Over the years I’ve had many friends ask how I earned money to work from home as a mom by becoming a transcriptionist. So I put together an email that eventually turned into a course called How to Become a Transcriptionist.
This quick start guide pulls some of the guidelines from that course that can apply to any work-from home job.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Start with why you want to work from home
I’ve found that anytime I’m doing something hard, I need to remind myself why I’m doing it.
So I remind myself that I want to be healthy and have energy when I wake up at 5:30 to go to the gym. Or that I’m not going to buy this item because we’re saving for a trip.
I started looking for a way to work from home as a mom when my husband was in grad school. I wanted to supplement our income so that we wouldn’t go into debt for living expenses. That was my “why.”
So whenever I was discouraged at learning a new skill or completing work for my company, I reminded myself why I was working from home – and that it would be worth it.
So what is your reason why you’re working from home?
Is it to earn more income to pay your bills?
Is it to stay home with your kids while you build your skills?
By deciding “why” you’re working from home, you’ll be motivated to be successful at working from home.
Decide how you’ll earn money from home
Once I knew why I wanted to work from home as a mom, I needed to find a way to earn money.
So I researched different ways people were making money from home. I found that transcription was a great fit for my skills and that I could do it part-time while my kids napped.
So what are some ways can you earn money from home? What experience and skills sets do you have? What type of a job do you need that fits with your kids and family?
I recommend researching different ways to earn money from home that correspond with your experience and skill set. Start with one or two fields you want to explore.
Try to find out how others have been successful in earning money in that field. Find the answers to questions like:
- What is the typical hourly rate?
- What expectations do potential employers have?
- Why do companies or customers pay for these services?
- How could I be competitive in this field?
Maybe you’ll be a customer service rep for a large company. Or perhaps you’ll start an online tutoring business. There are many possibilities for earning money from home, but some will work better for you than others.
Train yourself for the skills you’ll need
Once I knew I wanted to be a transcriptionist, I had to train myself on the technical skills I needed. I also had to learn how to find well-paying companies so I could earn the income I needed to.
You may already have the skills needed in your field if you’re transitioning from full-time work outside the home to similar freelance work. But if you’re entering a new field or just getting started, you may need to brush up on some skills.
I recommend training yourself to the basic level you’ll need so you can start gaining experience and earning money.
You don’t need to be an expert in your field at first, but you do need to be competent enough to provide value that people will pay you for.
Once you have the skills you need for your field, it’s time to gain some experience.
I did this as a transcriptionist by doing a little bit of pro bono work and some work at a lower-paying fee than I would normally do.
Gaining experience will look different for everyone depending on your field and your current experience. Let’s say you want to be a freelance writer, but you’ve been outside the workforce for years. You could offer to write one or two blog posts pro bono for a local charity in exchange for using them as a referral.
If you’re starting a web design business, you could create a logo for a family member or friend for a reduced price.
The goal of this stage is to gain referrals, experience, and items to put in your portfolio so that you can move forward to higher-paying work.
This stage also gives you a chance to see how well you enjoy working in your field and the quality of your work before you invest too much time or money into an official launch.
Once you have some experience and have built up your skill set, you’re ready to launch.
For me, this meant updating my resume and cover letter and applying to transcription companies.
For a freelancer it might mean creating a website and legally establishing your business.
Once you’ve signed on some clients or found a job with a company, you’re well on your way to working from home. From here, it’s just continuing to improve, increasing your rate as you add more value to your clients, and running your business.
Ready to make your plan for working from home?
If you want to explore how to work from home as a mom, download my Work from Home Workbook.
This 20-page workbook will build on this simple guide and take you through the seven-step framework for working from home with exercises through each section.