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Self Employment and Work From Home

People who search for online work from home will inevetibly be faced with the decision whether or not to pay a fee for an opportunity to make money. There is no way around this. It's impossible to avoid and it's a choice everyone must make. That being said, there are strategies and guides to follow which will prevent you from being scammed... or else investing money in a home business opportunity that will not be profitable.

First and foremost, if you are looking for a traditional job there should be no upfront fee to pay. There are exceptions to this! If you apply directly to the company who is hiring, they will not require you to pay them for a job. Just as you would expect...they will pay you to work for them.

Just make sure you apply directly to the employer and not an online employment agency, job broker, or "middleman". It's important to be aware that many of the businesses who are looking for employees to hire, use the services of these agencies/websites.

Why do these companies charge a fee?

Quite simply because they are in business to make money. They also have a lot of expense including building and maintaining partnerships with both small businesses and large corporations. And it's not cheap to keep a website online and easily found on the major search engines.

So if you are looking for a real job it's best to search classified ad sites like along with job search engines like The good thing about both of these resources is you can search by geographic area and find a local employer with current job openings.

Now let's talk about websites that advertise an online work at home income opportunity with an upfront cost.

Most of these are actually offering a small business or self employment opportunity which can be done in your home.

The competition for legitimate home businesses has grown so much that even the honest companies sometimes use ad copy that can be confusing and even misleading. The "Wall Street" hype in their marketing strategies are almost unavoidable if a company wants to be competitive online. That's why it's important to know how to screen out the good from the bad.

Most questionable income sources follow a simple formula where they sell information about a work at home job for a modest price. You can't help but come accross work at home job "opportunities" that require you to pay a fee for details, application forms, job lists, start-up kits, membership, etc. Don't be surprised if you find one of these attractive because they look good and are practically everywhere you search.

The rule of thumb to follow is never signup for one of these unless there is a free trial or else a 100% money back guarantee. It's even better if the company has both a guarantee and free trial.

There are some companies that allow you to work the business for 30 days with no cost. This can help you determine if it is a good fit... and give you the opportunity to make money with no financial risk.

After the free trial they may require or ask you to invest a modest fee [by purchasing a product or service] to continue. If this is the case, make sure the company increases your income in commissions or bonuses. An example of this is starting off as a "free" affiliate or associate and later upgrading to a higher income bracket which might be called "Executive Affiliate". There is nothing wrong with this as long as you know the terms and conditions of your partnership.

In fact these arrangements are fairly common and are legitimate self employment opportunities. Since these don't really cost money to get started, there is no risk involved. However, you will be investing your time and effort. So you will want to thoroughly research the company in advance. It's always good if the business is a BBB member and can provide contact info from people who are currently working for them and doing well.

Beware of companies who say they will provide you with a personal "mentor" who will guide you step by step with ongoing help and support. Some even claim the "mentor" will be available to you 24/7 which is ridiculous. These businesses usually charge a minimum of several thousand dollars and upwards of tens of thousands. A website that includes a lot of "testimonials" with no contact information should also be considered suspect. The old cliche "if it sounds too good to be true... it usually is" applys to all considerations.

A company that allows you access to a Forum or Discussion Group is usually honest and legitimate. This is where their affiliates and associates talk about how the business is working for them. They also help each other overcome problems and obstacles that come up during the course of their work. It's even better if they provide access to live chat with others who are involved with the company.

The only concern is if you see no negative postings and/or threads. If all you see is good stuff... that should raise a red flag. No company is perfect and there should be some discussions about problems and things people don't like about the company. A questionable income opportunity will have moderators deleting and editing negative posts. You can be sure if there are at least a few thousand forum members having open discussions... the business is good and you have a fair chance at success.

If you are willing to consider self employment, you will need to have a separate space in your home for an office. A home office should include all the right equipment including a desk, comfortable chair, good lighting, PC, fax machine, scanner, dedicated phone line with voice mail, cordless phone, separate email address, surge protector with multiple electric outlets, copier, stationary, bonded & copy paper, file cabinet, and desk top calender.

The following is a guide to follow if you are searching for a job or decide to pay a fee and become self employed as a strategy to make money at home...

* If looking for a traditional job or employment, it's always best to get past the "middle man" and apply directly to the employer. This can usually be accomplished by using classified ad websites like Craigslist or job search engines like CareerBuilder. Your local newspaper's website can also be a good job source.

* Don't pay a fee for a regular job unless you know in advance the employer is hiring and the agency [helping you] guarantees that you will get the job you are qualified for with the minimum salary you will accept.

* Be flexible - consider freelance work projects as well as full-time employment. If you have a job... ask your boss about the possibility of working some hours from home.

* Be patient and prepared to spend time screening out and researching companies for frauds & scams and junk listings to get to legitimate positions.

* Never invest money in a home business unless you are prepared to become self-employed.

* Make certain that if you signup for a home based business the company has either a free trial or 100% money back guarantee.

* Access to a forum, live chat, and/or discussion group is a good sign of a legitimate work at home opportunity. Direct contact with others already involved and making money should be an intregal part of researching the business.

* Use resources like the BBB, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection Agency and SCORE to help you screen out potential frauds.

* Set up a home office with all the right equipment including a desk, comfortable chair, good lighting, PC, fax machine, scanner, dedicated phone line with voice mail, cordless phone, separate email address, surge protector with multiple electric outlets, copier, stationary, bonded & copy paper, file cabinet, and desk top calender

* Have realisitc expectations. You must make a commitment which includes setting both short term and long term goals that can be achieved as you work to become successful. Be prepared for setbacks, obsticles, and failures along the way. Remember that a stumbling block can be a stepping stone in disguise. Most all successful people used their failures to learn how to succeed.

In closing a quote from Winston Churchill come to mind. In speaking to the graduating class at Oxford University he gave the following speech... "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might".

This is advice, we can all use in both our personal and professional lives...

About The Author*
Erich V Winnecke owns the Work-At-Home-Directory.Com website... which is a guide for people interested in locating a work at home income source or starting a Home Based Business.

This article may be reprinted only if the About The Author's resource box is kept intact and all links remain live. All rights are reserved by the author.

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