Nowadays there are many more options available to working mothers than the traditional 9-5 job. As technology evolves we are presented with a growing number of alternatives that give you more control over your work-life balance. It’s important to stress that there are alternatives rather than opt-outs – we must all still work to live – but there is an increasing number of ways to ‘get on’ in this world without working a traditional job. What it takes is initiative, determination and lots of resilience to keep going and make it work.
Depending on the kind of change you are looking for, here is a list of 9-5 alternatives that could make the difference for you.
Seek out freelance opportunities
Freelancers work for themselves and have to source their own work. Sourcing freelance work is much easier now than it used to be, thanks to various dedicated websites such as People Per Hour and Freelancer. The beauty of freelancing is that you get to set your own schedule and work from wherever you want – provided there is an internet connection. There is a market for all kinds of freelance skills, including writing, design, web development, SEO, admin, translation, transcription, photography and legal services.
Start your own business
Entrepreneurship is a pretty big task, and shouldn’t be approached without a lot of forward planning. It’s all about finding something flexible that you enjoy, and turning that into a career or home grown business for yourself. Enjoyment is important, as it’s not uncommon to spend more than 40 hours a week while you to try to get your new business off the ground. The difference here is that the time is spent on something you’re passionate about and that you can call your own.
- If you’re ready to take on entrepreneurship, there are now lots more lending options available thanks to crowd funding sites and social media
- New trends are arriving constantly as technology develops, meaning there has never been a better time to start a business and capitalise on the evolving market
- Some lucrative options to consider might be: consulting, subscription boxes, health services, apps for kids, software development, and mobile massage or beauty services
Make money on-line
Not by signing up to one of those awful ‘get rich quick’ schemes, but by utilising one or many of the several methods that successful on-line entrepreneurs use to generate income. They require some careful planning and time to build up, so don’t quit your job right away and expect success to come overnight. Do some research into one of the following and think about whether it could work for you:
- Sell products on-line via an e-marketplace such as eBay, Amazon or Etsy. Get increased exposure for your wares by benefiting from the scale of their on-line audience – whether it’s for products that are handmade, second hand or bought wholesale
- Start an on-line store and make sales under your own brand, whether it’s jewellery, art, crafts, food, merchandise or services. It’s easier than ever to create an on line store using an e-commerce platform, and this way you retain control over the whole look and feel of your store front
- Become a blogger. Start by creating engaging content, and once you’ve built up your readership, look into methods of monetisation such as advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products, writing guest posts and promoting businesses
There are thousands of people out there who manage to make a healthy living on-line and reap the rewards of a virtual workplace or marketplace.
Find a non-desk job
There is no hard and fast rule that you must work an office job. There are a lot of jobs out there with varying hours and environments that could help you to become a happier and healthier person. Try pursuing a career that is interactive, outdoor or on-the-move, such as nursing, teaching, carpentry, construction work, landscaping, grounds keeping or massage therapy.
Try consulting or advising in one of your skills or areas of expertise
If you’ve been working in the same industry for a long time and built up a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills, then you could be the perfect candidate for consulting or advising. Help others to improve their own performance through consultancy, whether it’s business consulting, career coaching, financial advice or productivity seminars. If you know it, you can teach it – and if you can teach it, you can monetize it. Use on-line tools to help you spread the word and host on-line webinars and Q&A’s to help market your expertise.
Professional speaking and writing
Public speaking is certainly not for everyone, but it is a very sought-after skill which, if you have it, can be a very fulfilling and lucrative way to earn money. Whether you’re an author, teacher or motivator, if you can successfully capture people’s imaginations through your words or writing then you’re onto a winner. There are plenty of people who successfully make money this way who aren’t huge names in publishing or oratory – all you need is a lot of passion and knowledge about your subject, and the flair to ignite that same sense of excitement in others. You can start by running motivational and creative courses at your local community centre (or on-line) to see how you fare.
While some counties are very work-focused and keen to maximise working hours, there are others that have a much healthier and more flexible approach to work-life balance and that are also more affordable for young families. You could have an adventure abroad together as a family, discovering new things about yourselves.
It’s a bold move to completely uproot and move to another country, so it won’t be the best option for everyone, but if you want to start afresh and you have no ties keeping you and your family in one place right now when the kids are young, then it might be worth considering. Countries with a progressive work ethic are mostly European and include Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands, among others. When you are abroad you could make a living by teaching English or tutoring, or getting involved as a local tourist guide or a host family for foreign students.
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Author: Kayleigh Alexandra, Microstartups.org. Microstartup.org is a site that posts stories of one person start ups, to help generate publicity.