Are you struggling to make ends meet?
Would you like to find a way to work from home or have more flexibility in your work schedule?
You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been a work-at-home mom for six years and have learned a lot during this time.
I’m going to share some tips about working from home, offer a few ideas for flexible jobs, and provide some leads to companies that hire remote employees.
Let’s get started:
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I began working from home when I realized I would be there for the foreseeable future. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool our children.
Though it was the right choice, I couldn’t imagine not having some type of career for the next 12-13 years of my life.
There’s nothing wrong with strictly being a stay-at-home parent. In my case, having a career is something I enjoy. I like making my own money and knowing my husband doesn’t have to carry the full financial load himself.
This is where I started looking for ways to earn an income from home and began surveying options for flexible jobs. These are the tips I’ve learned over the years:
1. Be Prepared to Work
Many people think when you choose to work from home, it’s more like a hobby and not actual work. Don’t take this personally. When you have flexible jobs, people take the flexibility to mean you aren’t actually working.
Let me tell you, I work harder from home than I’ve ever worked in my life.
The reason being, you must hustle when working from home. You’ve got to work hard to keep the positions you land because there’s many more people lining up behind you that would happily do your job and give it 100% effort.
Therefore, you better be prepared to give 110% effort.
I’ve spent most of my time working as a freelance writer. It stunned me when I had multiple clients confess what drove them to hire me. It wasn’t my skill set, necessarily, but my work ethic. Previous clients told them I was dependable.
My clients told me, you can train people to do a job, but writers aren’t known for their dependability. When you find one who is dependable, you hang on to them.
Hard work pays off, so be prepared to work hard if you want to be successful when working from home.
2. Be Like Gumby
As you look for flexible jobs, you must realize the flexibility goes both ways. You must be flexible as a work-at-home employee.
Life will throw distractions at you. It’s not like dropping the kids off at school and heading to the office where the environment is all about work.
When you’re at home, life will always happen. Roll with it. If your boss messages you after work hours, be prepared to respond to emails.
You’re never really off the clock when working from home (in many cases.) I worked for a blog for five years. My boss and editor were on the other side of the world.
There were many nights I was up at 3a.m. responding to messages because they needed me.
This isn’t the case with every work-at-home position but realize that working a typical schedule doesn’t always happen when working from home. The moral of this story is to be flexible.
3. Work Multiple Jobs
When working from home, it’s a good idea to keep multiple jobs going.
For instance, as a writer, I rarely only keep one project going at a time. I may have clients that hire me full-time, but I keep contract positions rolling on the side.
Currently, I’m taking time to work on building my own business, but I’m not only building one business. I know whatever I do I must make it count.
Therefore, I’m making this time count by building multiple income streams. It’s a good idea to keep your hands in multiple projects to make sure that when one job stops, you have other income sources still rolling.
Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship!
It’s not always glamorous, but in our family, it’s worth the extra effort to be home with my kids and educate them in a way that works for them.
You must persevere. If you want to work from home consistently, you must always keep pushing forward.
In most cases, you’ll hold contract positions. This means jobs can end suddenly. If you put all your eggs in one basket, this can be shocking to you.
Therefore, keep pushing yourself. Don’t ever get too comfortable with one job. This can be difficult when giving 110% to the positions you have.
However, realize that unless you’re building your own business, it will always be only business. Be a pleasure to work with, do the job well, but always keep your eyes open for other opportunities.
Work-at-home positions can go as easily as they come. Keep moving forward no matter what.
DIY Business Ideas
Now that we’ve got the harsh realities out of the way, let’s talk about building your own business. Again, be prepared to work hard. This is especially true when building your own business.
In this section, I’ll also include a few ideas for flexible jobs that aren’t necessarily your own business.
Here are some ideas to help you get started working-from-home:
1. Freelance Writing
I start with what I know best. Freelance writing is a great career that can be done from home if you enjoy writing.
I’ll be the first to tell you, it isn’t easy. Writing is a skill. You must learn how to write quality content and know how to write for the internet.
There is a difference when writing for the internet and writing elsewhere.
The more you’re published, the more likely you are to get hired. Some submissions are paid, but in the beginning, consider taking the unpaid submissions too. It will help beef up your resumé.
I also recommend developing a variety of writing skills. You can become a content writer, a grant writer, or a ghost writer.
Take what you know and write about it, but also be willing to study and learn the craft.
The job I enjoyed most as a blogger was when I was chosen for a start-up. I was the original content writer for a new site and got to be a part of growing it. I worked on this project for five years and am proud to say the site is a huge success!
This is what led me to launch my own blog. I enjoyed it so much, I thought, “why not work for myself doing what I love?”
Whether you decide to build content for someone else’s site or launch your own, blogging is a great business for people who need a flexible schedule and love to write.
Again, you must learn SEO and marketing skills. If you’re interested, like to write, and are willing to work on learning the craft, you could have an enjoyable career from blogging.
I will say this, though. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick job. Be leery of anyone who says otherwise.
It takes most search engines anywhere from 3-6 months to even know you’re alive. This is only if you’re posting quality content on a regular basis and following SEO. If not, it could take even longer.
Take the time to do your research. Creating a blog is something you may want to do on the side while working another job. It does take time to make money when blogging.
If you love kids, consider running a daycare out of your home. Be sure to get all the necessary certifications and follow all laws in your state.
However, working parents are always looking for someone they can trust with their children. It’s a hard decision.
Yet, if you can show that you’re trustworthy and reliable, you could start a solid business right in your own home.
I’ve had multiple friends who taught themselves how to bake and built a booming business right in their own kitchen.
This is a skill and will take time, but if you’re interested in learning how to create delicious baked goods and gorgeous cake masterpieces, you could create a booming business in your kitchen too.
Again, be sure to check the laws in your state surrounding this type of business.
If you’re going to work from your kitchen, invest in new bake ware.
And learn about the things I love around my kitchen!
Are you a wonderful cook? Consider starting your own catering business. Whether it’s for business lunches, small gatherings, or a wedding, people need quality food at an affordable price.
If you can provide this, you could potentially create a successful business right out of your own home.
6. Website Management
Until I entered into the world of freelance writing and blogging, I didn’t realize what a sought-after position this is.
Having the right editor and website manager on your team can make all the difference for your website. I was blessed to have a wonderful editor at the site I was a part of for five years.
She did a great job managing the writers, marketing the site, and editing content. If you can do these things well, keep an eye on the freelance job boards because you could find quite a few positions.
7. Amazon Affiliate
I once thought you had to operate your own blog to become an Amazon affiliate. This isn’t necessarily true.
Be prepared, this takes time because you must have a solid social media following (in most cases) to find success.
8. Join Affiliate Programs
There are other affiliate programs out there that could help you earn an income from home. If you use a product and really like it, check the product website.
If they have an affiliate program, sign-up for it. If you don’t see an affiliate program listed, send an email to the company to investigate.
You could advertise the products on social media or through your blog.
When your readers buy the product, you make money.
9. Flip Furniture
Are you crafty? Look for old furniture and refurbish it.
This works especially well if you can find furniture people are giving away. You have no overhead expense this way.
Give the furniture a new look and sell it on Etsy or through social media. You could make a nice profit depending upon what type of furniture you flip, how many pieces you flip regularly, and the market for your product.
10. DIY Décor
If you’re crafty and have a market for home décor items in your area, you could sell them through social media.
If not, you could still try your hand at selling them through Etsy.
11. Repurpose and Resell
When you go to yard sales or local thrift stores, you may be surprised about the items people get rid of. Many times, people toss things that have monetary value without realizing it.
Books are a prime example. You can purchase secondhand books and resell them online. Textbooks are especially hot ticket items.
12. Farm Goods
If you live in an area where you can grow vegetables, fruit, or raise chickens, you could start a small business out of your yard.
This is the other business I’m working on this year as I build my blog. People love buying fresh produce and eggs from other locals, and we live on a 10-acre farm. I see an opportunity, so I’m going for it.
See what the people in your area are looking for and find out if you can raise those items. If so, you could have just birthed your business idea.
13. Create a Co-op
If you have enough room to raise a solid amount of produce and eggs, you could start a farm co-op for people in your community.
People pay a quarterly or monthly fee to have the fresh items available on a weekly basis. Do your research before launching a co-op, but if you have the means and need for it, this could be a great business for you.
Check the laws in your area for this type of business.
14. Farmer’s Market
This is another idea for those with a green thumb. If you have the space to grow items, you should. You can join the local Farmer’s Market to have a place to sell what you grow.
You would have to be at a set location at a specific time, but if this is feasible for you, it would allow you to have your own business with a little more flexibility.
15. Teach Online
I recently returned to school for my master’s degree. The main reason is I wanted to learn more about writing (since this has become my career choice.) I also knew it would give me another opportunity to make money from home.
Whether you want to teach K-12 or at a college level, there are many opportunities to do so online.
Are you good at sewing? When people get married, they always need a good seamstress that could do necessary alterations.
The same is needed around prom season. If this is a skillset you have, you could create a business in your own home.
17. Laundry Services
Some people still rely on dry cleaners to have their clothes washed and ironed. If you have the equipment or knowledge to do the same thing around your home, consider making it a business.
You’d have to go to each home, collect their dirty duds, wash them, and return them. However, if you could make this affordable, it could be a service people would use in your area.
18. Cleaning Services
Not everyone loves or has the time to clean their own home. Why not offer a cleaning service? This isn’t something that can be done from home.
However, you may be able to have more flexibility by running your own cleaning business. If you’re great at cleaning, this could be the job for you.
Don’t forget to check with local businesses to see if they need someone to clean their building or offices. With all the new cleaning regulations due to the pandemic, this might be needed more so than in the past.
19. Homeschooling Services
With everything going on with COVID-19, many people are turning to the idea of homeschooling. This sounds great, but some parents must work. They don’t have a choice.
If you’re a homeschooler, you could offer to homeschool children for a fee. Be sure to check with your state to find out about the laws surrounding this scenario.
However, it’s no different than homeschool children attending a co-op. If you think you have it in you to homeschool an extra child each day, this could be a great help to your neighbor while you make extra money from home.
New to homeschooling? Check out my homeschooling essentials.
20. Virtual Assistant
More businesses are going to an online platform. These businesses still need assistants, but they don’t have to be in person anymore.
Check for virtual assistant jobs around the internet. If you’re good at returning phone calls, answering emails, and other clerical tasks, you could be a solid candidate for this type of WAH position.
21. Content Mills
If you’d like to write from home but aren’t sure how to make ends meet while you get your website rolling or land a better paying position, check out content mills.
You can apply with websites, such as Textbroker.com, to earn an income while you wait for something better.
The jobs on these sites pay very little, but if you have the right amount of speed, you could make a smaller income to carry you through.
I did this when I first started. I’ll be honest, I didn’t enjoy it. However, it allowed me to make a consistent income until I landed higher-paying gigs.
You’ll need a computer for most WAH jobs. Check this one out!
22. Bookkeeping Services
Do you have bookkeeping experience? Why not use those skills to start your own bookkeeping business?
Advertise in your community and see if any local businesses would be interested in your services. If so, you could work from home, make an income, and have flexibility while working for yourself.
23. Online Tax Services
If you have an Accounting degree you could work from home providing online tax services. You don’t have to work for yourself to make an income at this particular job.
24. Start a Nursery
I love growing plants. My happy place is inside my greenhouse. If you have a green thumb, consider raising plants to sell.
You could sell them through social media to those in your community. Try growing specialty plants or flowers. Also, be prepared to sell them at a lower price to build your clientele.
25. Pet Sitting Services
When people travel, they can’t always take their pets. Offer a pet sitting service. You could sign-up with Rover.com.
You could also advertise your own company through social media. Be sure you’re excellent with animals before taking on such a responsibility.
26. Dog Walking Services
If you live in or near a city, this could be a great business to start. Many people work all day, and their pets are cooped up in an apartment.
To give their dogs a break, the owners will hire a dog walker to take them to the dog park. If you love dogs, you could build your own business with a flexible schedule.
27. Personal Shopper
This is something you can even do in rural areas. Since many grocery stores are offering delivery options now, you can become a personal grocery shopper.
Our local Aldi started doing this, and I’ve loved it! Plus, it allows stay-at-home parents in my area to have a job where they can take their kids with them.
Companies that Hire Remote Employees
This concludes our tour of flexible jobs. These ideas could help you to work from home or add a little extra flexibility to your schedule.
Hopefully these tips will help you as you try to map out a new career path from home.
Remember to take it one step at a time. Working from home (or operating your own business) sounds great.
But flexible jobs can be difficult because they frequently require a great deal of juggling.
Good luck to you as you navigate this new journey!