Last Updated May 16th, 2019

How To Prepare For Summer As A Work At Home Mom

How To Prepare For Summer As A Work At Home Mom

Summer break is getting close for schoolchildren. That means all too soon the kids will have many extra hours in which to express their boredom. It pays to prepare for summer as a work at home mom if you want to get some decent work hours in.

Not all of my ideas are about making things fun for the kids. Fun is good, and children need plenty of it, but you have to expect them to help around the house too. They don’t have school over the summer, and that means they have more time to help you, like it or not. And so…

Plan Ahead

The very first thing you need to do to prepare for summer as a work at home mom is plan ahead. There are several things you need to consider:

  • Will you make any changes to your regular schedule?
  • What do you need from your spouse?
  • What do you need from your kids?
  • How are you going to keep the kids out of your hair when you need to work?
  • What will you do when the kids say they’re bored?
  • Do you need to put the kids in daycare?
  • Are there vacations or events you need to plan around?
  • Of the things the kids want to do over the summer, which are realistic?
  • What could possibly go wrong?

Depending on what you do from home, you may have to keep to much the same routine or you may be able to change things around to suit yourself. Not all work at home jobs have flexible hours, after all. Be realistic when making your plans.

The changes you have to make to prepare to work at home during the summer will depend on the ages of your kids, of course. Kids who are too young for school won’t change much at all. School age children will have a more significant change, but their needs will change as they get older. A time will come when they won’t need all that much from you aside from rides and such.

Talk With Your Family

Once you know what you need, it’s time to talk things over with your family so that everyone’s on the same page or close to it. You can’t assume that they’ll understand otherwise.

Remind the kids of the rules regarding your work hours and interruptions. This is especially important if you’re going to be on the phone or if distractions are a major problem for you.

Be sure your spouse or significant other is on your side and ready to help. If they’re home during your work hours, they should be the one to help the kids with whatever – the kids should not be interrupting you at all if there’s another responsible adult available. They should also know how much background noise you can handle while working.

Once everyone understands your expectations and needs, you can think about the other things your family can do over the summer. You don’t have to manage every minute of your kids’ days, but you can make some plans.

Add New Chores To The Kids’ To Do Lists

child cleaning

Children are quite capable of helping around the house, and they should do it often. How many people have stories about the college freshman they knew who had never done his or her own laundry and was at a complete loss, or the friend who didn’t know how to cook even the most basic of foods?

Summer is a great time to encourage your kids to start cooking, even if they don’t want to. It’s an important life skill. If you have any doubts about how well kids can do in the kitchen, watch shows such as Masterchef Jr. Those kids are amazing.

If they can cook already, consider having them cook more often.

Think about what your kids are capable of cleaning, even if they won’t immediately do it to your standards. Dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, all that fun stuff. Surely some of it can be made at least partially a chore for the kids.

Keep Their School Skills Fresh

One big problem with such a long summer break is that children forget what they learned in school. Then their teachers have to go over all over it again at the start of the new school year. Summer learning loss is a real problem for kids.

There are plenty of websites which can help you help them retain the things they learned at school. You can find printable math worksheets and more online. Khan Academy has only a little suitable for elementary school aged kids, but it gets better as they get more advanced. Prodigy is better for younger kids, as it’s more game based.

You can also make up your own assignments for them. I prefer to keep summer work within the interests of each child when I can. The child who loves cats, for example, will read books about cats or with cats in them much more willingly than other books. Comic books and other easy reading are perfectly acceptable too. Reading anything is better than reading nothing.

I don’t suggest hours of schoolwork a day or even necessarily doing schoolwork every day. Even a half hour once or twice a week may be plenty, depending on the skills you’re working with.

Summer Camps And Classes

You don’t have to do all the educational stuff on your own, and it doesn’t all have to be educational anyhow. Look into summer camps and classes for your kids that fit into your budget and their interests.

When my kids were younger, for example, I insisted on swimming lessons for them every summer. My older ones have aged out now, but the youngest still gets them. My main reason for this was because their grandparents had a pool, as did some friends. These days we have less pool access for them, but it’s still a good idea to teach kids to swim. It’s a big part of water safety.

If camps and classes don’t fit into your budget, don’t feel bad. There are lots of other things your kids can do. Believe me, I know how hard it is to afford these things at times. There have been times where getting the money for swimming lessons was hard, and they’re relatively affordable. Fortunately, there are lots of free and cheap things you can do as a family that will be lots of fun.

Go To The Park

playground

Getting out to the park regularly gets the kids away from the electronic forms of entertainment, and if you have one young enough to nap yet, encourages naptime later on. If your kids are old enough to only be lightly watched as they play, you may even be able to bring your laptop and work while they play.

I suggest going either early in the day or in the evenings after dinner, as those are the cooler times of day. You’ll also have to worry less about sunburn.

We like to go to the movies in the park our local parks do in the summer. Free movies and a good chance of running into friends makes for a great evening for all concerned.

Trade Time With Other At Home Parents

If you know other stay at home or work at home parents, consider trading times where you have each others’ kids come over. If the kids are friends, this works great! They’re excited to see their friends, and no matter which house they’re at, they’ll probably be more focused on having fun together than on you.

Obviously, if you need quiet because you have a work at home customer service job or other phone work, don’t schedule your turns with the kids when you have to work. They’re going to be loud.

Alternatively, you may be fortunate enough to have family who can help you out. My kids sometimes spend a part of the summer with their grandparents. My sister and I will sometimes trade kids around, although that’s a 1:1 trade which means I still have kids around. But the cousins get along well and generally enjoy their time together, leaving me out of it.

Get A Mother’s Helper

I loved it when I had a mother’s helper when my oldest was a baby. It made life much easier. My helper was too young to be a babysitter, but quite aware of how her older sisters made money with babysitting. Of course she cost less to hire, as I was right there, able to change diapers and so forth. She just had to keep the baby entertained.

If you have a toddler and an older child, you can also pay the older child to have more specific duties toward the younger, beyond what you expect simply for the fact that you’re all family. It’s a good way to teach them responsibility and the value of earning money.

Go To The Library

child reading

If your kids love to read, heading to the library is a great way to encourage the habit without spending a fortune on books. Younger kids in particular have changing tastes which can make it difficult to keep a decent selection of books for them. The library, on the other hand, should have lots of books available.

Libraries can have a variety of programs for kids over the summer. Many have reading challenges, but they may also have events. We’ve seen magic shows at our library, for example, as well as many other fun programs. Check your local library’s website to see if anything interesting is coming up.

Have Arts And Crafts Supplies Available

Just how available you make the arts and crafts supplies depends on how much you can trust your kids to use them properly. You may need to keep some out of reach of younger children who might misuse them, while older children should have more or less free access. You know how far you can trust your kids.

As kids get older, the supplies should allow for their greater skills. We have a soldering kit for my kids, tools they’re allowed to use, good quality paints and more.

If your kids aren’t sure how to do something, encourage them to find resources. Library books can be a great place to start. YouTube videos are available on all kinds of subjects. It’s much easier to pick up a fun skill than it used to be.

Get Them Playing Outside

I know summer is hot and kids will grumble about it, but they should still play outside when possible. The trick is to make sure that they will have fun.

backyard soccer

The first thing to do is to have lots of fun things they can do outside. Consider all of the fun things you could have ready for them:

  • Bikes
  • Skates
  • Skateboards
  • Water toys
  • Soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, etc.
  • Sandbox
  • Swing set
  • Sidewalk chalk

If the days are too hot or you’re concerned about sun exposure, encourage your kids to play outside earlier or later in the day. Many outdoor games are more fun at night anyhow.

If you’re ambitious, set up the barbecue to cook dinner outside some nights. Dinner outside makes for great family time and gets everyone outdoors. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Have A Dedicated Play Area

Just as you are better off working in a dedicated home office space in most cases, kids are often better off in an at least somewhat dedicated play area. It might be their bedrooms, but at least they’re playing someplace where they’re out of your hair. Just be sure to check out that suspicious silence. They’re either up to something or being so cute you’ll need a camera. Maybe both.

You don’t have to do all of these suggestions, of course. These are simply ideas that can help make your summer as a work at home mom better so you can be productive while letting your kids have fun.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated May 14th, 2019

10 Rules To Help You Avoid Work At Home Job Scams

10 Rules To Help You Avoid Work At Home Job Scams

The biggest problem with working at home is getting started. It’s tough! There are more scams than real opportunities out there, and lots of people get sucked in, not knowing any better. There has to be a way to avoid work at home job scams, right?

Actually, there are several ways.

There’s no way to 100% guarantee you won’t fall for a scam, but many are so obvious that you can avoid them just by paying attention.

1. Ridiculously high pay.

If the pay is amazingly high for the amount of effort, it’s probably a scam. Thousands of dollars a month for easy, part time work – scam!

This is particularly common with the classic check cashing or shipping scams. No one is going to send you a check to mystery shop a place and have you send back the excess. That’s not how it’s done. That check is going to bounce hard, and you’ll be responsible. That part of the money you got to keep won’t compare to what you lose.

2. No resume required.

beware of work at home scams

Real employers want to know about your past work experience. They are not going to hire every person who contacts them. They want the best person for the job, and your resume is a part of how they screen out the people they know they don’t want.

Scammers don’t much care about your resume. They don’t care about your past work experience. They want to suck you in quickly and get your personal information and/or money. Resumes are nothing to scammers.

3. Call for information.

Work at home positions don’t have people for you to call for more information. Real businesses are too busy with their business to deal with that many job seekers. When it’s a work at home job on the line, there will be a lot of people calling if there’s a number available, and employers know it.

Scammers want to talk to you. How else are they going to get you to bite? They want to appeal to your dreams of an easy work at home job with high pay. That’s easier to do with personal contact.

A similar scam is on social media, when the company asks you to pm them for details. This happens a lot in groups for job seekers. Legitimate companies will tell you who they are. A request for a pm is either a scam or an opportunity that for one reason or another can’t be posted publicly. If you do respond to one of these, use caution.

4. Ad says “work at home.”

For the most part, legitimate work at home positions are labeled as “telecommute” or “remote” positions. It’s certainly not a featured part of the ad. Real employers want the best person for the job, not the one who first notices the chance to work at home and then the job requirements.

Scammers know people type things like “work at home” into job boards and search engines. Having that phrase feature prominently in the ad is one way to get your attention.

That said, some legitimate jobs will be listed as “work at home.” Consider this a caution sign, not an absolute dealbreaker.

5. “No Experience Necessary.”

scam warning signs

Sure, there are remote jobs out there that don’t require experience. They aren’t that common, however. Working at home is demanding, and employers want to know that you have at least some sort of work experience, preferably in the industry you’re about to start working in. If experience isn’t an absolute necessity, they may call it something more along the lines of “entry level position.”

Scammers, once again, don’t care about your work experience. They count on your desperation to find some sort of work at home.

6. Vague job listing.

One of the great things about the internet is that employers can give details about what they’re looking for in an employee. It’s not like it was when job ads were usually in the newspaper, and space came at a premium.

These days you should expect to see specific skill and/or experience requirements in job ads. Employers don’t want tons of resumes from people who aren’t remotely qualified for the position. They want to hear from people who have as many of the skills listed as possible and a willingness to earn the rest.

Scammers don’t need to give a lot of information. They know the suckers are going to contact them anyway.

7. Pay to show your interest.

Scammers love to talk about how many people are interested in their opportunity. That’s why they need you to send them some money to show that you’re serious about the opportunity. It gets rid of all the people who aren’t serious about this fantastic opportunity you’re going to miss out on if you don’t send in your money.

When was the last time you heard about a company wanting people to pay to apply? Never sounds about right.

8.They want your bank account information.

get out of work at home scams

Some scams will ask for your bank account information, saying they want to direct deposit your pay. Direct deposit is a wonderful thing, you get your money faster, but be careful in sharing your banking information with anyone.

If you want direct deposit for your pay, make absolutely certain the opportunity is legitimate first. You may have to work a while and receive paper paychecks for a time to be certain if the company is not well known. Even if you have researched the company, make sure you’re really dealing with who you think you’re dealing with, as some scams steal the names of legitimate companies to gain your trust.

9. The interview is through Google Hangouts.

I don’t know why it is, but many scam companies like to use Google Hangouts or other messaging apps to conduct “interviews.”

Online interviews are common enough, these days, but Hangouts isn’t where they usually take place. Video interviews or interviews over the phone are more common.

10. They use Gmail or other free email.

Legitimate companies use email addresses set up through their own domains, not Gmail. It’s a great service for individuals, but utterly unprofessional for real businesses.

Scammers, on the other hand, love how easy it is to set up free email addresses. They can often get a free email address with the name of a legitimate company as a part of their email address.

When in doubt, check with the company you think you’re in contact with another way. Go to their website and find a different way to contact them. Companies that hire people who work at home are generally well aware that scammers steal their good names to trick people. They should quickly be able to tell you if you’re really in contact with them.

Knowing how to avoid work at home scams is vital to your work at home job hunt. There are few things as frustrating as falling for a scam. It takes away from the time you could better spend on finding a legitimate work at home job. Do your best to avoid work at home job scams so you don’t waste your time.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 24th, 2019

How To Prepare For A Work At Home Job Interview

How to prepare for a work at home job interview

Once you’ve applied for a work at home job, you need to be ready for interviews. You need to prepare yourself for your interview, so you do well. It can be different from what you may be used to from other jobs, as your work at home job interview may be done over the phone or by video. Make sure you’re ready to show your best qualities during your interview.

Make Sure The Interview Looks Legitimate

It’s not unheard of to realize that you’re on the path of a work at home scam when you schedule the interview. Some scams hide pretty well until they give themselves away at this point.

For example, work at home job interviews held over Google Hangouts are almost always scams. If things are looking good but they say the interview is on Google Hangouts, consider this a red flag. It’s possible that a few legitimate employers use this, but it’s far more commonly used by scammers.

Schedule Your Work At Home Job Interview Carefully

schedule remote interview

You can usually request a particular interview time frame. Make the most of this and choose a time when you won’t be interrupted. Make arrangements for any children to be gone at school or with friends or family if at all possible. The fewer people in the house, the less likely it is that they will interrupt your work at home job interview.

Make sure you know what time zone your interview is scheduled in. A 10 a.m. EST time is very different from a 10 a.m. CST time. Getting the time zone wrong can make your hours early or late for your interview.

You should also find out what kind of interview you will be preparing for. There are several types, and knowing which sort to expect can help you prepare for it.

Research The Company And Position

These days it’s easy to research potential employers online. Most have websites which give at least basic information about the company. Search for news releases about them as well.

You can also learn about them from what they post on social media. Consider the kinds of things and the tone they use. This can give you a feel for how the company wants to be seen.

It’s can also be a good idea to find out what working for a potential employer is really like. Look up potential employers on sites such as Glassdoor to see what others think of them. Glassdoor is a great place to find out what employees really think of the companies they work for.

That said, remember that these reviews can be done anonymously, and may not be completely accurate. A disgruntled employee or customer may post things that aren’t true.

Be Ready For The Usual Questions

There are some questions you will almost always be asked during an interview. You should be ready with clear answers for them. These include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What’s your biggest weakness?
  • Questions about your work history and qualifications.
  • Why are you interested in the job?
  • How will you handle the lack of face to face interaction while working remotely?
  • Why do you want to work remotely?

When possible, use solid data in your answers, especially when discussing your accomplishments. If you work in sales or marketing, you may be able to discuss dollar figures or percentage improvements you’ve made. Writers can discuss how many words or articles they can write in a time frame. Managers can include how many people they supervised and the results.

Be sure that your answers are focused more on how you benefited your previous employer, not on yourself. Focusing too much on yourself can make discussing your accomplishments look like bragging.

When it comes to your reasons for working at home, go ahead and mention your personal reasons, but also discuss how working remotely will make you an effective employee.

Whatever you do, don’t create scripted answers for yourself. You can create notes on points you want to cover, but you’ll sound more natural if you don’t force yourself to keep to a script. After all, the things you want to say may change during the interview. If you’re relying on a script, you could end up struggling for words.

Review Your Qualifications

remote job interview

Go over the job listing carefully, paying close attention to the qualifications required. Consider how your skills, training, and experience meet these qualifications.

Think about what you can say about your qualifications during the interview. How did you get these skills? Are they advanced or is this your first job in this area out of school?

The more closely you meet the requested qualifications, the more the company is likely to be interested in you. It’s vital that you be able to talk about them clearly.

Be Ready To Demonstrate Skills

Sometimes interviewers will ask you to demonstrate some of the skills you would use on the job. A customer service interview, for example, may have you pretend to be helping a customer. Software developers may have to demonstrate their coding skills.

It’s also a good idea to develop your skills with common online productivity and communication tools. You may need to be familiar with Skype, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Dropbox, Google Docs or other such tools.

Try to find out what the company uses in advance so that you can learn how to use any tools which are unfamiliar. It’s a big advantage if you can say you know how to handle these things. Not many companies do significant team communication over email during the workday.

Prepare Questions

Employers expect you to have questions during the interview. You want to ask the right ones.

Don’t ask questions that you can readily find the answers to on your own. Some positions, for example, will tell you straight up that there are no fees associated with the work, or that there will be a fee for a background check. If you ask questions on this subject, make sure your question shows that you know the basic information, but simply want more detailed information.

Have a list of questions ready beforehand, but be ready to cross some off if they are answered earlier in the interview. Also be ready to add some new ones if you come up with ideas during the interview.

Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • What is a normal workday like?
  • What challenges can I expect on this job?
  • How will I be trained?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • What are your expectations of employees in their first 30, 60, and 90 days?
  • Are meetings by phone, on Slack, or otherwise online?
  • How frequent are meetings?
  • How often do you gather in person?

Ask for more information on the responsibilities of the position, training, scheduling, minimum/maximum hours allowed, and similar subjects. You can also ask about opportunities for advancement. Ask when the job starts and when you might hear back about it. You want to show your interest in the job.

Have Work Samples Ready

take interview notes

Having work samples ready to share at your work at home interview can also be a huge help. There’s only so much you can do for some positions – it’s not likely that you have a sample of a customer service call you’ve taken, for example. But for any position where samples are relevant, have them ready.

Depending on your work, this could be a link to a blog, a GitHub repository, or files saved to your computer and ready to share. Actual samples of your work can show far more of your ability than anything else you do in an interview.

Prepare Your Workspace

Make sure the place you’re going to work in is ready before your interview. This is especially important if you’re doing a video interview or if you need to send pictures of your home office.

This means having a clean desk in an uncluttered area of your home. Be sure that the space you use for your interview would be acceptable to the employer as a workspace should you be hired. If they expect you to be in a room where you can close the door, you need to interview in a room with the door closed.

Test Your Equipment

One of the surest ways to fail a work at home job interview is to have an equipment failure. If it’s beyond your control, you may be able to explain and get a new interview, but if it’s something you should have prepared, that’s a major problem.

An interview over the phone will be pretty easy to handle. A landline may be a safer bet than a cellphone if available, as the connection may be clearer.

If the interview is over Skype or similar services, practice on it with a friend. This is especially important if it’s a video interview – you need to be sure that you know how to make it all work.

You should also turn on your webcam if it’s a video interview to see what your interviewer will see. You may notice some things you hadn’t spotted just looking around the room. Position your webcam right above your monitor so that you appear to be looking at the camera when you look at your screen.

Headphones with a good microphone will be a huge help. This will help keep other noises out and avoid echos.

If at all possible, use a landline telephone or wired internet connection for your interview. The connection will be faster and more reliable. Cell phones, in particular, may have poor connections right when you need them.

No Background Noise

This is utterly vital if you’re trying for a job that requires you have a quiet workspace, and still very important for any other work at home job. This shows potential employers that you won’t be constantly distracted by things around the house as you work.

Talk to your kids, spouse, and anyone else in your home about what you’ll need from them during your interview. If someone can take the kids out of the house during your interview, so much the better. They can’t make background noise if they aren’t home.

Another advantage to getting everyone out of the house is that it keeps them off your internet. You don’t want your connection to lag because someone else is streaming videos or playing online games.

If you have pets, make plans for them as well. The dog may need to be taken for a walk, and the cats closed up in a room well away from your home office or wherever you’re doing your interview.

Contact Your References

If you haven’t already let your references know that you’re job hunting, now is a good time to do so. It’s nice for them to know that they may be called.

Help your references out by letting them know what kind of work you’re interviewing for. This will help the know what to say if they’re called. If there’s a particular skill you want highlighted, don’t be afraid to let your references know.

You can also try to get more recommendations for your skills on LinkedIn. Potential employers are likely to check you out there as well as on other social media.

Practice

Whether your interview is over the phone or on video, or even in person for a more local company, take some time and practice for your interview. Read up on job interview skills and have someone help you practice using them. Remember to smile – a smile can help project a positive attitude even if they can’t see your face.

Have a friend or family member help. This will be more effective than practicing on your own.

Plan For Problems

No matter how carefully you prepare for your work at home job interview, sometimes things will go wrong.

home office desk

Some may be minor. A sick child might stay home, in which case you need to make sure they stay quiet. Your internet connection might lag. A neighbor could start mowing their lawn during your interview.

Others can be disastrous. Know what you’re going to do if your internet connection completely fails or other such problems occur.

These preparations will also be useful if you get the job. The day I was supposed to start my work at home medical transcription job, the phone line I was supposed to use for it was turned off for fraud. It took hours to convince the phone company that their employee had entered some information incorrectly (I used to work for that company and knew exactly how it had happened), and that there was no fraud on my part. My employer, fortunately, was both understanding and amused, as that was the most unique reason they’d ever heard for failing to start work on time.

Dress Appropriately

If your interview is by phone, this is less important, although you may find it helpful to dress nicely for psychological reasons. If it’s a video interview, you definitely want to look appropriate. For home based work, this is probably not a suit, but you should be neatly dressed. A video interview may be your potential employer’s only visual impression of you, and you want it to suit the position you’re after.

Get Some Rest

All this interview prep can be exhausting, but you need to get some rest too. This way you don’t look completely stressed out when it’s time for your work at home job interview. If you’re tired during your interview, you probably won’t perform as well as you would otherwise.

Be Ready Early

Don’t wait until your scheduled interview time to get set up. Have your computer on and log onto anything you’ll need to be logged into for the interview several minutes before your interview is scheduled to start. This will give you time to deal with any minor issues that may come up.

Punctuality is a huge deal for some remote jobs. If you’re taking technical support or customer service calls, for example, you may be expected to adhere to a very strict schedule. If you’re late for your remote interview, that won’t look good to the employer.

For other positions, it still matters. Being punctual shows that you are capable of managing your time well.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 11th, 2019

Should You Only Work At Home While Your Children Are Small?

Should You Only Work at Home While Your Children Are Small?

Having children is one of the big reasons why people get started working at home. It saves a ton on childcare and you can still earn some money. There’s often a question, however, of how long you should keep working at home. Should you only work at home while your children are small, or do you keep going when they’re all school age?

Honestly, there’s no one answer to that. It really depends on how well working at home is going for you and if it still meets your family’s needs.

Consider The Financial Aspects Of Continuing To Work At Home

Money will be a huge factor for many families. Once the kids are all in school, childcare costs go way down, making working outside the home more affordable. If your work at home income is minimal, that can make a big difference in your desire to remain at home.

successful working at home

On the other hand, you may be earning more from home than you’re likely to earn outside the home. In that case, finances aren’t really a consideration. Odds are good that you’ll choose to keep working at home unless you’re really just done with it all.

Think about your future as well. Will your career advance as well working at home as it would working outside the home?

What About Retirement?

Of course, your finances now aren’t the only consideration. Are you able to save appropriately for retirement while working at home? You may not feel the pinch now, but what about later on?

Certainly, you can keep on working at home even past retirement age, so long as you keep your skills up and you’re physically able, but not everyone will want to. If the work you do at home isn’t earning enough for you to save for retirement, you need to think about how you’re going to handle it.

It’s a good idea to save for retirement as a stay at home mom or dad regardless of whether you work at home, of course. That’s not possible for everyone, but if you can find a way, make sure you put aside money for your retirement. You’ll be glad of it later.

Are You Still Enjoying It?

working mom

Working at home is wonderful in many ways, and terrible and others. Many people find it isolating. It can be hard to put your work aside enough to have time for yourself. You may be finding it more difficult to be productive simply because you aren’t enjoying being at home so much anymore.

This may or may not be a reason to find outside the home work when the kids get bigger. We all have times in any job where we’re just tired of it. Location doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. On the other hand, you might just be done enough with the whole work at home thing that outside the home work will be better for you.

What Kind of Work Can You Get Outside the Home?

Getting back into the workforce is hard for many people. Working at home means you at least have something to put on your resume, but how will it relate to the work you’d like to do? Are you going back to a field you used to work in, continuing in more or less what you’ve been doing at home or trying something new? Are your skills up for what you’d like to do?

to work at home or not

Finding an outside the home job is hardest, of course, if you haven’t been working at all for a few years, and are trying to get into a demanding field. It’s much better if you’ve kept up on your skills, and better yet if you’ve been actively using them. Things can change quite a bit over a few years. If your skills and experience are somewhat out of date, you may have to start lower than you anticipated.

If you’re having trouble getting back into the workforce, consider updating your education. Figure out what you need to learn to move your career in the direction you’d like it to go. This may involve going back to college or taking classes online.

What Does Your Family Think?

While the final decision must be yours, take your family’s feelings into consideration. Kids who are used to having you at home may not be all that comfortable with you heading out to work. Be prepared to deal with the adjustment if you decide that you aren’t remaining at home. The kids will adjust – they’re flexible like that – but it may take a little time.

As for me, when the time came, I chose to keep working at home. All of my kids are in school now – one is even learning to drive! It’s not always easy, and there have been times that I’ve considered heading to work outside the home.

It comes down to this: I like working at home. I like working on my own schedule. And I love that I can be there when my kids need me. They still do sometimes. They’d be shocked if I started a job outside the home, although I’d be lying if I said I never considered it.

Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty if it’s not what everyone in your family wants you to do. You’re allowed to consider your own needs as well as those of your family.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 25th, 2019

What To Do If You Get Fired From Your Work at Home Job

What To Do If You Get Fired From Your Work at Home Job

It can happen. You find a work at home job, but for one reason or another, things don’t work out. You get fired from your work at home job. Now what?

Getting fired is a painful, difficult time, especially if you rely on the income. If you need your job to be home based it can be worse in some ways, as legitimate work at home jobs can be very hard to come by.

But it’s not time to panic right away. You have more important things to do. Take a deep breath and deal with the situation.

Find Out If You Qualify For Unemployment

Not everyone who works at home will qualify for unemployment benefits. First and foremost, you may not have been paying into the system if you were considered an independent contractor. If you or your employer aren’t paying into the system, you don’t get money out.

Secondly, whether or not you qualify for benefits will depend on why you were fired. This may vary from state to state, so you can only tell by contacting your local unemployment office. I can’t tell you anything about whether you’ll qualify or even if you should try for it.

If there’s a chance you will qualify, file for benefits right away. You only hurt yourself by waiting. Sure, you may think you can land a new job right away, but what if you don’t? Do what you can to keep money coming in by filing.

Do not listen if your employer tells you that you can’t file for unemployment because you were fired. They aren’t the ones who determine that.

sad after fired

Be Professional

Whatever you do, take a professional attitude toward your former employer. Don’t contact former coworkers or clients with complaints about being fired. That can look worse on you than on your former employer.

Don’t talk bad about the company that fired you to potential employers either. That’s a great way to ruin an interview. If you speak poorly of your previous employer, the interviewer will be concerned about how you’ll speak of them if you’re hired.

Ask Your Former Employer How Your Departure Will Be Described

One of the awkward parts about looking for work after being fired is wondering how your former employer will describe you to future potential employers who are checking out your work history. You can ask.

It’s not too uncommon for companies to only confirm your dates of employment or give minimal information. Depending on why you were fired, they might keep things that simple for you. You should still be honest about having been fired when interviewing with potential employers, but knowing what your former employer will say can help you decide exactly how much to say.

Know What You Should Get From Your Employer

Just because you were fired doesn’t mean you no longer have any association with your former employer. There may be some things you still get.

Some positions may offer severance pay, even if you were fired.

You may also be able to continue your health insurance for a time through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). This will be more expensive, as you will be paying the entire cost, but it may be important.

Don’t forget to compare what you can get through healthcare.gov.

Know your rights if your employer asks you to sign a nondisclosure or noncompete agreement. Employers usually cannot enforce a noncompete agreement in California, for example.

If you have a 401k with your employer, you have a few options. You can leave it there, roll it over into a 401k with your new employer, move it into an IRA, or cash it out. Consider your options carefully.

job hunt planning

Review Your Finances

Just what is your financial situation without your job? Are you going to be okay without a job for a while, or is it a major crisis? How can you stretch things out if necessary?

Depending on whether or not you get unemployment benefits and what other money your family has coming in, you may or may not have a huge rush to get a new job.

You’ll do best if you cut out unnecessary expenditures, so what money you do have lasts as long as possible. You don’t want any trouble if the job hunt takes longer than you thought it would.

Contact Potential References

Just because you were fired from a company doesn’t mean that no one there will be a good reference for your new job hunt. If there was a supervisor or someone else you worked well with, you may still get a good professional reference from them. Ask if you think it’s possible.

Also start contacting references from previous jobs if possible. Places you volunteer may be another place to find references.

Think About Why You Were Fired

Don’t focus on this right away. Give it a couple days first, then think about why you were fired? Was it something you did, or completely out of your control? Be honest with yourself. This is something you should learn from.

Think About What New Kind Of Work You’d Like

One thing about being fired, you’re now free to consider what direction you’d like your career to go. You no longer have the security of a job keeping you from seeking out better or just different.

You can, of course, stick with your current career path if that’s where you want to be. Even with work at home jobs, there are a number of companies to work for in most industries. Even when things didn’t end the way you wanted it to, you have some amount of experience in it. It may not be significant if you weren’t on the job long, but if it was a position you held for some years, that’s good.

This may be the perfect time to update your skills and education if you can afford to do so.

find job

Start Job Hunting

Once you’ve had a little time to deal with the shock of being fired, it’s time to start looking for a work at home job. If you’ve already had one work at home job, you may remember having a difficult search. It’s not at all uncommon to have a hard time finding remote work.

Prepare yourself for your work at home job hunt. Planning ahead will help you deal with them. You can greatly improve your chances of getting a work at home job if you have the right training or experience when you apply for jobs. Employers hate dealing with all the people who think they can land a job that they have absolutely no qualifications for.

Make sure that you clean up your social media so that you look good online during your job hunt. Especially for remote jobs, this may be one of the major ways you make an impression on potential employers. You want it to be a good one.

Get Your Resume Ready

Take some time and prepare a good resume. Odds are it has changed somewhat since you last looked for work. You want your new resume to reflect where you want to go next and be easily targeted toward potential new jobs.

Prepare a basic cover letter too. Like your resume, you’ll customize this to target each potential employer, but it’s a lot easier if you have a basic version ready to start.

You do not need to bring up that you were fired in your cover letter or resume. Deal with that issue honestly when it’s necessary, not before.

Never lie on your resume or job application. That would give future employers cause to terminate you.

Network

No matter the reason why you need a new job, networking matters. If you have contacts in your industry, especially if they might know about work at home positions, let them know you’re in the market for a new job. You never know who will know about something.

Think About How To Handle Your Firing In a Job Interview

The question is going to come up about why you left your last position. You need an honest reason. Don’t say anything bad about your former employer or why you were fired. Focus instead on what you learned from it. You may be able to turn it positive and show how you’ve grown as a potential employee.

Look For Ways To Earn Money While You Hunt For A Job

Don’t spend all of your energy looking for the perfect long-term job. Taking on freelance jobs and side gigs can make a lot of sense when you’re unemployed. There are lots of super flexible companies out there that allow you to earn money on your own schedule. That’s a huge help when you never know when a job interview will come up.

Remember to report any income when you file for unemployment if you’re receiving money from them! You do NOT want to pay a penalty for failing to report income. Report any and all income.

Don’t Be Ashamed

Lots of people get fired. It hurts, it’s easy to be embarrassed or ashamed at first, but many people have had the same experience. It’s rough, but it can be an opportunity too. Don’t let the fact that you were fired from your work at home job keep you from doing what needs to get done.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.