As businesses expand globally, they need to communicate in more languages. That's great news for bilingual people who are interested in entering this flexible, fast-growing profession. From a virtual office (using Skype to join conference calls, say), people in this field participate in live conversations and translate documents and recordings. Spanish is the most in-demand tongue, followed by Japanese, Korean, Chinese and French. Deadlines are tight at times, but you are free to turn down anything. Gengo and similar agencies have a global client base—which means you can work in the middle of the night if that suits you.
What you bring to the table: The ability to read, write and fluently speak more than one language. You can find plenty of work in Spanish, French and Chinese, but the more obscure the language, the higher the demand.
Expect to earn: About $12 an hour. Translators working with technical or scientific content can earn up to $40.
How to get started: The websiteTranslatorscafe.com contains a free online directory of translators and translation jobs. Just upload your resumé and list your rates and services. Jobs, which are posted daily, might include translating a tourism brochure or subtitling a movie. You apply directly to the hiring company. Or enlist an online agency such as the ones at gengo.com andverbalizeit.com. You select projects that fit your calendar and abilities.
Customers used to call a company to complain or order a product, and they’d reach the main office. Now virtual call centers route incoming calls to a home agent’s phone; agents receive a script on how to answer possible questions so they can respond to routine customer-service inquries or sell products.
What you bring to the table:Professional, pleasant phone presence, the ability to read a script and make it sound natural, a quiet area in which to work and perhaps a headset attached to your phone.
Expect to earn: $7 to $15 per hour, with some jobs offering incentives for high sales.
You can earn large sums of money selling items online by reaching out to people who want to get rid of their stuff but are too busy to do it themselves.
What you bring to the table:Experience selling goods through auctions on eBay and the business savvy required to promote your services.
Expect to earn: Sellers determine the price by the market and the value of items they sell. Some charge a flat per-item fee (often $5 to $25), or take a percentage (20 percent to 40 percent) of total sales. Depending on the volume of your business, reselling on eBay and other sites could become a lucrative full-time job.
How to get started:Active eBay sellers with high ratings and sales can register to be listed on the website’s directory of trading assistants atebaytradingassistant.com. You need to be a self-starter who knows how to spread the word—to friends, family members, acquaintances and strangers. Check outallyou.com/home-business for more tips on how to market your services.
Companies are always on the lookout for people to help them “go digital” by typing paper documents into a computer. Many outsource the task of inputting data to update their records on a regular basis.
What you bring to the table: A computer, typing accuracy and speed.
Expect to earn: $6 to $20 per hour.
How to get started: While jobs exist, demand is high and scams plentiful. TheWork at Home Jobs page at homewiththekids.com lists companies that hire regularly. Also search Craigslist and Google (type in “online data input jobs”), and cold-call companies’ human resources departments to apply.
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