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Getting Started as a Work-at-Home Mom 2

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02  Prioritize Your Needs

You've probably figured out by now that no work/home situation is perfect. To get as close as possible to your own ideal, you and your family must set priorities. For potential work-at-home moms, it is a good idea to break down the reasons into two groups: reasons to work and reasons to work from home. Here is what your lists might look like:

Reasons to Work:

Financial need/security
Career advancement
Save for retirement/college
Personal fulfillment
Pay down debt

Reasons to Work From Home:

Spend more time with kids
Eliminate commute
Save money on childcare
Leave unpleasant work environment
Reduce stress

Once you have your lists, you'll want to rank the items. Then, as you look at job possibilities, think about how they fit with these priorities.

03  Plan the Practical Aspects

Most work-at-home moms don't start out with a full-time telecommuting position right away. The work-at-home lifestyle is usually something you build over time. In fact, you may need to build up your savings first.

Plan to start small. If you're moving from the office to telecommuting, try a couple days a week at first to see how it works for you and your employer. If you're building a business, that also takes time.

Here are a few things to take into consideration:

Child Care - Figure out how much and what kind of childcare you'll need.

Ground Rules - Adjusting to working from home can be a difficult transition for you and your family. Clear rules and expectations can ease the way.

Home Office - You'll need to find a place of your own within your house where you can set up a home office and work with minimal distractions.

Organization - You'll need to have systems in place for organizing your home life and your work life to make things go as smoothly as possible.  

Building a Nest Egg - Starting small can mean a reduction in income in the short term, so you must plan for this.

04  Find a Work-at-Home Job

If, after mulling your options, you've decided to start looking for a work-at-home job, here are some useful links for work-at-home moms:

Companies Hiring for Work-at-Home Jobs - An alphabetical directory lists companies hiring people to work from home in fields ranging from customer service and data entry to PR and travel.

Top Telecommuting Companies - If you prefer to work for a major company, one of these firms may be the place for you.

List of Work-at-Home Call Center Jobs - These companies hire home-based call center agents.

Be sure to determine if a work-at-home job is legit before applying. Many work-at-home job postings are scams. Luckily, there are a number of sites dedicated to helping moms look for remote jobs or other types of flexible work.

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