Updated August 9, 2021
There are countless reasons parents look for work-from-home jobs — like bridging the financial gap between full-time work and being a stay-at-home parent, reducing commute time, earning money without paying a ton for childcare, or achieving more flexibility. Recently, many families have needed remote jobs because of the unique challenge — brought on by the pandemic — of remote learning for their kids. Families need extra money too, and finding ways to earn money from home is economical. Many companies have closed office spaces, making work-from-home positions their only option. No matter what your reasons, there are many benefits to working and making money from home. But how do you know what kind of jobs to look for and where to start? What is a good career path for a working mom?
Searching for Work-From-Home Jobs
Unless you’re looking to make a complete life change, it makes the most sense to look for remote jobs in your current area of expertise. Some industries are known for work-from-home opportunities. According to Bankrate’s list, the high demand work-from-home jobs include web developer, computer support specialist, tutor, freelance writer or editor, social media management and medical transcriptionist. Many industries are expanding work-from-home opportunities.
Looking for work-from-home, remote jobs in your current field means you will have built-in experience. You also will be able to tap into your network of current and former co-workers to find employment opportunities or build your at-home business.
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Looking for a work-from-home job outside of your current field of work may be more of a common reality in the time of coronavirus, when unemployment is high and jobs seem scarce. Consider industries with more job opportunities, such as health care, computer support and retail sales. Do you have the interest and skills needed? Also, consider what you’re good at and figure out how to mold those skills into something you can make money doing. You may be able to use your skills in accounting and finance, writing, editing and/or proofreading, baking, crafting and more.
No experience? No problem! You may be able to find online training courses for many of these jobs. For instance, Udemy offers proofreading courses for around $100. If you had started the training to be a registered nurse, or another job requiring a special certification, now could be a good time to complete coursework online while perhaps also working a remote job to bring in extra money.
Work-From-Home Jobs: Work with a Company or Start Your Own
Some of the more obvious benefits of working for a company that hires at-home employees—aka working remotely—are predictable income, benefits like health insurance, and not having to take care of your own taxes (in some cases). Jobs for independent contractors may not include health care and other benefits so be sure to assess what you need and read details provided in job listings.
Pros of starting your own gig? You’re not bound by the parameters of a job description—you can literally do anything you want, as long as you’re able to make it profitable. Not only that, you can make your own hours, work anytime it suits you without answering to a boss, and your income may only limited by your willingness and ability to work.
While the perks of starting your own business may sound amazing (and they are!) the drawbacks are many as well, including unpredictable income, no benefits or paid time off, and being responsible for your own taxes. It also can be risky, but if you have a good idea, can write your own business plan, and have the desire and ability to make your business happen, go for it!
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Resources to Find Work-From-Home Jobs
Here are some websites to check out if you’re looking for flexible, online jobs from home.
Many large and small companies—local and national—contact Mommybites regularly, looking for talented, hardworking parents to fill full- and part-time, flexible job positions. Maybe you’re a mom or dad with a specific skill or occupation? Or a mom reentering the workforce? If you have mad skills to offer, chances are someone in this community will need them. So you can also list your service and promote your business. Job listings may include customer service representatives, data entry positions, social media roles, freelance writing opportunities, and much more.
As far as freelance work goes, Upwork has nudged itself into the top spot, becoming the gold standard for remote workers. An easy-to-search job board with plentiful opportunities in a number of industries is Upwork’s main feature, but the site also touts a message board, easy application/proposal process, and quick, predictable payment turn-around. Upwork is particularly strong if you’re looking for writing and editing roles.
Thumbtack is a unique online marketplace that matches professionals with people looking to have services performed. Many gigs on Thumbtack aren’t remote—the site is great for blue-collar industries like plumbing, painting and home improvement—but many others are. Thumbtack employs crafters, writers, editors, accountants, and many other roles that can be performed from home.
Are you a crafty mama? Here’s some good news—you may be able to keep doin’ what you’re doin’! Why not sell your crafts for some additional income? Sites like Etsy and even Facebook marketplace make selling your goods simpler than ever.
Despite its monthly membership fee, the Flexjobs website has become one of the most highly regarded job search sites for remote workers. You won’t find a bit of spam on this site; the jobs posted are legitimate opportunities from real companies, not work-from-home scams. Advertising on the site is pretty much non-existent and opportunities are abundant across a wide variety of industries. You can sign up on a monthly basis and cancel your membership anytime.
If you’re going to use your network to find your next work-from-home job, what better place to start than LinkedIn? If you’ve built up a good network of professionals who work in the industry you’d like to be in, definitely get in touch and let them know that you’re on the hunt for a remote position. Outline how you can be of assistance to them and how you intend to help them meet their goals. Then, consider mentioning that if they don’t have an opportunity, perhaps they might be able to put you in touch with someone who might. You’d be surprised at how quickly your network can grow. Remember, the best work-from-home jobs are those that come from a trusted member of your existing network. Using a LinkedIn network is also very good for affiliate marketing, which involves promoting a product for a commission.
The Mom Project’s mission is in its name—they are committed to supporting moms in the workforce with employers who are welcoming working parents. There are career opportunities all over the country, both remote and in-person, with companies like Dropbox, Delta, Etsy, Nike, Pinterest, and thousands more. If you’re interested in a position that doesn’t make you chose between your career and your family, this free platform is definitely worth a try.
If you’re looking for more support in the hiring process, reacHIRE is the resource for you. In addition to connecting women (and men) who have taken a break in their career with opportunities promoting gender-equality in the workforce, they also provide the support you may need to return to work. From cohort training programs to personalized coaching, reacHIRE’s free training programs are committed to helping professional moms build on their accomplishments and return to roles that fit their needs.
Working Mother is a self-described “mentor, role-model, and advocate” for mothers who value their careers just as much as their families. The website features research, networks, and events that connect moms to a community of other working moms and the strategies to succeed. They provide tips for family-life, news of moms in the workforce, home mom jobs, and tons of conferences and events to set you up for networking success in any area!
Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor living in the DC area. She specializes in the lifestyle genre and her writing has been published by The Knot, The Bump, and LittleThings.com.