We totally get it... you're on maternity leave or a career break and there is that nagging voice in your head weighing up what you're going to do career wise in the future. In this guest blog, we hear from mum blogger Molly Forbes aka Mother's Always Right. She shares how she became a work from home mum and gives you her top tips on finding that perfect flexible job (we know we're biased but we obviously love the tip about social media training!)
"I’ve been a mum for seven years and four months. For six and a half of those years I’ve been self-employed, mainly working from home, around my children.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2010, I never planned not to go back to work. But when I worked out that most of my salary would go on childcare and petrol, I couldn’t see the point of returning to a full-time job (part-time hours weren’t an option) where I’d basically be working to put my baby in nursery.
How I became a work from home mum:
My pre-baby job was as a radio journalist. I wanted to move into doing more writing work that I could do from home, but I had no idea where to start. That’s when I decided to start a blog and Mother's Always Right was born in February 2011.
At first,the blog was just a chance to practise my writing skills, but it quickly became a source of work in its own right. I’d use it as an online portfolio, linking to it in emails to editors for prospective work. After a few months I started to get emails from brands and companies interested in advertising on my blog. Back then companies were only just starting to invest in social media and advertising, and the budgets were nothing compared to what they are today. I’d work on my blog and send out pitches to editors during nap-times and in the evenings. Having never done any photography before, I taught myself how to use a camera and started to learn some basic SEO and social media skills.
How I earn my money now:
Although I still earn part of my income writing for magazines, doing the occasional freelance radio news-reading shift at weekends and writing for other websites, the lion’s share of my salary now comes from my blog and YouTube channel. Companies commission me to make content for their sites, or to write sponsored posts and make video collaborations that sit on my own platforms.
I’m not rich, but I earn more working part-time from home than I did in my previous full-time job and I don’t have to pay tons in childcare. Most importantly though, I feel like I’ve opened up my future employment prospects if I did decide to go back into contracted work in an office. I have way more skills now than I did seven years ago, along with a confidence that I only found through being self-employed.
If you’re interested in working from home, then my first piece of advice is to think about what your skills are. You don’t need to start a blog or a YouTube channel to bring in an income.
Maybe you have incredible organisational skills – then how about working as a VA (Virtual Assistant)? Or perhaps you’re really good at design and could take on freelance design jobs around your baby’s nap-time. Maybe you haven’t got any obvious skills to utilise at home yet but would be interested in getting some. There are lots of online courses specifically aimed at mums now, including the popular Digital Mums course which offers social media training.
Whatever you do, know that it’s not always going to be easy. There are lots of down-sides to being self-employed, not least the lack of a regular pay-cheque and often having to work late into the night. But, for me, the pros outweigh the cons. I’ve never missed a nativity play or school sports day yet. That’s not something I’d be able to say if I’d gone back to my old job.
You can find out more about our Social Media Management Courses here - we are currently taking applications for our January and February courses.
This post originally appeared on BabyCentre.