The new year has arrived and for many of us (myself included), 2015 is a year of big change, and finally getting the life we want. So it is fitting to kick off early in the new year with guest writer, Sharon Gourlay, who just happens to be living the parent dream, working from home. Sharon has recently launched her new website Work / Home / Life and has some great tips for us all to make the big leap, as well as sharing some of her own journey, with challenges faced and.
For many of us with young kids the idea of being a work at home mum (WAHM) seems like the ultimate solution to the big question about whether to return to work or be a stay at home mum. I know it did for me. The idea of being able to work in a job I enjoyed while still having the flexibility to be able to stay home with my kids seemed perfect – but impossible.
For the first few years of my motherhood journey I dreamed about making the change to a WAHM. Instead of trying to make it happen, however, I studied teaching online while looking after my kids. I then returned to the workforce as a teacher. It was, quite frankly, a disaster. Despite being a supposed part time job, I was working all the time and still barely doing the minimum required. I was stressed, sick and missed my kids.
The best part about this situation was that it forced me to make a drastic change. Instead of just dreaming of being a WAHM, I was going to be one. I quit my job and I started working online primarily as a blogger, freelance writer and website creator. It is amazing the opportunities that open up if you just let them.
I know many other mums that feel the same way but hesitate about taking the plunge. This caused me to start a site called Work / Home / Life which is all about showing others how they can get started working from home as well. In this article, I hope to inspire you with 5 different ways you can get started working from home….
5 ways to become a WAHM
1. Family Day Care
Family day care is an obvious choice for mums who want to stay home with their children while still earning some money. Basically, you look after other children in your home and get paid to do so. You can pick what hours you are available to care for children, whether you will prepare food or not and how many children you want to care for (up to a maximum number). You can also do a similar arrangement for older kids before and after school and in school holidays.
To get started, you need to contact your local family day care scheme which will give you all the details. There are a few hoops you will have to jump through. You will usually have to get certain qualifications, such as a First Aid Certificate and be working towards a qualification in children’s services. Your home will be checked for safety. However, once you are all set to go this can be a very rewarding way to work from home.
2. Selling Jewellery
If you are a crafty person, this could be perfect for you. You don’t need to be a top class jeweller to make money from selling jewellery.
There are quite a few avenues you can take to start selling your own jewellery. A local market can be a great place at the beginning. The downside of this can be producing enough jewellery that you have something to sell. However, even if this is not the way you want to sell jewellery ongoing, it is an easy way to find out what pieces are a good option to sell. In this situation, it will be clear what items attract the most interest and you can even ask buyers what it is they like about certain pieces and not others. This is much harder online.
Selling jewellery online is also a great option though. Many WAHMs do this via a Facebook page which is quick and easy to set up. Selling on Etsy is also a popular option. If you are going to sell your jewellery online, I highly recommend getting professional photos taken of your pieces. It can make such a huge difference to how likely they are to sell online if they look as good as they can.
3. Become a Microworker
A microworker is someone who does quick, small tasks for money. The tasks can be small, like tweeting about a certain product or writing a review, and the pay is usually likewise small, but it does add up if you complete quite a lot of the tasks.
If you want to take this option, a good site to try is Microworkers. On here you can filter for tasks that are just for Australians. These tasks are usually far better paid and I have been able to earn about $20 for 45 minutes work. However, there are never that many tasks on there at the one time that fall into this category so this is not a path I would recommend for someone who wants to work full time at home. It is a better option for people who just want extra pocket money.
A freelancer is someone who is self employed and basically contracts out their services for money. You are generally a freelancer in a certain field, such as a writer, graphic designer or marketer. There are a crazy amount of freelancer jobs online now thanks to sites such as oDesk and eLance where you can find thousands of freelancing opportunities.
There are not just thousands of freelancing jobs available but many areas in which you can freelance. Some people make money from some obscure tasks such as reading a script in a silly voice or taking a photo of a sign in different places. You do not have to be particularly gifted to become a freelancer, although obviously the more skills you have in a certain area, the greater the probability that you can earn more money.
Freelancing can be a great option for a WAHM as it can give you great control over how much you work and when. To get started, try reading my article to help you select which area you would like to start freelancing in based on your skills and interests. Then it is all about trying to find work. Let everyone around you know you are available. Utilise any contacts you have. Contact local companies. Online job marketplaces such as oDesk are a great place to start looking for work thanks to the huge amounts of jobs on offer.
This can be a great option for mums who have enough knowledge in certain subject areas to tutor school kids or university students, especially if that subject area is in mathematics where there is a high demand for tutors. Even if you don’t feel you have the skills to be a tutor, there are people online who are looking for English conversation, so you could do this if you are a native English speaker.
You can work as a tutor both on and offline. I found tutoring offline to be better money. I’d tutor high school kids at night time once my husband was home and it worked quite well. There are also sites that allow you to have regular sessions with people that you tutor. This can be particularly good for mums who want to work in English as a second language or conversation classes. There are also sites where you log in when you are online and just help whatever student comes along in your area of expertise.
Hopefully, you find these five options inspiring. If not, here are 50 others. You are sure to find something that you could try out amongst that list if you want to be a WAHM. Good luck!
Sharon Gourlay is an Australian blogger, freelance writer, website creator and mum of two preschoolers. In addition to inspiring other families to travel the world, Sharon is passionate about helping others earn money from home. Check out her website for great tips, advice and inspiration to get you started working from home now.