This is our first in a series of location independent lifestyle articles that I will be posting each Monday. Be sure to come back every Monday for more in my series on the subject of working from your RV!
One of the most asked questions that I see on the full-time RV-er related Facebook pages and forums is, “We would love to be able to travel full-time in our RV, but how do you earn money while on the road?”
With the advent of the internet, our nation’s workforce is no longer expected to go to our employer’s place of employment, put in our 40-hour workweek, then go home and not think about work on Saturday and Sunday. The tides have shifted toward more employers being willing to allow their employees to work from home (or RV), either full-time or for part of their hours worked. In fact, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers, conducted by the Families and Work Institute, 67% of employers now allow some of their employees to work from home occasionally.
But what’s the best way to ensure that the job you are applying for is a legitimate work-from-home position? After all, the work-from-home industry is fraught with scams. If you’re not very careful, you could be out money, with your identity stolen, and a real mess on your hands. Here are a few ways you can tell that a job or company may not be on the up-and-up:
Think About It: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If the employer offers you a “get-rich-quick” pitch or promises high pay for part-time-hours, they are probably not a legitimate employer.
Read Carefully: Read any offers that you get VERY carefully. Consider the young lady who, upon reading the employment offer, noticed that buried deep within the offer was a line asking for her bank account information, supposedly so they could pay her. However, she had not accepted their offer yet! It was a scam to steal her personal information. NEVER give out your personal information until you are certain the job and offer is legit! Also, make sure the potential employer describes the job that you will be doing well. If they don’t CLEARLY explain the job you will be doing, keep looking.
Do Not Send Money: If the employer asks you for any money, under the guise of providing you with “work-from-home materials” “software or hardware” or “start-up kits”, think again! No legitimate company will EVER ask you for money in order for you to work for them.
Ask For References: Don’t be afraid to ask the potential employer for references of former employers or contractors, and then check those references. If the company refuses to provide you with references, then they are probably not somebody you would want to waste your time with.
Ask To Speak To An Actual Person: If they won’t allow you to speak to a real person, move along.
Identify The Owners Or Principals: If you cannot identify the owners of the company, chances are they don’t want to be identified because they are not legit.
When searching online, do not search using the keywords “work from home” or “work at home”: These keywords are “scam bait”. Instead search using “telecommute” or “flexible hours”.
There can be great advantages to working from home, especially for those of us in the full-time RV community. Often, you can make your own hours, and still have plenty of time left to go on day-trips or be with your family. After all, that’s why we picked this lifestyle to begin with – to be able to experience more of life than a 9 to 5-er! With care and forethought, there are plenty of good opportunities out there to be able to make an income while traveling.
I have spent a few months collecting some (to me) legit looking work from home jobs, and other information on the work-from-home lifestyle. You can see a bunch of opportunities that I have found on my Pinterest board. (Disclaimer: PLEASE don’t take my word that any of these positions are legitimate. Check them out for yourself before committing to any jobs!) Feel free to follow my board and keep up-to-date as I add more jobs and information to it. I have also found a site called www.teleworkrecruiting.com, started in 1999, which matches virtual workers with over 1800 employers, all of whom have been vetted in advance. Basic membership on the site is free, which allows you to upload your resume and receive their newsletter. They also have a paid premium membership for a one-time fee of $59.95, which then gives you access to further services such as resume critique, setting up job alerts, and other more advanced options.
As you can see, there are many ways to avoid the scams while searching for a location independent job. Be sure to check back next Monday as we continue our series on the location independent lifestyle.