Work at Home Jobs: Data Entry/Call Center/Admin

Many of these types of work at home jobs have terrible reputations, and they've truly earned them. Ironically, and to be strictly fair, the process of outsourcing admin jobs has improved dramatically in the last few years. These can be real jobs, with salaries and real employers. Some employers offer these services to businesses, and outsource their own staff, creating these jobs.

Real jobs or not?

You need to be able to distinguish the real jobs from the non-jobs. The job advertisements and application process will tell you a lot about the employers. The type of work is the most definite indicator of real jobs. If the type of work isn't specified, and the job ad doesn't look like a normal ad for jobs of this type, it's almost definitely a non-job.

Call center jobs are generally specified in the job ad (these sometimes also include chat lines, so make sure you know what you're applying for). Data entry jobs should include clear references to the type of work involved and the systems being used. The ads will often contain phrases like, "Must have a reliable internet/phone connection and a quiet place to work." You may even see specific questions and statements about requirements for computer capabilities to operate software.

Job applications

A real job application for this type of work at home job will include a normal looking application form. You'll often be asked to specify your hours of availability, because some of these jobs are shift jobs.

These are almost all contract jobs, and the primary focus is on skills. You'll be asked to submit a resume or CV with your application, and you need to make sure that your skills are a good match for the jobs.

Please note that although these are bona fide jobs, actually getting one can be a frustrating experience. These are service providers, and their emphasis is on placing people ASAP. There can be gaps in contacts, and they may take a while getting back to you after signing up.

Job quality and income

The real issue with these jobs is the equation between payment and conditions vs. job quality. Be realistic at all times about what you expect to get out of this type of job. Like any job, the job quality and work varies considerably from employer to employer. Pay isn't normally too dazzling, but these jobs can fill in holes in a CV, and they do provide a useful second income, or in some cases a primary income.

These jobs are exactly what they claim to be, and data entry, call center and admin work is exactly what you get (if it isn't, and you find you're doing more or different work and not getting paid more for it, look out). The work at home element is the decisive quality control. If the job pays properly and the work at home arrangement works, you've found your job.