some employee benefits.

Types of Jobs Available

It is important to look for jobs you know you will be able to do while you also focus on your school work. You should also be aware while there are many jobs offered online, not all of them pay equally well. Make sure to check the going rate for each type of work. These are some of the best work-from-home jobs available:

  • Web development and design is a quickly growing industry, as all companies generally require a website of their own. Even if you do not design the websites themselves, you may be able to troubleshoot and debug existing code.
  • Online marketing may mean marketing through email, with jobs in writing and designing advertisements or in managing subscriptions. You may also work as a social media manager, running a company’s social media accounts to keep them visible and connect with customers or clients.
  • Customer service is often provided through websites for certain services and products, and you can perform this job from home. This will require a commitment of certain hours spent on call, however.
  • Translation and transcription can be very profitable, either in employment for a single company or on a freelance basis, provided you are fluently bilingual.
  • Writing jobs are readily available online for freelancers. You can also start your own blog and use it to sell products or as a source of passive income.

Working from a Home Office

While working from home can give you a great deal of freedom, it can also mean you find it difficult to focus on the work itself. Being in your home space can make it feel as though you should not be working, and there will be many distractions preventing you from giving the work your full attention. If you do not already have one, you may need to set up a home office.

This does not have to be an entire room, but there should be some sort of physical separation between the office space and the rest of your living space. You may want to designate an area of one room as your office or set up a cubicle. A comfortable, ergonomic chair is extremely important, as is adequate lighting. A good quality desk or table can also help to act as a reminder of the purpose of the space, increasing your productivity as a result.

Balancing Work and Study

For any job you may take alongside your schoolwork, balancing your schedule might be difficult. One of the major benefits of working from home is you are often able to plan your own work hours. However, the planning itself will be key. Letting your schoolwork fall behind because you are more concerned with making money could have a lasting impact on your future. At the same time, if you try to complete the work needed for your job only in a few spare moments here and there, your standard of work will be unlikely to bring you much success. Have a plan for every day in which you know how long you will spend in class, working on assignments and doing your job.

If your job does have specific hours, or even the occasional meeting or conference call, you may find this will clash with your schoolwork. It is important to plan for this in advance. When you are offered a job, be upfront and honest about the fact you are at school, and that your education will need to be a priority. This might be a difficult conversation but can save you a good deal of stress later on.

Be Aware of Scams

Unfortunately, searching for work remotely means there are several scams that use the anonymity of the internet to target jobseekers. It is important to be aware of these as you look for reliable work. If the job will require some kind of fee from you, there is a good chance it is a fraud. Unsolicited job offers are another warning sign, as are personal, badly written emails with no contact information and vague job descriptions.

A common scam is to ask you to transfer a large check through your bank account, out of which you will supposedly be paid, only for the check to bounce. If you see a job offer with a high pay check for little to no work, or that asks you to provide personal information, it will rarely be worth the risk of applying. Always make sure to research any company thoroughly before applying for or accepting a job. Never give out your driver’s license number in order to be hired.

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