Friday, April 27, 2007

Employment Ideas?

You know, it used to be that moms were moms and they didn't necessarily aspire to be anything but that. Now women fight tooth and claw to get to the top of the ladder. I've been wondering why and I suppose it's due to my desire to bring extra income into our home, not because I desire a lofty career, but because it's expensive to run a household of seven!

Did you know that there all sorts of ways that moms can work to supplement their husband's incomes, and most of them don't require onsite workers? Here are a few of the ways I've worked in the past to earn extra pay:

1. Freelance Writing - I've worked my tail off on this one. Writing coherently requires a lot more work than most people realize. If you wish to tackle this "job" you should begin small and expect small. A lot of publications expect writers to submit works of art in return for nothing. My advice is to not work for free unless you are doing it for the sheer joy of it and don't need money. This isn't me.

It took a year of serious writing before I saw my first piece in print. It was an article in Focus on the Family's Brio - "Puppy Love" about raising puppies to train as assistance animals. I received $170 and thought that was great until I had to wait another year to publish my second story - in Discoveries Sunday school papers (the Church of the Nazarene.)

Disclaimer: I did publish a few things for no pay on a fun writer's website - If you're interested in reading a good article on the subject of Biblical motherhood, check out my story titled just that - Biblical Motherhood. As of tonight it's received 173 hits.

2. Secret Shopping (AKA mystery shopping) - Yes, you can make money, but not in our rural and nearly dead in the winter area. I got jobs about once a month or less. This requires that you do leave home or, in some instances, place phone calls from home to evaluate a company's personnel. The pay is lousy; sometimes you work for reimbursement only - I'm talking like a McDonald's meal.

If you're interested in mystery shopping, check out a company's website thoroughly and make sure you know what you're agreeing to before you join. Some reliable ones that I've worked for:, ShopnCheck, Certified Merchandising, and Service Intelligence. I don't remember all of the web addresses, but you can google them to find them.

3. Surveys on the Internet - I've taken surveys for seven years and don't mind most of them. I've received relatively low pay, but get some good perks like trying out products for free and then reviewing them for the company. Some of the survey companies pay you in points, some in cash, others in sweepstakes entries. It's up to you to decide whether a survey is worth your time or not. A word about the sweepstake entries: I can testify that most of the companies do reward these. I've won checks for $10 before, but that's the most I've won from the survey companies.

Here are some survey companies that I've been able to trust over the years:

Survey Spot, NFO, Survey Savvy, Lightspeed and Harrispoll Online.

4. I'm now tring to build my own business making and selling natural soaps and health/beauty products. So far I've sold ..... NOTHING! Our family has tested everything I've made so far and I have to admit that if I never sell a thing I can at least feel good about the products I let my children use.

A final word - I've struggled with wanting to do whatever the Bible says about the woman's role in the home. I firmly believe that Proverbs 31 in particular affirms my desire to be a good helpmeat to my husband by doing whatever I can to help provide for my family WITHOUT sacrificing them. Best wishes in your endeavors to be the other half in your family.

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