Thursday, June 4, 2015

So You Want to Be a Work from Home Mom?

"That's so cool you can stay home with your daughter, I wish I could stay home!" "I wish I could work from home!" Those are two things I hear on a weekly basis and while I understand where those people are coming from--I once said those things to others before having JaiseAnn as I truly believed it wasn't in the cards for me to be home--I wish I had known then what I know now.

Being home has come at a high price--a worthy price, no doubt, but high. We've made sacrifices, worked extra, and gone without--without new clothes that fit, without date nights that cost money, without time as I work in the evenings and Zach works during the day. So it's not some magical hand I got dealt. I believe that God helped us secure this lifestyle, but we have had to play a major role in making it happen. (You can read more about our decision for me to stay home here and here.) I don't say this to brag about how hard we have worked, but instead to help you realize that you can, too! 


Working from home is more of an option than I ever believed before. I heard of people working from home and often thought, "I wish someone would offer me a job from home." And then I realized that it's not like me to wait around for an offer---I had to make it happen. Has it happened yet? Yes and no. I have been home for sixteen months now--a year of that has been working odd jobs from home. Freelance writing and contract work, nothing permanent. I'm not giving up, though. We've made it this far. 


For quite a while, I brought in a good chunk of change writing for Writer Access. I still work for them occasionally, but the work is not always available. Read a Writer Access review here. I've since signed on with a start-up company that I'm still unsure about so I won't link up to them. I also worked for 11 months as a Search Engine Evaluator for Zero Chaos. You can read more about them and find information about how to apply here. Now I am doing contract work as a content creator for education and as a content coach for a math curriculum. 


making money from home


Whether you'd love to work from home or you are already home and are looking for some extra income, I have some suggestions and resources to share with you today. 

Know Where to Look

I know of several people who took their current office job home with them. It doesn't ever hurt to ask your boss if that's a possibility or if there's a way to make it work. I would suggest approaching this topic with a game plan in hand. Be prepared for things like how you will handle work meetings, client meetings, phone calls, and your daily duties.

This work from home website is my favorite resource, and actually how I found two of my more recent jobs. It contains resources for many different jobs that can be done from home, including work from home job leads posted a few times per week. The jobs are scanned for scams and fit a variety of skill sets and resumes. Trust me, you'll want a few hours to browse this site and look at all of the resources available. 


Indeed is my favorite job search engine. I have saved a few different job titles with the area being "Remote" or "Work from Home" and Indeed emails me weekly with jobs that fit that criteria. Obviously, I haven't found anything permanent, but I continue applying because eventually I will. 


I know several people who work MLM and direct sales jobs that are able to stay home and generate a very decent income. (If you are interested in this route, please let me know-I'd be happy to get you in touch with any of them. See this post for more information about that). 


Gain Skills

Finding the right job that works for you and your family may take time, I'm still working on this. While I'm waiting, though, I'm working on gaining skills that will only help me find a job when the right opportunity arises. Whether that's taking an online or community course, gaining skills in a field (freelance writing, tutoring, etc.), or teaching yourself some skills--make sure that you are improving yourself and your resume. 

Network

Let people around you know that you are interested in working from home. You never know who might be looking or who might have heard of someone looking for someone just like you. It never hurts to put yourself out there. Build a profile on Linked In and connect with other professionals, share your desires with your friends and family, be prepared to share your skills and a quick objective if the topic were to come up with a person looking for a solution that you might offer. 

Know How to Sell Yourself

Most jobs these days, especially jobs from home, have a strictly digital application process. This can make it very hard to sell yourself when you're competing with other applicants based solely on your digital application. There are some ways to give yourself a leg up:

*Resume Help
I am in a place where disposable income is not really even a part of our budget, so paying for expert resume help was not an option. I did the next best thing. I sent out an email to good friends of mine with expertise and experience in hiring others and asked them to look over my resume. One friend edited my resume for me at no cost and wrote a stellar cover letter for a job I was applying for. Those two things impacted my job search this last time around, I'm positive.

*Key Words
When looking through a job description and required skills, it's important to jot down some of the language used by the employer. You may feel that your resume reflects your skills and abilities to match what the company is looking for, but sometimes resumes are scanned by computers searching for specific terms. Make sure that you edit your resume to reflect every job you search for individually. I keep a "generic resume" that I copy, paste, and tweak every time I apply for a different job.

*Add Some Flare
Whether it's in a question box on on online form or part of your cover letter, be sure to include some of you. This is the opportunity to set yourself apart. Many people will be busy conveying professionalism, you want to do that, too. But be sure to showcase the other things you bring to the table as well.

Best of luck in your job search!

Do you work from home? Would you like to work from home?

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