For stay-at-home parents who need to make extra money, it’s tough to navigate all the scams and low-wage offers online. If you need a reliable source of income without leaving the house, the good news is that countless legitimate opportunities are available — you just need to know where to look. With this guide from Finn + Emma, you can find the gig that fits your life and your wallet.
Types of Stay-at-Home Jobs
When you first head online and search for online jobs, you’ll be hit with a barrage of results. Not all of them are worth your time, though. Generally speaking, there are four categories of “online jobs” that tend to come up in searches.
Surveys and Task-Based Jobs
These gigs are usually low-paying — a few dollars per task — but can be helpful if you’re just looking to satisfy your Starbucks habit or save for small splurges. Though countless sites hawk surveys for cash, sticking with reputable sites like Swagbucks or Amazon Mechanical Turk is a smart idea.
You can become a freelancer and work short-term or on an hourly or project basis in various industries and niches. Becoming a freelancer often requires building (and marketing) yourself and your skills. But the beauty of freelancing is that you can accept or decline work as it suits your schedule and needs.
Full-time Telecommuting Jobs
Full-time roles that offer telecommuting are tougher to find yet still totally possible opportunities for stay-at-home parents. The trick is finding a job with flexible hours that work for you or selecting a part-time opportunity where parenting and professional time can fit together.
Starting Your Own Business
Launching a company is another worthwhile option to explore, even as a work-at-home parent. Though entrepreneurship can mean a significant demand on your time, options like starting an online store with e-commerce can make you more money with less time than other business models.
3 Best Options for Parents Who Want to Make Extra Cash
Though surveys and smaller tasks are handy for earning coffee cash, they’re not a trustworthy income source for at-home parents. Likewise, launching a full-fledged company from home is a bigger task for a full-time parent than an e-commerce path, so let’s focus on the best career options for parents here. The top jobs for stay-at-home parents include freelance gigs, full-time virtual roles, and e-commerce stores.
Freelance Gigs to Fit Your Schedule
Freelancing may be the perfect way to channel your current skill set into flexible and scalable remote work. If you have experience in an industry already, you’re ahead of the game. It’s simple enough to showcase your skills in an online resume or hiring platform, make connections, and start securing gigs.
If you’re new to freelancing, though, all hope is not lost! You can choose to build your abilities in a specific niche, of course. But you can also use your household management prowess to dive into an all-around expert type of role as a virtual assistant or administrative support professional.
For those parents with professional experience on their resumes (no matter how long ago it was), dusting off your list of industry contacts could prove fruitful in your job search. Networking is a natural behavior for professionals and individuals, and it can help you find a great gig.
Plus, many industries prefer hiring freelancers for a range of tasks and projects because they’re cheaper than onboarding new employees — even part-time ones. If you already have connections, you may have a foot in the door from day one.
Full-Time, Legit Virtual Work
Full-time telecommuting positions are becoming the old-school form of remote work, but they’re a viable option for many work-at-home parents. In the current economy, virtual roles are overwhelmingly common in all areas of business, notes Skillcrush, from sales to marketing to customer service.
Full-time roles in customer service, for example, may involve working with big-name companies like American Express and operating on a 9-to-5 schedule. Many companies offer remote work roles with set hours, which could be ideal if your kids are older and self-sufficient for most of the day.
Check out these companies for current openings or to learn more about how they operate:
- American Express
- Appen (also offers gig-based work)
Tons of other options are out there, too — try searching for your favorite company and the words “remote jobs” to see whether they offer telecommuting roles.
Your Own E-Commerce Shop
Growing an e-commerce shop is an excellent way to work from home without a ton of overhead costs and other expenses. Depending on the business model you choose, you may not even need to stock products in your spare bedroom, either. After all, e-commerce can involve digital goods, a handy way to monetize your talents in any niche — from graphic design to photography to eBooks.
The only catch is that attracting and retaining paying customers could take up most of your working hours. Determine your marketing plan and consider enlisting the help of e-commerce marketing services to handle the launch of your store’s advertising efforts. Then, sit back and relax (well, as much as you can as a parent) as sales roll in, thanks to social media marketing and other smart strategies.
Of course, if you do choose physical products and skip the dropshipping model, you may be able to enlist your children’s help with some parts of the business. The online store can turn into a family project, which is a definite plus of working from home.
Staying home with your family is rewarding and challenging in so many ways. But if you’re looking for ways to increase your income while continuing to tend to your family as needed, some creativity is in order.
Fortunately, these ideas give you a starting point for jumping into a new career — or just a short-term gig — so you can make more cash without venturing out of the house. With a healthy dose of creativity and a bit of online sleuthing, you’ll find the ideal opportunity that fits your skills and lifestyle.
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