- Saturday’s Working Moms Virtual Brunch was AMAZING! I am already receiving requests for another one, so it is in the works. J Stay tuned! Many thanks again to the phenomenal working moms who shared their tips and a huge thank you to the working moms who carved two hours out of their Saturday morning to spend time at the virtual table with us. Your attendance and participation was very much appreciated.
- The current mind-blowing price of $275 for the 90-minute strategy session (WITH BONUSES) is coming to an end on Friday, 3/4 promptly at 11:59pm ET. Effective Saturday, 3/5 at 12am, the price will return to $500 for the full package (PLUS a few new enhancements) with an option to split the cost into two payments.
- I’ve heard you and a Facebook Group is in the works! Stay tuned for the new community and be sure to share the opportunity to join with others.
It was brought to my attention this past weekend that many of you are not yet fully convinced about the significant benefits associated with having a presence on LinkedIn, especially those seeking opportunities to work from home. A complete profile and engagement in relevant LinkedIn groups will significantly increase your chances of landing a virtual role. What better way to showcase your written communication skills and ability to work in virtual teams/groups?
If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably already know that I spend over 90% of my time on LinkedIn when I am looking for solid candidates to fill our open positions. 90%! Please also know that many of my fellow Recruiters prefer this sourcing tool over the many other options.
I’m not a huge fan of too much repetition so I won’t go into my usual lengthy speech here in this post. I only ask that you do two things this week:
Identify the issue and address it head on.
If you’re willing to share, please leave a note in the Comment section below letting us know what you believe has kept you from fully embracing LinkedIn as a networking tool and what you plan on doing this week to remove the hurdle(s).
I bumped into a woman at the beauty supply store a few nights ago who complimented me on my long black coat which is several years old, but still very warm and super cozy. She went on to say how much she needed one because she works outside at the local car auction in some pretty chilly temps sometimes. Not to brag, but I had to let her know I work in my house in my comfy clothes and couldn’t imagine what that was like. There’s just something about the cold that would definitely cause me to quit my job.
Her next question to me was one that I’ve heard a few times lately… “How did you find a job that wasn’t a scam?”
That one question led to a very high-level response because of time constraints, but I’ll take a moment to expand on here for you all.
Have you ever heard of something that’s too good to be true? Of course you have! You probably thought that same thing when you read the title of this blog.
“Is she serious? Who does she expect to believe that she works from home and makes that kind of money? It must be some kind of scheme and she’s trying to recruit people to ‘join her team.’”
“Six figures doing what??”
“Next! This is definitely a scam like the other ones that promise $2,000 per week with no experience.”
I know… I know… I know…. In the interest of complete transparency, let’s address each of those before we move on.
So how do I determine if a job is a scam?
In addition to going with my gut, I do my due diligence. Some of these hold more weight than others, but you really need to consider each of the following:
Again, if your gut tells you something is wrong…go with it. And before you go, be sure to join the weekly email list for tips and my very own hand-picked virtual (aka work-from-home aka remote aka telecommute) opportunities of the week.
Click HERE to ensure you receive the next email in your inbox.
P.S. How did I find the job? A former colleague of mine reached out to me to see if I was interested. Ask yourself this: Are you doing all you can in your current role to increase the likelihood of landing an opportunity to work from home?
Always wishing you nothing but the best,
“Kristina, I’ll start looking for a work-from-home job after I buy a new laptop.”
“I don’t have a desk yet and I really don’t have the space in my apartment for one.”
“Do I need a house phone or can I use my cell phone? I don’t want to have the extra phone bill.”
These are some of the more common concerns/questions I receive on a regular basis from those considering the transition to virtual employment and they are all valid. Let’s address them one at a time as I share my experiences with you all about my early days working from home.
Every employer is different and every role requires different tools. I happened to own a fairly new laptop prior to transitioning to a virtual role, but my employer also provided me with one in addition to a monitor and headset. With that said, well-written job descriptions will usually include home office requirements. In the absence of those, never hesitate to ask as it presents an opportunity for the employer to revisit the language included in (or omitted from) the job posting and will ensure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Never assume either way.
Note: If you are required to provide your own hardware, please take a moment to confirm compatibility if you have a Mac as the standard seems to be a PC.
A designated space
There are actually some companies that require you to have a space in your home devoted solely to performing your job duties. I happened to start in my dining area where I spread my papers and laptop across the table and my children and I sat at barstools for mealtime until I bought a small black desk within a couple of weeks from Staples that looked a little like this:
I now have a designated space in my home devoted specifically to performing my job duties, which includes an L-shaped desk. I also have a school-aged child and no pets, so noise is not an issue, which is one of the concerns with working from home. This could potentially be a major issue if you have constant distractions during normal business hours, specifically if you work a phone-based job. We'll talk about these in more detail in a later post.
Note: I highly encourage you to seek advice from your tax professional regarding the "designated space" as this will be important information to disclose when filing your taxes.
A home phone
I have had a landline for quite some time so this was never really an issue for me. My first employer actually reimbursed for internet and phone expenses including installation for those who needed to establish new landline service. This definitely is not the case with every employer, but I absolutely would not let the lack of a landline discourage you. Many of my former colleagues used their cell phones with no issues and simply submitted those phone bills for reimbursement. Again, my suggestion would be to check the job description and ask questions if the requirements are not clear.
The one common theme here - ask about the requirements if the job description is not clear because every employer is different and every role requires different tools. Now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s talk about finding the right position for YOU. A great place to start would be to sign up for the weekly email newsletter in which I include work-from-home tips and opportunities. Click HERE to ensure the next issue lands in your inbox.
Have you ever tried to focus on something you weren’t really the slightest bit interested in (watching caulk or paint dry) while thinking about all of the other more productive things you could be doing with your time (getting a headstart on preparing dinner or sorting laundry or hunting for dirty laundry in the little one's room)?
I absolutely love what I do day in and day out and my goal when working with my clients is to ensure they do the same. And yes…it’s true and I don’t take it for granted at all. I am a full-time virtual recruiter for a financial services organization and I am convinced my purpose is connected to helping others identify their options and set and achieve professional goals. That is why I enjoy it so much.
I am literally walking in my purpose.
What does this have to do with working from home?
You absolutely must have a genuine interest in the work you’re doing at home to avoid being distracted by dinner prep, laundry sorting, dishwasher unloading, and a “quick” trip to Target…as if there is such a thing.
Believe me when I tell you that I used to struggle with the latter since there’s a Super Target a mile away from my house. If it’s not one thing to distract you, it’s another such as your comfy bed that has extended a personal invitation for you to take a nap, your favorite daytime show with the latest celebrity gossip that you absolutely can't miss, or the friend who’s just passing through your neighborhood and wants to chat for a “few minutes” about you-know-who.
I understand how exciting the thought of landing an opportunity to work from home is, but don’t get so excited that you forget to be strategic and you end up accepting an opportunity that doesn’t genuinely interest you and isn't a good match for your skills and experience. It starts with knowing exactly what you want. What does your ideal position (work-from-home or otherwise) look like? Be honest with yourself and be okay with not knowing the answer to that question…yet.
--Let's pause here for a second because one tool that you absolutely MUST check out is The Essential Work-from-Home Starter Guide!
I send a weekly newsletter with few current opportunities to work from home. That, however, is only the starting point. In order to really excel professionally and financially, you absolutely need to start with an assessment of your skills and experience. We don’t stop there, though, because that’s not even enough. I assess the virtual employment space on a weekly basis for my clients and can tell you where the HOT jobs are and the companies you should target. We can also devise a networking strategy tailored to your existing connections. Click HERE for more details on working with me.
When you love what you do, you are focused on committing your workday to doing it successfully thereby positioning you for success. How do you think I hit the six-figure mark? :)
What does your ideal opportunity look like? Feel free to share it in the Comment section below. It just might lead to a networking opportunity.
Not receiving the email newsletter yet? Click HERE and I’ll ensure you’re on the list for the next one.
As always, wishing you nothing but the best…
"A woman who walks in purpose doesn't have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her." - iBloom
Would you believe me if I told you I never saw myself as a business owner? I knew I wanted the flexibility that I believed came with entrepreneurship, but I also knew I wanted a steady income to support myself and my daughters. There was nothing steady about entrepreneurship, so I simply felt stuck in a typical day job for many years.
I’ll tell you about a very personal and eye-opening time for me that really prompted this transition into the work-from-home space.
Shortly after my little one (now 9) was born, I knew I needed to return to work because I had not been at my employer long enough to qualify for maternity leave. ‘No work’ equaled ‘no pay’ and that simply wasn’t an option as a single mother.
My research to find childcare in a city I wasn’t completely settled in yet after having only lived there a short time proved to be fairly simple, at first. I hired a live-in nanny I found on Craigslist (what a blessing) and she turned out to be absolutely amazing…at a cost, of course. She was worth every penny, though, and I wouldn’t have traded her for anything in the world.
In comes my reality check.
My oldest daughter (now 18) was diagnosed with ADHD when she was in kindergarten and the behavior issues were becoming more and more unbearable. In the interest of making what could be a very lengthy blog post a little shorter, she started to become aggressive towards the nanny. It wasn’t long before the nanny just decided not to show up for work one day.
(Quick pause to say I believe in the importance of transparency as I know sharing my story might help someone else on their journey.)
I was absolutely devastated, but I understood.
I had just returned to work, though, so my stress level went through the roof at that point. I reached out to a close relative who agreed to step in and provide assistance. They were dealing with some issues at the time, as I later found out, and Monday morning came and went...no call and no show.
Again, I was absolutely devastated!
I could go on and on about this story, but it was during this time I knew that working from home was the best thing for me. It wasn’t until my father became very ill, however, that I actually moved forward with making this dream a reality. I started with a very candid conversation with my manager, which led to a very candid conversation with her manager, which led to a connection for an opportunity on a different team that was fully endorsed by my current manager because she understood the necessity.
(Another quick pause to say that, in addition to virtual work not being ideal for every employee, it is also not a good fit for every manager. It takes a certain set of skills to execute the management of a virtual team effectively.)
Do you see how critical networking is in the virtual marketplace? It’s not enough to network, however, because you can ask for opportunities until you are blue in the face and be denied. You have to also be able to effectively communicate why your request should be considered. I’ll take it a step further and say that it starts with proving your performance and reliability over time.
Give it some thought and be very honest with yourself. Have you been positioning yourself for success with your current employer to potentially create an opportunity to work from home? Let’s talk about it. Feel free to share your thoughts below in the Comment section or send a private note directly to me via the Contact page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, wishing you nothing but the best...
You missed the live event, but don't worry because you can access the replay by clicking HERE.
If you’re a working mom you probably find yourself in the following situations:
• You’re constantly strapped for time
• You’re out of shape but can’t find the time to work out
• You feel isolated from your friends
• Your wardrobe is a joke
• You can never stick to your budget, if you even have one
Overwhelming, isn’t it?!
You’d love to meet with your girlfriends over brunch to chat about everything from your new gym membership that you have yet to use, to the budget that you can’t seem to stick to…and everything in between including your drab wardrobe that you haven’t updated in years and the new job that’s going to provide you with the disposable income to make all of this a reality.
You don’t just want to vent, though. You want those conversations to be productive. There has to be someone at the brunch table who has the answers. Someone who can share their expert tips on how to make it work.
What if you could do all of that from the privacy of your own home in your pajamas?
Now you can!
You missed the live event, but don't worry because you can access the replay by clicking HERE.
Kristina Butler is a Certified HR Professional and FT Virtual Recruiter for a major financial services firm. As the working mother of two and the working daughter of aging parents, she understands the importance of landing an opportunity with the ideal compensation and work-life balance.