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Ask the Headhunter: How do you find a work-at-home job?

Nick Corcodilos started headhunting in Silicon Valley in 1979 and has answered over 30,000 questions from the Ask The Headhunter community.

In this special Making Sen$e edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards or salary negotiations. No guarantees — just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.


Question: I recently attended a training class and overheard people discussing how work-at-home jobs have become common. One was talking about using a computer to make money. But, none of them could tell me how to get such a job. How can I find legitimate employers that hire people to work from home?

Nick Corcodilos: This is a perennial question. It’s worth answering at least periodically, though the answer never changes. While more people are working from home, they’re not earning a living through one of those work-from-home schemes you see advertised.

There are about three legitimate home-based work scenarios. Your current employer lets you do it. You’re an established independent consultant. Or, you run a real, live business of your own. Otherwise, it isn’t the option it’s portrayed to be.

When people think of work-at-home jobs, they have visions of quick and easy money, and ads for such jobs play on that fantasy. People who really do work from home successfully will tell you it’s neither quick nor easy. It’s often harder than having a regular job, and the hours are usually longer. There is no secret about such jobs, except that much of the time they’re not jobs. They’re usually small businesses.

Anyone who says you can readily earn a living working at home by using your computer is engaging in wishful thinking, or they’re trying to sucker you into a pyramid scheme in which you spend your day emailing similar offers to other potential suckers. These “jobs” are nothing but a racket. Be careful.

You can work from home if you can start a business of your own, or if you can demonstrate to your employer that you can be relied on to do your work outside a conventional office. But beware: Few employers will let people work at home because they don’t know how to manage remote employees.

Now I have a question for you about those people who waxed eloquent about earning a living at home using a computer. Why aren’t they doing it? Sorry, but most work-at-home solicitations are scams.

For tips about how to find a good, legitimate job in today’s market, read “The Basics.”

Dear Readers: Do you have a work-at-home job that’s legitimate? What is it? Have you fallen for one of the many scams that promise fat paychecks for doing “work” on your computer at home?


Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth “how to” PDF books are available on his website: “How to Work With Headhunters…and how to make headhunters work for you,” “Keep Your Salary Under Wraps,” “How Can I Change Careers?” and “Fearless Job Hunting.”

Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!

Copyright © 2018 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark.

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