by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
If you’ve got a knack for computers, then web development could be the work-at-home career for you. You don’t need a lot of extra schooling to become a web developer, though it can be helpful. Whether you have a formal education or are self-taught, what matters most to employers and clients is your ability to set them up with an outstanding website.
To work out of your home, you will need a computer with Internet access. Since web design projects can be large scale, project management skills are also important. At-home web design can be done on a flexible schedule, making it very family friendly.
Start out by building your own website. Potential clients and employers will expect a web designer to have a top-notch website showcasing her skills. This is a great opportunity to experiment with different ideas, and get a sense of your personal style. Be sure to include your resume and contact information. You never know when a hit on your website will result in a new client.
Building a Portfolio
Showcase your talents through a portfolio. As you build websites, collect a record of your professional experience through examples of the quality work you provide. If you are willing to work hard and give your all to a few friends or organizations free of charge, your portfolio will quickly come together. Don’t know anyone looking for a website? Try volunteermatch.org. The site will pair you with nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers. Not only will you gain experience, but you will also be helping out a cause close to your heart.
Choosing a Niche
Once you have a few jobs under your belt, you may find it beneficial to choose a niche or specialty. Maybe you excel when working with nonprofits, or prefer the informal touch of a personal website. Capitalize on your strengths and interests when choosing a niche market. Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients. With a little planning, and a lot of hard work, you will be a professional web designer from the comfort of your home before you know it.