Please take this as my personality and trying to help others like me. That doesn’t mean I think ill of others who do this whole working mom thing differently… Just that it’s not for me and it’s not for everyone.
The “Typical” Work-At-Home Mom Job
What do you do when you have kids? Well, hopefully you’re a teacher so you get summers off with your kids. Right!
But what if you don’t want to/don’t feel like you can work at all? After all, daycare is expensive. As in, sometimes you have to work just to pay that bill. And at some point that means you make about $3 an hour. When it gets to that… Why do it?
So someone smart invented Mary Kay. And Scentsy. And fitness coaching programs, Essential Oils, Mixed Bags…and Only God knows what else for the moms to jump in, buy some cool stuff, and also sell it to make some money.
Here’s The Thing…
This work-at-home mom job was made for extroverts.
There. I said it. Out loud. Please don’t throw things…
This type of job was made for those who are outgoing and don’t freak out every time they have to use their phone as an actual phone (guilty). The ones who enjoy going out and hosting parties on their weekends rather than staying in, hiding with their families and reading a good book (I’m definitely on the stay home and hide with a book end here).
This is essentially a good sales job that allows remote work, flexible hours, and a work as much as you want protocol.
And nothing is wrong with that.
But it’s not for me.
>>Brief Marketing Aside<<
I’m in marketing. Which means I did my time in sales. And I hated it.
Like I said, it’s not for me.
And I feel strongly about the marketing tactics used for these kinds of jobs. It’s direct sales and networking at its finest. By women and for women.
But I’m not what you think of as your typical extrovert marketer, and I’m not what you think of as your typical woman (in the sense of talking, shopping, loves kids… I like color and earrings, yoga pants, and my kids can be pretty cool. But…).
This post isn’t meant to put down anyone who has a job of this nature. Nor is it to put down the job itself.
I just want to say… it’s not me.
And more importantly…
It’s okay if that’s not you either. You are not alone.
And there’s another way.
The Introvert Work-At-Home Mom Job
So there’s this thing called freelancing. (The term actually coming from the Middle Ages, “free lancing”, so that means it’s really cool!).
Your skills can range from marketing to admin assistant to customer service to writing to engineering to coding to…
You get the picture. There’s a lot you can do!
And freelancing is on the rise around the world. I have worked with people in Ohio, New York, Florida, Los Angeles and more around the US. Not to mention the UK, Australia, Russia and New Zealand. Seriously, I work with people around the world.
Remote work. On my own time. At my own pace. But on a computer and in my home without having to extrovert too much.
Why Freelancing Is A Good Solution For Introvert Moms
Freelancing is good for a lot of people. But since I am a young mom, that’s who I’m specifically talking to right now.
What’s so amazing about this? I am furthering my career while still being able to raise my kids. I started out working a part time job, flexible… but they didn’t really understand my boundaries well.
Granted, not all of my clients have. Some of them I have let go as clients. And that’s the beauty of it… The lawyer who is reading over my shoulders little too much…we don’t need to work together anymore. Someone who doesn’t understand that I can’t just work all night for your deadline…this professional relationship probably won’t work.
But I have found clients who understand me. And while they may not have kids, they want freedom in their time and availability as well. And because I work so well for them, they are completely happy to give me flexibility and time as I need it.
You simply decide on your boundaries, set them early, and stick to them. And when you do your work well, these clients usually understand how remote work works, and they trust you to get things done.
Where Do I Find These Jobs?
There are numerous sites you can find jobs.
Personally, I work through UpWork, which used to be called oDesk.
And you can even find jobs on Craigslist!
Tools You’ll Need
There are a few things you’ll need… And some more specialized tools depending on your specialty.
> Smart phone -not necessary, but helpful. The apps to some of the following are good to have too. A sleeping baby on your chest? Get a couple things done!
> Computer – kind of important to actually do the work
> An email address – and a professional one at that.
> Your resume and portfolio – put this on your website, have digital copies, put it on LinkedIn, put it on your freelancing website like UpWork…so many options! But get it up there.
> Time tracker – some sites, like UpWork has their own, but you can also track time with a free tool like Toggl.
> Software – you do have to provide your own software. For example, if you’re a designer, you can’t rely on your employer to provide Adobe Photoshop.
> Text Software – you need some way to write and open text documents. You can have Microsoft Word (etc) or Apple’s Pages (and more). You can also just get your Google Account and use Google Drive. You can create docs that you export as a Word Doc to send or upload a word doc that converts to Google Docs to edit… In fact, I recommend having a Google Drive to use to save and store all your work too.
> External hard drive – not necessary, but I recommend it, just in case. Most of my work is in the cloud in Google Drive, but I keep a backup of everything else on my computer too.
> Organization – have a way to be organized. Keep lists, make notes… I use Asana, Google Docs and the Notes app on my phone. That usually keeps me in good shape. There are a ton of options too.
How Do You Know If Freelancing Is For You?
Again, I’m talking to moms here for the most part, but this applies to everyone. You don’t have to be a mom, young, have kids at home, or not want to put them in daycare. But that was my reasoning.
A few questions to ask yourself:
Are you at least somewhat organized? Good. You’ll need it. If not, you can learn. get a system that works.
Do you have a good work ethic? If not, take some time to build one, then come back to freelancing. Things need to get done, and you need to push yourself. Your client can help, but that’s going to eat away at you having them breathe down your neck as you try to take time for your kids. You have to show early on that you will get the job done in a reasonable time so that your client will trust you to do the things you need for you too. Otherwise, the relationship won’t last long because one or both of you will get fed up.
Are you okay with failure? If not, it’s okay. I wasn’t either. But you do need to learn. And really, it will help with the rest of your life too. Especially young moms and parents reading this. No offense, but you will fail as a parent at some point. We all do, and it’s okay. It’s part of being a freelancer, entrepreneur, parent, and human.
Are you comfortable seeking out clients? Well, okay. This is something to learn. And I’m not going to lie… I’m happy to say that I am currently not in this phase! There is an extrovert component to basically anything, and this is it for freelancing. But… Know that if you are looking for short-term gigs, you’ll always be looking for clients. If you want more of a consistent job (like me), there’s probably a lot of trial and error, but these jobs are out there. So it doesn’t have to happen for the rest of your life.
Are you a kind person? This is a must. Text (emails, texts, etc) can be kind of distant. So you have to be a kind person so that it shows through in your correspondence.
For you, I’m not sure. But I’d love to chat! Leave a comment or find me on social media. Don’t worry, we can stick to privately chatting online (in fact, I prefer it).
But if there is something you want to know, maybe I can help. Or at least share my experience.
One More Tip
Don’t just jump into this. Expect it to take time to ramp up and really get going.
I was working part time and freelancing for a year and a half before I had enough work to be able to quit my less-than-flexible job.
Give it time… You can do it!
What do you think about the idea of freelancing being for introverts? Is it something you’ve thought about doing before?