What You Need to Know About Work-At-Home Moms
Are you a mom wanting to stay at home while working so you can watch your kids grow or have more time for your family? I'm a work-at-home mom and I will share with you my experience as a beginner.
My Story Before Work-At-Home
I worked in the BPO world for a decade. The last employment I had was a struggle. I have a one-year-old baby and two other kids who go to school early mornings of Mondays through Fridays. My husband and I worked graveyard. We had no nanny. It was difficult to look for a trusted helper these days because of the viral news about lost kids and tortured babies.
To cut the story short, we had a very chaotic setting just so I could continue work. My husband quitting was never an option. Unfair? Yes! Why does it always have to be us, women, give up our career and anything that makes us happy for the sake of the family? This question is out of the topic so I'll write about it next time..LOL
Let me share with you what you need to know about work-at-home as moms.
Determine Your Family’s Current State
The first important thing about working at home is identifying the needs of your kids and your family. Do you have to keep your 9-5 job to sustain your family needs? Are you ready to give it up and look for the virtual job that will work for you and your family? If you will be offered a lower rate compared to what you are getting from the corporate office, would you be able to accept it?
Working at home for the first time is like working as a fresh grad from college. You will be offered lower rates but, of course, it is just a stage you need to go through as a beginner.
I contemplated too long about my family's finances before I decided to quit my last BPO job. It took me 3 months of praying and calculating our daily, weekly and monthly expenses. My 2 kids go to a Montessori school and their tuition fee is way above what we can afford but my husband and I always want to give them the best as we possibly could. I think most parents do want the same for their kids.
My husband and I knew it would be difficult for us if I'd quit but my health played a huge role in our decision. Apparently, I had not been sleeping and not getting enough rest. Quitting the job was the answer to our dilemma.
Make A Solid Decision
As moms, we have the right to decide about our kids and what's good for the family. Most of the time, our husbands give up their right making decisions themselves and just turn to us and ask what we want.
Making a decision about quitting the corporate office and switching to work at home is one of the toughest. You won't take the worry about thinking what ifs. What if I don't get a job or client right away? What if I don't have the skills? What if there are no available jobs for me?
Let me tell you this - when I decided to stop working, I didn't have any client and didn't even think that I could get one because I didn't know where to find one. I just thought I'd quit, take care of the kids and when my one-year-old son turns two, I will go back to work.
I had a solid decision to quit the job and let God take care of our needs.
Trust God With All Your Heart
Praying and trusting God is the best way to let go of the things that are difficult and stressful for us. As soon as I let God be God, he blessed me with my first work at home opportunity right away. It was only 4 days after I let go of the 9-5 job when my cousin told me that her client was looking for a Customer Service Support/Virtual Assistant. I submitted my Curriculum Vitae and gone through the interview.
Voilà! In an instant, I got a client and a job. God moves in mysterious ways.
Sites To Find Work At Home Jobs Outside US
Here are the sites that I use to look for online jobs. After I got my first client, I had been searching and exploring other available online jobs for future reference. You can check Hubstaff Talent, Onlinejobs.PH, Upwork and My Outdesk.
Know Your Worth, Set Your Target Rate
I mentioned earlier that you should be ready to accept a lower rate but that does not mean you can't demand your own rate. When applying for online jobs, clients will always ask you how much is your hourly rate or project rate. Rates should be confidential but I'll tell you what I write in my application. My asking hourly rate is $6.00, that is P300 for $1=P50 conversion rate. It's P12K for 40 hours of work in a week, please do the math to get the monthly rate.
The question here is how willing is the client to give you your asking rate and the answer depends on you. If you will ace your interview and tell them the things they want to hear, they will be more than willing to hire you and accept your rate.
Invest In Your Work At Home Needs
Working at home requires you to have your own laptop, PC, headset, mouse, keyboard, mouse pad, etc in order to perform your job well. Don't be a cheapskate! If you want to keep your clients for a long time, invest in high performing laptop and other equipment that you'll need for your online job. If you want to save time and finish your tasks in a shorter period of time and get to enjoy the benefit of working at home, make sure you get a laptop or PC with amazing specs.
Work at home is like starting a business - you need money to start up. Brand new laptop would be fantastic but not necessarily. If you don't have the funds to get a brand new PC or laptop, you can find great deals for second-hand in OLX, Shopee or Lazada.
I got my second laptop, a used one, from OLX. I got it for only P9,500. It's DELL i5 with great performance - awesome!
Before I started working at home, I knew that I needed to invest in a laptop so I got one. This was my first laptop for the online job. (Not that I didn't have a laptop before this but it was stolen - worth 60K, ugh! That was years ago, so I'm over it - not totally but will get there soon.) I didn't have the budget to buy an expensive laptop and even used Home Credit to get a cheap one. I loaned an Acer Celeron laptop for 15K, yikes poor, haha. My first laptop investment was really slow and I thought there was a problem with it. I went back to the store after 2 days to complain. The store's customer service supervisor told me that the laptop I got was just a basic laptop and that the slow performance was normal. I tried to return it and upgrade to a better one. I was willing to pay for an additional down payment for Home Credit but it will take them 30 business days to process my request but I could not wait that long. Shame - I ended giving up and accepted the fact that I was impulsive and did not do my research about laptops before buying one.
Buckle Up! A LOT of Destruction Attempt
You're a mom and a wife - your kids and husband will need you (time after time after time) so much when they know you're home. They will keep calling your name and keep telling you their wants and needs. You need to talk to them and set boundaries. Help them understand that when you are working, you need focus and ask them if they can pretend that you are at the office so they won't be too clingy. Learn to ignore them when you are completing your tasks for your client. You'll have more time with your family as soon as you're done with your tasks. Allowing them to interrupt you from time to time won't make you efficient and may lose your client's trust in you.
Working at home for moms is not easy but the additional time and attention that you can give to your family and the pay it offers is so much better than working in the corporate world. It is worth trying and worth the risk.
© 2019 Cindy Liza Alvarez-Rarela