A Telecommuting Crossroads: Work From Home or Time For a Real Job?

All new home-based business owners and freelancers experience this same emotion: “telecommuters remorse.” It’s that pit-of-the-stomach feeling you get when you finally quit your brick and mortar, 9-5 outside job to follow your dream of being your own boss. It arrives at the end of the honeymoon phase and reality hits like a cold December wind. Gone are the bi-weekly paychecks and job security. You’re on your own now – for better or worse.

A Telecommuting Crossroads: Work From Home or Time For a Real Job?

Though I have worked from the comfort of my home office since 1987 (I know I’m old) until the past year I was a telecommuter for a large Fortune 500 company. The best of both worlds were at my fingertips – a comfortable salary, retirement plan, paid sick days – in addition to the flexibility and opportunity to work from home.

Alas, all good things must end, and in May of 2009, I was a victim of downsizing. When the aftermath of shock and panic subsided, I dug my heels into finding an alternative telecommuting position. While fervently researching available options, I discovered what path I was to follow next. In my teleworking hunt, I ran across scam after scam preying on those of us, desperate, for whatever reasons, to work from home. Knowing there must be hundreds of thousands of others like myself searching, I decided to create a website with a newsletter for “legit” Work At Home (WAH) opportunities.

While my start-up costs were relatively minor for a new business, I knew that it would be six to nine months before I saw any income. The newsletter would need to build up a significant readership before any paying sponsors would come knocking.

Diligently, I pounded out a newsletter every day and slowly watched my numbers rise. Sure enough, six months later, my first paid ad appeared! What a feeling that was! Someone actually wanted to pay to promote their business on my website!

It is now seventeen months since the “birth” of my website, and I’m very pleased to announce that the business is steadily growing, But, like any business, there are peak times and then there are times that are incredibly slow. When I reach a slack period, I question my ability to hang in there. I find myself scanning the classifieds daily in search of a “real” job. I even have gone as far as to respond with a phone call or to fax my resume. A dark cloud of doubt seems to hang over my head during these slow times.

And then… I’ll check my email and am deluged with advertising inquiries or will see one of my articles that I have written posted on another site or best of all…a reader will write to share her news of landing a WAH job through a posting in the newsletter. Then it all becomes crystal clear: success cannot be measured in just monetary terms. I love what I do – I am helping others like myself who want to work from home to be with their families and still provide an income. My salary is not half of what it was several years ago but I am happier (most days) than I ever was working for someone else. In my heart of hearts, I know that I could never return to the corporate world. I love setting the pace, playing by my own rules and I have found my “perfect balance between work and family”!