The idea of being able to choose a work-at-home job never crossed my mind when I first started staying home with the kids. After all, who would pay me money while I sat home in my pajamas? Nowadays, opportunities to make money from home—with or without a real job—are everywhere.
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The real question now is, how to choose a work-at-home job that’s right for you. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at the 3 main categories:
- Online work: this can include any type of work you can do online from being a virtual assistant to freelance writing and designing. In this category, I also include jobs that you work remotely but have all the real benefits of an on-site job.
- Home-based businesses: these are jobs you do from your home but don’t really have anything to do with the computer, other than general bookkeeping and some light marketing. Jobs like childcare fall into this category. This even includes owning a business such as landscaping or a meal-preparation service.
- Odd jobs: these include many of the piecemeal suggestions I included in my 20 Ways to Make Money Without Getting a Job post, where you find ways to put together enough money for your needs without the commitment of regular work.
Before you can choose a work-at-home job you’d like to pursue, you need to figure out which category fits your needs. And the thing is, your needs might change from year-to-year, or even month-to-month, as your kids go through different phases and stages.
Questions to Ask as You Choose a Work-at-Home Job
How much money do I need to make?
If you need a full-time income, jobs from option #3 above are not likely to meet your needs. Instead you need to look at full-time jobs that allow you to work remotely, and you search for those in the exact same way you would if you were looking for a career outside the home.
When looking to make steady part-time income, you can also choose jobs from option #1, but you’re better off looking at freelance sites like Upwork instead of career-building sites like LinkedIn. Freelance sites allow you to fill one assignment at a time, or find clients that are steady but don’t have full-time needs. You won’t make as much that way, but there is no shortage of jobs to land.
Need extra cash for your vacation or the holidays? In those situations, option #3 is your best friend. Low-to-no commitment, but generates income.
What is my current skill set?
If your computer skills are lacking, jobs in option #1 are going to be difficult and give you more frustration than you’re probably looking for. It’s not impossible, after all, it never hurts to learn new skills! But you might be better off starting a business in something that you’re already good at, as I talked about in my post How to Turn Your Passion into Profit. There’s no reason not to capitalize on skills you already have and doing what you love to do!
While you’re starting your business, you may need to try some odd-jobs to supplement your income until you get rolling.
How much time can I commit?
If you only have 10 hours a week to truly devote to working at home, you don’t want to get in over your head by landing a full-time work-at-home job or trying to start an at-home business. If you have 25 or more hours a week you can work, then don’t shortchange yourself by trying to fill all that time with odd jobs.
What are my resources?
It’s going to be difficult to build a business if you have no extra cash to get started. You can’t work online if you don’t have a computer. Starting a childcare business when you’re already busting at the seams in a studio apartment will only drive you nutty. You can’t drive for Uber if your only vehicle is a 1976 VW Bus.
What kind of support system do I have?
Your family needs to be on board when you’re ready to choose a work-at-home job. Period. Life changes when you shift some of your attention from the people you love and live with to trying to earn some cash.
Will hubby be willing to take more responsibility for the kids and cooking? Will the kids be willing to do their own laundry? And who on earth is going to chauffeur the little boogers to their 7,254 activities? Just remember to do the right thing for everyone in the family—which includes YOU. Don’t take on more than you can handle, because a mom experiencing burnout isn’t much help to anyone.
If at all possible:
- Do what you’re passionate about
- Do what inspires you
- Do the one thing you’ll regret if you never give it a shot
There are a ton of factors to consider when you choose a work-at-home job, and I’ll bet you can think of even more questions to ask yourself than I came up with here. If you ask yourself these questions and find the right balance between what you’re great at and what you’re able to do right now, there’s no reason you can’t choose a work-at-home job that you will LOVE.
Here are some additional reading suggestions as you’re considering working at home:
The Side Hustle Path: 10 Proven Ways to Make Make Money Online – 97 Real Companies That Pay Killer Work from Home Jobs: 200 Fortune 500 & WORK AT HOME: Make Money from the Comfort of How To Work at Home With a ToddlerStay at Home Jobs for Moms: An Essential Guide
One thing is certain: there are more ways to make money at home now than ever before. There’s no reason you should be stuck doing something you dread! It’s time to choose a work-at-home job you love because moms matter too!
What do you think is important to consider when you choose a work-at-home job?