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  1. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Jobs that can be done remotely via computer

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ddavidv, Feb 1, 2014.

    I have a MC that is running away from his home life and staying at his family's cabin. At first, it was to be for a week or two but after picking up a girl along the way that winds up staying with him (because she is being pursued by bad guys) it stretches out to several weeks. While there is no internet/cell service at the cabin, the MC can/does go into the nearby town to use the WiFi in the local library to do--whatever it is I will have him do. He needs to maintain an income from this, but perhaps on a reduced level (perhaps only actually working a few days a week instead of five). The job should require a minimum of phone interaction if possible. One requirement: he can't be a writer!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Buying and selling crap on eBay or Craig's List. Creating web sites. Software contract work.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There's tons of jobs that can be done by remote. I work as a translator for the federal courts. All my originals come via internet and all my product gets sent the same way. I rarely have to actually go to the DA's office save for those time when I'm doing a transcription that's too big to send as a file. Then I have to go pick up a disk. Other than that...
     
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  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ones that don't require you be available on a fixed, full-time schedule are somewhat less common though. Otherwise, I'd have suggested tech support and the like as well.
     
  5. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    Writer (Surprised you didn't see that one coming)
    Hacker
    Website Researcher (The guy who rates new websites for the cyber-nanny type family filters)
    Reporter (newspaper is easier to do online than tv news)
    Insurance Investigator (Although you don't have to be in the office, you do have to visit clients)
    Day Trader (Stocks)
    Podcaster (Doing talk radio format on the world wide web)
    Scammer (for the criminally inclined, email and website scams are more common than you think...but getting caught has its own consequences)

    Online retailer (operating a commercial website where customers place orders through your shopping cart software, and you have wholesale suppliers drop ship the merchandise from their warehouse to your customers).
     
  6. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Some good ideas here. As I continue to work on my story outline, the job would probably pay what could best be described as middle-middle class. It won't be exotic, and his wife won't be impressed with what he does. I don't think it would be higher risk (day trading, for example). He's going to be located several hours away from his normal residence while doing this, so he can't pack/ship or have any inventory around him to do ebay.

    Is there anything like bookkeeping or billing that could be done for companies on a subcontract basis?

    Something with transcription, technical writing, translation, research would be suitable. My MC is around 30 years old, only moderately college educated and probably not really sure what he wants to do with his life. This would not be his 'dream' job, except it would allow him to stay at home and raise a family while his wife works outside the home. They have not yet had children, however.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    When I had my own law practice I worked two or three hours a day on whatever schedule I wanted, and I often did it from coffee shops. So you might try that :)
     
  8. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Data/e-mail processing can be done via PC anywhere in the world.
    You can take calls over PC as well like for food orders or even help lines/customer service.
     
  9. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    Yes, hehe, that's my job. Also, moderately college educated, slightly aimless in life, not my 'dream' job...yep! :D
    Feel free to ask me questions.
     
  10. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    My previous job was as IT operations specialist. As the workplace evolved, it required less hands on to the hardware and more just managing resources from the console. However, we were on the phone quite often. Occasionally we were asked to perform some hands on, but that really wasn't our duty, it was just something we could do since we were on site.

    The job could have been done from home and I'm still pissed at the place because we still had to go into the place on holidays to tend to the companies business, even when Christmas fell on a Sat and Sun, meaning we got straight time because it wasn't a standard business day.
     
  11. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I work as a translator, and pretty much all work comes in via e-mail, I send off the finished translation via e-mail, and I need to talk on the phone... well, almost never, maybe a few times a year. I can decide my own hours (often end up working at night) and schedule as long as I deliver the finished product by the set deadline: doesn't matter if I work 4 hours a day for two weeks or 8 hours a day for a week and take one week off or whatever (just tossing random numbers around here for the sake of an example).

    Needless to say, I could live anywhere in the world and it wouldn't change anything else except that the few times I do need to make some calls, they'd be a bit more expensive across the world.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    shades of 'the lincoln lawyer'!

    i can just see 'the coffee shop counselor' following that delightful series by michael connelly...
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I do like Michael Connelly :)

    It was a nice way to work, particularly when my kids were young. After the economic downturn, it became too unpredictable, though, so I went back to firm life. Now that my kids are grown, I'm strongly thinking of going back to it again, however.
     
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  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Steerpike - you should totally go back to running your own law practice (assuming the income is sufficient to maintain the life/lifestyle you have now or sufficient for whatever life you're happy with).

    Personally, if I can help it, I never want a full-time job, EVER. I'm a freelance English tutor and I love scheduling my own hours, being able to cancel and go on holiday pretty much whenever I want, not having to put up with any sh*t from anyone or any kind of employer, the changing environment and people, the time spent reading whilst I travel from class to class - it's brilliant.

    As for the OP - some sort of website maintenance or content researcher, or perhaps paid to contribute to start-up forums, website designer. I have a friend who basically worked as a web designer (only with wordpress, nothing overly technical) as well as content researcher and writer, and he made enough to fly back and forth between the US and Europe several times a year.

    You could have your character as an online tutor of some kind - but then he'd have to work to a schedule. He could choose his own hours, but once the hours are chosen, they're fixed, so not sure if that'd work.

    Or maybe someone paid to drive bids up on bidding websites? Someone paid to do surveys and write reviews?
     
  15. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I may get back to you on that. That job was the one I initially thought of.

    T. Trian, your translation jobs sounds quite interesting (though you may not think so, lol). Are some languages more popular than others? My guess would be Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are the two most popular. I'm not sure I see my character doing this, though I wouldn't rule it out (and as long as I don't have to bring any foreign language into my writing, it's all good).

    Mckk, I'd like to learn more about 'website maintenance'. There is a plot twist I'm thinking of adding that involves breaking into a web site to remove some incriminating video; the character I'm 'seeking employment for' is the only person who could do this. I'm curious what kind of knowledge I would need to make this convincing, and where I could get a layman's idea of what it takes?
     
  16. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    PC game designer? Go and view the Youtube channel of "Cloud Imperium" to see how the work is done in lots of detail.
     
  17. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Computer programmer? Most of the people I work with work from home at least part time. I work from home from 3:30-6:00 so I'm there when my kids get off school. It has some flexible hours, but I still have to been online for a certain time of the day.
     
  18. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I've made him a web site developer. Oddly enough, I have a friend who does this exact kind of work and he's proving to be immensely helpful.
     

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