Maybe you’re about to welcome a new addition to your family. Or maybe you want to spend more quality time with your children. Whatever your situation is, you’re ready to be a stay-at-home mom, and that’s great.
The joy of watching your children grow up is priceless. However, there may be times when you miss working in a professional environment and talking to adults other than your spouse.
Can you get the best of both worlds? Yes! I have three suggestions for the best jobs for stay-at-home moms.
What are most stay-at-home moms looking for? I believe many stay-at-home moms looking for a job have three priorities:
I’ve used these priorities as the basis for my 3 job recommendations for stay-at-home moms with professional experience.
Depending on your background, skills, and strengths, each vocational option has its own pros and cons.
As a travel consultant, you would be responsible for coordinating and booking travel arrangements for individuals, groups, and businesses. Though most travel consultants work for travel agencies, a decent percentage are self-employed.
The best thing about being a travel consultant is that it’s a fun, flexible, and uplifting job. More often than not, you’ll be working with customers who are happily planning a vacation. Their positive mood will be infectious! And you may be able to set your own hours.
If you are serious about this career track, I recommend that you start off with a host agency. The host agency takes care of all the licenses and accreditation, which saves you lots of time, money, and effort. The host agency provides commission tracking and sales reporting. They may even provide training to help you hit the ground running. Typically, the startup cost is limited to US$500-1,000.
As soon as you feel ready and willing, work hard to wean yourself off the host agency’s support by building your own customer base and backend system. You’ll soon be able to experience the full benefits of being independent.
Building a customer base and developing your brand takes time. Obtaining enough repeat customers and referrals can take a while because most people don’t vacation more than twice a year. To speed up the process, you can increase your marketing and your networking, which can be enjoyable if you’re quite social.
The culture of travel booking has changed drastically over the years. The younger generation tends to take trip planning into their own hands by searching the internet rather than calling a consultant for recommendations. Providing additional value to consumers takes a lot of work and creativity at a time when information about travel and leisure is so widely and freely available.
That’s right: this job was unheard of 20 years ago. Being a social media specialist involves managing accounts on various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and probably many others. The actual work can range from responding to questions and comments to designing a sophisticated online marketing campaign.
To play this role, all you need is a computer with an internet connection. You can do this any time of the day, so it’s the perfect thing to do during your kids’ naps and after their bedtimes.
Great news: There is virtually no cost to starting out as a social media specialist. If you frequently use social media, you won’t require any training.
Being on social media for work is much different from being on social media for fun. You’ll have specific tasks and goals to achieve. Therefore, it will require extensive planning and organizational skills. After all, why would anyone pay you if the job was all play and no work?
This is a very big business in India, the Philippines, and other developing countries whose inhabitants frequently use English. The standard of living is much lower in these countries. Therefore, your competitors are willing to bid a very low price for quality results.
Some social media specialists in these countries are very well-established. So much so that they contract out additional work to local professionals. These are not just a few freelancers you are facing. Rather, they are expert teams intent on working around the clock to keep companies coming back to them.
In order to succeed in this business in the U.S., you must be at the top of your game. You also need to offer unique services (e.g., able to provide your clients with an American perspective) and deliver a much higher quality of work to justify the higher fee.
Now, I know this is not the most glamorous job on the list. In fact, you may not even know what an enrolled agent (EA) is. But let me tell you — this is a hidden gem in the accounting industry. And, thousands of professionals enjoy the perfect work-life balance with this career.
Enrolled agents are tax experts. Depending on their experience, enrolled agent work varies from simple bookkeeping and filling out basic tax forms to consulting complex tax situations and representing clients before the court.
All the people and small businesses in your community require simple tax advice quite frequently. Everyone is involved with taxes in some way. Therefore, everyone can be part of your target customer base.
If you have the aspiration, you can advise and represent anyone in the U.S. because the EA license is nationally recognized (unlike CPA licenses, which can have a limited scope per state).
Despite the high demand, the supply of EAs is low because the enrolled agent industry is not well known. Furthermore, only a small percentage of qualified individuals enter this profession. When people are seeking help with taxes, they often look to CPAs. However, CPAs either don’t prefer tax or charge more. EAs are both tax experts and more affordable. So, your service is an easy sell.
Have you seen any EAs actively marketing themselves and their business? No, because they don’t need to. They generate plenty of business via word-of-mouth alone.
All you need to work as an enrolled agent is a computer with an internet connection.
Once you’re an EA, you can begin performing simple tasks like advising others about filling out tax forms. Eventually, you can do more lucrative business with corporations. You can also get paid well for advising a client in an IRS dispute.
I have more information on an enrolled agent’s salary, but you can expect basic jobs to pay $20-25 per hour. More complex duties eventually bring in $100-300 per hour. In fact, the average EA salary is more than $53,000.
EAs are low-profile professionals, but they do help each other. The National Association for Enrolled Agents (NAEA) provides its members with advocacy, social, and networking activities. The NAEA has state affiliates across the country so EAs everywhere can stay connected.
Enrolled agents perform specialized work and are certified by the IRS. So, understandably, you need to take and pass the enrolled agent exam to earn the credential. Taxation is basically a bunch of rules, not rocket science. Therefore, passing the exam is definitely doable if you put in the time and effort.
Typically, professionals with quantitative training are the best fit for the enrolled agent profession. Classic examples include accountants, finance managers, engineers, and IT professionals. However, practicing EAs have all kinds of career histories.
Unless you are a stay-at-home mom who freaks out at numbers, I urge you to explore this uncommon opportunity. I will warn you: The exam is not a piece of cake. After all, the U.S. tax code is quite complicated. But the exam is divided into 3 parts, and you can take as long as 4 years to pass all 3 parts.
Once you are familiar with the tax rules, imagine how advantageous this position will be for you, your family, and your business.
If you’re interested in the EA designation, we have a step-by-step guide to passing the exam and starting your enrolled agent career. Check it out today!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.