Are you in a suitable position to make self employment work?


If you have the hours and the space to spare, do you actually want to work from home?

It is very tempting when you find yourself unemployed at home with young children, especially if they are at an age when they are out occasionally at play group or preschool to think that you could use the extra time you suddenly seem to have to start your own business working from home to get some extra income. When the children are asleep or out of the house it seems as though there are loads of free hours but it is at this point that you need to stop and think as to whether you really are in a suitable position to make self employment work.

Sit down with a piece of paper and make two lists; one of the hours that you know are yours to do with as you like, come what may and another of the hours which are never going to be at your disposal. Unless you have an absolutely cast iron back up plan of childcare options, it is a fair bet that the first list will be very short. Even sleep time is not a given with children as the child who slept all night without fail last week could easily become a child who can get by on three hours sleep a night the next. But assuming that you do have the hours to spare, your next two lists should be the places in the house where you can work unencumbered and without inconveniencing anyone else, set against the places where you would be in someone else’s way at some time or another. Something to bear in mind when planning to do a job working from home is that the net gain must be worth it. If it changes the family dynamic or makes people unhappy, it is not going to work in the long run.

If you have the hours and the space to spare, do you actually want to work from home? As a lifestyle it doesn’t suit everyone and before you start home working you have to be sure that you are ready for the changes it will bring. If you are in the habit of going out to see friends while the children are otherwise engaged, you would have to consider that part of life pretty much over, especially if you have counted those hours in the ‘free in any circumstances’ list. Unless you set the bar so low in your business plan that you don’t have worthwhile goals, you are unlikely to be able to just drop everything to see friends and they are a very important part of the work life balance.

If having read this piece you still feel that you want to become self employed, that the lifestyle changes this will bring are worthwhile to you then you are in a suitable position to become self employed. If any of it gave you pause, it is perhaps a good idea to put off starting home working until your personal position is different. Like the child who changes his sleeping patterns for the worse, life can change very quickly and something that didn’t seem possible last week can suddenly become the business opportunity of your life, so keep looking.


Tags: ,


  1. Anonymous says:
    30/04/2012 at 12:00 am  

    I am in a position to work at home, but from what I read they all seem to be scams as they ask for money, and many people have been ripped off. I used to work as a secretary before and have very good typing skills. Any genuine websites or help with information would be much appreciated.

  2. Anonymous says:
    30/04/2012 at 12:00 am  

    Yes, I know what you mean! It is all a bit hit and miss. After a while you start to recognised the jobs with real opportunity. It is really just a question of trawling the websites and sorting the wheat from the chaff – very time-consuming and very few genuine opportunities for homeworking secretaries. I love "working mums" and they do have some varied and interesting posts, but I think you will have to keep an eye on the regular job websites and agencies as well. Sorry! No easy solution. Best of luck. N

  3. Anonymous says:
    02/05/2012 at 12:00 am  

    You can search for typing jobs online as long as you can type 65 words per minutes. Good luck.

  4. Anonymous says:
    08/05/2012 at 12:00 am  

    I am in a position to work from home and ideally would want to work around children. But what can I do from home? What jobs are there? I’m not interested in sales either! Or door to door sale or telephone sales!

  5. Anonymous says:
    08/05/2012 at 12:00 am  

    I am having the same problem. Would love a marketing part time position from home. I know I can do it as I have done a few freelance pieces! Just need something more regular now. It has got to the point where I will do just about anything besides sales!

  6. Linda Razvi says:
    08/05/2012 at 12:00 am  

    I am sure these options may have been considered, but how about looking into childminding – an option a number of my friends took up when their children were small? Also script typing for film companies, although not that well paid, at least is a way of keeping keyboard skills up and can be an interesting read! Joining your local business networking group as a "virtual P.A. " for those of you with good secretarial skills could be worthwhile as small and medium sized businesses as well as independent consultants are often at these network groups and could well be interested in secretarial services on an hourly contract basis whereby you get to work at home whilst organising their day, running their errands and admin tasks. You would just need to get some business cards printed and maybe some handouts once you’ve thought through what you can do for them and the charges.- eventually your own website could develop from there once established – good luck!

  7. Anonymous says:
    11/05/2012 at 12:00 am  

    Same here, seem to have spent months on end looking for something suitable from home. As previously commented, so many want cash upfront, dont seem genuine or are sales positions!!
    Where would I be able to find out about script typing as mentioned in the previous post??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *