Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finding Work Before Your Maternity Leave is Up

It’s a common theme in the emails I receive. A new mother wants to find an awesome work at home opportunity before she has to go back to her day job, in hopes of staying home with her baby. Maternity leave puts a deadline on the search and these moms can get a bit desperate. How do you manage to land a work at home job before those short few months are up? Here are a few tips.
1. Look for freelance versions of what you already do. Are you a journalist? You can become a freelance writer. Are you a graphic artist? That can be done freelance, too. Many jobs translate well to freelance, especially these days, when more and more companies are looking to hire on a per-hour basis instead of full time. Keep in mind that this is NOT a job, however. You’ll have contracts and will need to be seeking new work on a regular basis. However, you can have several different clients to help boost financial security.
2. Make a list of skills you have and Google them along with “telecommuting.” You can also look on popular job sites like eLance, and others, under the telecommute sections. Read carefully, though. Many will allow you to work from home, but you may have to meet with the company once a month or something similar.
3. Turn a hobby into a business. Again, this is not a job, it’s a business, but it can be worthwhile if you have a bit of money saved up. Building a business takes time, but chances are, you already have the basis of one. If you make something (cakes, stuffed animals, home decor) and other people have said how much they love it or told you that you should start selling, why not go ahead and start selling?
4. Taking your existing job home. Could you do your existing work from home? Then it might be worth discussing that option with your boss. If you can prove that you are just as, or more productive while working at home, it may be possible to make it work. Another option that some companies are happy with is a part time solution, where you work one or two days in the office and the rest at home. Be prepared before you bring this up, with statistics on how much more productive home workers are, as well as a plan for how you will get things done with a new baby and also a plan for how you will be accountable or track your progress at home.
Be prepared for the possibility that you might not land a job or get a business launched before your maternity leave is up. You have two choices in this case, go back to work and continue to look for ways to earn from home or quit your job and figure out a way to make it work. An understanding spouse is invaluable in this case!

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