by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
I made the switch to a work-at-home career, and so can you. Here are a few easy steps to get you started on the path to a new career:
Assess Your Skills
If your primary focus is the ability to work out of your home, you’ll need to know which of the skills you have will be most helpful when you make the switch. There are many skills that are useful across a variety of industries, including many work-at-home careers. Consider not only what you are good at, but also what you enjoy. Here are a few skills common to many work-at-home positions:
l Computer Skills
l Customer Service Skills
l Project Management Skills
l Communication Skills
l Research Skills
l Accounting / Business Finance Skills
Choose a Career Path
Now that you’ve pinpointed which skills you already have and which you most enjoy, it’s time to decide on a direction. There may be more options than you realize for work-at-home mothers. Here is a short list to get you started:
l Executive Assistant
l Graphic Designer
l Web Designer
l Research Assistant
l Marketing / Public Relations Consultant
l Bookkeeping and Accounting
Depending on the career path you chose, you may need additional schooling or certification. Check for professional organizations within your industry. They are a great source for volunteer and network opportunities, and may help you assess which certifications will be most beneficial to you.
One of the greatest challenges posed when switching careers is the sudden lack of experience. It can be hard starting over again, especially in a market that seems interested only in seasoned professionals. Test run your new career by volunteering your time to a friend, or a nonprofit organization. Offer your services free of charge and put in your best effort. You’ll gain experience and professional references, all while helping out a worthy cause.
Don’t Give Up
Switching careers is exciting, but it is also difficult. Remember, it takes time to build a career. The rewards are great when you are willing to give it everything you’ve got.