The best work-from-home careers

See you at lunch, Ellen!

Pyjamas and endless cups of tea and heading to the fridge to see what’s for lunch and maybe popping to the salon to get your nails done at 3pm – working from home is the absolute dream! And the great thing is, it’s totally possible. Whether you’re simply working offsite or you’re now your own boss, we have some great ideas for legitimate work-from-home careers.

Before you start

Heed the work-from-home code:

  • Be diligent. Don’t be late. Even if you’re at home, your boss is your boss (or, as the case may be, your client is your boss). Someone has hired you to do something, and no matter where you are, get it done on time and do it well. (Cos then you’ll get to keep doing it, duh).

  • Have a scheduled work day. There will be times when you’ll have to work late, or drop everything to meet a deadline on a Sunday. But if you can, try and make your work-from-home day 9-5 (or something like those hours, anyway) and stick to it.

  • No boozy lunches.

  • If you’re not an accountant, get one.

The best careers…

What about an accountant…

See above. But also: many big accounting firms now offer offsite roles. Ernst and Young has “informal flexibility” which means that, if you have a strong case for working from home, you can do it. KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers have similar policies, with PWC saying that it “trusts all employees” to get their work done, no matter where they are. Nice one.

What about a writer and editor…

If you have a fat book of contacts, never-ending ideas and a nose for hunting down excellent stories (not to mention the ability to stick to a deadline), freelance writing and editing could be the job for you. Bonus: all your magazines are a tax write-off.

What about a virtual assistant…

For small businesses that need an extra hand now and then but can’t afford an extra employee, a virtual assistant is the answer. You might pull together a project, organise travel, write and send releases or help with accounts, and the hourly rate can be up to $100. If you’ve got an eye for detail and great organisational skills, this could be the job for you.

What about a tutor…

Helping kids get to the next level or understand a subject that they’re struggling with is a great career choice for those of us blessed with patience and excellent analogies (Hamlet is just like Star Wars!). Bonus: you get to set your own hours and your own rate.

What about a small business owner…

Every small business starts somewhere, and most of them start from someone’s kitchen table. What’s your big idea, and how can you make it a reality? Take a basic business course (Open Colleges run some great ones), join a mentoring group (like Business Chicks) and write a business plan (the Government has great tips on how to do that here). Search for a grant you might be eligible for and just bloody go for it!

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