We’ve compiled a list of 50+ work at home jobs that don’t suck and if you’ve got a profession you can put to work in your spare room, your financial woes could be over sooner than you think. Work from home careers are on the rise. Have you had work experience that you can use to “consult”? Then your new career might be just around the corner.
We’ve put together all the best jobs for Australian stay at home mums and rated them by awesomeness and suckiness so you can choose a work from home career that suits your baby, your budget and your sanity. Your professional skills can translate into a little biz that thrives but generally, finding clients to take you on as a consultant takes longer than the average work at home gig. So start setting yourself up early!
How we’ve assessed these professional consulting businesses
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
Where to find your first consulting career clients:
Very poorly paid work is available pretty much immediately on sites like Upwork, Freelancer and Ozlance depending on which profession you’re going to be working. These can be terrible jobs that offer $15 an hour (or even less!) or you can find Australian clients who are willing to spend more on you, once you do a “trial job” first. Look for gigs that ask specifically for a native speaker who is Australian based and mention words like “quality”.
Other options include professional organisations like the Institute of Management Consultants or virtual agencies like FindAConsultant.com.au. Note that agencies will sharply increase your set up fees so while they might be good for getting started, you’ll need a long term plan to avoid paying fees on every job you land. You will need a website and some SEO work pretty promptly – it’s best to factor that into your start-up costs.
LinkedIn is a good place to source consulting gigs. You can apply via jobs on there or start “working the groups” and watch the clients come to you. LinkedIn is a whole eco-system unto its self and you may need training to make sure you do it right from the start.
You can also tap your own personal network – your former employer, former clients (if you don’t have very strict clauses in your contract from former workplaces – check that, you probably do) and other industry folks you know are the best places to start. If you’re transferring skills (perhaps you were a journalist before and now you want to be a copywriter?) then you may have a get out of jail free on those old clauses!
Work from home as a Professional Consultant – 8/10
Do your old job only for yourself. There’s no set pay here because a lawyer going out on their own will make more money than a publicist! The set up costs are HIGH on this kind of work at home business because you need to set yourself up with a professional digital store front. That means professional website, copywriter, designer, SEO and all the bells and whistles.
- Set up costs – High. You’ll need to set yourself up to look professional including website, home office and branding elements.
- Set up time – High. Taking the leap from a well paid job into a work at home career means making sure you’re ready to earn. You need clients on board before you give up that weekly pay cheque!
- Earning potential – High
- Demand (based on number of customers searching for this service) – Depending on your industry it could be high or very, very low. Consultants need to do market research before setting up. This is a very costly exercise.
- Competition (based on the number of Australian mums already doing it) – High. The rise of the work at home career woman has meant the industry is already getting crowded in some niches.
- Other issues – Consulting has the highest of all “unbillable hours” for work at home jobs. You not only have to set up and run a business but you’ll also need to “work in the business” more than other work at home jobs. Luckily, consultants also make a good income and have the potential to expand (hire support staff) faster than most work at home jobs.
Work from home as a Trainer – 8/10
You may need to work outside the home to deliver training to your former industry and you will need at minimum, a certificate four in training and assessment. This is however an excellent industry to jump into and there’s ample potential for selling subscription or single based one off virtual courses. They call it passive income but it’s not. It’s hard work setting up your course and then marketing it however there’s a growing demand for virtual training and with the right research, you can become part of it!
- Set up costs – High. Like all work at home careers, you need to start professionally. If you’re planning to conduct training online, you may also need to pay for good quality equipment and also your online course set up and hosting.
- Set up time – High
- Earning potential – Good
- Demand (based on number of customers searching for this service) – Medium to High, 7500+ searches per month
- Competition (based on the number of Australians already doing it) – Medium to High. Training consultants are everywhere!
- Other issues – Finding clients is going to be your biggest challenge. Getting referrals should be a top priority. Let everyone know you’re running the business and offer incentives for referrals.
Change Management Jobs From Home – 5/10
Change management is a huge growth industry and the nature of the job means that consultants are the go-to folks for bringing it in. You will need to work outside the home at times but as a change management consultant, you can dictate your hours and organise child care around it. Change management usually has huge corporate budgets and the industry will pay solid rates.
- Set up costs – High
- Set up time – High (finding clients is the big challenge)
- Earning potential – High
- Demand (based on number of customers searching for this service) – Medium, 5000+ searches per month
- Competition (based on the number of Australians already doing it) – Medium
- Other issues – Change management isn’t something that is ‘day to day’ for most organisations so you’ll be likely working on large projects with no ongoing work. This is problematic for planning during busy times and paying bills in downtime. Ideally you’d set yourself up with a second business (perhaps online courses) to supplement income in down time. Unfortunately most work from home careers depend on a few key clients to keep the work rolling in, so a “second income stream” may be necessary for project based work.
Expert Software Work At Home Jobs – 8/10
Were you the go to gal for all things Salesforce? Do you know how to admin SAP like a pro or are you a card at CAD? If you’ve got expert level skills at a high demand software application, you can dictate your working conditions in many “jobs” and consulting roles. Like coders, software experts have plenty of room to charge high and work on select jobs. But you must have the skills to make it work!
- Set up costs – Moderate
- Set up time – Moderate (finding clients can be trickier)
- Earning potential – Moderate to high depending on software
- Demand (based on number of customers searching for this service) – Depends on software
- Competition (based on the number of Australians already doing it) – Medium – this is mostly something handled by large, specialist organisations. You will be looking for medium businesses looking for a dedicated virtual team member.
- Other issues – Finding the right clients is going to be your biggest challenge. You’ll need to work your existing contacts and pound the pavement to find the right clients but once you do, you’ve got a potentially awesome work at home business.
Work from home careers in the Australian job market
Australia’s growing telecommuting community doesn’t always extend to key workers. Work from home careers mean proving yourself a valuable part of the team, while you’re not actually in the team. While the employer may be happy to have a low level admin working from home, they want to see their big payroll players at a desk, doing a job.
This is the biggest barrier to working at home in Australia for professional women. It’s all about establishing yourself as a “can do” contractor or consultant. That means working very hard to grow your reputation. It’ll be worth it when you can attend school plays and get your nails painted very badly at kindy mother’s day events!