Working from home isn’t just a dream of billions of professionals grinding their dull and constraining 9-5 office jobs. It’s also a reality for a growing number of people. More and more companies are allowing and even encouraging their employees to do at least part of their job from home, at their own convenience. The benefits are manifold for the worker and the employer alike – from lower costs to reduced carbon footprint to lower employee turnover, to increased workers’ happiness and overall satisfaction. Does that mean that we’re living in a world of virtual vocations?
Not at all! There’s nothing “virtual” about either our vocations or our work. On the contrary, they are still very real and even tangible, as well as the pay. The “virtual” part only pertains to the means and circumstances of doing your job, all of which are non-physical. The couch is your office; the computer, software and internet connection your instruments and channels of communication.
And most people are already aware of all the advantages of remote work. But where can you find legit telecommuting jobs? Virtual Vocations is one of many boards that promise to help you hunt them down. And this review will help you determine whether you should trust them.
Virtual Vocations Overview
It’s important to note that Virtual Vocations aren’t an HR or headhunting company in their own right. They are merely a repository or database of numerous and various online job listings.
And let me tell you upfront: to get the most out of this panel, you are supposed to pay a fee.
But why pay for a service that by no means guarantees that you WILL manage to find that perfect job?
Because searching for an online job on your own is a slippery slope. How are you to know that a job listing you found with a random Google search isn’t a scam? And even if it isn’t, it still may prove to be inadequate for whatever reason. If you opt for this panel, you are taking a shortcut and evading all the hustle and bustle of manually filtering out all the junk. Someone else is doing that for you. And that always comes at a price.
To Pay or Not to Pay?
If I needed to search for an online job right now, I am positive that I wouldn’t need a middleman. Having worked online for quite a few years, I should definitely be able to find a job on my own.
But back when I was starting out, I felt as if I was roaming through a jungle without a compass (let alone Google Maps). I would have definitely appreciated a dedicated service that would curate valid and adequate job opportunities. Without it, I was left to my own devices, as well as my friends and their recommendations. The good ol’ word-of-mouth type of gathering information. Which worked for me, but not everyone can count on it.
And that’s why some job repositories are charging a fee for their help. Take a look at How It Works page on Virtual Vocations. “Monday through Saturday our trained researchers visit hundreds of industry and specialty job boards, social media streams, telecommute-friendly employer websites, blogs and direct employer listings to find the newest and best job leads available.” Somebody is doing all the manual work for you. All you need to do is apply for those jobs. Which is definitely easier with the help of their numerous resources that’ll teach you how to write a resume or a cover letter.
Whether you are willing to choose this option over some free ones is an entirely different question. But as they say in this blog post, they aren’t asking you to pay for the job itself, as most online scammers do. They are charging for the service and support that you get from their staff.
So How Does It Work?
If you only want to dip your toes here, you can choose the free option, with limited access to actual jobs.
On your dashboard, you will see all the job listings divided into three groups:
- Your Telecommute Job Results. This page contains the jobs that the companies paid to be listed. There are hundreds of them at any given moment. Once you complete your profile, the selection should cater to your specific needs, education, or level of experience. As a free member, you can only browse through these jobs without being able to apply for any of them.
- Free Job Listings. They are fewer in number, but you can see full descriptions and apply right away if you want.
- Your Saved Jobs. This one is self-explanatory. Applying for a job takes time when done right. Do you happen to like five job opportunities but don’t have time to tackle them right away? Save them all for later, when you have the time to do your homework.
Take a look at this listing, for example.
When accessed from the free plan, it only shows a limited description. You have no way of knowing what skills you would need for it, what responsibilities you would have, what kind of pitch they are likely to fall for. And how to research the company when you don’t even know its name?
- They do seem to only offer legit jobs. Among over 20 thousand companies in their network, there are Appen, Upwork, CloudSource, Forte, MaritzCX, and more. You will never find any volunteering or commission-based jobs. When you consider how hard (and sometimes impossible) it is to do all of this screening yourself, paying for the privilege does start making sense.
- There is a free option if you only want to sniff around. In fact, you can even use it to apply for a certain number of jobs. It also allows you to set up job alerts and receive them via email.
- There are always hundreds of fresh jobs available. And they are diverse too – from accounting or bookkeeping to blogging to programming, to translating or tutoring or healthcare. Some of them are entirely remote, whereas others only allow for a certain percentage of telecommuting. They may look for regular employees, independent contractors, or paid interns. Oh, and you can also choose between full-time or part-time options. I would wager that almost anyone can find something suitable.
- The premium options aren’t very expensive. I guess everyone could afford $15.99 for a month. If you’re serious, that’s more than enough time to land a remote job. Apply for as little as two jobs per day, and you probably won’t need another month of premium membership.
- Don’t know how to write a great resume or cover letter? They offer a bunch of e-courses and other resources to help you with that.
- Your chances will be way better if you pay. It’s a cruel, cruel world for the unemployed, I know. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch – especially if it contains premium ingredients.
- The career service is costly. It doesn’t come included in any of the member packages. As a member, you can merely get a small discount. But take a look at the regular prices: $69.99 for a resume assessment (including only feedback on your current resume), $199.99 for resume writing, $139.99 for a LinkedIn profile makeover…It may well make sense to invest such sums into a full-blown professionally looking resume that you can easily update in the future. But it’s still hard to say goodbye to all those bucks if you’re a student or simply broke.
- The US jobseekers are prioritized. Technically, you can register and apply for jobs if you’re based elsewhere. But as it is, you don’t stand much chance to land an actual job.
Final Thoughts – Does It Make Sense to Try Out Virtual Vocations?
If you lack experience in remote work and need that dream job ASAP, it does make sense to pay those $15.99. You will save yourself tons of time and patience that you would otherwise have to spend sifting through the forums and blog posts in search for information. Always keep in mind that work-from-home options are as frequently fraudulent as they are numerous these days. If you’re new at the online workforce, it isn’t wise to risk jeopardizing your personal information or credit card by messing around with unvetted players.
But what if you just can’t afford to pay for one of their plans? Get ready for some serious grinding as prep work for the actual work. Or better yet, get into forums or Facebook groups where people with tons of telecommuting experience are giving tips and advice on a daily basis. Most of them are doing it for free!