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Parents returning to work: how to balance work and family life
While we usually focus on the actual act of job searching and career advancement in these articles, there are some other issues that can have a big impact on your career and are worth investigating. One such issue is balancing family obligations...
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Using Freelance Websites To Telecommute

Additional Reading

How is your job hunting going? Have you had problems finding legitimate jobs? I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about using freelance websites to obtain work at home, but this should be something you look into. It might not be for you, but you never know until you try.

So what would the benefit be to using a freelance website to obtain per project work at home? The first and most obvious benefit is that you would be earning money to help pay your bills, but the less obvious benefit would be that you are gaining valuable work at home experience to put on your resume! There are many employers out there that would rather hire a telecommuter that has worked at home before and if you have no work at home experience on your resume, they may go with someone who does.

However, using a freelance website is a bit different. Many times the people posting the projects just want to use your services for a short time and for a specific project. They don’t necessarily care if you’ve worked at home before. Therefore, it could be easier to get a couple projects like this under your belt and then you can place that job on your resume! It will look good to other potential long term employers to see that you have experience working for someone at home.

You might also be able to get projects that you don’t have a lot of experience in, but want to do more of to build your resume up. If you want a full time job at home with a company, let’s say transcribing, but they all want you to have experience transcribing, it could possibly be easier to get projects off a freelance websites and that way you can build your experience for the jobs you really want.

So this sounds great, right? What is the downside? I would have to say that the downside if two-fold. One, there are going to be others bidding on the same project, more then likely, so you still have competition and many times the winning bid seems to go to the person who is willing to work the cheapest. Not always the case, but it does happen. So you might not necessarily make what you’d like to.

The only other downside I personally see is that if you want the security of a full time paycheck, this might not be the way to get it. You are usually working on a project basis and then when that project is over you’re done, but you need to remember all the positive reasons for trying this type of work…I choose to look on the bright side and I would rather have one project that paid me enough to cover a bill for the month then no projects and no money. Plus, you never know when you may end up with someone who wants to use you on a more part time to full time and/or exclusive basis. I have a client/friend who uses one of these freelance websites to post projects often, and she would be a great person to work for! I’m sure there are many more people like her posting projects that would be great people to work for.

There are many freelance websites out there. You can go to www.google.com and type in freelance websites or freelance job websites and I’m sure you will pull them up. The only two I’ve heard much about are www.elance.com and www.guru.com. Now as with anything, you need to make sure that the freelance website is legitimate and fully research how you will get paid and if there are any fees. Here is just some very basic information about elance and guru to help you get started:


Subscription fee’s (in order to bid on projects)

There are different packages ranging from free to $30.00 per month

Transaction Fee

There is a fee of 8.75% commission on the invoiced project if you win the bid and the fee is called a “finders fee”.


You can either be paid through eLances online billing and payment system or your regular client billing and payment process. A $10.00 fee applies for wire transfer withdrawals above one per month through their system.


Subscription Fee

Basic profile/membership is free

“Guru Profile/membership” will range from $29.95 to $99.95 per quarter.

Transaction Fees

It depends on what subscription plan you choose. You will need to read each plan at the Guru website to view this information.


You have to invoice the employer through Guru’s billing systems. Guru will apparently be handling the funds and will send you payment via check, direct deposit, wire transfer, remit2india and paypal.

So as you can see, it can get a little confusing and there are plans in which you will have to pay a fee, but I would start out with the free subscription to get a feel for the website, for the projects posted and just to decide if this is something you would like to invest time and a little money into.

I want to be clear that you don’t have to use freelance websites in order to get work at home. There are many job lead websites out there and lots of jobs for the taking, but this is just yet another way to start getting work at home experience and some money to pay the bills. Freelancing is 100% legitimate and many people have been doing this type of work for years. I know you have been preached at to not pay for a job, so how is this any different? This is more like paying to access a job lead database. There is nothing wrong with that and it is not a scam. My good friend, Pamela, owns a job lead website that is loaded with company websites and she charges a fee for you to access this. Freelance websites are much like this in the fact that they charge (for the better subscription plans) to connect you with possible employers/projects.

I would recommend having a look around for yourself, maybe ask some friends if they have ever used these freelance websites and get their personal opinion, but just remember this as an option to getting work at home jobs.

About the Author

Nell Taliercio is the publisher of a weekly telecommuting newsletter that helps moms and dads work at home. Read more about the newsletter and get your free listing of job links at http://www.telecommutinganswerlady.com - and for more telecommuting and home based business information head over to http://www.mommysplace.net


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