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8 Technical Skills that Can Benefit a Work-at-Home Mom


If you want to leave the rat race and join the ranks of work-at-home moms, you may be wondering what technical skills you can offer to the telecommuting world. The good news is, almost any technical skill can be parlayed into a work-at-home position. If you have worked outside the home for any length of time, chances are you have everything you need to get started. Following are 8 key technical skills that you can use to your benefit:

1. Bookkeeping

If you have worked in accounting, bookkeeping or spreadsheet management of any kind, then you can transform this skill into a work-at-home job. Many small businesses are willing to outsource their bookkeeping tasks to keep costs down. This means you can scoop up enough bookkeeping jobs to even create your own business, if you wish.

2. Office Skills

Any traditional office skills you have: appointment setting, customer service, data entry, etc., can be used to your advantage in the telecommuting world. For example, you can work as a virtual assistant, providing basic office support for businesses.

3. Typing

Typing is set apart from basic office skills, because if you can type very fast--70 wpm or more--an entirely new field opens up for you. Transcription service businesses are booming, giving you the opportunity to work from home, transcribing audio files into Word documents.

4. Graphic and/or Web Design

If you have a background in graphic design or web design, you can easily create your own small business providing these services in your community. Small business owners are beginning to realize the value of creating a virtual storefront. They are also willing to spend a little extra for truly professional graphic design.

5. Computer Repair

If you are a computer whiz and can fix a broken laptop in no time, then why not start your own business in computer repair? You can start by working out of your home and finding clients through word-of-mouth. Most people would be happier taking their computers in to someone they know for repair than spending hours on the phone with a technical support guy who is miles away.

6. IT Troubleshooting

A lot of IT employees have the ability to work remotely. This is one situation in which you may be able to keep your 9 to 5 job and simply change your work situation--you can convince your employer to alter your position to a telecommuting one.

7. Foreign Languages

If you are fluent in another language, you can transform this skill in so many ways: working as a translator, writing, or tutoring others who wish to learn the language. Or you can flip this and offer ESL classes to those who speak the languages you know.

8. Technical Writing

If you are proficient in technical writing, or if you have an English degree and are willing to take a few classes to brush on up technical skills, then consider yourself employed. Technical writing is another booming field that is open to telecommuters, which means it's a prime money-maker for the WAHM.

Sit down for a few minutes and brainstorm all the skills you can bring to your work-at-home career. Chances are, you have everything you need to create a satisfying and rewarding profession that still allows you to work from home.

Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.

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