You want to leave your office job and work at home but are unsure of what the next step is. You’ve looked at a lot of work-at-home opportunities and aren’t sure which is the best for you. You feel stuck and unqualified to do anything. You can’t afford to sink a TON of money into a new field to start bringing in extra income.
I’ve been where you are — desperately wanting to earn extra income but not leave my children. After we welcomed baby #3, the idea of going back to my office job was becoming less and less appealing.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure.
The Not-So-Great Door
I looked into work-at-home opportunities and applied for an at-home customer service job. On the inside, I knew this wasn’t a good fit for me. This was not the work-at-home opportunity I was looking for. The only appealing aspect was making money from home.
At the time I was so naive about work-at-home jobs. I thought the only way to work from home was to work these type of jobs tied to a phone and computer.
I had no idea there were much better alternatives — and that these alternatives would use my skillset, challenge me, and even be fun and exciting!
During the prescreening process I learned more about this customer service position. It came with so many restrictions: I must have a strict office free from noise, my computer specs and internet speed had to meet their standards, I must use their specific equipment, and I must work during specific hours.
I worried about this job and not having any interruptions. Kids do not understand a closed door and “Do Not Disturb” signs.
This was not worth the $9 an hour the job offered for starters. Never mind that I was a college graduate with an extensive work history.
Had I gone to college and amassed all this student debt so I could jump through hoops to earn $9 an hour? I became quite sad. I didn’t want this job, but I needed it.
As it turned out, my head (and heart) wasn’t into it, and that must have shown during the interview process because I didn’t get the job. But it was a huge blessing in disguise. While this door closed, a great one opened.
The Great Door
After I completed an online course that led to the creation of my freelance business, I answered a “help wanted” ad in that course’s Facebook group. They were looking to add someone to their support team and perform behind-the-scenes tasks related to running the course. They were looking for another virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor or business owner who works from home and provides administrative and/or high level services to clients to help grow their business.
I started out answering emails and provided some of these VA-related services. While I assisted virtually, my official title was student support assistant.
If you want to take out the guesswork of what VA services to offer, Pinterest skills ARE. IN. DEMAND. Check out my free course to learn what it takes to create a thriving Pinterest VA biz.
The BEST thing about my new position was the FREEDOM! There were no strict requirements to be tied to my desk — in fact just the opposite; they told me this position was not meant to be a sit-at-your-desk-all-day job. They wanted me to have a life and keep up with other obligations. How wonderful is that?!
I felt like I’d hit the holy grail of work-at-home opportunities.
I was able to use the skills I acquired through my experience and education and bring new ideas to my position. I happily flourished in my new role.
My title quickly changed from student support assistant to student support manager in fewer than 12 months. I went from answering emails to overseeing a support team of five other VAs. I took on special projects and in the process gained a wealth of knowledge.
My pay went from around $300-$500 per month to currently over $2,000 per month while working fewer than 20 hours a week. A job I was excited about and considered a little side hustle quickly became a primary source of income. Suddenly my office job was the side hustle. It didn’t take long before I left the office job so I could give this new gig my undivided attention.
You deserve more
Just because you want to work from home does not mean you need to settle for less — in fact, you should demand more from an at-home opportunity. You have to use your resources (home computer, utilities, supplies, etc.) to work from home. Shouldn’t they offer more than being held hostage to your desk with no room for creative development?
It wasn’t until becoming a VA I realized the vast opportunities out there — opportunities with freedom and personal and professional growth.
If being a VA is striking a chord with you, you can make it happen! Many of the blogs I follow have advertised needing VA help, and online influencers are always looking for help!
We have the incredible luxury of being able to find out anything about any subject with just the click of a mouse. There’s no excuse for “I don’t know how to do that…”
You can be ‘Mom’ and still have a fulfilling line of work, all within the comforts of home.
So what about you? Do you already possess the skills to rock being a VA? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.