We all work differently in today’s world. Some of us commute to offices, some travel around the globe, while others work from home; either freelancing, running online businesses or being stay-at home moms. We all work hard and deserve to be recognized for our efforts. Unfortunately, people who work from home are often not taken as seriously as those who are in an office setting. Feeling invisible hurts our feelings. Those who do not work from home often do not understand what is involved. There are ways to make your work efforts more prominent to your family and friends.
Being a stay-at-home mom is both a rewarding and very busy job. It is a 24/7 job. A 2018 survey by Salary.com, the leader in compensation data, planning and analytics, gathered a handful of jobs that reflect a day in the life of a mom and estimated that the medium annual salary of stay-at-home mom would be $162,581. Let those “Oh, you’re just a mom” naysayers ponder them apples! The jobs gathered included 33 different positions from academic advisor, bookkeeper, event planner, executive housekeeper, dietician, chef, janitor, teacher and the list goes on. Never let anyone demean that role. It is one of the most difficult and important jobs one can have. Be proud of all that you do to care for your family and don’t hesitate to talk about it.
As a freelancer, it is difficult to get respect. Many people assume that you are too lazy, don’t have the skills to get a “real” job, or you are just doing this for money until you find a “real” job. Demanding respect as a freelancer is difficult. You’re up against stereotypes and you’re an army of one. There is no company name to back you up. It is important to charge what you are worth- the same as others with similar skills levels. Don’t allow someone to make you feel “lesser than” because you’re a freelancer. If anything, being a freelancer makes you superior because you had the smarts and the guts to strike out on your own. Speak up in a conversation and tell people about what you are working on.
Starting up an online business is not an easy task. A web-based business has the same legal obligations as any business. However, it does not require a large financial outlay which is a big reason why people start them. Starting up is no small task. First you have to do market research to find a niche. If you are selling a product no one wants, your business will fail. You have to source your product, unless it is something you make yourself. Once that is done, you have to do all the start-up work of choosing a domain, setting up a merchant account with your bank and making the necessary arrangements to receive payments from various credit cards, designing a website, either on your own or through a web hosting company, keeping your target audience in mind, registering your business with the secretary of state, getting all necessary licenses and getting tax ID numbers. Finally, you have to find ways to advertise to get your web business known. Once established, you will find that being an entrepreneur often involves more than a 40 hour work week. Make friends and family aware of all that is involved with creating and running your web-based business. Never minimize all that you do to make your business successful.
Don’t be shy to talk about your endeavors the next time you are involved in a conversation about work. People might not understand what you do, therefore the more you tell them, the more they will be interested and ask you questions. Never say, “I am just a stay-at-home mom,” or “I dabble in freelance.” This undermines your work and also feeds into perceived roles. Look for analogies in the conversation so you can chime in. A funny story about something that happened to you can also give you an opportunity to connect your work life to theirs. When all is said and done, you know how hard you work in your at-home role(s) and don’t need acknowledgement from others to feel proud of your accomplishments every day. While you may have a great time conversing with family and friends about all kinds of topics, you still want to be included when the discussion turns to work-related things. Speak up and be proud!