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Working Part-Time from Home

College/Career Expert Advice from Carol Carter

Q: I'm a new mother and would love to stay home with my newborn, but have to work at least part - time. I use to work in retail but my position was full - time, and after my maternity leave they didn't have a position available for the hours I'm able to work. My husband brings in the bulk of the income, but my income is needed to make ends meet.

I would love to work from home, but I not sure what is actually available. I've been looking in the classifieds (newspaper and online). There are a few jobs that require stuffing envelopes, but there is a fee to sign up. Are these real jobs or are they scams? How can I tell the difference? Any advice on what I can do from home?

A: There are many opportunities available for stay-at-home moms. Depending on your skills, you could work as a freelance writer, a telemarketer, a freelance business manager for someone running a small business, or a caretaker of parents' children. The best way to start is to make a list of your skills, interests, and abilities. What are you passionate about? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How much time do you have to work each week? I have worked with mothers of newborns who put their kids to bed at night and work from 7 to 10 p.m. every evening. After you have figured out when and how you will make working at home work, then you can start to pursue those things which most match your interests and skills. You can look in the paper, but you can also make flyers listing your skills and the times you're available and post them at your health club, synagogue, or church. Have faith! If you are clear on your goals and realistic about your time availability, you will draw the right work to yourself with these simple steps.

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Carol Carter is the author of many books on college and career planning. She is the cofounder of Lifeskills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages high-school students to explore their goals, career options, and the real world through part-time work and internships. She also gives workshops around the country on career exploration and other issues directly related to helping students succeed in college, career, and life.


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