According to Mom Corps, 75% of working adults agree that flexibility for work-life balance is one of the most important factors they consider when deciding where to work. The trend toward remote working is continuing to amplify as technology allows for better accessibility, and top companies are evolving to meet these demands in order to stay competitive.
The benefits of a work-at-home job are appealing. In a telecommuting job, even if you work part-time or on an as-needed basis, during that time you are free to define your hours, you don’t have to commute, you can work in your pajamas (if that’s how you roll)...and you can even a write off a small portion of your home office at tax time. But what are some of the most lucrative and satisfying work-from-home job opportunities?
Finding a work-from-home opportunity or remote, flexible jobs that pay well may be challenging for stay-at-home moms and dads, but the great news is that there is such a massive range of telecommuting options available these days. So, regardless of whether you are a stay-home mom or dad seeking a side-hustle, an entry-level employee, or someone seeking a a more executive position, there are options!
Is a stay-at-home job truly right for you and your family’s needs?
When considering the type of job you want, be sure to factor in your financial requirements, how many hours you want to work (be it full-time work or part-time), your child care accommodations, and whether you need health insurance or other benefits. For moms and dads, there are definite perks to working from home, in that you have better flexibility to care for your family. But this flexibility can also come at a cost — make sure you understand the pluses as well as the minuses. A few of the standouts are as follows:
- Work-from-home mothers and fathers share some perks with stay-home moms and dads, in that they have greater freedom to pick up sick kids from school (the joys of parenting!) and generally have an advantage in being able to prioritize family needs, from doctor appointments, to school plays, to everything in between (provided their employer does, indeed, enable this sort of flexibility).
- The above doesn’t just apply to those with human children, either — primary caregivers of fur babies also enjoy perks from staying at home during the workday.
- No. Commute. Need we say more??
- Without a set start and stop to your work day, it’s easy to lose track of time and structure (10 a.m.? 10 p.m.? What’s the difference!). You’ll likely try to keep “regular” working hours, at least in the beginning, but actually enforcing them for yourself is another matter.
- People may undermine you. No matter how many times you explain otherwise, on some level, friends may assume you have all the time in the world — and that you should be using it to help out the office-dwellers who “really work.”
- Being able to stay at home and thus be more accessible for your family is great and all. But how does working from home while your kid is also home sick or on a break from school actually sound? Less than ideal? Quite possibly.
What does work-at-home success truly require?
Getting a work-from-home job, not to mention maintaining work-at-home success in the long run, requires patience and creativity, and you may want to check out a salary database to see top-rated businesses and the best companies for women. Moreover, sadly, there are all too many scams that don't offer legitimate work-at-home, telecommuting jobs. If you haven't heard of the firm before, be sure to find out whether the company has other employees. If the money or position seem too good to be true, be sure to do your research, and always trust your instincts.
So, what are the top work-from-home jobs for stay-at-home parents or those with caretaking responsibilities?
1. Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant (VA) is a freelancer who remotely provides support services to a business. The responsibilities range from routine tasks, like appointment reminders and email management, to bookkeeping and social media engagement. A great VA is highly detail-oriented, loves to learn new skills and is people-oriented.
2. Social media manager
Being a social media manager can be of the best work-from-home jobs if you’re autonomously managing a company’s social media presence. As the voice of the organization, you can manage the strategy and the day-to-day support for their top social platforms. This could include content creation, advertising budget and daily engagement. Having your own thriving social media presence will help you get experience and show your prospective clients your know-how. Social media marketing changes faster than a newborn in a diaper...so be willing to stay on top of the trends.
Are you fluent in multiple languages? Did you kill it on your SATs or are you particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic? Consider being an online tutor! You still get the satisfaction of seeing first-hand the difference you have made in a student’s life…all from the comfort of your home. Tutors are typically part time and are paid hourly, but depending on your expertise and needs of your client(s), you may be able to secure full time -- and super lucrative -- work.
4. Web developer
Web Developers are among the best-paid remote workers. With some technical training, developers can offer services such as custom website design, coding, hosting and usability testing.
5. Search engine evaluator
Are you looking for a little extra cash? As an independent contractor, a $12-$15 per hour job lets you work around your schedule and at your pace. You will provide feedback on search engine algorithms, which need to be evaluated by humans because they are often full of errors.
6. Brand manager
If you think creatively and excel in the business world, consider a brand manager position. Whether your background is in design, business, or advertising, as long as you have a vision and can write persuasively, you’ll be able to excel in this role — from the comfort of your own home.
Consulting is a great option for stay-at-home parents because it’s likely something you can do regardless of your career path -- as long as you’re particularly knowledgeable about something. If you’re creative about problem solving and you’re good at seeing the picture -- and if you like offering advice -- consulting may be the way to go. Many professionals who decide they’d like to work from home or enjoy more flexible hours tend to turn their talents to consulting.
8. Part-time executive
If you enjoy making business decisions but you’re ready to quit the 9-to-5, you may want to look into working as a part-time executive. Employers are increasingly embracing more flexible schedules and holding team meetings over Skype -- so there’s a good chance you can find part-time work that still allows you to be well-connected to and influential at a particular business.
Ecommerce is all about that “e” -- meaning, everything is done online (AKA you can work from anywhere). Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea about a product or service you can sell? If you’re open-minded and proactive, it could turn into an awesome (and flexible) career path!
10. Freelance writer/blogger
If you’ve always been passionate about writing and you’re now looking for flexible work, pursuing a career as a freelance writer or blogger is something you should consider. With an infinite number of publishing outlets, it’s easier than ever to develop your portfolio and kickstart the writing career you’ve always dreamed of. And it’s super easy to do it from wherever you please.
11. Email marketer
How many promotional emails do you find in your inbox every morning? Probably a ton -- because a ton of companies use them. If you’ve worked in advertising, marketing, publishing or as a copywriter, chances are you can master the skills to work as an email marketer from home. The very nature of the work depends entirely on the internet, so completing the job remotely makes perfect sense.
12. Promotional video maker
If you have a background in film but you’re ready to stick to freelance work, consider making promotional videos. If you find the right clients, this can be quite a lucrative career.
13. Web/graphic designer
In the age of all things digital, there’s no shortage of work for web and graphic designers. Tons of companies naturally gravitate toward remote workers to fill these roles, as they generally don’t require much in-person communication. If you have a good eye and the right skills, put them to use!
14. Customer service
Increasingly, customer service positions (both the full-time job and part-time job varieties) are provided not through centralized, physical call center facility but through home-based employees who have access to a good phone line and high-speed internet connection. These jobs that you can do from home tend to be good for those that need to work remotely and are self-sufficient and organized even when not in an office environment.
15. In-home care for the elderly
It may sound less glamorous than some of the aforementioned job opportunities, but it’s such an important and impactful role. If you’re already the primary caregiver to children, this type of role may or may not be the right fit, as constant caregiving can be a major drain (just ask a stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad). That said, this line of work, which could either be a full- or part-time job, comes with plenty of job security — there will always be elderly people who need caring for, and someone to brighten their day. Look to in-home senior care if you want to have the relative flexibility of a stay at home job while also making a difference.
Elaine McGhee is a Working Mom Support Coach on a mission de-stress maternity leave and propel a nation of thriving working mothers. From her own emotionally traumatic return-to-work after her first daughter (HOT MESS!), ThriveMomma.com was born. She coaches new moms on of return-to-work readiness, time management and mindful living. And consults for corporations on paternity transition planning and work/life policies to retain and nurture working parents.
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