Tag Archive | Work from Home

Choosing a Niche by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporation

by Sandra Beck

Career Focus:  Work at Home as a Graphic Designer

 

Do you have an artistic eye?  Are you comfortable with computers? You could work at home as a graphic designer.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average income for graphic designers as $45,000 per year.  With the option of enjoying the flexible work hours of a home office environment, this is a career worth looking into.  flowergarden

 

The Technology

 

At a minimum, you will need to equip your home office with a computer, printer and design software.  Most entry-level positions require at least an associate degree, with a bachelor’s degree preferred. 

 

Getting Started

 

The key to success as a graphic designer is a killer portfolio.  The best way to build a portfolio is to get busy working.  That may seem intimidating if you have little or no experience, but there are plenty of opportunities out there if you are willing to do a little pro bono work.  Many nonprofit organizations looking for graphic designers, and free is the right price.  Idealist.org lists open paid and volunteer positions within the nonprofit sector.  Gaining much needed career skills is even more fun when you are assisting a worthy cause. 

 

Choosing a Niche

 

Once you have built an impressive resumé, you may find it beneficial to C.    Choose an area of expertise based on your strengths and interests.  Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients.   Here are a few graphic design specialties to consider:

 

– Advertising / Commercial Designer

 

– Animator

 

– Desktop Publisher

 

– Illustrator

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Bookkeeper or Accounting Clerk by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

Do you enjoy working with numbers?  Do you have an eye for detail?  Bookkeeping may be the work-at-home job for you.   An expensive education is not required.  Most bookkeepers and accounting clerks need a high school diploma, while some professionals advance their careers through a 2-year associate degree.  On-the-job training is common in this field.  Flexible telecommuting options make this career especially family friendly, and a great fit for the work-at-home mother.spring-trees

 

Required Skills

 

A strong aptitude for numbers is a must for bookkeepers and accounting clerks.  Familiarity with computers, word processing software, and spreadsheets is also required.  You must be an organized, detail-oriented person, with an ability to spot and correct errors.  A bookkeeper or accounting clerk must also be trustworthy with a strong sense of ethics, as she will frequently work with confidential information.  Good communication skills are always beneficial.

 

The Technology

 

You will need a computer equipped with a printer, as well as word processing and spreadsheet software to work as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk out of your home.  Basic communication tools, such as a phone line and email address, are also necessary.  Fax capabilities are a plus.  An online fax service may be a viable option for those who do not wish to invest in a fax machine.

 

Getting Started

 

The easiest way to build bookkeeping and accounting skills when you are starting out is to volunteer your time to a nonprofit organization.  There are plenty of organizations looking for bookkeeping and accounting assistance.  Try searching volunteer.gov for local or virtual opportunities.  If you put forth your best effort, a satisfied patron will usually be happy to serve as a reference while you search for a paid position.  

 

Certification

 

The Certified Bookkeeper designation is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.  Candidates must have at least 2 years of bookkeeping experience, follow a code of ethics, and pass a four-part examination.  Though certification is not necessary to be successful, it will boost your credibility with potential employers.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Do I need My Ears Checked? By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

Your co-workers

 

windsockThey say: “Oh my! Three children – you must have your hands full”

I hear: Have you never heard of family planning?

 

They say: “We appreciate you have family commitments”

I hear; “YOUR family. Not MY family. Don’t make them MY problem”

 

They say: “I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell”

I hear: “Aye carumba – sit down woman. I don’t want you to deliver your baby right here”

 

They say: “And how is little Max?”

I hear: “Give that child some vitamins, for Pete’s sake. That’s the third virus this month”.

 

They say: “Please come to our party

I hear: “… and it’d be great if you could slip your son a sedative beforehand. Our parrot still hasn’t recovered from last time”

 

Your friends

 

They say: “How do you manage?”

I hear: “I’d love to hear that you’ve fishies in your sink. It’ll make me feel better about myself”.

 

They say: “You seem to have a good work-life balance”

I hear:  “Of course, you’re just lucky your office is a soft touch. It’d never work in MY job”

 

They say: “It’s no trouble to pick up Johhny from school”

I hear: “Do I look like a creche?”

 

They say: “We’ve had endless trouble with headlice”

I hear: “… and I can’t help but noticed your son ITCHING”

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

 

 

 

Body and Soul Challenge recommended by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Motherhood Incorporated

Motherhood Incorporated

by sandra beck

Recently I was reading Body & Soul magazine and found that the Body+Soul Challenge was available online. What I like about this challenge is that it is doable – reasonable and not at all expensive. Its a five-week transformation that starts with a detox – which is again – doable — brown rice, lemon water, lots of vegetables. I mean really what you expect from a detox. Cathy Wong, N.D. helped them design the week and what I saw in the program was similar to some of the fancy spa events I used to attend.  Aiding digestion, boosting energy and giving us all the best efforts to stay healthy is a huge part of being successful.

After everything we did this holiday season as working moms – the wrapping, the cooking, the cleaning, the everything…its a good time to start the year with a clean slate. Cathy Wong says that throughout the week, you’ll boost your efforts with exercise to “get blood moving through your organs more quickly and sweat out your toxins,” as Wong explains. An equally important above-the-shoulders media diet (no television, Web surfing) builds reflective downtime into your day. This I found the most helpful as I work through the 5-week program. Here is the link to the online program www.wholeliving.com/body-and-soul-challenge.

Perhaps most important, you’ll devote time to consider what, exactly, you want to take away from the Body+Soul Challenge. Daily writing exercises will help you explore and personalize its themes: nutrition, exercise, stress relief, and energy. By the end of the week, you’ll be in a great position to clearly identify your goals. So take a deep breath and get ready–a new you is just five weeks away. 

www.sandrabeck.com

Doing It All In The After Hour

Finding the time to work on my business is hard.  Between my job and my home it is difficult to find the time. When I get home from work I need to fix dinner, spend time with my family, do some chores and get my daughter ready for bed. So how do I find time? I do it all in the after hours which for me means once everyone is asleep.  I go to my desk and start working.  Although I am tired from a long day at work, I concentrate on things that need to be done by having an outline. I go bullet by bullet prioritizing my clients work first and them on items for the growth of my business.  I make sure that I spend a certain amount of time a week working on my business, like advertisin, calling clients, and networking.  Although I work all the time, I always look back to my goal which is to find enough work for me to be a work from home mom. 

Making The Transition: What are you going do?

If youre like me, you are trying to make the transition from a working mom to a work at home mom running my own business and let me tell you, its tough. Between work and home, I dont have much time to organize myself to make the transition quickly.  So I am taking baby steps towards my goal.

 

Lets take the first baby step by answering these questions. What are you going to do? What services or products do you want to offer? What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing that can also provide you with income? What can you offer your clients from the comfort of your home? Will your boss consider you working for him/her from home?  Start by thinking about these questions and write it down in a notebook.  Write everything in your notebook that has to do with your new business idea.  Remember to carry your notebook everywhere so that you can write down any ideas that might pop in your head during the day. 

Being a Virtual Assistant Makes More Things Possible

by Shannon Penrod

Today was my son’s IEP to transition to kindergarten.  If you don’t know what that means take a moment and be grateful.  An IEP is an individualized educational plan.  It is only necessary when your child has special needs or concerns.  My child has Autism.  This was his third IEP.  This is the first IEP that I have attended where I actually had had sleep in the last week.  Why? Because now I am a virtual assistant and I was able to rearrange my week so that I didn’t have to stay up nights to prepare for the IEP. I got to be a sane person, which meant that I was a better representative for my child.

I explained to a friend yesterday that attending an IEP is a lot like buying a new car, you need to know what you want and negotiate your way to an equitable agreement.  Only with an IEP what you are negotiating is your child’s entire future – NO STRESS!  And today there wasn’t.  Because of my job I was able to do my job, for my kid. No small thing.

I talk to parents all the time who are struggling, trying to figure out how to work and see to their child’s needs.  This is true in almost all homes.  It is especially poignant to me in a home with a child who has a disability.  How do you choose between providing for your child’s special needs and being available to take them to therapy, doctor’s appointments etc, etc, etc.  It was a puzzle I couldn’t figure out until I became a virtual assistant. 

To all of you Autism Moms out there, I just want to say that this is one solution that works.  While my son is getting ABA therapy I am in the next room with my baby monitor on listening to everything while I write blogs and articles for realtors around the country.