Ahhhh, the eternal quest for working at home… building your own hours…charging your own fees…answering to no one… be your own boss….

Yeah, this is what those ‘work from home’ advertisements will try to sell you; humanity’s dream job, all from home.  It sounds wonderful on paper.  But then, most things sound wonderful on paper; hell, I bet I could make a root canal sound wonderful on paper (Have teeth that you just can’t bear to part with?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to eat whatever you want again?  Well, dentistry has come far enough to let you save your teeth no matter how bad you think they are through the magic of the root canal!)  Ok, that was terrible, but the point is there-working from home as anything from a writer to a website designer sounds like a dream come true.

However, dreams only happen when you’re asleep and you always wake up before the good part.  I am one of those work at home, make my own hours, bill my own bills, work for myself people and let me tell you, those ads are bologna.

First of all, I don’t make my own hours.  Actually, my son makes my hours because I can only work when he’s asleep or very distracted wtih something else (and then I feel guilty).  So, I end up working about 2 hours during the day and from 8pm-11pm.  That’s not a lot of time to do any real work and then I feel a little bad.  sigh….  Before having my son I had more flexibility, but I was also making a NAME for myself which meant working every day at lightning speeds. 

Second, I can’t bill whatever I want.  First of all, many of my clients can’t afford to pay tons of money (at least not for longer than a week or two) and second of all, competition is strangely fierce and stupid.  You get bids (I’m not joking here) as low as $10.00 for like 20 articles  Puh-leeze; I can’t live on that and frankly I don’t see how they do.  (I suspect a lot of copy/paste jobs, but maybe someone can verify that for me).  Then again, some clients begrudge every dollar spent and try to only pay .5/article or less which is hogswash.  These articles take time and effort to do correctly!  But, you still get many employers going the cheapest possible route which leaves less for us.  Plus, you only get paid when there’s work and if there’s no work, no one’s paying you; it’s kind of like working in a resource job like lumber or mining; you work when there’s work and then you stew.  I wish I could get EI for those times, ha ha!

What is true is the working for myself and that’s part of what makes this job worthwhile.  I can choose who I work for from day one, from choosing which projects to bid on  to choosing who to keep working for and choosing who to dump.  I’ve dumped 2 clients in my career thus far, one who was stingy, persnickety and annoying and another who sexually harrassed me and dumping both felt very good!  The clients I keep longterm are not only friendly, understanding and generous, but also become friends; people I can yack with outside of The Office and who ask after my family and wish me Happy Birthday.  They’re not my bosses, they’re my partners and my clients and that difference (when combined with my love of writing and research) is what makes this job really nice, especially when compared to those minimum wage paying Macdonalds jobs.  Sure, I don’t make tons of money, (or really very much money) but I am respected and liked and that counts for quite a bit.

Plus I get to stay with my son which in this day and age is pretty rare.  I don’t know how people afford daycare nowadays, but I’m glad we don’t have to worry about it! 

Well, that’s all for today’s blog post.  I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you fine folks on Wednesday.