I know that a lot of you who have been working at home for a long time already know these things, but some people who are new to it may not. I think I’ve actually posted something similar here before, but a reminder never hurts! I love working from home, but there are a few misconceptions that many people have going in that I want to clear up.
Work at Home Myth #1: Work at Home = Easy Work
This is not always true. No work at home company is going to continually throw money at you for sitting at home, doing next to nothing to earn it. There are all sorts of work at home jobs out there in many different fields. What’s “easy” to one person might not be to another. Some people are good at writing and find it easy. Others struggle with it, but might attempt it just because they want to work at home and this is something you can do from home. The non-writers aren’t going to find this to be simple work. You should not go into working at home thinking that the work is going to be a piece of cake or that you won’t really have to work to earn the money. Chances are good the job you do will be just as hard or harder than what you used to do outside the home.
Work at Home Myth #2: Work at Home = Working Less for the Same or More Money
Again, no. You will most likely not work less hours and earn the same or more money as you did when you worked outside the home. If you want to make the money, you will still have to put in the time. Unless you have a job that pays a huge amount per hour, you aren’t going to be able to sit down, work two hours, and then call it a day and expect your paycheck to be what you were used to seeing when you didn’t work at home.
I love working at home and am grateful I can do it, but in some ways I’m a little envious of people who don’t work at home because they clock in, clock out, and can then just forget work until the next day. I feel like I never stop working. It’s always there, staring me in the face to do because it’s at home with me. I would say that now that I work at home, I work even more than I used to. Not only am I expected to bring in money, I also have a house to keep up and kids to take care of. So I’m basically running around all day constantly juggling these three things around. I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle because I love being with my kids at home, but it’s certainly not less work!
Work at Home Myth #3: Anyone Can Get a Work at Home Job
I wish I could say this were true, but it’s not. In this respect, you should look at work at home just like you would look at working outside the home. The process is often the same — send in your resume, cover letter, and possibly even do an interview over the phone. If you don’t have the skills the company is looking for, don’t expect them to hire you. Companies that offer telecommuting positions actually are concerned with your skills, past work experience, and so forth. Also, many work at home jobs involve lots of computer work. If you aren’t comfortable navigating the internet, typing, or using certain programs, you may not be the ideal candidate for many jobs. There might be a few exceptions, but you almost always need to have at least some computer skills.
Work at Home Myth #4: Working Around My Kids Will Be Easy
Many, many people (including myself) want to work at home because they have kids they want to stay home with. And while I do recommend working at home because it’s good for that reason, it’s important for you to understand that working around your kids is hard! And this is especially true with babies and toddlers as they require near constant attention. You might think, “Oh, I can work when they’re asleep or playing quietly.” But the thing about this is that kids are unpredictable. For example, I got up really early this morning to write up this blog post. I got up early because I mistakenly believed that I would be able to do it uninterrupted while my kids slept. I had not been sitting here typing for more than maybe ten minutes when I heard little footsteps and the “Mama!” cry coming from upstairs. It was my three year old who somehow knew I was no longer up there too. So I had to stop what I was doing and go get him back to sleep.
In my case just now, that wasn’t a big deal because I’m not on a schedule with this blog or anything. But if I had a phone job from home requiring no background noise and I were trying to work while he slept, that little interruption could have been fairly disastrous. But regardless of what you’re doing from home, be it writing, phone work, transcription, or anything else, your kids will probably interrupt you constantly while you try to work. So if you have a flexible job that *should* only take you 6-8 hours per day to do, the constant interruptions will make it take longer. Just something to keep in mind.
Work at Home Myth #5: Work at Home Means Working Whenever I Want To
This depends on the job. Some companies will set you up with specific hours or shifts. You’ll be expected to be there at those times to do the work. And if you have a flexible work at home job that lets you log in and work at any time of the day, you’re still going to need to make the time for it or the job won’t get done. It’s really easy to put it off when the hours are flexible. I know I’m really bad about putting work off, thinking I’ll start on it after I do the laundry or after dinner. There’s so many times that it just doesn’t happen no matter how good my intentions are. So even if you don’t have set hours, I’d recommend setting aside a specific block of time every day to get the work done or you might find that your home life won’t allow you time for it otherwise.
Do you have some more work at home myths to add to this list? Please share!