Monday, December 8, 2008

Working at home

Everybody wants my job. At least, everybody thinks they want my job. They don't even care what my job IS. When somebody asks where I work, I say "I work from home" and before I can even get to the tedious and boring explanation, their faces light up.

"Oh really??" they say. "I've always wanted to do that. How did you get started?"

"Well," I say, "I started as a copywriter at a small marketing company - "

"No, no," they say. "Skip that tedious and boring part. Just tell me how I can get a cushy gig like yours, working at home!"

You see, people have this glorified vision of what "working at home" is really like. Ok. Yes. It does have its good points. But really, it's not for everyone. Let's look at what it takes to succeed as a telecommuter/freelancer/pajama-clad-slouch.

Just a sec, gotta get some Cheetos.

Ok. Requirement number one: You must have a very short attention span.
If you enjoy sitting in one place and working continuously for 8 hours, you might as well get an office job. That way at least you'll have a chance of getting decent health insurance. There are times when I work 10 or 12 hours in a day, but it's usually broken up into 10-minute segments. Maybe 20 minutes if there's nothing to watch on Turner Movie Classics.

Requirement number two: You must enjoy your own company. A lot.
Think about it. You will be by yourself all day, every day. That may sound wonderful in theory, but in reality your social skills will gradually be eroded until you become the quirky lady who wears floppy hats and clunky necklaces and stands just a little too close to people so everybody ends up warning their children not to accept candy from her.

Requirement number three: You must find a job that lets you work from home.
This, of course, is the tricky part. There are lots of "jobs" that are listed in all-capital letters online, that deceptively claim to let you work at home. Do not fall for these ads. Nobody will pay you $1000 a week for stuffing envelopes. Nobody even USES envelopes any more.

Probably the best strategy for finding an at-home job, is to ask somebody who already does it how they got started. Make sure you are asking somebody who is successful and helpful and experienced.

I will let you know if I meet somebody like that.

In the meantime, I hear TMC is airing a Bette Davis marathon.

Gotta go.


Anonymous said...

How true!
I think there are unique challenges being at home by yourself all the time. Contact is often limited to short phone conversations and email. That old fashioned face-to-face stuff seems to suffer a bit.

lacy said...

I am actually working on my writing now. I started a blog because I figured that way I could say what I need/want to say. And if my writing sucks at first, then it is just a blog and no one will really care, or notice for that matter. I am curious how you came along the job you have though. I used to write copy for a local radio station. And believe it or not, I was actually pretty good at it. I miss it! I still write all the copy for the company I work for, you know, to keep my feet wet. So, I was just wondering how you got started?

Lesley said...

Hi Lacy,
I agree, blogging is a wonderful way to just write whatever you want to write.

I'll have to do a post on how I ended up with this job - it's kind of a long story. I'm a Christian, so I believe God led the way, even though I didn't know where on earth I would end up. It's really neat when things just fall into place. I'll do a post on it soon!


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