Where's the first place you should look to find a legitimate telecommuting job? Is it at one of the major job search sites, is it on the hundreds of free telecommuting job boards, is it in your local newspaper?
Actually, the place to look when you first start a telecommuting job search is at your present place of employment. I know, I know, I can hear all the moans and groans right now. I bet you thought I was going to send you off to some secret website that only a few fortunate souls know about. If you were one of them, I'm sorry.
I wish I could promise that you could log onto any one of the free job boards, find a job you like, contact the company and be hired on the spot. And I'm sure there have been some cases where that has occurred. But that shouldn't be the first place you start. Start where they know you.
Traditional job searches can last months. Now think about it, how much harder is it going to be to convince a company who doesn't know you, doesn't know your skills, and doesn't know your work habits to hire you to work from the comfort of your home for their establishment? I believe you know the answer to that. Unless you have some highly sought after skills, I can assure you a traditional job search would more than likely be easier.
I don't mean to discourage or disappoint you, I just want you to be able to face the facts and reality as it truly is. Yes, you can find a telecommuting job on these job boards, but it will take some effort. However, as more and more companies become familiar with telework and develop telecommuting policies, job searching and your odds at finding employment while working from home will increase in your favor.
But today, one of the easiest places to find telecommuting employment is at your current company. As an engineer I worked from home for a company that I started out with in a traditional position. Your current employer knows you, knows your skills and knows your work habits. Use this to your advantage. Try to negotiate a telecommuting position with your existing company first.
To begin with, you will need to determine whether or not your current job is suitable for telecommuting. This is usually obvious, but as technology advances more and more jobs will become telecommuter-friendly.
Second, you will need to determine whether or not your company already has a telecommuting policy established. If so, your task just became a little easier. If not, you will have to convince your company of their benefits in allowing you to telecommute. Yes, I did say "their" benefits. You'll have to become a salesperson persuading them with what they will gain by letting you work from home.
And last, you will have to convince your manager that your position is suitable for telecommuting and that you'd like to work from your home. Usually, it will start out on a trial basis. Maybe two, three days out of the week. But if it all works out, you may be surprised to find yourself working a telecommuting job full-time very soon.
The last three paragraphs sound pretty basic. But entire books have been written on the subject. My intentions here aren't to explain all of the ins and outs of how to do this. I just want to let you know that your current job is one of the best places to find a telecommuting position when first starting out in your job search. So be sure to take advantage of it.