Working at home is an option many people seek in order to improve family life, cut transportation costs and provide a certain amount of schedule flexibility. All of these benefits have appeal to the working single mom. Figuring out how to accomplish this career objective can get a little complex because there are both numerous options and numerous work-at-home scams out there.
Telecommuting is a work at home option that allows you to work for a company from the comfort of your home. You are still an employee with responsibilities, duties, and benefits. You will likely be required to work a specific schedule and to meet deadlines just as if you worked on site.
The benefits are the reduced costs: transportation, office attire, lunch and other expense money. You also save the time you would have used to commute to and from work. It does give you more time to be home and around your children.
The drawbacks are you lose the face to face connections with your boss and coworkers, the personal relationships you can build in person. Those connections can sometimes lead to promotions and you could miss out on those. If the job involves phone work, you will have to find a way to keep your children quiet while you are working and as any mother knows, this can be next to impossible at times.
Running your own business from home is another opportunity for working from home. Consulting work, data entry, and sales are some of the common choices. Selling insurance or real estate can be done from a home office. If you have a dream of owning your own business, there are agencies that can help you get started. Try to get inspired, even when things get tough.
You can definitely set your own hours. You can pursue the business goal of your dreams. You can set your own goals and limits, changing them as you achieve each one.
There are some disadvantages to this option. While you do get to set your hours, most entrepreneurs work more than a 40 hour week during the first few years. That is when it is imperative to put in the time to build your business. You will not have any benefits – no paid sick days or holidays, no paid vacation, no insurance. You also assume all the risk. If the business fails, your time and money invested in it are gone. You may also end up personally liable for any debts the business incurs. Talk to an attorney or accountant before jumping in this option. See also this post on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition
There are those who would capitalize on the dreams of others. Beware of any opportunity to work at home that sounds too good to be true. Huge profits, limited work hours and easy jobs are a tip-off that this may not be what it is cracked up to be. Many companies are looking for people who will make an “investment” in their future and they end up with little or nothing in return. If a business wants you to pay a startup fee, proceed with caution. Check the company out thoroughly before sending any money, and don’t be afraid to take a stand!