Many of us become stay-at-home moms for different reasons. We may have just brought our first child home, or we might have a house full of kids we’d like to see more often. No matter your situation, if you’ve decided to be a stay-at-home mom, that’s great!
The opportunity to spend more time with your kids is invaluable. But sometimes, the sacrifice of additional income is too big. If you’re pining to trade the office for the playroom but need the cash flow to continue, I have some suggestions for you. Check out these 3 great jobs for stay-at-home moms with professional experience.
3 Great Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms with Professional Experience
If you’re like me, your top job priorities as a stay-at-home mom include:
- Flexible working hours
- Flexible working location (i.e., home)
- The chance to talk to people
With these priorities in mind, I’ve created a list of 3 jobs that satisfy the needs of stay-at-home moms who’d like to maintain their professionalism and occasionally speak to adults other than their spouses. My recommendations are:
- Travel consultant
- Social media specialist
- Enrolled agent
Personally, I think each of these career options sounds pretty fun. But, I know that we all have different backgrounds, skills, and strengths. And these factors affect the appeal of each job. For this reason, I’ll now discuss the pros and cons of each of these jobs, so you can determine which one will work best for you.
If you love the idea of helping others traverse the globe almost as much as you love traveling yourself, then this career may just be perfect for you.
A travel consultant’s responsibilities include coordinating and booking travel arrangements for individuals, groups, and businesses. While it’s true that most travel consultants work for travel agencies, a notable number are self-employed.
Let’s learn more about the positives and negatives of this position.
Pros of Being a Travel Consultant
Exciting and accommodating
What makes the travel consultant role so awesome is that it’s super fun and flexible. You’ll usually be working with customers who are pretty stoked to be taking a vacation, and you get to share in their joy! Plus, you can set your own hours, so you can work when you’re your perkiest as well.
Small startup costs
If you can see yourself leading a long and prosperous career as a travel consultant, are serious about this career track, then you should start that career off with a host agency.
Doing so saves you lots of time, money, and effort, as the host agency handles all licensing and accreditation. They also provide sales reporting and commission tracking. On top of that, your host agency may even train you, so you can start off on the right foot.
In light of all these benefits, the initial costs of $500-1000 don’t seem too bad.
And, as soon as you feel up to it, you can focus on building your own customer base and backend system. Once you have these items in place, you can gradually step away from the support of your host agency. Once you do, you can enjoy all the benefits of being completely independent.
The Cons of Being a Travel Consultant
Extensive time commitment
If you do plan to pursue independence as a travel consultant, you should know that developing your customer base and brand takes time.
The reality is that most people don’t take a vacation more than twice a year. Therefore, even if you make an outstanding first impression, you’ll still have to wait a while for repeat customers and referrals.
But thankfully, you can speed up the process by pumping up your marketing and networking efforts. If you’re quite social, this will just add to the fun!
Competitions from online travel sites
As a stay-at-home mom travel consultant, you’ll not only have a lot of things competing for your time, but you’ll also have a lot of websites competing for your customers.
While turning to a travel consultant was the only way to book an action-packed trip in the past, we can now use the internet to address every detail of our dream vacay. Generally, the younger generation trusts themselves to compile the ideal vacation package using popular travel websites.
So, to supply the extra value that justifies paying for your services, you must over deliver on effort and creativity. It’s the only way to stay relevant in a time when information about travel and leisure are so widely available.
Social Media Specialists
Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of social media, we have the stay-at-home mom career option of social media specialist.
A social media specialist manages the accounts of individuals and businesses on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This process involves tasks such as posting content, responding to community engagement, strategizing an effective campaign, and more.
This job may sound too good to be true, but there are some potential downsides to consider.
The Pros of Being a Social Media Specialist
Great news: to be a social media specialist, all you need is a computer with an internet connection. So, if you have a laptop, you can follow your kids around the house with it as you work. Conversely, if you have a desktop, you can sneak into the home office to work while your kids are sleeping.
Really low costs
More great news! You don’t really have to pay anything to become a social media specialist. If you use social media a lot, you don’t need any training. But if you do want to learn more about the tools available, you can sign up for services like Hootsuite Academy.
The Cons of Being a Social Media Specialist
Not just fun and games
Using social media for business differs greatly from using social media for pleasure. Once social media becomes a source of revenue for you, you’ll need to achieve specific assignments and meet concrete goals. Fulfilling such obligations requires detailed planning and sharp organizational skills.
And, we can’t be too surprised that being a social media specialist asks more of us than lazily scrolling through feeds and watching cat videos. It is a job, after all.
Huge competition from India and the Philippines
However, one thing that is allowed to surprise us is the fact that as a social media specialist, you’ll face fierce competition from companies in India, the Philippines, and other developing countries around the world.
In places like these, inhabitants frequently use English, and the cost of living is must lower, so social media specialists can deliver quality results for a very low price.
In these countries, some social media specialists are so well-established that they contract work out to other local professionals. Therefore, you’re not fighting a few freelancers for jobs. Rather, you’re going up against expert teams working non-stop to keep the work coming.
So, to succeed as a social media specialist in the U.S., you’ve got to be at the top of your game. A unique American perspective and exceptionally high-quality work are some other thriving social media specialist essentials.
Have you ever heard of an enrolled agent before? If not, are you imagining a CIA agent undercover as a college student? Because if you are, you’d have the wrong idea.
So, what is an enrolled agent?
Simply put, an enrolled agent is a tax expert. And, enrolled agents can vary their work according to their experience. They can stick to simple tasks like bookkeeping and filling out basic tax forms or raise the stakes by navigating complex tax scenarios and representing clients in court.
Basically, the enrolled agent designation is a hidden gem within the accounting industry that enables thousands of professionals to enjoy the perfect work-life balance.
If those last 4 words definitely piqued your interest, discover the pros and cons of becoming an enrolled agent.
The Pros of Being an Enrolled Agent
As you probably know, everyone has to do their taxes. But think about that for a second: everyone. Everyone means all the people and businesses in your community and the communities that surround it. ALL those people. Everyone is involved with taxes in some way, so that makes everyone part of your potential customer base.
But you don’t have to stop there. Unlike the CPA license, the EA designation is nationally recognized. So, if you’re driven enough, you can advise and represent anyone in the U.S.
If everyone needs an EA, then why do so few of us know about EAs? Well, though the EA demand is high, knowledge of the EA industry is low. In fact, only a small percentage of qualified individuals even enter this profession. Consequently, people usually turn to CPAs for help with their taxes.
But the funny thing is that CPAs either don’t prefer to take on tax work, or they charge more for it. So, EAs are a better solution to tax issues because they are both more informed and more affordable.
And as you can guess, these 2 factors make EA services an easy sell. So easy, in fact, that you don’t have to actively market yourself or your business. You’ll generate plenty of business just from word-of-mouth.
Limited material needs
Just like social media specialists, enrolled agents only need a computer with an internet connection to do their work.
This is, of course, one of the best things about being an EA. Especially for stay-at-home moms who need to make the most for their time.
As soon as you become an EA, you can offer simple services like advising others on filling out tax forms. Or, you can do take on more lucrative business with corporations. You can even advise a client in an IRS dispute, which also pays quite well.
Basic enrolled agent jobs pay $20-25 an hour, while more demanding duties eventually bring in $100-300 an hour. If you’re really excited about the specific numbers, you can learn more about the enrolled agent salary.
A close-knit group
As an EA, you can be with your kids as much as you want and keep your interactions with adults to a minimum. Or, you can take advantage of all the good help and kind company other EAs afford by participating in networking activities. The National Association for Enrolled Agents (NAEA) gives its members plenty of opportunities to socialize by organizing events across the country.
The Cons of Being an Enrolled Agent
Enrolled Agent exam
Seriously, this is the only negative thing about the EA that I can think of.
The EA is a highly respected, nationally-recognized credential awarded by the IRS. So, it makes sense that you’d need to pass an exam to earn it. But the exam is not so bad. Taxation is really just a lot of rules – it’s definitely not rocket science. So if you put in the time and effort and use an enrolled agent review course (which you can save on with enrolled agent course discounts), passing the EA exam is completely possible.
Helping Stay-at-Home Moms Become Enrolled Agents
If you were a professional with quantitative training, you’d be the best fit for the enrolled agent profession. So, if a title like “accountant”, “finance manager”, “engineer”, or “IT professional” appears on your resume, making the transition to “enrolled agent” should be fairly easy for you. But, practicing EAs have all kinds of career backgrounds, so you don’t have to count it out if you haven’t held one of those positions at this point.
Unless the thought of working with some numbers rattles you to your core, I highly, highly recommend that you look into this excellent opportunity. To be honest, the exam is not a walk in the park. As you can imagine, the U.S. tax code is a bit complex. But, the exam has 3 different parts, and you can take as long as 4 years to pass all 3 parts. So, you can take your time and pass at a comfortable pace.
I hope you can see that all the benefits for you, your family, and your business that come with becoming an EA.
If you’re interested in the EA designation, check out this step-by-step guide about how to become an enrolled agent. It will help you start the EA process today!