When you’re a mom, there is always the dilemma on whether to focus on your career or to take care of the kids. I’m not saying that it can’t be done simultaneously, but if you’re a mom with young kids, it tends to get a little challenging, especially if you’re constantly worrying about who the next baby sitter is.
As a soon-to-be mom, I can’t help getting worried whenever my colleagues at work mention their troubles with hiring babysitters. A lot of times, they are forced to get absent from work when the babysitter suddenly leaves. Or if the kids get sick. Or have a school event.
Now, I love my job very much and I focus all my efforts in doing the best I can, but when I think about the near future, I cannot help thinking I will be better off as a stay-at-home mom. With my husband being away at work for days on end, I have to be there for my kid.
But… there’s always the issue of finances. Of course, once you decide to quit work and be a stay-a-home mom, your family’s source of income will be cut in half – or totally depleted. Good if you can afford it. But how about moms like me who can’t afford it?
If you are in a similar situation, fear not! The good thing about technology is that it allowed businesses to offer telecommuting jobs for people like us. Freelancing seems to have taken the world by storm.
In a study conducted by the Freelancers Union, in partnership with Upwork, freelancers now make up 35% of the workforce in the United States. Collectively, they have earned $1 trillion in 2016. According to the study, “the freelance workforce grew from 53 million in 2014 to 55 million in 2016.”
That’s just in the United States alone. Freelance workers are also on the rise in different parts of the world. In Upwork, you will not only see clients and freelancers from the United States – the United Kingdom, India, and the Philippines also make up a large percentage of freelance job providers and workers.
I’ve known a lot of moms who have shifted to doing home based jobs, and they are doing very well. In fact, most of them are earning more from their home based jobs than from their former office jobs. Although the downside is that freelancing doesn’t have the usual benefits we get from having a full-time office job, being able to be there for your kids, escaping traffic, and having a more flexible work schedule is a bigger benefit.
So, what are the typical online jobs that you can take on if you are a stay-at-home mom? Here are a few examples of online jobs I have tried before. Please don’t be limited by this very short list. If you have other skills that you can offer, you can always find a job that would fit you perfectly.
1. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant or VA is someone who provides administrative, technical, or social assistance to a client. My job as a virtual assistant included managing the client’s websites, blogs, and social media sites, regulating incoming and outgoing emails, managing projects for other staff working for the client, writing web content, and content syndication.
Basically, transcription is transforming speech into written word. In transcription, you will be listening to podcasts, webinars, calls, meetings, even TV shows and movies. This job requires good listening and typing skills. Good grammar is essential as well.
There are several types of transcription – medical, business/financial, entertainment, and general transcription.
3. SEO Specialist
According to SEO.com, SEO or Search Engine Optimization “helps people find products and information on search engines like Google and Bing. An SEO specialist, then, researches and analyzes the trends and best practices online to develop and implement strategies that improve search results. The overall goal is to increase the level of traffic to a website by using keywords and keyword topics to improve the user experience and meet search engine guidelines.”
As an SEO specialist, I was tasked to promote the client’s website through SEO. I blogged, commented in forums, connected with webmasters in the same niche to promote our products, searched for keywords that scored high in the search engines, and did Google analytics to determine how the websites are doing.
4. Online Teacher
Teaching English as Second Language (ESL) is very popular. There are several schools that are located in Japan, Korea, and China who are offering online teaching. Basically, you will be conducting the session via Skype or any other platform that allows video calls. Usually, each session lasts for 30 minutes to one hour. You will be teaching grammar, vocabulary, speaking English, and sometimes writing.
Several stay-at-home moms have become very successful as bloggers. You can blog about anything. There is a big community of mom bloggers who basically share their day-to-day life taking care of their kids and different mom hacks they’ve discovered along the way.
Okay, so now that you have an idea of what types of jobs you can try in the online freelancing world, where would you find jobs that fit your skillsets?
Here are websites where I got some of my freelancing gigs.
Upwork is one of the largest, if not the largest, platform for online jobs. Based in Sillicon Valley, it used to be known as Elance-oDesk. To get a job in Upwork, you have to submit great cover letters because you have to bid for every job. Just take note that Upwork gets 20% of your total pay.
Jobstreet.com is a jobs platform for Asians. I rarely find online jobs being posted here, but I included it in my list because this is where I got my first freelance writing gig in 2006.
3. Grow My Team
This is an Australian-based company who hire remote workers. They have both full-time and part-time gigs. Some examples of the talents they are hiring are marketing managers, virtual assistants, transcriptionists, and graphic designers. I recently landed a transcription gig here in the market research industry.
This company hires transcriptionists and translators for political, broadcast, financial, and general business content. Among their clients are CNN, ABC, Bloomberg, and Fox News. This is where I got my first transcription gig around six years ago. Payment is based on how many kilobytes (KB) of words you typed.
I’ve had a LinkedIn profile for many years, but I only recently discovered that I can actually use this platform to find job prospects. In the past year, I have received numerous job invitations from LinkedIn. You can also use this platform – just make sure you keep it updated. It also doesn’t hurt to connect with people in your industry and be active in communities and groups.
All set to take the plunge? I know it’s easier said than done – and always, the hardest part is getting started.
If you are unsure where to start at this point, just spend a bit of time building your profile or resume. You can also visit the sites I mentioned and try applying or pitching yourself. It might take a while to get your first gig (competition is very high these days), but you will definitely get there. It just takes time and patience. Before you know it, you will be enjoying your flexible hours as a stay-at-home mom slash freelancer.