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Working from Home: What You Need to Know

I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but, soon after having my first kiddo and leaving my corporate job, I found myself really missing work. I started working contract, freelance jobs during nap times, just to keep myself busy. I’ve done everything from answering questions on ChaCha for pennies to data entry to ghostwriting for business blogs. Years later, when my husband lost his job six weeks before my second son was born, I knew it was time to make my part-time hustle full-time. I desperately didn’t want to leave my boys, so I sought out full time roles I could do from home. Along the way, I learned a lot about what jobs are legit, what your resume should show, what employers want to know about you, and how to land that full-time role.

Find the Jobs

The hardest part is finding work that fits your needs. Depending on your interest and availability, this could take anywhere from just a few days or several months. It’s worth starting the process by finding jobs first and fine-tuning your resume and skills second. There are several paid sites, such as FlexJobs.com, that seek out positions for you. This is helpful if you don’t have the time to do it on your own. However, there are lots of free blogs and Facebook pages that post legitimate work-from-home jobs (part-time, contract, and full-time) that have been researched. Some of my favorites are below:

Always Be Networking

You never know when the perfect gig will come your way. I found out about my current role in a Facebook mommy group. The mom who posted it didn’t know me personally but appreciated the way I could contribute to controversial parenting topics without offending others. This led her to recommend me for the position I’ve been in for more than two years. So, be aware of how you’re portraying yourself online. Along those same lines, if you hear another mom works from home, don’t be scared to ask what she does and how she found her position.

Identify Your Skills

Whether you’ve been in the workforce for years or you’ve got a significant gap, take the time to identify the skills you’ve got. Are you a super star at Twitter, Pinterest, or SnapChat? Do you know a foreign language? Are you incredibly detailed, or do you enjoy writing or talking about food? Write them all down, no matter how insignificant they seem. These will help guide your search and lead you to jobs you’ll enjoy.

baby and computerTake Some Classes to Brush Up

There are many free and online sources for classes. This will help boost your resume, but it will also help you better speak the language of the role you want. Whether you have a background in the topic, or you’re just learning to expand your knowledge, it’s worth the time investment. You can find a variety of free sources here. Additionally, you can browse courses at Coursera (you can audit anything for free). You could also possibly get your MBA for free at Smartly.

Start Where You Are

If you currently work, what are the possibilities for moving your role to be somewhat or completely remote? How could being remote benefit your employer? If this is a possibility, pitch the idea to your boss by displaying the benefits.

Dust Off Your Resume and Show Your Work-from-Home Skills

Spruce up your resume by finding ways to showcase your work experience, your volunteer roles, and your ability to work on your own. Employers who hire work-from-home employees want to know you’re independent and don’t need to be micro-managed. They also want to know that you’re a team player who knows the importance of collaborating with others. Most employers want to know that you’ve worked from home in the past, in some way or another. This might mean you seek out part-time or contract roles you can do on the side, so you can build your telecommuting background. Remember those skills you wrote down earlier? This is a great place to showcase them.

Above all, don’t quit looking. Finding the perfect role is not likely to fall into your lap, but don’t give up. The golden nugget of a job is there somewhere, if you keep digging!

Any other work-from-home mamas that have a great tip to share?

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