What you should know about working at home

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Many people stuck in cubicles dream of working at home - after all, who wouldn't want to wake up at noon, work in their pajamas, and make tons of money. Those of us who make working at home work for us, however, know that the reality is often much different than the image projected by many advertisers. If you're considering a work at home career, there are a few things you should know before you get started, especially if you have children at home.

1. Working at home is WORK!

Working at home will be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things you've ever done. You'll have to set your own schedule, adhere to your own deadlines, keep track of your own books. You'll wear many hats - accountant, manager, marketer, and parent - often several hats at the same time! Organization and dedication are key elements of success, but so is the ability to survive on far too much caffeine while meeting a looming deadline.

2. Time Management is Essential

If you work at home, managing your time wisely is key. If you work at home and parent at the same time, managing your time wisely is essential to survival. You'll become an expert at multitasking (a word which, in this case, means the ability to answer the phone and feed your children cheerios at the same time). You'll learn to work in small, manageable chunks of time, wherever they can be found. In short, you'll become a master juggler, managing both your personal and professional lives at the same time.

3. Focus is Key

Although there will be days when it will seem impossible, the ability to focus really is important. This means setting limits with your spouse, children, and neighbors about when you're available to meet their needs and when you're working. This balance is different for everyone. Some people work well at home with a desk in a central location, allowing them to tend to family needs while working. Others work best in their own office, far from prying toddler fingers.

It's your new career - you make the calls. Don't be afraid to set limits on phone calls and visits, as well. Avoid allowing your friends and neighbors to take advantage of the fact that you work from home - you're a professional, not a fill in babysitter or chauffeur. Make working at home work for you by following these easy guidelines.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau