For Those of You Who Work from Home What Do You Do How Did You Get Started?

Updated on September 17, 2013
M.E. asks from Bronx, NY
17 answers

For those who work from home how did you get started? Im concerned that some are scams.
Thanks so much

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I got two graduate degrees and then after working in the same place for about 12 years asked my boss. She said yes.

And yes, everything else is a scam.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

I started off in the office. I was in the office for 7 years and proved myself to be a reliable employee. When I told my boss I was moving soon, they asked if I would like to try working remotely so they would not have to train someone new. I have been working from home for 5 years.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Sacramento on

I'm a freelance public relations writer. I worked as a journalist and public relations manager for a decade before transitioning to working from home. I work primarily for one of my former employers.

The best-paying at-home positions are ones you create. Look at your professional skill set and consider whether you can freelance or consult.

Be realistic about childcare, too. Very, very few WAH positions allow you to watch your kids simultaneously. And really, what's the advantage of working at home if you're not paying attention to your kids when you are? You may need to work odd hours if you're committed to not having your kids in childcare and not many employers are crazy about that (unless you're in an industry that doesn't work normal business hours). No one wants to call you with a business question and hear noisy kids in the background.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There are a LOT of scams out there that prey on people, especially SAHM's in hope of recruiting them into the scam.

"No pointy fingers being shaken here" Be realistic.

The facts are.... work is work. NO ONE will pay you to stay home to work and watch your children. If someone says you can.... then RUN.... The ONLY thing you can do at home with your children is to have some sort of child care and child care is not for everyone..It takes a special person for childcare, get the correct license, etc.

SOME companies will allow telecommuting IF you have been a proven employee AND you have child care. No company wants clients calling a company representative and hearing children, pets and background noise. That is not professional.

I do work from home and have for years because... hubby and I own our company and we both work from home. He does the sales, negotiating, and travel and I do the accounting, financials, travel arrangements, manage our warehouses and trucking companies for our deliveries. We are NOT a direct sales or MLM company. We are in the raw materials industry brokering and consulting.

Working from home is WORK. It takes a lot of self discipline, motivation and dedication. There is no way I could do my job with children under foot. One mistake could costs us thousands of dollars... I have to be spot on when I am in my office working. Most of the time, while doing chores and other things around the house, I am still working in my head planning out trucking deliveries and scheduling.

Find your niche, think outside the box. What are you good at? Are you qualified to tutor, teach a musical instrument, etc. Around here tutors start at $50 per hour academically and music tuns about $1-$1.50 per minute.. about a 30-45 minute lesson.

Good luck to you and be wary of all the offers you will get to work from home. Remember, work is work.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I telecommute 3/5 days a week. After 10 years with my employer, they announced that they would be implementing this telecommuting plan and that participation would be mandatory. The company saves a lot of money by consolidating their office space and creating shared "hotel" cubicles.

The telecommuting part is OK, I don't have the time or the wear and tear of the commute. I have to continue to have my kid out of the house though when I work, as per the contract.

Telecommuting can be lonesome, and I miss the adult interraction of the office, and the business synergies that took place when voicing questions, sharing strategies and ideas.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's true, many "work from home" opportunities ARE scams, or they are sales driven, which of course, unless you LOVE selling (and recruiting others to sell) is hard.
Usually people who work from home started in an office, and/or do work that's suited to working from home (writing, accounting, marketing, etc.)
And I'm not going to "shake a pointy finger" as a previous poster said (LOL!) but if you find a work from home job that requires working business hours you WILL need someone to watch your kids while you work. You can't take calls and meetings with kids crying in the background, no employer will put up with that. So take child care costs into consideration when looking at potential income. Of course if you find something you can do part time, on your own time, then child care won't be an issue.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

I do merchandising and mystery shopping, and there are scams out there, but also legitimate jobs. I work from home but also have to go out and visit stores and place displays sticker produicts, etc. Or if I am mystery shopping, visit a business and submit reports and receipts. I check for the company's reputation through MSPA and NARMS and Volition before I contract with them to aviod getting scammed. I like that my hours are flexible and I can be as busy as I need to be.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think one important question you need to ask yourself is why you want to work from home?

Is this to save money on child care costs? If so, your best bet would be to get licensed to operate a home daycare. There is a lot that goes into that, so be sure that's what you want to do.

I suggest this because many work from home jobs require a lot of your time and chasing after the little ones is not feasible. A lot of people wait until they are school aged, work weird hours or place them in daycare.

My cousin starts working at 11pm, when everyone is asleep. It's hard on her b/c her boys are very young and she has to be up with them during the day. They cannot afford daycare so they make it work.

There are a lot of scams out there, if it seems to good to be true it is. I think most people start with a company working in an office and after awhile are able to negotiate telecommuting. That is probably the most reliable way to work at home.

Keep in mind that working at home doesn't mean that it is easier.
Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Pretty much anything you find online that says you can work from home is a scam. Seriously.

I have worked from home for ten years; started as an employee in a corporate office but had to move due to my husband's job. My employer allowed me to try telecommuting and it worked out. Then just a few years ago I moved companies and found a job where the entire department is work from home. But I didn't find this job online... I found it through business contacts.

In my opinon, that's the way 98% of work from home people find their jobs - actual contact with people they know.

But working from home can mean different things to different people. Maybe you want to bring in a little extra income; if that's the case - look into Mary Kay or Avon or one of the other companies like that. Perhaps you have small children you want to be home with during the day. If that's the case - an "office" type job wouldn't work for you, but you could do babysitting.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I worked in the office for 6 years, first at corporate then at a satellite office when we moved to a different state for my husband's job. When they closed the satellite office I worked at I started working from home. I also work flex hours, 6-3, so I'm off when the kids get home from school. However in the summer they go to camp, I cannot have them home when I'm working, it's not fair to them or my company. If you want to work from home first look at the industry in which you are currently employed - can you free-lance? Can your employer allow you some/all telecommuting? If you are not working now, how about your previous field? Start with what you know and you'll have a better chance of finding something.

Having said that, it's very hard to find a professional WAH job. I earned mine, and I won't ever leave my employer because I know I won't get this scenario anywhere else. So professional WAH jobs don't crop up very often, those of us who have them know how fortunate we are.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I did what I always do... But offered it to the public & charged.

Aka teaching, curriculum design, writing, editing, etc.

Other people I PERSONALLY know who work from home do the same. They work for themselves. Whether its massage, accountants, brewing, hair, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Babysit. Join a church, volunteer in the church nursey for a few months and then tell those parents that you also babysit at home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

What can you do that is needed in your area? Do you have the talents to do it? How many other people are doing the same thing as you want to do? If there is one or none, you may have a chance to work from home. But as others have said you will work.

I have started a sewing business which after three years is starting to get off the ground. No, it would not pay the bills at this time but it is something I enjoy and will keep me occupied once I retire from the work scene. I do this job when I am not at work and on weekends and the evenings. So basically I am building it up as I go.

What I have over you is that my children are grown and gone. However, I did work from home when they were younger and they were in school full time. I and another woman sewed stripes, patches, emblems on uniforms overseas. In addition to that I also did altering of pants, skirts, shirts for leadership schools.

That was about the only time in my working life that I felt like I got paid what I was worth. I also had direct contact one on one with the customer and no middle person. It was right or it was wrong end of story. You made it right or you returned like product back to the customer so that they could find another person to do the work. You are always going to get one or two customers who know more than you about what needs to be done.

Good luck on your search.

the other S.

PS Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a good business.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm a data analyst for a global consulting and benefits outsourcing firm. I worked FT in the office for 7 years before negotiating three days at home and have had the split schedule of 3 days home, 2 in the office for 7 years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I started working from home when my daughter started Kindergarten, so summer/fall 2005. I was a writer and belonged to a national writers association as well as various special interest chapters. I managed to get hired by an e-publisher as a content editor (working on adult erotic romance fiction books). I also did lots and lots of research on my own, sent out hundreds of e-mail letters, always looking for more work. Everyone wants people to edit, but very few want to pay anything.

I'm still with the same e-publisher 8 years later. I don't get paid much; what I make is definitely "extra" money. I wouldn't hold my breath on being able to pay bills on a regular basis because I never know from month to month how much my paycheck will be. I also proofread for a small book publisher; been working for them for 4 years. Again, don't get many projects, but the little bit of income that job brings in is welcomed.

I never started working to make tons and tons of money; it was more to keep myself actively working, have an up-to-date working resume, and bring a little money into the house while being available for my daughter. In my case, I got extremely lucky and landed a stable editorial job right away. Ironically, I found their job posting on Craigslist. I wouldn't take an editing job on Craigslist for any money these days, as most of them are scams.

I am one of the exceptions as to how I began working at home, found a steady job right away, and was able to open my freelance business. Above all, you must have some sort of skill you can market/use. And when I started working at home, my daughter had just started Kindergarten/going to school. I wouldn't/couldn't have done this job with her home, needing me all the time.



answers from Oklahoma City on

They won't pay you to stay at home with your kids and work when you get time, they'll expect your full attention and to be on time for every item you have.

Most work at home jobs are not steady. They have a project they need help with and they want it done yesterday. When it's done the check is always in the mail, if it gets there in a month then you're lucky.

The friends that I've had that worked at home had a hard time of it. They couldn't get child care assistance because they didn't have steady income. They would have to pay for child care out of pocket. Child care requires you pay for a full week every week so they can pay their staff and overhead. Your child is taking a spot so they have to be paid every day. Even if you aren't working you have to pay for that spot. No one will do occasional care in child care. It just doesn't work like that.

Out of all my friends that worked out of their home I can't remember any of them that actually made a living like this. One even lost her house because the checks were weeks if not months behind and sometimes she'd call and call.

Getting an actual job that takes out taxes and pays into your social security is better in the long run. Unless you want to open a home child care and take in a couple of kids where you can make $50-$70 per day then you might want to consider looking for steady work.


answers from New York on

I have worked from home since Sept 2011. I used to do this job in an office 3 days a week. When my 2 older kids entered school and I had my third child, I asked my boss to work from home. I have done this ever since. There are pros and cons. I make less money and I don't love being "alone" but obviously I love being here for the kids, and having flexibility to do things at the school and so forth. Now that my youngest is 2, I'm in college at night and hoping by the time all 3 of the kids are fully in school, I will have more of a "real" job but for now this works.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions