Saturday, May 4, 2013

WAHM-Hood: What Your Mind Needs To Start Working Online

I was lucky.

When I decided to go into full-time WAHM-hood coming from working in a call center, I had a good friend guide me patiently throughout the process. She had been working from home already for more than a year by the time I started, and she briefed me on what I need, what I should do, what I should not do...stuff like that. Without her, I would have been groping in the dark far longer... and I'd have given up at a certain point. When I tell you it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies when I was starting out, I really mean it. So Sam, I owe you major big time.

Thankfully now though, there are a lot of references online that Pinoy moms who want to start working from home can refer to. A Google search will help you heaps. So what is this post all about? Wala lang nakiki-advice. :)

Aside of course from the basic 'hardware' you need: ☑ Computer (desktop/laptop/netbook) ☑ MS Office (ok this is technically software. hehe) ☑ Stable internet connection ☑ A decent headset (can do without if you don't plan to take calls or do customer service stuff. But, who doesn't need a good headset right? :)) ☑ A relatively quiet/distraction-less place to work in at home (yes even if you won't be taking calls)

...starting to work online also takes some mental and psychological preparation. Trust me when I say that having these, will really help you 'survive' the non-physical challenges:

A FIRM RESOLVE. Making the decision to quit one's regular-paying job is a monumental one - especially to a mom whose income is necessary in a family. But, of course, one's desire to be with their kids and take care of them is just as strong a desire as is earning a living. Perhaps, like in my case, it can even be stronger.

So, if you know in your mind and heart that becoming a work-at-home mom is what you WANT and what your family NEEDS, then condition your mind to 'fight' for it. A lot of challenges will be thrown your way - doubts by your own family, comments like "Why? Mahirap ang buhay ngayon." or "Sayang ang pinag-aralan mo.", difficulty in finding online work, stuff like that --- it can get tough. Fortify your mind and your heart about wanting to be there for your family and to contribute an income at the same time. Have your eye on the prize - WAHM-hood has loads of good stuff. :)

A POSITIVE OUTLOOK. Here I am again with the 'difficulties'. No, I'm not scaring you. I just want you prepared for the worst (which may or may not come. :)). Keep in mind that whenever something sad happens, there's something happy that will soon transpire - it's like the give-and-take cycle of the world - sabi nga, minsan nasa taas, minsan nasa baba. So when you feel like you're at the bottom, don't wallow - try to start climbing again. :)

There will be times when your applications will get denied, one after the other. There will be times when you'll get overwhelmed with work (housework, family duties, online tasks etc), like it will never end. Just keep on looking ahead, and moving forward.

A SUPPORT SYSTEM.When we go through big changes, we sometimes find that no matter how strong we are most of the time, we all have a tendency to 'want to give up'. That's natural - so don't think of yourself as a weakling. Once you've made up your mind that you are going to be a WAHM, talk to your loved ones, people in your life who matter to you, and enlist their support. Tell them what you will be going through, what possible sacrifices may have to be made, what they can expect...and where you'll be needing their help.

For moms, the most help you'd most likely need is with taking care of your little one, with handling some of the housework, and motivation. You need to allocate a considerable amount of time for your online work, so people in your household must understand that those hours are 'work hours'. They might have this impression kasi that since you're just on the computer, and you're at home that you're not busy. Tendency is, they wouldn't think twice about disturbing you.

So make sure to clarify with them that your allocated work time should be distraction-free. Income-wise, make sure to tell your family members that the inflow of money may not be exactly as the same as it was when you had a regular full-time job. It may be slow in the beginning, but things will definitely pick up once you gain more feedback and experience.

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.You may have heard it from a friend, or read it in a pop-up ad online, or maybe even watched about it on TV Patrol - yes, there is a great potential of earning a lot through online jobs. BUT, please bear in mind that working online is not a 'get-rich-quick' scheme. It is still work - which means you still have to go through an application process, expectations will be set, goals have to be met - and you may have to start on the lower end of the salary spectrum.

Yes, the lower end. Competition for online work is now even more stiff than it was a few years back, so keep in mind that even though clients will be looking for quality work and experience, they would also be on the lookout for cheaper rates. Times are hard, even for business owners.

Think of it this way - when you work online, most clients consider the kind of work you have already done in the internet realm. If you have zilch experience with online-related work then that's not a problem. But do expect that those who do have experience mightbe 'prioritized' for certain openings. And that as a newbie, you may have to start bidding at a lower rate (I'll discuss more about rates soon) to be more competitive.

Remember this:

So, there's my piece-of-mind sharing about becoming a WAHM. I promise to do more of these posts soon. Once I do get the time management thing down pat. Hehe. :-) Enjoy the lovely, cooler-weather-weekend!

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