The spread of coronavirus across the globe has led to many economic side effects, one being an increased amount of remote work.
While most companies have transitioned employees that can work from home to a remote setup, many people aren’t that lucky and have been laid off and forced to find other sources of income during the pandemic.
However, the drive for at-home jobs has been around long before COVID-19. Parents in particular, have sought at-home work in order to spend more time with their family and children.
We spoke to Whitney Bonds – an expert on this topic to learn about her own path to job independence and how she made working from home a reality.
Working outside the box
Bonds is a former marketing manager who quit her job, looking instead to earn an income on her own terms. Now, she’s moved on to consulting in order to help others learn from her own journey.
She was already the mother of a 2-year-old and pregnant with her second child when she considered alternatives to climbing up the corporate ladder. When we asked about a critical moment that shaped her life, she responded that it was when she had kids, the same moment that pushed her onto an alternative career path. “If I never had kids I would still be working a nine to five, complacent with no desire to have the life of freedom I now have with entrepreneurship,” Bonds recalled.
While still working her marketing job in Chicago, Bonds started researching ways she could make money while working from home and because her family relied on two incomes, she needed to supplement her part before she could make the entrepreneurial leap.
After compiling a ton of research, she started Tried and True Mom Jobs as a resource for people looking for legitimate work-from-home opportunities. She even used a pseudonym online worried her company would learn she was planning on leaving her position.
She just had to be sure working from home was financially feasible.
A self-made success
Throwing herself into research, Bonds found other people successfully working from home and interviewed them. She wanted to find out how they got started, tricks of the trade and specifically, how much they were earning.
With a newly launched blog, she taught herself on everything she needed to know to turn the new endeavor into a reliable income. From self-learning about Google ranking and growing an online presence to advertising and affiliate marketing, she was determined to use the strategies that other successful people were utilizing.
“I studied my competition, understood how they became successful and joined their email list and Facebook groups,” she said.
“I wanted to be in the know with the people who inspired me and motivated me.”
Spreading the knowledge
A Google search for “work-at-home” jobs brings up about 2,600,000,000 results – and it’s difficult to find legitimate opportunities in the pile.
This was something Bonds encountered firsthand and why she realized a resource like her blog would be in demand. As a consultant, she helps other people navigate through the spam and find real chances to independently earn.
She gave us some advice on wading through the swamp saying, “At this day and age that we’re living in now, every company should have an online presence. At the minimum, they should at least have a website. See if [it is] on company websites like Glassdoor to verify its legitimacy. Also, check the employee reviews to see what they’re saying about the company.”
But, she also recommends that you trust your instinct. “If someone is asking for money upfront, that’s definitely a scam. At the end of the day if you think it’s a scam, it probably is, so don’t even consider it.”
Not only does Bond’s advice apply to parents looking to work at home, but it is useful for anyone looking to get out of the nine to five grind or leverage their skills in a freelancing role.
We talked with Bonds a bit more to gain insight on her path to career (and financial) independence.
How did you feel when you realized you could go into entrepreneurship full time?
I was so happy, I could really be there for my kids, I didn’t have a set schedule, I could choose when I wanted to work and there was no salary cap. I could make as much money as I wanted.
Describe your entrepreneurship journey using three words.
Determined, focused, resilient.
Describe your mind using three words
Ambitious, caring, crazy.
What would you say to a young professional just starting out that wants to establish an alternative career path?
Think about what you’re passionate about. What do you enjoy doing? Think about ways you can make money doing that, because you get the best of both worlds when you can do something you enjoy AND can make money at the same time. However, every passion is not profitable, so you’ll want to learn a skill that others don’t want to do or know how to do. Master that so you can make enough money doing what you are passionate about.
What’s something you’re currently working on achieving?
Personally, I’m just trying to maintain my sanity. I’m currently 8 months pregnant. I have a 2-year-old, 4-year-old [and] I have a wonderful husband I have to tend to, and I’m also trying to build a business at the same time, so I’m just trying to figure out a way to maintain my sanity.
Professionally, I’m starting a YouTube channel.
Who is your greatest influence?
My dad. He is a very well respected man in our community that doesn’t say much, but when he talks, people listen and that’s someone I aspire to be like.
Screen time or no screen time?
Ummm, definitely screen time! I owe screen time to helping me keep my sanity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Invest early and don’t spend money you don’t have.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?