Q: I just recently discovered that I'm pregnant. I work full time, but when I have the baby I want to be able to work at home. Right now I'm in management, but my job requires me to be in the office seven days a week, so I'm going to have to quit. How can I find work at home opportunities for pregnant women and new moms?
A: Fortunately, there are now many more opportunities to work at home than ever before. Without knowing your industry or career, I can't give you a specific direction. However, I can offer a variety of options that are often home-based. Perhaps one of these will work for you.
- Selling or answering customer questions over the phone is a great way to generate income. Since the client can't see you, it doesn't matter if you're in a call center or at a desk in the back bedroom.
- Setting up bookkeeping and other types of accounting activities is another common practice. All you need is a copy of Peachtree, Quickbooks or whatever financial software your company uses to generate reports.
- Writing projects lend themselves to working at home. Proposals, brochures, books, articles, seminar materials, editing and a host of other writing activities can easily be done remotely.
- If you're willing to start your own business, the opportunities can be endless. Many independent consultants work out of their homes, conducting meetings at customers' workplaces when necessary to avoid the need for office space. Other viable home-based businesses can include personal shopping, homemade crafts sold on sites like ebay and etsy, advertising and PR, website management, dog sitting and errand running, or whatever your creativity and business acumen can imagine.
- You should also research emerging trends. For instance, social networking is becoming more and more important to doing business. Today companies maintain blogs as well as presences on sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, and all of these accounts need to be maintained regularly. Strong knowledge of SEO and mass email optimization can also lead to opportunities in corporate marketing.
All you really need to work at home when you're pregnant or a new mom is a halfway-decent computer, a smartphone and a business-specific voicemail account. However, since some items like SEO and bookkeeping require experience to do well, it's important to begin training for these careers before you begin working at home. If you can find a way to fill a vital niche that doesn't require very much "face time" at a company, you should be able to line up a work at home opportunity that helps you stay home with your little one as much as possible.