Special Report: FlexJobs: Your Work, Your Life, Your Way!
Whether you're a Mom facing the reality of leaving your newborn infant for the first time, a stay-at-home mom interested in finding a way to return to work on a family-friendly schedule, or a full-time working mom eager to regain balance in your life -- help is on it's way! In this 40-page instantly downloadable guide, written by career consultant Nancy Collamer, you'll learn answers to questions like:
- What are my options for flexible work?
- How do I know which flexible option is best for me?
- What types of jobs are most flex-friendly?
- How should I approach my employer about flexible work?
- How do I put together a flexible job proposal?
- What types of companies are most likely to offer flexible work?
- Where do I go to find flexible job openings?
- What suggestions do you have for figuring out if an employer really is family-friendly?
And much, much more.
From part-time to flextime, telecommuting to job sharing, you'll learn tips on how to find your best options and triumph in your quest for family-friendly employment.
Instant Digital Delivery: When you order online with your credit card, you'll get this report as a PDF file, ready to read within minutes. You can either leave it on your computer so you can easily access the resources highlighted in this report or print it out for future reference.
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Negotiate a Flexible Work Arrangement
Without a doubt, my favorite proposal templates for people looking to secure a flexible work arrangement (job share, telecommuting, part time, etc.) can be found at Workoptions.com. Here are links to three of their excellent planning templates:
People are always asking me if there is a list of companies that offer family friendly benefits. While there is no one comprehensive list, you can piece together some good information through a variety of publications. Here are some worth checking out:
100 Best Companies to Work for in America (Go to rankings section on the FORTUNE tab)
The 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers: New winners are announced each October.
Forbes - The 200 Best Small Companies: Features growing small companies.
While these lists are helpful, I believe that one of the best ways to find a flexible employer is to target small employers. While small companies can’t offer the same level of benefit offerings as their corporate counterparts (e.g. health insurance, retirement plans), they can offer more flexibility than many of the larger and more bureaucratic corporations. Small business owners have discovered that flexible scheduling is a relatively low cost benefit that helps them to recruit and retain top-level talent.
Here are some tips for finding employment with small businesses:
- Networking is the best way to find job leads. Speak with friends, alumni groups, volunteer contacts and business associates for leads. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce or small business advocacy group for a membership directory and then contact target businesses directly.
- The local newspapers often feature stories about “up and coming” businesses. Go online or to the library and do some research about local companies. Peruse the classifieds to see who is hiring. Even if a company doesn’t have a current opening in your field of expertise, use the information in the ad as a way to learn about small business employers in your area.
- Craigslist.com is an excellent source of part-time classifieds.
Other Flexible Work Opportunities
Sometimes the best way to get a flexible work situation is to pursue options outside of the “one-employer, one-paycheck model.” While these options are not traditional “jobs” since you will be paid as an independent contractor, they can provide favorable working solutions for some moms.
Direct Sales: Many women want to work from home, but they don't want to create their own companies. Direct Sales Companies provide infrastructure, support and training -- thereby eliminating many of the stumbling blocks involved with starting your own business. And, if you think selling from home translates in mere "pin money" think again.
Success Stories- Direct selling is a $30+ billion dollar industry in the U.S.alone and many of the people sharing in that money are women. In recent years, I've met Moms who are making excellent work-from-home incomes in direct sales. They are genuinely enthused about their jobs and clearly have found a good answer to their work-life balance needs.
- Direct Sales Companies Provide Structure - Many women want to work from home, but they don't want to create their own companies. Direct sales companies provide infrastructure, support and training -- thereby eliminating many of the stumbling blocks involved with starting your own business.
- Variety of Opportunities - Gone are the days when direct selling meant selling for just a handful of companies like Avon or Tupperware. In today's economy, there are an ever-expanding variety of products and services that are being marketed through direct selling channels.
If you’ve been mulling over the possibility of working with a direct sales or multi-level marketing company, here are five important points to consider:
Choose a Solid Company: You’ll want to associate with a company that provides an outstanding product, a rewarding compensation plan, ongoing training, and opportunities for growth. Just like in the corporate world, if you have a supportive boss and a reliable management team, you’ll find it much easier to succeed long-term. To get a feel for the variety of direct sales companies, go to www.dsa.org, the national trade association for that industry. You’ll be connected to more than 150 companies, including many well-known brand names.
- Evaluate the compensation plan: Depending upon the company, the sales person (you) will be compensated either for the products or services you sell and/or if the company offers a multilevel (MLM) compensation plan, you will also be compensated both for your own product sales, and on the product sales of your downline. A downline is the chain of people you have brought into the business, and in turn, those people that they have brought into the business.
- So, when shopping around, think about whether you’d prefer working for a MLM that compensates you primarily for recruiting people into your business or those that compensate you only for your sales efforts, without requiring you to get involved with recruitment. Go with what feels right. In order to find a work situation that will be productive for you long term it’s important to be true to your personal strengths and comfort zone.
- Find the Right Product: Without a doubt, one of the most vital components to success in direct sales is finding a product that you are really excited about – something that you enjoy and believe in. In addition to finding a product you like, it’s helpful to find a product that you can easily sell in your community, or one that you can effectively market online. When you evaluate the types of products you’ll be selling, think about how frequently people might purchase the product. Consumables, such as nutritional supplements, can be sold through an automatic renewal system, thereby enabling you to quickly build up your customer base without having to continually source out new customers. On the other hand, items such as high end clothing or jewelry will be bought less frequently but can be sold for a higher-price point per purchase.
- Evaluate Start-Up Costs: Direct sales companies will require you to purchase a start-up kit. The cost of the start-up kits is generally modest – sometimes even less than one hundred dollars. In some rare instances, the cost of the start-up kits can be significantly more. Higher than average start-up costs should not necessarily be a cause for alarm, but you do want to make sure that you understand what you are being charged for, why you need to purchase the materials, and what the company policy is for refunding any unused inventory.
- Be realistic about your income potential: Most people who work in direct sales do not earn large amounts of money nearly as quickly or easily as some would have you believe! Just like in corporate jobs, there are people who earn small salaries and others who generate six-figure incomes. But also like corporate jobs, the number of people earning the big dollars is far fewer than those who earn smaller amounts. Do not be swayed by representatives who promise you “instant riches” – it takes consistent effort and commitment to build up your business with any company.
Before you sign-up to work for one of these companies as an independent contractor, try to collect information from at least a few companies so that you can compare and contrast their relative merits. Ask lots of questions, test out their products and do a thorough background check before you invest your time, energy and money into this new venture. To learn more about this option, Download Nancy's Free Guide to the Direct Sales Industry