In October, over 11.1 million Americans were unemployed. As moms, we are taking care of our homes, our kids, and ourselves, but with over 11.1 million Americans out of jobs — 6.3 million of whom are women — we are also facing an uphill battle to prepare for a workforce that looks a lot different today than it did a year ago. What happens when there aren’t enough jobs to go around, when unemployment may be running out, when your kids still need to eat and bills still need to get paid? There are people out there to help, and jobs you can do from home.
Scary Mommy spoke with mom of four and founder of Hire My Mom, Lesley Pyle, to shed some light on how to find an online job. Whether you’re looking for a steady gig or a side hustle, we can all learn something from our conversation with Lesley. Working from home, especially during times such as these, might just be the right choice for you. Here are a few ideas:
Perhaps your jaw will fall to the floor when you read this (as mine did), but bloggers can make anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 a month. If you love to write and if you like to share your perspective, perhaps starting your own blog is a route you’d like to go. One blogging mama I follow is Kumiko Love, The Budget Mom. She also gives tips on how to start your own blog. It takes time to establish a presence, though, so this is only a good option if you can afford to be patient.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is not going anywhere, and with the rise of influencers, you can sell products right from your Instagram page, and you can make money doing it. This is something brand coach and influencer Jenell B. Stewart does well. She even has a course she offers (for a fee) to teach other mamas how. The idea behind social media marketing is that you, as the influencer, can offer a product or service and earn a commission if the item or service is purchased through your unique link.
You can earn $60 an hour by recording financial transactions for small business, including nonprofits. You can take a course to learn how, and you can also apply and work for a company or be a freelancer. It’s completely up to you how you break into the field, but you definitely can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Finding work online is just like finding work in-person: first impressions matter. We all know that your cover letter and resume must succinctly and clearly summarize your desire for the position you’re seeking and why your experience makes you the best person for the role.
Lesley notes, “One of the barriers is understanding the importance of making a great first impression with your cover letter and resume. Oftentimes, I see moms throw a resume and cover letter out there that has not been customized to the job or make any effort to sell themselves to the business owner/hiring manager. If you are not making a genuine effort to show the hiring person why you are a great fit for the role and why you really want this job, they will likely move on to the next candidate.” Finding a job is like anything else we do — it takes time, care, and persistence to find the right role to match your skillset.
COVID-19 has increased the number of people who are working remotely. Working from one’s dining room table or finding whatever space you can to take a Zoom call from the comfort of your own home is now our new normal. Companies like Google, Twitter, and Salesforce have embraced letting their staff work remotely, extending what was supposed to be temporary into something that resembles a more permanent fixture within their corporate culture — working from home. With these changing times, remote work is our normal.
“I think businesses that were afraid or hesitant to hire remote team members prior to the pandemic have been given the chance to see how well it can work,” Lesley says. “With the right systems, processes, and oversight, working remotely can work beautifully for everyone, especially moms. For moms, the freedom and flexibility are worth everything and is the reason I was so drawn to find a way to connect moms with remote jobs. I also believe that because of that, moms will go above and beyond to do a fabulous job because they are so thankful for the opportunity to work from home.”
For me, I initially had to do a lot of praying and daily meditation to get me through my days with my 13-and-under coworkers, but now I’ve grown to love it. Working from home both as a writer for Scary Mommy and a full-time director of programs for a non-profit has given me a freedom I’ve not known during my entire professional career, and for this, I am grateful. If it weren’t for COVID-19, I’d still be traveling into New York City to work to achieve a mission I believe in, and serve people with whom I am honored to work. And yet, I want to continue to work from home. For me, it gives me the kind of work-life balance I’ve always wanted, even with my kids at home.
Lesley agrees that this work from home life is here to stay. “I think moms that have been given the opportunity to work from home and have loved it will have a hard time going back to fully on-site jobs,” she says. “There are just so many benefits to have that flexibility as a mom.”
Working from home has given me the unexpected gift of being able to advocate more for my needs — to speak up when I need to, to stand firmly in my decisions, and to express myself more.
Being stuck at home and continuing to provide for our family, we are forced to look in the mirror and see ourselves — even if we are a hot mess, unshowered, and one second away from losing it on our kids. But we must never forget to invest in ourselves; we will be better for it. Lesley shares with us why that is important, now more than ever: “If your goal is to work from home, take the time to invest in yourself, whether that is an awesome resume and cover letter or investing in some online training. If you are looking for training, make sure to read lots of reviews and talk to others who have done the training to make sure it’s a great fit for you before you invest your money. Really take time to think about what you would like to do, what you enjoy doing, and then go for it!”
There is no time like right now to try that side hustle, or launch into a new career. Much of the corporate world has been working online — why not you?