There’s nothing worse than gazing into your new baby’s eyes and whispering, day care has a place for you when you turn six weeks old. Unfortunately, the bank, the electricity company and the grocery store doesn’t really care about your stay at home job aspirations.
They care about bills. If you start searching for stay at home jobs, you might find yourself losing faith in humanity pretty fast. There’s nothing worse than being swooped on by peddlers of pyramid schemes and $4 an hour telemarketing gigs. So, are there stay at home jobs that don’t actually suck? There are, if you’re cut out for them.
Can you actually work in a regular job, from home with a baby?
Working from home isn’t the paradise people believe it to be. It’s stressful and depending on the stay at home job you opt for, it requires some very specific personal traits. If you’re lucky enough to find an employer who is happy for you to work from home, then you’re already half way there.
Start with your pre-kids employer, they’re your best bet because if a work at home opportunity comes up, existing staff will ALL want it, they’re not going to offer it to the new girl. Then be ready to whip that baby into a routine and to get yourself in a routine that allows you to get work done around naps. If you’re not the kind of mum who believes in rigid routines, a stay at home job might not be for you.
- There are specific recruitment and resource sites for stay at home jobs:
- Work At Home Mums
- Lifestyle Careers
- School Hours
- Seek has a work from home section – it’s competitive!
- Some employment agencies also handle occasional work from home jobs, so it pays to sign up with more than one.
Making your own money from home
Because telecommuting is still a taboo for most employers, there’s a good chance your stay at home job is going to be one you created. Working for yourself sounds amazing but it’s not for everyone. There are a few essential traits you must have to build a little business around your baby:
Focus and tenacity. Are you motivated and passionate about your projects? Even when they’re boring? Are you ready to bounce back from disappointment and put in hours of work just to grow, not profit?
Support network. Do you have someone who can help with bubs when a deadline flies right at you?
Realistic expectations. It takes a while to build a business. During that time, there’s a LOT of unbillable hours, a lot of stress and a lot of “screw this crap” moments. Are you mentally prepared to not be a squillionaire overnight?
Business acumen. This is about being able to make smart decisions for your business. It’s about understanding (even at a “gut” level) opportunities, finance, systems and all the other business areas where you can fall down pretty fast. Can you recognise a good business from a bad business and know when to pull the plug on an idea that is failing?
Skills. What did you do pre-kids? Is there a market for your skills that can be served from home? This doesn’t mean doing your exact same job only in your spare room, it means transferring existing skills into a custom designed stay at home job that meets your needs.
50 stay at home jobs that don’t actually suck and will make you money
This list has been carefully comprised by a digital business development consultant who has worked on thousands of start-ups by mums and other entrepreneurs working from home. It’s a big list so we’ve broken it down by skills and classified it all according to realistic expectations.
Note that all small businesses will have some basic set up costs. Even if you’re not going with a website right away (let’s face it, social media has built some great little businesses) you will still need to register your business, get an ABN (free) and buy insurance. These are not negotiable. You will need a reasonable computer and maybe a logo to start. You won’t need to register for GST right away and you can bypass expensive business set ups until you know more about your earning potential. Don’t over-capitalise. There’s nothing like paying back a debt in the first year to cripple a new business.
How we’ve assessed these stay at home jobs
We’ve given every stay at home job opportunity some rankings to help you decide if it’s really for you and if it’s going to meet your family’s needs. Here’s how we’ve rated it:
- Set up costs
- Set up time
- Earning potential
- Demand (based on number of customers searching for this service)
- Competition (based on the number of Australian mums already doing it)
- Other issues
Use these ratings to decide if the work at home opportunity you’re considering is really for you. It is possible to create yourself stay at home jobs that will meet the mortgage repayments and allow you the freedom to raise your little ones – if you’ve got the right skills and attitude!
Don’t forget Government Grants!
Right now there are government grants available for the growth of work at home businesses. Queensland especially is pushing mums towards working from home in a small enterprise, so once you’re set up, remember to keep an eye on grants available in your city, state and nationally.
This is life changing, be sure you want your life changed!
Working from home is awesome. It really is. You have a lot of freedoms to manage your own time and to be with your baby. It’s also stressful. It also takes a long time to make money. Or, it can go the other way where you make so much money, you have no time for your family. Make sure that you want a stay at home job before you commit to working out of your spare room. It’s not for everyone – but for the right person, it’s the best change you’ll ever make.