work from home Archives | The Pickled Ginger


2 Real Jobs you can work from home that make real money – And I know, I did them both!

by ColleenTags: , , , , Categories: Customer Service,Transcription,Working from Home

We all could use a little more cash at times, and some of us need more than others.

Writing, blogging, design and technical jobs are all great options for skilled and motivated individuals who wish to trade in the office grind in favor of being their own boss or bring in a little extra income.

But what if you’re not really a writer, or feel completely lost when it comes to anything technical, and you’re not feeling very entrepreneurial? Well, you’re certainly not alone, and there are still great options available for you.

The internet contains thousands of lists of jobs you can do at home. I’m sure you’ve already scanned through dozens of them and maybe determined that most weren’t a fit for you. There was a time (long before I started this blog) that I had no interest in a career or becoming a brand, and I just simply want to bring in a paycheck that allowed me to focus on being a mom.

It feels like only yesterday I was living in a tiny apartment with my husband and two small children (One of those children just graduated college – woo hoo!), stressing about how on earth we were going to pay our rent and keep the power on. My husband had a part-time teaching gig at the community college around the corner, but the money from that was so little, we had to depend a lot on family to get us by.

I remember frantically searching the internet for work-at home jobs, frustrated that everything glimmer of hope I mustered was eventually dashed at the realization that I would be expected to fork out money (that I didn’t have!) in order to qualify for whatever work was available. The scams in those days, I tell ya! Thankfully I’m a bit older and wiser now.

I did manage to navigate those days relatively unscathed, and managed to find scam-free, gainful work-at home jobs that really helped my family get through the tough times and allow me to stay home and focus on being a mom. Not surprisingly, most of the legit companies are still around today and seeking honest, self-motivated individuals – like you – to fulfill dignified essential roles in their companies. And I’m here to point you in the right direction.

1. CSR

A telephone customer service representative (CSR) was the very first work-at home (hereafter referred to as WAH) role I ever tried. After the initial relief of finding a company that provided WAH opportunities and surviving a telephone interview, I was overwhelmed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I had been out of the work force for a few years by then, staying home to take care of a small child and an infant, and as many women can tell you, that transition can really mess with your brain. My self-doubt and insecurity were at an all time-high. But you know what? I needn’t have worried. It was fine.

Phone calls were sent to my computer, which I answered using software from the company, which enabled me to press a button to connect the call. I then simply read from a script that appeared on my screen. Easy Peasy! I took orders for a popular shopping channel, I took orders for a popular pizza chain, and I even took calls for credit card companies, signing up new customers. Everything I needed was right there in the script in front of me. If I did on occasion have an issue that I couldn’t handle, transferring the customer to a manager was as simple as pressing a couple buttons to pass the call to someone more qualified to help. I was soon able to relax enough to have a little fun with the job and be more personable with the callers. It made for a better experience and I’ll say it, I even began to enjoy being a WAH CSR. Three companies that have been around for a long time and have good reputations are:

• www.west.com

• www.liveops.com

• www.sykes.com (formerly Alpine Access)

I personally worked for West Corporation and I had a great experience with them. My husband even did some work for them short term, which essentially doubled our income at the time. We were both making $8.00 an hour when we were with West, but admittedly, this was years ago. At the time, $8.00 was pretty good considering the lack of overhead.

Bottom Line: If you’re a people person, have a flexible schedule and love working in your PJs, WAH CSR just might be for you!

2. Transcription from Home

Eventually, my husband got a decent fulltime job which, coupled with my income as a customer service rep, enabled us to adequately sustain our household, and even a few luxuries from time to time. So, imagine my surprise when I was contacted out of the blue by a transcription company claiming that I had applied for them some time ago, and that they now had an opening for me if I was interested. Honestly, I had no recollection (I still don’t) of applying with this company, nor had I heard of them; but cautiously optimistic, I interviewed, went through the training and even received my first paycheck two weeks later.

My bank initially refused to honor the check, suspecting that it was a fraud, but after a triangle of phone calls to and from my bank, the transcription company and their bank, it was determined that it was a legitimate check, the funds were available and the company was legit after all. Boy, was I relieved!

Ten years later, I can confidently tell you that this company is huge, with big-name clients and continues to grow. And I’ve never once had an issue with payment. They faithfully make direct deposits into their contractors’ bank accounts twice a month. In fact, I still maintain one company’s required minimum of typing hours, per month, in order to keep my certification with them because these days, you just never know when you’ll need a little extra cash and it’s always good to have a backup.

The rate of pay is moderate, but the faster and more accurate you type, the more money you stand to make. When I started out, my pay worked out to $9.00 per hour, but I’ve become really fast, and an hour of typing brings me a much higher rate depending on what kind of transcription I’m doing and how my hands are feeling on any given day. HIPAA laws and just general privacy considerations prevent me from naming specifically the transcription companies I’ve worked for, but I will include them in a list below of the more reputable transcription agencies, and you can check them out yourself.

www.transcribeme.com

www.speakwrite.com

www.accutranglobal.com

The only investment needed is a foot pedal and a decent computer. Now, I managed to go through the training without a foot pedal, and it was a pain in the butt, but it is possible. However, I highly recommend the foot pedal. You can get a really nice one for $60.00. The software I used is proprietary and free to download once you’ve been set up as a contractor.

Bottom Line: If you’re not really a people person, don’t mind spending long hours at your desk, have flexibility in your working hours, and have strong work ethic and attention to detail, this job might be for you.

Not everybody is cut out to run their own business. Finding a job that pays a decent wage that you can do from home with little overhead isn’t impossible, and with a bit of determination, you can turn a good side hustle into a fulltime gig.

2 Real Jobs you can work from home that make you real money | The Pickled Ginger - You don't have to be technical, artistic, entrepreneurial, or even a writer to find lucrative work that you can do at home!

5/9 Update Post

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , , , , , Categories: Weight Loss Journey Progress

I didn’t really plan on posting anything until Tuesday, when I will be weighing myself and posting an update picture, but I just found myself in the mood to write.

I’m surprised to say I’m feeling great. Despite a few setbacks this week (all sugar based – more detail below), I’m managing to keep up the workouts, which for me is huge. It’s 9:00 p.m. here and though I’ve not yet worked out today I’m itching to do so and will make sure to squeeze it in before bed.

I’ve been drinking from 48 to 72 ounces of water per day. It’s not quite my gallon (128 ounces) goal, but it’s still more water than I was drinking before. Additionally, despite my insistence that I would NEVER give up my coffee, I’ve just been making myself a cup every morning but not taking more than a sip or two. I’ve had a bit of voice work this week and I find that copious amounts of caffeine tends to dry me out a bit and make recording difficult. The water has been so helpful and I was told that my recordings were better than usual, though I have a sneaking suspicion that might be more due to my positive attitude than anything else.

My diet has been mostly raw vegetables (kale, spinach, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes); some raw fruits; chicken or beef and the occasional eggs or cooked beans and veggies (My husband made a spicy vegetarian chili).

Alas! My sugar status has not been boast-worthy. Wednesday night my husband was feeling celebratory after a small personal victory which resulted in milkshakes. Mine was peanut butter fudge and I felt it long after. Dairy has never been my friend.

Yesterday I went a bit crazy when I came across plates of cookies and chips at my brother’s house that his wife had set out for everyone. I resisted for an hour but eventually “just one” snowballed into several. I didn’t let it get me down though. I came home, brushed my teeth (a trick that helps me so much), consumed a 24-ounce Mason jar of ice water and made sure to get my workout in.

Against my own judgment I weighed myself last night and was pleasantly surprised. I don’t want to become a slave to numbers, as I understand that the scale is not the final word in fat loss, but since I’m just starting out on this weight loss journey, I’ve decided to pay some attention to the numbers on the scale for a little while. I won’t divulge them today, but Tuesday I will be sure to post them along with a picture.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!


How to Determine what to Charge for your VA (Or Any Other) Services

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Categories: Tips on Working from Home,Virtual Assistant,Working from Home

For a few years, a sizable portion of my income while working from home was made as a VA (virtual assistant).  While I did well and worked with some wonderful individuals (partners as well as clients), I soon became dispassionate about my work.  I was stubborn and slow to accept and learn about blogging as an important facet of running a successful business and I was overwhelmed by social media in general.  I’m not as stubborn as I formerly was regarding these common business tools, and while I still have so much learn about them, I am genuinely making the effort.
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Dressing The Part

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , , , Categories: Work-at-home Tips,Working from Home

The rich warm aroma of brewing coffee; the clicking of fingers on keyboards; the clacking of high heels on hard floors; the background hum of paper-shuffling, printers and voices – these are just a few of the ambient smells, sounds and sights of the typical office that I have come to miss while working from home, a sentiment I’ve discovered to be beyond the grasp of many I know still subject to the conventional grind of their occupations and even at times a surprise to myself.
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So You Want To Work From Home…

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , Categories: Working from Home

Almost nothing I say interests people more than when I tell them I work from home. This revelation never fails to bring out exuberant responses from others ranging from curiosity to assumptions; and as anyone who works from home can tell you, the latter can have you pulling your hair out!
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