Tips and Tricks From the Work at Home Trenches
What to Know Before You Set Sail on the Work-From-Home Ship
Most of us know what it feels like to experience total burnout at a job. You’re overworked, underappreciated, your coworkers are inconsiderate and catty, and your boss just keeps piling more onto you already overflowing plate. You come home tired, the house is a mess, the kids are fighting again (really, do they ever stop?), and your husband asks you (unsuspectingly) what’s for dinner.
Close your eyes. Grit your teeth. Take all the deep breaths.
It’s only a matter of time before you collapse into complete meltdown mode. The rest of the night becomes a test in patience, counting down the minutes through dinner, homework, and bedtime without exploding so you can sink into the tub and ugly cry into a glass of wine.
This is the hard reality for way too many moms. I used to be one myself. I was someone who met all those “work from home” articles with a cynical side-eye. I mean, if they weren’t all “get rich quick” scams or pyramid schemes thinly veiled as “women’s empowerment opportunities,” everyone would be doing it, am I right?!
As it turns out, I was not. While the internet serves up no shortage of scams and MLM traps, there are more legitimate ways to make money from home -or wherever- sprouting up every day. What use to be a pipe dream is now a legitimate career field where you can carve out a balanced lifestyle for yourself where you have enough money and time for yourself and your family.
Money Making Mommy is all about bringing you the best ideas for work from home opportunities, but it can be hard to know what is going to work and what’s just another fad for someone just starting out in the internet employment field. Here’s everything you need to have, do, or know before you embark your work-from-home journey.
Don’t Quit Cold Turkey
Most working families in the world today simply don’t have the savings or budget for you to just up and quit your job so you can start searching for opportunities. I know, it’s not like you don’t already have enough to do, but carving out a few minutes every day to find what you’re looking for will pay off.
Whether it’s perusing freelancing sites on your lunch break or reading work from home blogs like this one while you’re sitting at your daughter’s gymnastics practice, you need to have things in place before you start out.
Ideally, you want to have at least a few work at home jobs lined up before you cut the corporate chord.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges
We all dream of being able to say “take this job and shove it,” dramatically walking out, and leaving the office with their mouths hanging open. Ahhhh, what a dream.
Allow me to douse you with a cold dose of reality. The truth is, no matter how bad it seems right now, it may be an option you want to keep open for later in life. When your kids are grown and (hopefully) out of the house and your life is calm and quiet, you may welcome the idea of getting dressed and going out into the world to work, and companies are more likely to rehire people with whom they have already worked.
Besides, even if you know you’ll never want this exact job again, having glowing work references is an important step to getting nearly any job. Most companies won’t give them out if you don’t give proper notice, which typically ranges from two weeks to a month, depending on the position.
Know to Spot a Fake
Legitimate companies or business opportunities will never require you to buy something from them to get started. Companies should pay you for work, not the other way around. This type of scheme rarely works and puts you in a position of debt out of which you could spend weeks or even months digging yourself.
Many of them even expect you to use- and pay for- their products as well, taking advantage of the “free advertising” that’s only free for them. Some of these schemes haven’t provided a legitimate career opportunity, they’ve created a loyal and dedicated customer that continually brings them new customers for a small fee.
Secure a Fast and Reliable Internet Connection
As mothers, we all know how frustrating it can be when the internet goes out, especially when you have kids who do not yet understand why PJ Masks won’t play. You promised they could watch an episode after lunch, and it’s after lunch, mom.
However, when you rely on the internet for your livelihood, it adds a whole new dimension to the importance of your internet quality. If you can’t deliver up against a deadline, you could be fired.
I remember when I first started freelancing from home and the internet went out -at NAP TIME- of all the times! Those were my golden minutes, giving me the opportunity to sit down and work uninterrupted. The only chance I got all day. I was slammed up against a strict end-of-day deadline.
After calling our budget internet company, I was promised the connection would be re-established-in one to four hours. I had maybe 40 more kid-free minutes before the awakening. Cue the morphing into Karen, “I need to speak to your manager,” music.
Afterwards, having exploded into a fit of tears, I called my husband, more to commiserate than anything. As he was in Florida on a business trip, there was no way he could come home and relieve me. I ended up phoning a friend who agreed to take my daughter for the remainder of the day so I could feverishly finish my work at a coffee shop.
Bless the productivity rush that comes from free WiFi and strong coffee. Bless it.
Trust me, though, this is one panic attack you don’t want to have. We switched internet providers the very next week. The peace of mind reliable internet service offers is definitely worth shelling out the extra dough.
Have a Laptop or Desktop Computer
The good news here is, you don’t have to break the bank on state-of-the-art equipment here. You can even find quality second-hand setups (as long as it’s been updated) to start out and reward yourself with something nicer once you’re in the money.
These days, you don’t even have to pay for writing software if you don’t want to. Google Docs is an amazing breakthrough in quality free word-processing, offering templates for almost any document you’d want to create.
Know Your Strengths- and Play to Them
What is your talent? Are you a gifted writer, talented marketer, experienced accountant, brilliant singer, or genius social media hack? There are so many freelance platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer for you to create a profile and get started today.
If you’re not keen on the idea of always having to stump for the next project, many companies use freelancing platforms to try out new talent. If they like what you do and are impressed with your performance, they could offer you ongoing contract work, or even actual employment within the company.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Just like any other field, starting out working from home is going to have a learning curve. You will likely have an adjustment period figuring out what works and what doesn’t before you develop a predictable income and productivity rhythm.
It is best to try a few different things to see what you like best so you have something to fall back on in case one opportunity doesn’t work out. You’ll also want to play around with your rates to find that sweet-spot price point where you can still easily find jobs but you’re making enough to live on. Typically, it is recommended to undercharge at first. You can always up your rates once you’ve built up a decent client and job list.
Working From Home Isn’t as Scary as it Seems
Though many moms view work from home careers as a pie-in-the-sky wish, the fears of the unexpected are too real and can wind up scaring you off.
Once you have taken into consideration these tidbits of wisdom from the work-from-homers who’ve been there, you should be well-prepared to weather the course of making money when its coming from inside the house.