General chatter - Off Topic - Those of you that work from home

12-18-2007, 09:11 PM
What kind of work do you do? How did you get into telecommuting or what not? Any advice or tips for someone tossing around the idea of working from home?

I've been thinking about it for a while now...I just don't know anyone personally who has a career that allows most or all of their work to be done from home.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12-18-2007, 10:03 PM
When my kids were little I worked at home to supplement our income. I was a medical transcriber. It was very, very hard! It was hard 'cause my kids were little and demanded a lot from me. It was hard 'cause I had a million other things to do at home. It was hard 'cause have you ever listened to doctors talk? I mean, really listen? Imagine that in a microphone. The kicker here was when my oldest son was in second grade and drew a picture of mom sitting at the computer as a how-you-see-your-mom type of assignment for school.

But, I did get to do it on my own time (although I did have deadlines) and the pay was good. You do have to have a medical background, though. Also, it is tough depending on the income when your doctor goes on vacation or you lose the account for one of a million reasons. And, there is start up costs involved.

I also built databases while in college from home. Not sure how I got into that exactly but it didn't pay well, sometimes I would have to wait until the "next pay period" for my check (I did always get paid). And, while it didn't dawn on me at the time, I was building databases for telemarketers to call on you! Sorry about that, btw. jk. They were actually cold calling on businesses but it was the same sort of concept.

I discovered through these experiences that I really need to be away from home for a while...most days!

Good luck to you!

12-18-2007, 10:11 PM
I babysit out of my home. Due to state laws I can only have 5 children including my own in the home. I have 5-10 kids a week, days vary for each of them. I am still able to get things done around the house, it's a bit noisy at times, but it works for me. In the back of Parents magazine or American Baby there are ads for work at home stuff! A lot of my friends actually have started doing craft things and sell stuff at craft fairs,flea markets,online,ext...Good luck

12-18-2007, 11:41 PM
Look at your local library, they have lots of books on home businesses. My Dh and I used to make high-end quality wooden toys and we sold them thru gift stores. The big thing here now is fresh 'organic' vegetables, if you like to garden; they just couldn't get enuff of them this year at the farmer's markets, where by the way, you can also sell almost any home crafts as well.

I know people that do typing from home (resumes, school papers, court records), graphic designs from home, crafts, veggies, weaving rugs and gift items, homemade sewing (like bags from jeans), quilts, and such. These items can be sold at flea and farmer's markets too.

Look for a need and fill it; also look for something that requires only 'low' overhead costs (like using something you already have, like your computer).

12-18-2007, 11:51 PM
I've been looking into this lately... haven't had much luck finding anything yet, but I will say, there are a bunch of scams out there!

12-19-2007, 12:11 AM
I'm a medical transcriber and I don't have a medical background. I just have google! But I do have exceptional spelling and grammar skills, which are important.
I just started one of those classes through the mail and then a friend heard about it and needed people to work for her. She hired me and did all the training and paid for it (and I quit the class before wasting my $$). Check the paper and ask around. Wish you lived here-- the lady I type for is always looking for more help!
Initially I had to pay $200 for a machine and $85 for Stedman's medical spellchecker, but now I do digital, which means no driving, no visiting dr's offices and the lady I work for paid for the foot pedal, so no expenses. I even get to sell my minicassette transcription machine!

HOWEVER, my rear end has never been so huge and hard to tone (sitting a LOT) and as my daughter has gotten older, I have had to cut back more and more. I used to do 10 tapes a week, and now do only 2 because baby is SOOO active and demanding. When #2 comes along, I think I'll be through typing... we'll see.

I also do Mary Kay, but quickly learned that that is not a "work from home" job-- I was always out at OTHER people's houses doing a skin care class.

Good luck. I think I'm going to start working on writing a book later. Something I've always wanted to do!

12-19-2007, 01:09 AM
I personally have done medical transcription from my home for 14 years. I had gone to court reporting school, graduated, and then decided it was not for me. I pretty much self-taught myself the medical terminology through a couple of books and with the experience I had from school. You can take a course in medical transcription at a local adult school to see if this is for you. It's not for everyone. If you have good English skills (grammar and word usage) and good typing skills, you can learn the medical terminology. It's not that hard. It is rough to get started in this business, but once you get a little experience it gets easier. This has allowed me to be home with my pre-teen and teen kids, take them to games and practices, and in general keep my family under control. I would not trade it for anything. Now I am spoiled to working my own hours in my jeans and slippers. Another thing about getting started is that you can work for bigger transcription companies over the internet (less money but valuable experience). That way you aren't beating the pavement looking for clients. There are some great self-teaching medical transcription books out there. I am sure you can find them on the internet. Hope I was some help.

12-19-2007, 01:28 AM
I've done the opposite. I work at a preschool and take both my kids to work with me. Since it's on site of a YMCA, there aren't age group restrictions so both of my kids could come with me, stay with me the whole time, and I could take a break to feed us all dinner. (Or nurse, when we did that) Works out wonderfully for me, and my kids really enjoy it. Taking your kids to work with you might be an avenue to explore.

12-19-2007, 12:59 PM
I work at home occassionally although in the past I've done things where I worked at home 3 days per week. I work for a company that is supportive of those who would like to work at home in cases where it is feasible. Everyone I know who works at home in my company is technical and can do their work at home pretty much as easily as if they were in the office.

Some people I know that work at home full time for my company include...
Technical writers
Those who deal with information security, particularly policy

Although it probably would vary from company to company and some employers may require being in the office full time while others recognize the ability to work at home.

12-19-2007, 03:15 PM
You know some of my friends take fast food restaurant orders from home. There are a couple companies that do it I think. They dont make TONS but it is nice to be at home, they provide the computer/internet for you also.

12-22-2007, 03:09 PM
It was very, very hard! It was hard 'cause my kids were little and demanded a lot from me. It was hard 'cause I had a million other things to do at home. This is SO ME right now! It's hard work to work at home. I expected it to be. I've only been doing it for 3 months. I have a 2.5 and 4 year old, so they are at the ages where they still need me for everything...I'm not complaining...that's how it's supposed to be! I actually work 2 jobs. I work outside of our home as a lab tech on Mondays & Fridays in a peds clinic (where I worked pre-kids) and then I work from home doing bookkeeping/payroll/taxes for 2 small businesses - which actually is a full time job. I spend a lot of time working once DH is home in the evenings and on the weekends, since I only get 2-5 not-so-quality hours in each day when I'm home with the girls. There are many benefits to it! I like it that I can bring $ in and still be with my girls 5 days a week. I can go to the gym easily during the day. I can go shopping whenever. I can get on 3FC whenever!

ETA: I thoroughly enjoy my M & F working outside of our home too! Well worth the $81/day I have to pay in childcare costs. Even though after paying for childcare it means I'm only working for $14/hour. It gives me a nice change of pace.

12-23-2007, 12:59 AM
I found this website that seems to be pretty comprehensive and informative ~ check it out!