Are you wondering how to make money as a work at home mom or dad? What are legitimate work from home opportunities? How do you uncover these and land the roles you want? Maybe you have taken some time off work and now want to go back? Is this feasible? How can you balance working from home while your kids are around?
If you’re a parent and also want a career outside primary caretaker, these are questions you have most likely asked yourself. When you decide to take that leap, there are several advantages to working from home.
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Advantages: working at home versus onsite
Limited daycare: According to 2016 Care.com member data, the average cost of center-based daycare for infants is about $10,468 per year, but prices can range from $6,605 to $20,209 a year. While you certainly will need to rely on child care, especially if you have younger children, as a work from home parent, you may be able to cut that amount down. Situations like occasional onsite meetings or video conference calls will require outside help, but this is less than five-day a week care.The average cost of center-based daycare for infants is about $10,468 per year. Click To Tweet
Flexibility: Jobs outside the home tend to be more rigid by nature. Maybe you have a weekly meeting on Monday and then are expected to be at your desk most of the day. As a work at home mom, you have the flexibility to work your own schedule. As long as you get your hours in, you can work around nap schedules, school hours, and in the summer work early morning and at night.
Less meetings and office interference: Since you aren’t in an office setting, you’ll have less meetings. Some remote jobs require occasional meetings, but usually these are more infrequent than onsite. Plus, as nice as it is to chit chat about your day, you have less co-worker distractions when you work from home. This allows you to work more efficiently.
No costly commutes. Sitting in traffic to get to and from a job takes up time. This is time away from kids and your work. Working from home allows you to roll out of bed and get right to work. Plus, you save on mass transit costs or repairs and gas for your car.
On the flipside, are you an employer who hires a lot of freelancers or contractors? Are you wondering where to uncover this talent?
Stay at home parents –the next great workforce
If you have a hard time finding great remote talent, a large and virtually untapped resource is stay at home parents. According to The Atlantic, referencing, the book Lean In, 43 percent of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers or off-ramping for a period of time. Why not capitalize on this talent for your next project. Work from home parents also offer a couple advantages over workers already in the workforce.43% of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers or off-ramping for a period of time. Click To Tweet
Advantages: Hiring stay at home talent
Excited to re-enter workforce. Stay-at-home parents may have taken a large break from the workforce. Much like an onsite employee taking a sabbatical, these employees have enjoyed their family time away from work, but are eager to start earning a paycheck again.
Fresh perspective. These employees have been home for awhile raising children. Since there is a gap in their employment, they may offer you a new outlook on your current projects. Much like a company who rotates ad agencies for a new marketing idea. Why not rotate in work from home parents for a new outlook on your business?
Want part-time work. If you only need a freelancer for a short-term project or part-time, stay at home parents often fit this role perfectly. Often they want supplemental income and a flexible career option for good work/life balance.
Transitioning to a work from home job
Maybe you currently work in an office and the stress of the commute, child care, and the lack of good quality time with your kids has you thinking of a work from home job. Or maybe you are a stay at home mom and wondering how to make money as a work at home mom. Whatever your reason for making this change in roles, this can be accomplished.
Switching from onsite to remote
If you currently have an office job that requires you to be onsite the majority of the time, there are ways to transition into a stay at home scenario. The simplest way is to ask your supervisor if you can work from home. This sounds too simple. But you may be surprised. More and more companies are seeing the advantages of working remotely. If you explain why you want to work from home to your supervisor and you are a valued employee, you may be granted working remotely at least some of the time.
Switching from stay at home mom or dad to remote
If you have taken some time away from the working world to raise your children, you can go back to work and find a job that is remote. Here are some simple steps to take:
Update your resume: If you haven’t touched your resume from your last job, add in those details. Touch base with your references and make sure this information is up-to-date. Lastly, don’t be afraid to say for example, “stay at home mom from xx to xx on your resume.” Be upfront about your gap in employment. Here are more tips on resume gaps from Monster.com.
Reach out to former companies and co-workers: If you don’t have a Linkedin account, get one. Start connecting with former companies and co-workers. Ask them if they ever hire contractors. Tell them upfront you wish to work from home and see what availabilities they may have.
Post a note on social media and talk to other parents: Let your social networks like your Facebook community know you are looking to go back to work. Tell other parents too. You never know who may have an opportunity for you. Lots of companies have an overflow of work certain times of year and you want to be on that short-list of freelancers!
How to spot legitimate work from home jobs from scams
If you have reached out to friends, colleagues, and former companies and are not able to secure a work from home job, there are several online resources available today. Make sure you can weed out the scam jobs from the legitimate jobs. Here are ways to tell a real remote job from a scam:
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is: Trust your gut when looking through jobs and pass on any opportunities that don’t sit well with you.
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Money asked for upfront: After all, you are looking to make money not dig into your wallet further. Pass on companies who want something from you.
Don’t work for pennies: On the flip side of scams are those that pay you below minimum wage for some jobs. You are in this to be successful and earn more so don’t look at jobs that aren’t going to add value and money back into your bank account. Know your worth and your services are valuable.Know your worth and your services are valuable. Click To Tweet
Look out for certain job descriptions: Some types of jobs are usually scams. They generally have titles like envelope stuffing and email processing. Here are some other typical work from home job scam titles to avoid from Investopedia.
Resources for landing work from home jobs
Now that you are armed with how to spot a real job from a scam, where do you uncover these great work from home opportunities? Thanks to the Internet, apps to connect a company with remote workers, and the progression of a more flexible work economy, these jobs can easily be found if you know where to look. And for employers looking to hire these work-from-home parents, these sites offer great talent pools. Here are our top favorite places to look online:
Hubstaff is a 100 percent remote company so they understand the need for flexibility in working from home. You can sign up for free to starting using this resource. Search for jobs in your area of interest. Plus, you can create a profile so that companies can find you too.
Always free, no fees.
The Mom Project allows moms to find rewarding, flexible opportunities with world-class companies through their digital marketplace. Once you complete a profile on their platform for free, you can be connected with a range of opportunities to include everything from full-time gigs to maternity leave coverage.
Upparent is another 100 percent remote company who writes list-style blog articles for parents. Topics include both national lists like, “top vacation spots for parents” to local market lists like “Best Beaches in Chicago.”
This company’s focus is to get more women into the tech industry. They offer remote as well as onsite positions. Sign up is free and once you create a profile, if a job match comes up, they will notify you.
They’re a team of trained researchers who go out and search hundreds of online job resources every day (including industry blogs, employer sites, reliable job boards, and more.) These jobs offer flexibility like: telecommuting, part-time, flextime schedules, freelance contracts, and work from home opportunities. This site is free to sign up to see some listings. However, different membership options typically run around $14.99 a month and are required to see the whole selection of job opportunities.
How to balance work/life as a work at home mom
If you are hoping to save some money on childcare by working from home, it can be done. You may need to balance your home and work schedules a bit. But if you and your boss are flexible, it can work well. Here are some tips that may help you manage kids and work all from home:
Make a schedule: Consider investing in a resource for time management like Hubstaff. Systems like these can help you map out your work projects, set deadlines, and show you where you can increase your productivity. When kids are around, you may need to stop and start a project so this is a great tool to stay on task, keeping clients or bosses happy, and maximizes your earning potential.
Meetings and conference calls: Even though your job is working from home, some companies will still want occasional onsite meetings to check project status. When your job requires an onsite meeting, try and see if you can do this while kids are in school. If you do not have school aged children, you will need to set aside some money for occasional babysitters or drop-in daycare centers. Some remote companies may require conference calls – see if you can complete these during nap times and other periods in the day where you can have quiet. Another option is putting on a movie or having children read books in another room. Lastly, try and get a firm meeting schedule from your new client or boss. You can then plan ahead for what to do with your kids during this scheduled time.
Plan ahead for interruptions: Kids may need assistance throughout the day. So make them as self-sufficient as possible. If they are looking for snacks, set up a snack drawer down low that they can access themselves. Other ideas: Have a portable DVD player loaded with a movie, an iPad with some educational apps or some books laying out. This will keep kids busy and allow for less interruptions to your workflow.
Empower your kids: If you have been a stay at home mom or dad for a long time and are going back to work, this makes you feel empowered and is also a great lesson for your kids. If they are not used to mom or dad being back to work, have them do their homework next to you when they are home from school. Or point out what you are doing for work on your computer. Other ideas are having them read what is on your screen, file some of your papers or highlight key research information for you.
Not a typical 8 hours: When you are in an office setting, you have occasional interruptions from a team member or a boss, but you are usually at your desk 9 to 5. When you are at home, you have to balance kids and work. If your line of work requires times of quiet concentration, you will need to create a schedule for this. If you have little ones or a summer break, you may need to do the majority of your work early morning, during naps, and once bedtime hits.
Don’t work from home: The nice part about a work from home job is you can work from home. The bad part, you work from home. Basically, it can become quite boring working out of a home office or from the kitchen table. Why not break up the monotony and head to the park or pool with the kids? Try to choose a location that offers WIFI and save projects for this time that do not require total concentration.
Enjoy life: After all, you chose a work from home lifestyle to have more flexibility and a better balance between work/life. So set a work schedule that works for you and your company. Then, instead of your typical office lunch or coffee break, take the kids to an activity for an hour. You get a much needed break and your kids get a fun outing. It’s a win win for everyone.
Try working from home to make extra money
If you are stressed out at your office job and want a change of pace, working from home is a great option. It creates a needed balance between work and home. You can have it all. It may be hard at times and you certainly need the patience and flexibility to make it work. But it can work and be a successful money maker for you.
Do you work from home? Do you have kids too? How do you work from home while balancing family time? Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Or are you an employer looking for remote talent? Do you employ stay-at-home parents or would you? Please add your comments below.