Leaving work to become a parent can be a decision accompanied by many emotions. Depending on how much you enjoyed your job, you could be feeling anxious or relieved, in addition to stressed or confused by the resulting changes (i.e less income, relying on your partner to be the ‘breadwinner’, relying on Government subsidies etc.).
With the amazing range of technology now available, working from home has become easier than ever. With little outlay and a fair amount of dedication, many parents have successfully created an income by working from home.
*You can work your current role, from home.
Talk to your employer about working from home in your current position (or a modified version of it). From home, you can juggle baby as well as emails, phone calls, conference calls! This would particularly suit a more traditional office role (journalist, marketing, typist, public relations…).
The pro’s of this include knowing your role, minimal investment/start up costs and likely a regular paycheck. The downsides could include flexibility, and being very clear with your employer about what they expect.
*You can start a new business with your skills
If you are qualified or experienced in different skills, you can do this from home – typing, editing, copywriting, sewing and mending. Home-based childcarers are always in demand if you enjoy being with children, and if you have a craft (such as knitting, crochet, sewing, design, painting) you can create a new business with this! You can also do tutoring for school children, or teach a sport/musical instrument. The benefits of this option include the ability to earn doing something you are good at (and likely enjoy). The downside is it could be a little harder to maintain a regular income while you get started.
*You can start a new business in something completely different!
Perhaps you have seen a niche market (why hasn’t anyone invented XX?) or have stumbled across an awesome product. Setting up a new business can be daunting but very rewarding. Being your own boss, seeing your own business grow and succeed, working your own flexible hours are all bonuses of this option. The cons here include likely high start-up costs, and a desire to work very hard to get your new business off the ground.
*You can ‘contract/consult’/direct selling for a big business i.e party plan structure
Think Tupperware, Avon, Lorraine Lea Linen and many of the smaller brands – you work with others to host a ‘party’, sell products, and earn a percentage as commission. The benefits of these businesses is that there is no limit to how much you can earn, and you can quickly scale the ranks to management and a higher income. The downside of this, is you only get out what you put in – so you must be prepared to work hard and put in the hours.
*You can work for someone else from home
Perhaps you have decided to give up your current role, because it wasn’t viable to work from home, or you needed a change. Or perhaps you need something to fill the time before you return to the role. In this case, working for someone else may be the way to go. Job opportunities here include mystery shopping, house cleaning, customer service/telemarketing. You can also fill out surveys to earn money and vouchers.
*You can take the ‘cut costs’ option
Instead of working, perhaps you could look at saving money instead. Bulk buying, seeking out specials, cutting coupons etc can all save a significant amount, which may mean you don’t need to work. You can also declutter, selling things you don’t need to make a few dollars… not only will this increase space in your house, you may enjoy it and start scoping out garage sales for treasures to onsell!
Next week we will look at some of the legalities of running your own business.
Ashlee currently writes a parenting column for her local newspaper, runs Facebook page ‘Ministry of Lunchboxes’ and blogs at www.phraseology.co.nz