Working at home is a great way for many people to earn a little extra side money, supplement the family budget, or replace a full-time income. And how great is it to be able to keep your same job even if you move out of state? But before trading in your 20-mile commute for a 20-foot commute, it’s best to have realistic expectations about what working at home really means.
1. Not everyone can do it. Working at home doesn’t fit with certain skill sets or certain family dynamics. Many computer-based jobs and nearly all crafting jobs can be done at home, but if all you know how to do is operate heavy machinery, then you might want to keep doing the heavy lifting at the office rather than turn your backyard into an industrial area. Family dynamics, especially when children are involved, can also affect how easily one can produce an income from home.
2. It takes time to get started. A lot of time and thought are needed before you can make your first dollar. What do you want to do? How long will it take to set that up versus a different career choice? Do you need to invest time into any additional training? If you’re crafting, do you need to test your product before going live?
3. It takes time day to day. You don’t have a Human Resources person to handle your taxes or a Marketing Director to let people know you exist. Everything has to be done yourself. This is time that needs to be factored in on top of the time you expect to actually be working.
4. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you want to work at home and think that in a month or two you’ll be making the big bucks, then think again. It usually takes a good six months to a year or longer before your name and reputation are known to people. During the wait, it’s possible that more time and money will go into your business than will come out.
I plan on having a whole series of articles on working at home, so please check back for more over the next weeks. This thread has more great info about working at home as well.