01Work-at-Home Moms: Decide If It's Right for You
So you think that you want to join the ranks of successful work-at-home moms who make money while staying home, but you have some questions:
- How do I avoid work-at-home scams?
- Where do I find work-at-home jobs that pay well?
- How do I know if I'd like being a work-at-home mom?
The first step to joining the ranks of successful work-at-home moms is not finding a job or starting a business. It is taking a long hard look at yourself, your family, your employer (if you have one), and your resume, deciding if being a work-at-home mom is what you want.
Think about whether you have the personality traits of work-at-home moms, what you'd like to gain from working from home and what you might have to give up.
02What's the Right Career Path for You?
There's no single way for work-at-home moms to be successful. There are many careers for work-at-home moms. Do some research.
- Telecommute the job you already have
- Become a consultant or freelancer
- Start your own business
- Find a new telecommuting job in your field of expertise
- Dive into something entirely different
Whether you're in the workplace now or you're a stay-at-home mom, the best place to start is with your own resume. If employed, can you negotiate a flexible work schedule that includes working from home?
If you've already left the workforce, look back at your last job. Network with your former co-workers. They may know of openings or freelance work that could be done from home. Search national job listings for that type of work with "telecommute" or "work at home" as additional keywords.
If your skill set or current career is not a good match for working at home, consider breaking out into a new field. Online learning is one approach. Starting a home business is another. If you do opt for a new career, keep in mind that you may need to hone your skills in a traditional workplace before becoming a home-based worker.
03Prioritize Your Needs
You've probably figured out by now that no work/home situation is perfect. To get as close as possible to your own ideal, you and your family must set priorities. For work-at-home moms, this means breaking down the reasons to work at home into two groups: reasons to work and reasons to work from home, then rank them.
Reasons To Work
- Financial need/security
- Career advancement
- Save for retirement/college
- Personal fulfillment
- Pay debt
Reasons To Work From Home
- Spend more time with kids
- Eliminate commute
- Save money on childcare
- Leave unpleasant work environment
- Reduce stress
As you look at job possibilities for work at home moms, think about how they fit with these priorities.
04Plan the Practical Aspects
Most work-at-home moms don't start out with a full-time telecommuting position right away. The work-at-home lifestyle is usually something you build over time. In fact, you may need to build up your savings first. Plan to start small. If you're moving from the office to telecommuting, maybe try just a couple days a week at first to see how it works for you and your employer. If you're building a business, that takes time.
- Child Care - Figure out how much and what kind of childcare you'll need.
- Ground Rules - Adjusting to working from home can be a difficult transition for you and your family. Clear rules and expectations can ease the way.
- Home Office - Find a place of your own, somewhere within your house, and set it up with all the home office essentials.
- Organization - Systems for organizing for both life and home may have to be created or tweaked to make working from home go smoothly.
- Building a Nest Egg - Starting small can mean a reduction of income in the short term, so you must plan for this.
05Find a Work-at-Home Job
If, after mulling all your options, you've decided to start looking for a work-at-home job, then here are some job listings for work-at-home moms:
- Companies Hiring for Work-at-Home Jobs - Alphabetical directory lists companies hiring people to work from home in fields ranging from customer service and data entry to PR and travel.
- Top Telecommute Friendly Companies - If you prefer to work for a major employers, one of these large companies may be the place for you.
- List of Work-at-Home Call Center Jobs - These companies hire home-based call center agents.
- Determine a Work-at-Home Job Is Legit - Many ads and job postings targeted at work at home moms are scams. Know how to tell what's for real.
- Telecoa's List of Companies that Use Virtual Call Centers - Nonprofit organization maintains a list of companies that hire work-at-home agents for their call centers.