Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura, America's #1 Relationship Talk Radio Host
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Work at Home
05/07/2010
IconWelcome to Stay-At-Home on DrLaura.com The most frequently asked question on my radio show is "How can I become a stay at home mom?" So, in response to everyone who wants to know the steps to take to stay home or for parents who need moral support, tips or advice, we are debuting a new section on my website, devoted to YOU and your needs. You'll find success stories from parents who are committed to staying at home and making it work-- they'll tell you in their own words how they did it. You can also get ideas and information on how to make money at home to supplement the family income, as well as seminars, associations and more! I promise you, you'll want to keep visiting my website for new tips and to read about people like Lisa Barnes, who started Baby Bee, Inc. Lisa found a way to stay at home and to help less fortunate children at the same time. There are only two types of mothers. The ones who happily stay at home and the ones who wish they could. Will Rogers once said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." I hope my website will be the vehicle to help you take charge of your life. So if you stay at home or just dream about being home with your little bunchkins take a look at the entire Stay-At-Home section on my website. -- Dr. Laura More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSUMMERTIME BLUES By Cheryl Gochnauer We just came through tax time, but there's another financial hurdle rightover the horizon for working parents of elementary students: summer break.For most families, daycare costs will skyrocket once the kids need care 10to 12 hours a day, instead of simply before and after school. This monetaryreality can trigger depression in those moms who don't want to work outsidethe home, anyway. I spent six years as a working mother who wanted to be home with mychildren. Like so many of my peers, I figured that since we were barelymaking it on two incomes, we'd go under if I quit my job. However, anunanticipated conflict between a sick child and a big project at work forcedme to take a serious look at our financial situation. Could we afford forme to become a stay-at-home mom? I was as surprised as anyone when I realized that, after subtracting all thecosts associated with my job (childcare, transportation expenses, eatingout, business clothing, taxes, etc.), I was only clearing $39 a week. Thecalculations I used included daycare charges for my first grader (before andafter school) and my 2-year-old (all day). During the summer, I actuallywasn't making any money at all, since that $39 a week was easily erased byincreased daycare costs for my older child. Was I nuts? No. I didn't know I was working for free from June toSeptember, because I'd never done the math. If you've been consideringbecoming an at-home parent but think it will never work financially, Iencourage you to learn from my mistake. Check your own figures now . Beyond the actual dollars and cents, be sure to take into account theemotional cost of allowing someone else to care for your babies when youwant to do that yourself. Also, if you're one of the ladies with latchkeychildren who gets nervous between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., you're going to have anextremely difficult time leaving your older kids alone all day for nearly 3months. So be sensitive to your feelings and to those of your children. My becoming an at-home parent relieved so many pressures in the Gochnauerhousehold, not the least of which was worrying about what to do with thekids over the summer, and how to pay for it. Although I am the first toadmit that this lifestyle is not for everyone, it has been a great move forus. Before you start singing the Summertime Blues, look at all your options, andsee if, as was true in my case, there is a Plan B that will work better foryour family. Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit her website at www.homebodies.org . Copyright 2001 Homebodies.Org , LLC. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconScam Alert By Cheryl Demas We've all seen the ads that claim to be hiring home workers. Beware, many of them are scams. Here are some warning signals that will help you weed out the scams from the legitimate jobs. They ask for money. They may claim that you need to send money to "show you are serious" or "to cover our costs." This is a giant read flag! Don't do it! You should never have to pay someone to work for them. Getting hired to do a job is different from starting a home business. You may have to pay for a starter kit when you begin many direct sales businesses, but they should be very clear about exactly what is in your kit: what you're getting for you money. Ads that emphasize WORK AT HOME but are vague about the actual work you will be doing are another danger area. They may say that you will be selling "reports" or typing "orders," but again, they are vague regarding the actual products or services. Ads for assemblers. You will have to pay to get your supplies (first red flag), but here's the big catch. In assembly scams, the company has to approve the work you do. They might approve your first or second batches, but after you purchase a large amount of supplies, your work will be rejected because it's "full of flaws," and you will be stuck with your expensive supplies. Ads for envelope stuffers. Just don't do it. Think about it. Why would anyone pay $2 to $3 to someone simply to put paper in an envelope and apply a stamp? They won't. Most often, after you pay for your supplies, you will be instructed to place ads recruiting others to stuff envelopes. The envelopes you will be stuffing will be the letters you send out trying to sell others on the same scam you just fell for. The ads claim that "No experience is necessary" and "Make easy $$$$." Of course there are jobs that offer on-the-job training, but the majority of employers prefer someone with skills and experience. If they lead their ad with these come-ons, watch out. It's another warning signal. Excerpted from " The Work-at-Home Mom's Guide to Home Business " by Cheryl Demas. Permission granted for use on drlaura.com.Cheryl lives in California with her husband and two daughters. She is the publisher of WAHM.com -- the online magazine for work-at-home moms. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSo You Want To Work At Home? Here's How To Convince Your Boss by Karen Millard Assuming your employer doesn't have a telework policy already in place, you'll need a plan of action. Despite its growing popularity with employees, many managers are still suspicious of the concept. The trick to getting the go-ahead to work at home is to present a compelling proposal that looks at the arrangement through the managers' eyes. What risks does telework present to the organization? What might the benefits be? And what makes you the perfect candidate? Risk #1: Will you deliver? The number one concern for most managers is: how do I know you'll work as hard at home as you would in the office? Won't you be distracted by the:(check as many as apply) soaps, fridge, laundry, neighbors, children? In your proposal, you'll need to demonstrate that you have the personality and work ethic of a successful teleworker. You must be able to answer 'yes' to the following: Are you well-organized? Are you disciplined and self-motivated? Do you consistently meet your goals? Are you proficient in information and communication technology (ITC)? Do you have great time-management and communication skills? Do you have a strong performance record? Do you have a supportive family? Do you have an area in your home that can be converted to office space? Have you made arrangements for childcare? Or are your children old enough to be self-sufficient? In addition, you'll need to answer 'no' to these: Do you need a lot of social interaction? Are you easily distracted? Do you need a lot of supervision? Risk #2: What will it cost? Telework depends on technology. A computer, printer, separate phone and fax lines, pager, cell phone. If you don't already have what you need, your employer should provide it. If you already own it, say so. Just be sure it's up-to-date and reliable. There are other costs too, such as long-distance phone calls that may have to be covered. Risk #3: How will I reach you? How will important clients get in touch? "Hello! You've reached the voice mailbox of... I'm teleworking today. Please leave a message and I'll call you back." What? After you've prepared the spaghetti sauce? Your boss needs to know you can be contacted at all times, especially if your work involves any kind of customer service. Explain that you'll have your calls forwarded to your home office and that you'll pick up. Make arrangements to check in with the office as frequently as your boss requires. You can suggest regular project updates by phone, fax or email; or a brief telephone check-in at the start and end of every work day. Whatever you agree on, make sure your boss knows you'll be as available at home as you were at the office. Now The Benefits. Benefit #1: Telework reduces absenteeism. In a study released in 1999, the International Telework Association and Council (I.T.A.C) concluded that healthy employees often miss work due to family and personal obligations that can only be met during the business day. Teleworkers are still able to get some work done, even on days when they have appointments to attend. Employers can save 63% of the cost of absenteeism per teleworking employee, or $2086 per employee per year. Benefit #2: Telework increases productivity.The I.T.A.C study reported an average productivity increase of 22% per day worked at home. Other studies show equally positive results: American Express teleworkers produce 43% more business than on-site workers; Compaq reported productivity increases ranging from 15 - 45%; JDEdwards teleworkers are 20 - 25% more productive than JDEdwards office workers and ATT teleworkers work five more hours at home than ATT office workers. Benefit #3: Telework increases employee retention. A key concept of telework is the ability to better balance work and family life. It's an option more and more employees are demanding. A telework arrangement allows the organization to increase employee satisfaction, morale and productivity. The I.T.A.C survey concluded that for every teleworker retained by the organization, the employer avoids a cost of replacing that employee of $7920 per worker. Benefit #4: Telework saves money. Lots of it. There are other cost savings too. Make sure your boss knows about them. Telework, according to PC Magazine, can cut corporate real estate costs by 25 - 90%. IBM US reportedly cut their costs by 40 - 60% and ATT has saved approximately $550 million since 1991 by eliminating or consolidating office space no longer needed. The Proposal. Now that you understand and can address your manager's concerns, you're well on your way to crafting a convincing proposal. Start by briefly reviewing the reasons you want to work at home. Concentrate on quality of life issues, and productivity. Although most mothers cite the ability to care for their children at home as a reason for wanting to telework, it's not one that's likely to win much approval from your boss. Spend more time outlining how your working at home can benefit the organization. Will your productivity increase? Will you free up office space? Can you work when others may not be able to? Make a case for yourself. Just as you would in a resume, stress the character traits, skills and accomplishments that make you the perfect candidate for telework. Next, address the logistics. Explain where and when you'll work. How many days a week? Whether you envision a return to the office at some point, or whether you see this as a more permanent arrangement. Suggest a schedule for checking in and provide your pager numbers, phone and fax numbers and email addresses. Show how you plan to remain a part of the team. Will you attend weekly meetings, for instance? Or will you offer to help out on-site during emergencies? Outline the equipment you already have, and anything else you may need to do your job efficiently. Explain that any costs will be more than offset by the savings. Try and quantify the work you do. How many hours do your projects take you to complete on-site? How many sales calls do you make or receive at the office? Using this information, offer your employer a list of reasonable work at home goals that can be used to evaluate the success of the arrangement. The Escape Hatch. Finally, if your boss still isn't comfortable with the idea, suggest a trial run. When Marie-France Revelin began working at home, it was on a part-time, trial basis, even though her job involved promoting telework within her own organization. An escape hatch also allows you a gracious way out if you decide you miss the social interaction of the office, or you find you're unable to separate work from family time. The Last Word... is "telework." The trend began with employees wishing to avoid a long commute and free up more time for personal pursuits. Consequently, the term used to describe it was "telecommute." Some experts think that part of the reason telecommuting has been slow to catch on with employers is that the term itself emphasized the personal benefits, rather than the benefits to the organization. Perhaps because it implies the accomplishment of business objectives, "telework" is the term to use today. Where "telecommuting" was about avoidance, "teleworking" is about accomplishment. Show your boss you're serious, use the right expression, and your dream of working at home will become a reality. Teleworking Resources: WAHM.com Jobs Page New teleworking jobs are added every day. Plus links to job search sites where you can search for jobs requiring your specific skills. www.telecommute.org Internet home of the International Telework Association and Council. (I.T.A.C) Use the pop-up list to navigate the site. Lots of great links and checklists. www.ivc.ca One of the most informative and comprehensive telework sites on the Internet. Articles and advice for teleworkers, telemanagers and wanna-be's. Well-designed and easy to navigate. www.joannepratt.com Joanne H. Pratt is the author of the I.T.A.C's 1999 telework survey. Her website is packed with information and advice, ranging from how to know if you'd make a good teleworker, to how to maintain a professional image when you work at home. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconTen Questions to Ask When Considering a Direct Sales Home Business By Cheryl Demas If you need extra income, a flexible work schedule, and you like the idea of owning your own business, you might want to consider joining a direct sales company. There are hundreds of companies to choose from, offering a wide variety of products. But there are also things to watch out for, so use this list to ask the right questions. Do you love the products? Don't think only about the company's commission plan. Think about the products. It is better to make a 25% commission on a product you can sell than a 50% commission on a product you can't sell. Ask yourself, "Would I buy these products even if I wasn't involved with the company?" To be an enthusiastic salesperson, you have to believe in your products. Do you know exactly what you will receive in your starter kit? Most direct sales companies have a starter kit that new representatives must buy. The costs can range from $20 to over $200. You should be given an inventory of exactly what your kit will include before you send your money. The contents should also be listed in specific details. For example: "You will receive 50 full color, 25 page catalogs and 25 tri-fold opportunity brochures" not just "sales materials". Is the starter kit a good value? If you are told that you will be getting a kit worth $300, add up the contents and make sure you're getting your money's worth. Some companies may include an instructional video that they claim is worth $50, or forms that you could buy yourself for much less. The company shouldn't be making money on their starter kits. Do the math. Is there a clear return policy? Be sure that you can return your starter kit if you aren't satisfied, and that you can also return unsold inventory. Some companies specify that items you return must be in reusable condition. Be sure you know what they mean by "reusable." It may mean that your kit or products have to be returned unopened. So ask specific questions about the company's return policy. What is the "buzz" on the company? Search the Internet for the company and ask questions on bulletin boards. Look for forums of people who used to be involved with this company. Find out what they're saying and listen to the reasons they left the company. You can't beat the voice of experience. People who are trying to get you to sign up have a financial interest in getting you to join their company; you need to also talk to people who can give you an unbiased opinion. Is the company a member of the Direct Sales Association (DSA)? Every member company of the DSA pledges to abide by the DSA's code of ethics. It is a good place to start a search for reputable companies: http://www.dsa.org What is the minimum amount of sales you must achieve each month to remain active? Many companies require a certain dollar amount of personal sales that must be met each month for you to receive your commission checks. Find out if your company has such a policy and what their personal sales goals are. How much will you have to sell to make a decent profit? Set income goals for yourself and calculate how much you will have to sell to reach your goals. Also calculate how much of your time will be required to complete a sale, and then calculate your hourly rate. For example, if you present a 2-hour home party and make a $100 profit, you may think that you've earned $50/hour. However if you spent 5 hours recruiting a hostess, preparing your presentation, mailing invitations, and making follow-up calls, then 2 hours on the actual night of the party, and 3 more hours of follow-up and product delivery, your hourly rate would actually be $10/hour. Still not bad, but you need to consider all the tasks that will require your time when you're looking at an opportunity. How long will it take to establish a profitable business? Every business has a startup phase. Calculate what your startup expenses will be and how long you estimate it will take you to build up your customer base and start making a profit. It's important to have a realistic picture and a plan for your business so you won't get frustrated as you begin your business. You will be able to look at your plan and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Will there be pressure to recruit other sales representatives? Direct sales organizations are often set up so that you make a commission on the sales of people you have recruited to become representative themselves, this is known as your downline. This is also called Multilevel Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing. Many legitimate companies use this method of payment, but some may encourage you to use high-pressure sales tactics to recruit your downline. Your income should be based on sales of actual products, and perhaps eventually the sales of those in your downline. But your focus should not be on recruiting others. Find out if you can earn a decent amount through your own personal sales, or if you will be expected to recruit others. Many moms have found great success running their direct sales home businesses. They appreciate the freedom and flexibility it gives them to earn income while staying home with their children. If this sounds good to you, take your time, research the opportunities, and ask questions. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will save you a lot of headaches.Cheryl Demas has published her web site: WAHM.com the Online Magazine for Work-at-Home Moms, since 1995. Her book "The Work-at-Home Moms Guide to Home Business" is available online or at your favorite bookstore. Cheryl lives in California with her husband and two daughters. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconVan Antwerp Pottery - Christina Anderson testimonial For ten years, I had worked 40 -60 hrs/week at ahigh paced photo lab, while my two small childrenlived at daycare. I told myself that this was the bestsituation for everyone. My family would have a house,a good car, new clothes, savings and extra money todo things with as a family. But, being raised myself bybaby-sitters and daycare, I had always dreamed, as ayoung child, of being home everyday with my mom ordad. As nice and loving as the people who baby-sat forme were, nothing was as good as my own mother.Remembering my own childhood yearnings and watching my2 small children go down the same road I had gonedown, I decided to turn things around. I wasdetermined to give my kids what I had, as a child sowished for; a full time mom. At the age of 30, thatchildhood dream became my goal for my own kids. The sacrifices my husband and I have endured inorder for me to stay at home were beyond the credulityof dual income families. We had no cable, never wentout to dinner, had no vacation, no magazinesubscriptions, no new clothes unless absolutelynecessary. But we were a happy family, and I knew mykids#146; every thought, action, need and secret. I wasmom 24 hours/day. What a privilege! Eventually, our living expenses started to rise andmy husband's income remained the same. I knew I had todo something with out giving up my new foundobligation to my kids. With an interest and someexperience in pottery, and a 2 hour gap of free timewhen my kids napped, I knew I could make some money. Van Antwerp Pottery was soon created! I started atthe library. I read every book there was on pottery,marketing and small businesses. I visited localpotters, only listening to the optimistic ones (Ilater learned they were also the successful ones). Atthat point I knew what I needed to start: clay, a kilnand a wheel. I found everything 2nd hand. I practiced during my kid's nap time and at nightuntil I had a line I thought people would want. I thenapproached almost every gift shop in my adjoiningneighborhoods until I had one store in each town whoagreed to buy my pottery wholesale. Customers soon started making requests for differentpieces and colors, so I adapted my line accordingly. Idecided whatever the customers wanted, I woulddevelop that product as part of my line. They werealways right! Now, 4 kids and 8 years later, I am a successfulbusiness mom! My grungy, dark basement has become abright, efficient workshop. I have 4 salesrepresentatives in NY state and WV who do all theselling for me. I also set up a web site to sellretail. ( www.vapottery.com ) There will always be those trying times when I havea big job to get out, and that emergencyparent/teacher conference, but I found that once yourpriorities are set, the solutions are close at hand!As St. Catherine of Siena says, "Nothing great wasever done without much enduring." Christina Anderson Christine's daughter designed pencil holders specifically to help The Dr. Laura Schlessinger Foundation in which 50% of the proceeds go to the foundation. To view/purchase those: Donations and Fund Raising at www.vapottery.com Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Mop Flops Story By Gaile Spalione I became a stay at home mom upon the birth of my first daughter in 1986. It was never planned that I would give up my paying job, so of course we were not financially prepared to cut our income in half. But the moment I held her, I knew I couldn't leave her. I used to roll pennies to go grocery shopping. We gave up a car, so I used to ride the bus with a baby and a bag of rolled coins. I was always looking for ways to make a little extra (with my baby by my side), and I did start up a little side business along the way. (But that's another story!) My most important job was being a mom (and housewife). I soon became the mother of four. So, it seemed for years I had crawlers and toddlers in my home. Believe it or not, I am not crazy clean....as some assume by my invention. However, it did bother me to have my babies crawling around on a dirty floor. This led to my constant washing of my floors. My last daughter was the most attached (still is), and maybe because she's my last baby...I too was more attached. I mean literally....I held her 20 hours out of 24 a day!! This made my floor maintenance quite difficult. So I progressed to towels all over the floor and I would shimmy around with a baby on my hip. Since I sew, I eventually took some old towels and made them into booties so I would no longer have to hop and shimmy around the kitchen floor. Now I could wear my booties around the kitchen and spot clean as I go! This cut down tremendously on big mopping jobs. It prevented muddy prints when water dripped from the sink or dishwasher (or refrigerator ice maker...or dog bowl... and who knows what else)! I also loved wearing them when I did mop so I could walk all over the wet floor. I was no longer restricted to working my way out of the kitchen. I could even go back in and retrieve anything if needed. (Also, my kids love wearing them and playing on the floor with a squirt bottle!) My friends and family loved the idea and asked for their own pairs. I began sewing more and perfecting them by lining them in vinyl and adding a pocket for towels or sponges or whatever! And, well, as I said in the beginning I'm always looking for ways to make a little extra, so I decided to invent MOP FLOPS! I have a lot of people who believe in me and MOP FLOPS, especially my parents. Even though, they work two jobs each themselves to make ends meet, they mortgaged their home to help me get started. We have just gotten the official Patent from the US Patent office this past October and are currently trying to market on a restricted budget, since of course I am still a stay at home mom struggling to pay the bills and buy shoes and braces for four. I am currently selling MOP FLOPS at the local swap meet and by word of mouth. You can also order MOP FLOPS from my website....check it out! www.mopflops.com and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Dr. Laura Foundation for neglected and abused children. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWhat's On Your Desk? Top 25 Clutter Culprits in the Home Office By Amanda Formaro According to a recent poll conducted amongst busy parents who operate their businesses out of their home, clutter is an ongoing problem in search of a solution. Between business calls and diaper changes, these parents do all they can for their families while busily earning their income that allows them to stay home. Unfortunately, something has to suffer. If it's not their family life or their thriving businesses, then who? In this case it's not a "who", but a "what". You guessed it... their desks. Top 25 Clutter Culprits in the Home Office #25) tools; screwdrivers, screws #24) articles of clothing; socks, children's underwear, t-shirts #23) electronics; radios, walkmans, mini TV's, video camera #22) keys #21) aromatherapy; candles, rooms spray, essential oil #20) bank statements/bills; misc papers, applications, insurance #19) books #18) household cleaners #17) magazines/newspapers; full or clippings #16) music CD's #15) purse/wallet #14) receipts; ATM, grocery store, credit card #13) shoes #12) make up, hair brushes, hair accessories #11) photos; loose and in albums #10) medicine; creams, pills, ointment, sprays, sunscreen #9) baby items; diapers, wipes, bottles, hygeine #8) coins, money, loose change #7) camera/film #6) toiletries; toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes, toilet paper, kleenex #5) dirty dishes utensils #4) food, edible or otherwise #3) kid's papers; school literature, artwork, coloring books, markers, crayons, stickers #2) toys And the Number One (by an overwhelming margin) cause of clutter on the desk of a work at home parent is........... GARBAGE; candy wrappers, scraps of paper, popsicle sticks, used kleenex, broken crayons, unidentifiable objects, empty bags, etc. What's on your desk? This question was asked in the WAHM.com Question of the Week . Amanda Formaro lives in Wisconsin with her husband and four children. She is the publisher of familycorner.com magazine. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconNational Association of At-Home Mothers Info Guide #22 How to Look For and Get Legitimate At-Home Work From an Employer in Your Area Maybe you#146;re a new mom, amazed and drawn to the joy of motherhood at a level deeper than you ever imagined. You can#146;t bear the thought of returning to your job after nine short weeks of maternity leave. Or maybe you have returned to work, your children are a little older now, and your dream of at-home motherhood is calling you just as strongly as the day you gave birth. It#146;s the modern day dilemma for moms in the outside working world. Often, while your heart keeps pleading for you to stay at home, your head keeps talking you out of it. You can#146;t afford to quit your job and give up the income, right? Well, maybe not. Today, quitting your outside job doesn#146;t necessarily mean having to give up an income. For the entrepreneurial type, the good news is small home businesses are on the rise, and there are an array of resources to help you get started. But what if you#146;re not the entrepreneurial type. Maybe investing in your own home business isn#146;t an option, or it might be that you work best within the structure that corporate American provides. But is working for an employer from home really a possibility? Believe it or not, corporate downsizing has actually increased your opportunities for working for an employer from home. Work usually done by full-time employees is being contracted out, and the need for part-time and/or seasonal work has grown. More than ever before, earning a livable income from home is possible, including doing work for an employer. With a sincere effort on your part, some help from sources you#146;ll read about in this Info Guide, and, of course, determination to follow your heart#146;s desire, you can stay at home and still earn the income you need. Where Do You Look for At-Home Work Opportunities from an Employer?Below are some ideas to help stimulate your thinking and point you in a direction that can help you uncover work-from-home opportunities from employers near you. Be sure to enlist your own creativity. Where else might you look; what other talents, skills, or hobbies do you have that you personally use but haven#146;t applied to a job setting yet; what other benefits of a work-at-home arrangement can you present to a potential employer to gain their interest in giving you a chance? Just a line of caution: what we are talking about is working for an employer that has offices in your area. We are not endorsing independent work-at-home, assembly-type or other work offered nationally by companies that may or may not have an office in your area. Classified, Help Wanted, or Employment Ads One of the most obvious places to check on what kind of work is available in your area is in the classified advertising section of area newspapers and shoppers. You#146;ll probably find that most often an employer wants you on-site. However, some employees can be persuaded to hire you on your terms, working from home, if you have the skills they are looking for, and the work lends itself to this arrangement. Personnel Departments at Major Local Employers Call and talk to people in the personnel departments of the larger employers in your area. Find out which ones are open to alternative work options for their employees. Find out what kinds of skills they#146;re looking for, and about the need for contract work. Past or Current Employers Be sure to explore all the options that might be available to you in your current job, or jobs past. If you have been a reliable, contributing employee, chances are good that you boss will listen to your ideas for working at home rather than risk losing your valuable skills. Network Ask your relatives, friends and neighbors about employers they#146;re aware of that are in need of help and/or are open to alternative work options. Once your family and friends are aware of what you are trying to do, they#146;ll also be on the look-out for an opportunity for you. Mailing Services / Fulfillment Houses Many businesses offer assembly/production-type piece work. And many times, this is work that can be taken home. Check with businesses that produce parts, fulfill orders, or provide mailing services for other larger businesses. Sheer volume often forces these types of businesses to look for help however they can get it, and they remain flexible to varying work options. As you consider these businesses in your area, also keep in mind which ones may have seasonal pushes, i.e., especially busy during Christmas, springtime, and/or other times of the year. Printers / Publishers Again, volumes of material produced by printers and publishers often leaves employers in this industry flexible to work options that include at-home work. Schools and Universities I you are skilled at work processing, you might consider checking with local schools and universities on the need for contracted services. You could help them with processing their own paperwork, or be available to students or faculty who need typing assistance for a research project or thesis paper, for example. Temporary Agencies Check with temporary agencies in the area about their work-from-home opportunities. Temporary agencies are a good source for finding part-time work that can later be turned into a work-from-home situation after proving your value and negotiating such an arrangement. On-line Employment Agencies You may be able to find a job with a local business on-line, with the many job opportunity Web sites, but the chances are slim. More likely you#146;ll find various computer-related jobs such as telecommuting, research, Web site board or #147;channel#148; moderators or developers, etc. There are legitimate jobs on-line, but remember, the same opportunity scams that are in the newspapers are on-line, plus more! You must be very cautious, and check-out both the opportunity and the business carefully through the Better Business Bureau, Attorneys General, etc. Unfortunately, you may not easily find a mailing address, etc. Insist on this type of information plus references before getting involved. Ask, Ask, Ask! Ask everybody and anybody you get into conversation with, who they know of that might need your help and would be open to talking to you about work options. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen in their book, The Aladdin Factor , suggest asking according to the following principles: Ask as if you expect to get what you want. Ask someone who can give you what you want. Be clear and specific about what you want. Ask from your heart. Ask with humor and creativity. Give in order to get. Ask repeatedly. And, most importantly, keep asking! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain; all the while you are asking, you are increasing your odds of finding just the opportunity you#146;ve been looking for. Consider the list you#146;ve just read a start. Nothing can replace your own ingenuity and the knowledge you have of the business community in which you live. Hopefully the above suggestions have stimulated your thinking and have given you the push you need to begin your search. Your greatest ally in reaching your dreams is your own personal desire and commitment. If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. Simply keep focused on your goal, through the valleys as well as the peaks, and leave no stone unturned until you have landed that at-home job you have worked so hard to get. Preparing Yourself for Getting At-Home Work Write a resume similar to one you would prepare for any other job. List your technical skills and experience, of course, but be particularly sure to stress qualities that reinforce your ability to be as productive from home as the work site: reliable, highly self-motivated, efficient, independent worker, trustworthy, focused, goal-oriented, etc. Don#146;t forget to include references that will verify not only your technical abilities but your valuable personal qualities as well. Include a cover letter that lists the advantages of hiring an at-home employee. Some of the advantages include: Studies have shown improved productivity by 15-20%. Reduced cost of office space and equipment. Improved morale, which consistently raises performance. At-home workers are pleased with their work arrangement, which shows in the quality of their work. Improved management skills and outputs result from creating clear goals, measuring results, and managing work and time. Access to new labor pools. The skills a company needs aren#146;t always available if full-time, on-site employment is the only work option. Less office socializing and wasting of time and money. Reduced turnover. At-home workers value their work arrangement. Reduced cost of training due to turnover. Reduced need for parking and other logistical concerns. Bottom line: Work-from-home saves money when planned and managed properly. Also, stress your flexibility to drop-off, pick-up, attend important meetings, work on a trial basis, etc. Advertise yourself! Placing a classified can be an inexpensive way of gauging what#146;s out there. Your ad may read something like, #147;Highly skilled, highly motivated worker looking for flexible work option. Benefits are: increased output, quality, and productivity. To discuss, call me personally at 123-4567. Jeann.#148; Make the ad personal by listing your specific skills and include the benefits you think sell your offer the best. You may even use classified advertising to advertise the varying skills representing a network of mothers looking for at-home work (see #4 below). Consider forming a network of mothers who are all seeking at-home work. With the power of numbers in everyone#146; favor, the network acts as a marketing force, where everyone is looking for opportunities for everyone else. You can also advertise the collective skills of the group, and pass along work between each other when a project requires many hours and/or different sets of skills. Going the Extra Mile You#146;ve worked all the angles, remained persistent, and have finally landed the work-from-home opportunity you set out to get. The hard part is over, right? Basically, yes. But to insure that all your hard-fought effort doesn#146;t slip between the cracks, you need to go the extra mile in carefully managing your work arrangement and boss#146;s satisfaction as closely as the work itself. Include regular communication with your boss as a part of your work schedule. Checking in on a consistent basis to talk about how things are going and to identify any problems, helps you avert anything that could jeopardize your job. And continue to sell yourself by gently reminding your boss from time to time of the benefits the company is gaining from this work-from-home arrangement. ### In the end, it#146;s up to you. Finding a work-from-home job arrangement and then following through with the work in a way that pleases the company will take time and determination on your part. Be with a strong desire in your heart and your goal clearly focused in your head, you can build a lasting work-from-home arrangement and live the at-home motherhood lifestyle you#146;ve been dreaming about. copy; 1998 National Association of At-Home Mothers. All rights reserved. Permission granted for use on drlaura.com This Info Guide was provided by AtHomeMothers.com where you#146;ll find complete support and practical information for the at-home motherhood lifestyle, including the National Association of At-Home Mothers, At Home Mother magazine, and much more! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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