Working from home has become an increasingly popular alternative to working full-time in an office. One position to consider when trying to telecommute is that of a secretary. To become an at-home secretary, you need to develop skills that are useful in the type of office for which you will be working. You also must market yourself if your current employer is not able to offer you a work-at-home position. Finally, you must keep yourself motivated to work from home without the direct supervision of a boss and without the social benefits of working with colleagues.
Before you can offer your services as an at-home secretary, you must know how to type and use various computer programs. If you do not have keyboarding skills, you can learn them by taking an Internet tutorial or by attending a keyboarding class at your local community college or adult education school. Bookkeeping and accounting courses might also help you advance in your career. You might take a class to become a certified home-based secretary, which will teach you all of the skills that you need to become an at-home secretary.
You will need to acquire the equipment that is necessary for a secretarial career. These include a computer with a basic software package, a printer and a fax machine. Buy these new or used; you could check the local newspaper or online advertisement or auction sites to find these at lower prices than you might find in your local office supply store. You also will need a dedicated telephone line and an Internet connection.
After you have the equipment and the know-how, you should market yourself as a home-based secretary. If you currently work in an office, your employer might allow you to become an at-home secretary instead of coming in to work each day. Other options include calling local businesses and inquiring with their hiring departments about whether they would consider hiring you as an at-home employee or an independent contractor. As a home-based professional, you also have the option of contacting companies outside of your local area, via the telephone or the Internet, and offering your services.
When you become an at-home secretary and have secured a position, you must keep your skills and knowledge up to date. Treat your continuing education in the field as you would if you worked in an office building. Network with other office professionals, read literature on current trends in software and office equipment, and check in often with your employer or clients to be sure that you are providing them with the level of service that they require.