I have worked from home for over 14 years now. After high school my dad couldn’t afford to send me to college, so I applied for a job at a local savings & loan and became a full time teller when I was 18. From there I moved my way up from bank teller to proof operator, then moved on to different companies within Corporate America in the northern Chicago suburbs.
I worked in the finance realm for 12 years. First as an accounts receivable clerk, discrepancy coordinator, accounts payable manager, general accounting clerk, and then finally staff accountant. That was a big leap for me. The staff accountant position required a bachelor’s degree, but all I had were a few accounting classes from night school and my work experience with the company. I got the job… I got the job! What an accomplishment that was for me! Then it happened. We moved. Across the country. I had to leave my new career and start new, with two small children in tow. I found a job as an office manager for a small company, and then moved on to another company later with the same title.
Then it happened. My babysitter quit. Actually, she just didn’t show up one day. I was sitting there all dressed up ready for work, irritated that I had to call my boss and tell him I would be late, or worse, not in at all. She left me sitting there, hanging, until later that afternoon when she called to say she couldn’t watch my kids anymore. That’s when I decided that it just wasn’t worth it. The dry cleaning bills, gas, daycare, all those expenses didn’t add up. Besides, I couldn’t bear the thought of interviewing another round of potential babysitters, and definitely didn’t want to keep dropping me kids off at daycare at the crack of dawn. I was lucky. My husband made enough money that I could quit. So I did.
But graham crackers and diapers weren’t enough for my creative mind. I became stir crazy, I needed an outlet during nap time. That was in the fall of 1997. It was then that I bought an old computer and hooked up dial up internet in my bedroom. My kids were 5, 3 and 3 months then. My youngest wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye yet. It wasn’t long after hooking up that dial up that I started a “homepage” with pictures of my kids and silly little animated images. I read somewhere on a message board that you could make money with your website, and shortly thereafter I lost $20 in an internet chain letter scam. That’s when I wised up.
A little while later I had a website. Then I started building that site and networking with people that did the same. Suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore. Yet I still had the freedom of rocking my infant son to sleep before nap time and could play with my daughter after preschool. Suddenly I had freedom… and new found happiness. My life forever changed. One short year after leaving my job I was making a small amount of money from my website (now FamilyCorner.com, which I sold in 2007). The rest is history as they say.
While my roles have changed completely, from finance to journalism, I’ve loved working from home all these years. It has allowed me to watch my kids grow up, pick them up from school when they’re sick without asking my boss if I can leave, and watch all the sporting event practices they’ve participated in over the years. My four children are almost grown now, aged 13 through 19. Because of them, my work at home experience has been totally fulfilling.
I love my job.