There are many types of online jobs, which are also referred to as remote jobs, flexible jobs, or work from home jobs. If you are a parent who is currently at home caring for kids full-time, flexibility is key. Luckily with technology there are SO many options these days in terms of flexible jobs for moms.
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However, not all flexible, remote jobs are created equal. Some are much better suited for busy moms. And as a busy mom of two young ones myself, I know a lot about finding flexible work. For the past six years I’ve worked as an independent contractor, a freelancer, as well as a private practice career coach.
Therefore, my best advice as both a mom and a career expert is to try to spend a little time searching and figuring out what you want and need out of a flexible job.
If your situation is urgent and you need a job like, yesterday, you might not be able to be picky. I get it. Sometimes you need to take a temporary “emergency job” just to make ends meet. Regardless of your situation, just know that every job you take will allow you to gain valuable skills and experience.
Read below for my list of top flexible, online jobs for moms with kids at home:
#1 Flexible Job for Moms: Blogging
I’ll start with the good news about blogging. Blogging allows for endless amounts of creativity. The sky is literally the limit in terms of what you can write about, how you convey your message to your audience, and how much money you can make.
Another thing I love about having a blog and / or online business is that the hours are incredibly flexible. As an entrepreneur, I can pick my hours and change them if necessary on a daily basis. Most days I try to wake up before my kids get up, around 5am when I’m most productive. When the kids have quiet time during the day I can get in another hour or two of work. Lastly, at night I can usually sneak in a couple more hours of work after the kiddos go to sleep.
If you have an idea for an online business, having a blog as your starting platform is a wonderful method in which to sell your product and get your message out.
The Bad & the Ugly:
Blogging takes a lot of work. Especially in the beginning. It is definitely not a get rich quick scheme. And it can take anywhere from 6 months to two years to generate a reliable, part or full-time income. So if you need immediate income, my best advice would be get an online / remote job to supplement your income in the short-term, and you can start your blog at the same time.
If you already have another job (part or full-time), you can still start your blog simultaneously and build it slowly over time. If you’ve got a dream to start a blog / business, I say go for it. It’s minimal risk (to start a blog you only need to spend about $20 up front, give or take). Over time you will need to invest more money, especially if you are serious about generating income.
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#2 Flexible Job for Moms: Contracting
You can be a contractor in just about any industry. If you’re a mom returning to the workforce after a career hiatus, or you’ve recently relocated or been laid off, contracting part or full-time can be a great way to keep your skills sharp and money rolling in. You can also contract on a long-term or short-term basis while you look for something more permanent.
I have done contract work on-site as well as remotely. The thing I really appreciated about being a contractor was the flexibility it allowed. I got to pick my hours and create my own schedule based on my needs.
Flexjobs has an enormous database full of flexible online contracting jobs in all industries.
If you need a job urgently, you can also try contacting temp / employment agencies near you that can find you flexible work in or outside of your field.
The Bad and The Ugly
Many contracting jobs offer a set amount of hours per week. But many don’t. When I was a contractor for a resume writing company it was “feast or famine.” Meaning, some weeks I got lots of work and other weeks I didn’t.
Even if the company advertises that “you can work as much or as little as you want”, you need to make sure this is really the case. Ask specific, detailed questions in the interview. For example, “what is the average amount of hours I can expect to work each week,” or “what is the process you use to determine the amount of work each contractor receives?”
Many contract workers have at least two contract jobs simultaneously for this reason. When things slow down with one gig, you’ve got your other gig to supplement the hours and income. You can have as many or as few contract jobs as you want.
However, if you are not okay with having a fluctuating amount of work each week, you might consider getting a contracting position where your hours and schedule are set and / or predetermined.
#3 Flexible Job for Moms: Freelancing
You might be wondering about the difference between being a contractor and freelancer. Typically, if you are a contractor you are working for one company. Though you can also contract for more than one organization at a time. If you are freelancing, you are usually working for yourself.
The nice thing about freelancing is that you are your own boss. You don’t have to answer to anyone. I have been a freelance career coach for nearly eight years. I take on as many or as few clients as I want, and I determine how I execute my work and how much I get paid. Being able to take on as much or as little work as you want is a huge plus if you’re a mom with a busy, fluctuating schedule.
The Bad and the Ugly
If you are working for yourself, that means that you have to get your own clients and / or generate your own business. This can be very challenging. Especially if you’re not a marketing guru.
In addition, most industries have professional associations or clubs / organizations that you can join and advertise your services. Some cost an annual fee, but I’ve found that it is well worth the cost. It gives you instant credibility and visibility.
Seriously considering freelancing? Check out this ultimate guide to freelancing!
I have personally done and / or am doing all three types of flexible online jobs mentioned above. I know from experience that there are definitely pros and cons to each option.
If you’re not sure what will work best for you, do some digging first. Find professionals on LinkedIn or in groups on your social networks who are doing the type of work you’re interested in.
Figure out where you’re at right now and what your current needs are in terms of flexibility, hours, and pay. Sometimes you just need to try something to see if it will work for you. If it doesn’t work out, move on.
And remember that with each job opportunity you try, whether it works out or not, it is an opportunity to learn and grow your professional skills!
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