We all have our own reasons for wanting to work from home
Do you have a reason for wanting to work from home? Lemme tell you about mine.
(If you don’t care for a story, feel free to skip down to the 3 Real Work-from-Home Options heading further down :))
I’ve mentioned before that I was super blessed growing up to have a mom who worked from home and was always “there.” Sometimes she was there and working, but she was still there. I was never without her.
I didn’t spend any time in a daycare or wondering if someone was really paying attention to me.
Related: 15 Work at Home Ideas for Moms
Related: How I Quit My Job to Blog Full Time (in Less Than a Year)
I grew up knowing that I was her priority, and I also grew up knowing that working from home is an actual thing. (You just need to wade through all the scams to find the gems.)
But for some reason I couldn’t “find a way” to make it work for me. And I couldn’t figure out why. I’d try different multi-level marketing type things, or I’d look into “freelancing” with all my “skills”… but inevitably I’d end up waiting tables from 5-midnight for minimum wage and tips.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
I was a complainer.
Over and over I’d come to my mom and dad (and later my husband), whining about my job and every. single. time. my mom would say, “Why don’t you just take a transcription course and work from home? It’s only four months, and I see ads for transcriptionists everywhere.”
Even when I was 25 and had been complaining for YEARS, Mom was still super supportive, coming up with different suggestions for courses I could take online to build my work from home life.
But I could not get my head around the idea that I needed to invest any time or money into something that (I feared) might never pay off.
And then something changed.
I got fired… and felt relief!
I got fired from a terrible, awful job — one that I had been at for years. (I deserved to be fired. I was a terrible, awful employee. We’ll save that story for another post!)
The relief I felt was overwhelming. Literally. When you get fired, you’re supposed to cry and apologize and then bad mouth your employer. I actually told the guy I agreed with him, and thanked him, I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t wait to start never going there again.
It didn’t take me long to realize that my real problem was that I was wasting my life working for other people in tedious shift-work jobs, and it was because I didn’t have an education. I never found anything I was interested in enough to justify spending years of my life and hundreds of thousands of dollars on learning.
But I didn’t really know what I should do, and I didn’t really know how to start finding a way to do it anyhow. So for another year, I just drifted around taking “occasional” work at a restaurant (again).
And then something else changed.
Things got pretty serious.
I got pregnant.
And suddenly all this wasting my life, not being at home, making-pathetic-money stuff really mattered.
(I guess it “mattered” before, but I’m married to a man who works steadily, so it didn’t really matter.)
I wanted to be at home with this baby, but I also wanted to contribute to our family’s financial well being. I wanted to be able to take this baby on holidays and pay for it to be in after-school activities, and I didn’t want to feel guilty when I bought a pair of jeans.
So I needed to make some money.
And I needed to do it from home.
And at this point, going to college was very much out of the question.
BUT. What I eventually realized was that the digital world we live in now is full of opportunities for people who just take them.
It doesn’t HAVE to cost you thousands (or take years) to learn to do something that can make you thousands.
So what’d I do next?I took an online course. I paid the money for it. I put the hours into it. I really committed to it. I made it my # 1 goal – to work from home.
That was in March this year, and this is October 1. I’ve just calculated (roughly) what I made with my new “job” for September: $2990.00.
(For frame of reference, this is more money than I have ever made in one month in my life.)
(And it’s profit. I already recouped the cost of my course within the first few couple months.)
Working from home has been an amazing experience. I can’t even really describe it because it doesn’t feel like “working.” I do what I want, as long as I get the work done. If I need the afternoon off, I take the afternoon off. I put in some evening hours if I’d rather not work in the day. The money almost doesn’t feel like real money, because I don’t feel like I’ve put in any effort to GET the money.
And when this baby is born, and for the next four years while it’s at home, I will be at home with him or her. (Praise God!)
For me, the answer was blogging.
(If you think the answer for YOU is blogging too, I have lots of information on how to start a blog for profit. You can read How to start a blog.)
But let me just be clear about one thing: Blogging is not the answer for everyone. In fact, blogging has some major drawbacks. It is WAY more difficult to create a successful blog out of thin air than it is to find work geared toward a specific set of in-demand skills. Blogging requires incredible patience, ridiculous effort, and maybe even a bit of luck.
Working at home should require effort and patience, but luck is negotiable if you’ve got specific skills that are in demand.
So I went searching for some legit options that fit that exact description.
Real work (none of this “easy, no-effort-required” scammy stuff – if you’ve been to this blog before, you know I think there’s no such thing as get rich quick.)
(Oh — and they’d have to be location-independent. No commute time!)
I found three options to share with you that totally fit the bill.
Let’s take a look.
3 REAL Work from Home Options for People Serious About Escaping the 9-to-5
Option #1: Transcribing
This one comes to mind for me first, probably since it’s the work from home option my mom was always suggesting I look into when I was complaining so much. And she was right: you can complete the course in 2-4 months. That means if you’re in a hurry to start working from home (or maybe on a baby-imposed deadline…), then this is a totally viable option.
The average median annual income for a general transcriptionist is currently $45,000 USD. This is more than double what I made before in my crappy shift work jobs. Legal transcriptionists can earn around $60,000 USD — and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg for people willing to work hard. The instructor of the course Transcribe Anywhere , Janet Shaughnessy, has personally witnessed transcriptionists growing their businesses to six figures. I didn’t know THAT was possible when I was younger, or I’d be a transcriptionist now!
Transcribe Anywhere offers a free mini course so you can try it out and decide if it’s for you before you invest. The demand for transcriptionists is high (so my mom was right AGAIN…)
“With the exploding popularity of video all over the internet, there is a rapidly increasing demand for transcription. Much of that video needs to be turned into a written document to be used for marketing, training, blog or website content, eBooks… the list is endless. Companies and marketers of all kinds use transcriptionists. Some are big production companies and others are small mom-and-pop businesses. The demand for qualified transcriptionists will continue to rise.” – from Transcribe Anywhere
Learn more about the Transcribe Anywhere course here.
Option #2: Proofreading Transcripts for Court Reporters
I’d be looking into this one for similar reasons as transcription. First off, it meets all my criteria for a work from home job. (Location independent, in high demand, and well paid.)
This is a little different though in that it isn’t something anyone can just jump into and win at — because it’s difficult. Anyone can try to do it, but very few people are willing to invest in training (for anything), which means that when you do invest in training, you’ll stand out more to potential clients.
There is an amazing course available to learn this type of proofreading. Hosted on Proofread Anywhere, Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ it’s the only course available for this particular niche of proofreading. The Proofread Anywhere team does something really honest and unusual for students: they don’t allow anyone to pay for the entire course at once. Everyone moves through in stages to keep costs — and the risk of overwhelm/failure — way down.
Similar to the Transcribe Anywhere course, Proofread Anywhere also offers a free intro course that will help you decide if you’re cut out for proofreading. After that, you can purchase the course in “chunks” starting at just $77, so you get to decide if it’s for you or not before you’re “all in.”
(Buying the whole thing at once was a huge hang up for me with the blogging course I bought. All that money down and no way to know if I could even do it? Yikes.)
The creator and instructor of the course, Caitlin Pyle, has been proofreading transcripts for more than six years. She is incredibly successful in her field and is “obsessed with all things transcript proofreading.” You can tell she’s super passionate about teaching others to be successful at her craft.
The graduates of Proofread Anywhere have awesome things to say about Caitlin and her course. Have a look at the transcript proofreading course here, and check out the reviews from people who are now working from home as proofreaders.
UPDATE: Proofread Anywhere now has a GENERAL Proofreading course! (As is, if you don’t want to be tied to court reporting, and want more doors open for you. Learn more about General Proofreading: Theory and Practice here.)
Option #3: Editing Transcripts for Court Reporters (scoping)
Scoping wasn’t even on my radar until I started researching work from home jobs. It, again, checks all the boxes — it’s location independent, has an earning potential between $30,000 and $50,000 or more per year, and it’s in high demand.
Editing for court reporters is called scoping (for some reason). It’s related but also entirely different from proofreading. Basically, you get the audio and the transcript from the court reporter, and then you edit the transcript to make sure it’s in keeping with the audio. In essence, you create a final draft of the transcript that’s ready for final proofreading. You need excellent punctuation, word use and vocabulary skills plus a strong work ethic to succeed at scoping.
Internet Scoping School has been running (and training successful scopists) since 1999 and teaches you exactly what you need to know to be a successful “scopist.”The course creator and instructor, Linda Evenson, has been a scopist for over 35 years, and she is dedicated to “ensuring the graduates know what they need to not only do their jobs well, but to make money” (her words!). That’s pretty important. I wouldn’t be making any investments in anything where the teacher didn’t care about my success.
Scoping training is more expensive than proofreading or transcribing, but it’s an even more specialized skill with a higher earning potential. It’s easy to forget that you can make your money back in a short time. You just have to put in the effort to actually learn the skill and not give up when it gets tough.
Internet Scoping School also offers a free intro course so you can get a feel for it before diving in. I also love their incredibly accessible payment plans starting at $233 per month. Wish I’d had the option of that small of a bill back when I was considering college!! Learn more about scoping (and if it’s for you) here.
P.S. — ALL of the courses I’ve recommended come with LIFETIME access plus free updates, which I feel is imperative because as you transition to a “work from home” life, you will want to be able to work at your own pace, and you will want to be able to refresh yourself on the content as you take the leap and start actually working from home. Trust me on this. Been there, done that.
How do you know if you should take the leap?
This is pretty easy actually.
Take it from someone who couldn’t bring herself to spend a few hundred bucks on learning what she needed to know to work from home and instead spent ten miserable years wasting her days and making pathetic money.
Even if you make good money at your job now, I can almost guarantee you that I’ve had a better day “working from home” in my sweats (while drinking tea on my couch), than you’ve had getting up early, commuting to the office, putting in your time, and getting home at 6.
Just sayin’ 🙂
The great thing about online courses is that you can continue to work while you complete them. I didn’t see a profit until I had finished my course and had been “working” for a couple months, but I never had to quit my day job to get there. All I really gave up was 700 bucks (that I’ve already made back) and a few hours of TV every evening… and that same 700 bucks has already paid me back many times over.
What have you got to lose?
Also Read: Make Money at Home: 10 Ways to Earn $1000 Each Month