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Where’s The Money Tree?
If your family depends on your full time income and you want to switch to a part time work at home career, you need to know how quitting your job will impact the family finances and how you will make money working from home.
Do you still love your current job? Does it support your career ambitions and make you smile, only you want more time with your family? If so, perhaps you can negotiate a full or part time work from home agreement with your manager. An excellent resource for framing this discussion is Pat Katepoo’s flextime proposal template, available at http://www.workoptions.com.
Check out Monster and Career Builder for current corporate telecommuting opportunities. More and more large companies are recognizing the value of a home based work force. Target these companies and see if they’ll agree to a work at home arrangement.
What else are you good at? What do you enjoy? It’s important to jot down a list of skills and talents that could potentially enable you to earn income from home.
What about becoming an entrepreneur, “solopreneur” or “mompreneur”? There are lots of ways to start home-based businesses. You could offer freelance writing, web design or programming services, sell products online or be an independent sales or customer service representative. There are also lots of companies that might hire you on a project or contract basis.
Do you want to sell products on eBay or create and manage your own online store? Or perhaps you want to sell other people’s products as an affiliate. The opportunities on the web are endless.
Or maybe you can become an Internet marketer. Ebooks and audio programs are wonderful vehicles to promote your products and services and get your name out to the marketplace.
What Are Your Skills and Talents Worth?
If you’ve been working in a corporate environment for any length of time, people will pay you for what you know. The Internet has truly leveled the playing field for men and women knowledge workers.
The trick is knowing how to package your skills and talents into a service offering that people will pay for.
A good way to start putting this together is to reverse engineer your resume. In other words, really look at your job/life experience in terms of a product (or service offering) someone could buy. When you’re interviewing for a “real job”, what are you really selling?
For example, if you have 3-5 years experience as a corporate event planner, organizing, managing and promoting software conferences, you can position yourself as a corporate event services consultant. Instead of applying directly for these specific full time jobs on Monster or Career Builder, pitch your services as a consultant on a project basis.
It may take a few tries before you get someone willing to listen, but once they do you’ve got a foot in the door. The benefit to them is they don’t have to pay you a salary or benefits. You can propose to take on as much of the project you want to work on and clearly demonstrate how you’ll add value.
And what about your fee? How much should you charge? As much as you can! Seriously, a very basic rule of thumb is to take your current salary, ignore the last 3 digits and divide it by 2. This is how much you make per hour, assuming you work 50 weeks a year and take two weeks vacation. For example, if you currently make $60,000, divide 60 by 2 and you get $30 an hour. Your fee should be at least double this amount to compensate you for benefits, vacation/sick time, social security, and other overhead.
Try It Out
You know the saying – you never know unless you try. Test a few of these ideas out. Talk to your manager about a part time work from home arrangement or look at other corporate telecommuting opportunities.
Or try some freelance opportunities before you quit your job. See if you can land a few moonlighting gigs here and there. It will help you see what’s available in the outside world before you need it. Plus it will give you and great confidence to move forward to your dream of a work at home lifestyle.