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Work from home options available for women with a long career gap are growing – but they are not easy to come by, and need you to make sure your skills are relevant today.
On Mondays, the Women’s Web expert panel answers questions from readers about workplace issues, career challenges and anything at all related to learning and work. Use this form to ask your question.
My name is Tanvi and I am a homemaker. I have 2 children, 11 years and 8 years old, I want to do work from home, my qualification is a degree. I have Internet connection at home. Can you please suggest what kind of kind of work I can do at home? I have computer knowledge.
First of all, it is good to hear that you are planning to take up paid work. Your question does not give us much information as to what field your degree is in, whether you have any past work experience and what area your interests lie in.
However, I am going to assume that (given the age of your children), it is possibly some time since you have finished your degree. If you have been staying home for some time now, the knowledge and skills acquired during your college years are possibly outdated now; it is therefore time to take fresh stock of your skills first, and whether you need to upgrade them.
If you want to pursue work in the area you originally studied or worked in, find out how the field has changed and whether any programs/courses are available to help you learn afresh. Talk to classmates or ex-colleagues to get a better understanding.
If you have no specific field that you are particular about, try to understand more about where your interests and aptitude lie. Are you a methodical sort of person? Would documentation, coordination and planning come naturally to you? If so, you could consider a career as a virtual assistant.
Are you a numbers person? Can you handle statistics, and interpret vast amounts of data usefully? Your skills could be useful in the large and fast growing field of data analytics.
Do you think visually? Graphic design could be an opportunity.
Are you good at seeing other people’s point of view? Can you communicate well and convince others of a point of view? Perhaps you could be a telecaller in Sales.
Do remember, ‘work from home’ is not a job. It is only a way to work. Working from home as an independent professional and working from home for a company are not the same thing. Ask yourself if you are comfortable finding business/clients for yourself, or are you looking for a job? The reality is that if you have a very long gap on your resume, few companies will be willing to hire you for a work from home role – unless your skills are updated.
The first step therefore is not to find a ‘work from home’ job but to ask yourself what your skills and interests suit you for.
Founder, Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas and conversations
I think apart from persistence, it takes preparation to come back after a big gap. It’s not enough to want it – one has to consciously work at upgrading skills also.
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