Tuesday, 04 September 2018 14:12

4 Tips for a Fall Refresh

With September here and Labor Day behind us, we’re officially started into the fall season. It’s a time where work and school pick up again, and we move away from the lazy days of summer.

While we’re getting back into our routines and potentially a more challenging workload, it can be a great time for a refresh as we enter this new season.  Read along for some of our best tips to refresh your body and mind before we move further into fall.

Take a new class

Learning is always a new and challenging way to reboot yourself. Whether your interests lie in fitness or cooking, or potentially computer programming or writing, find something that will take you out of your comfort zone.  Often times mixing things up allows us to feel more inspired in our daily life, whether that be personal or professional.

You can find classes that are offered locally through your library or community center, or search websites such as Udemy for online classes that you can take from the comfort of your home.

Refresh your wardrobe

A wardrobe update does not have to be expensive! You can visit a local thrift shop for new style choices, or find a nice vintage shop that offers unique, inexpensive goods.  Additionally, you can search sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, or Mercari. While you’re doing this, you can also go through your current clothing and figure out what need to go. Especially since we’re through with summer, those clothes can be packed away, sold or donated.

Do you have several pieces that you haven’t worn in a year? Have a few articles of clothing that you just don’t like? Take an honest look around and pitch what you don’t need.  Whether you sell, donate or give away older items, you’ll feel lighter by clearing the clutter!

Do some good

When you’re looking for a change or refresh in your life, doing good for others can be a great starting point. Not only does it make you feel great, it helps others in need.

Look around your community for who needs help, or search your own heart for which causes call to you the most. Are you an animal lover? Volunteer for a few hours at the local shelter each week.  Love kids? Find a library in search of readers. You can even plan a service day with your friends or family members - clean up a park, build something useful for the community, or hand out food to the homeless.

Making time and space for others is very important and always needed, and don’t underestimate the meaning and fulfillment that it will bring to your own life as well.

Plan ahead

While we’re in the mode of restarting and refreshing, it’s important to put a plan into place. We’re headed into the busiest time of the year - school is back, work is busier, and the holidays will be here before we know it. Making a plan will keep yourself and your family sane!

Take a look at where you’re spending your time now, what’s coming up ahead, and how you can plan now so things don’t get too crazy down the road.

Start with a nice planner or online calendar program - make completing the days part of your daily life. Get into the habit of time management and calendar planning, as it will make you feel more calm and in control of your schedule. Additionally, it’s just a great habit that will carry you further in your personal and professional life.

Published in Work from Home Tips

Working from home provides more flexibility and time with family and friends, but it can also be isolating if you’re not careful.

When work is home and home is work, you can easily fall into the habit of rarely leaving the house, or rarely being social.  If you’re a parent, the issue can be compounded by a lack of time. Although it can be difficult, making time to be social is a very important component in your quality of life.  Read along for some tips to stay social as a work from home parent!

Involve the kids

Not all social events have to be kid-free! Especially if your kids are very, very young or a bit older, this can be a great option.  You can set up fun play dates for your kids while you and your friend(s) grab a cup of coffee or take a walk.

Set up an afternoon in the park while the kids play on the playground and enjoy time chatting with the other moms.

Make it a date

Create a standing date! Set up weekly or monthly time with girlfriends or a group, and make it non-negotiable.  A social life can truly make the difference between happiness and feeling isolated and lonely, so it needs to be a priority.

Your spouse, whether they work in a traditional office or not, will also need some time to socialize.  If you watch the kids on Monday night, maybe they can do the same on Thursday evening. It’s important to trade off so you’re both doing things that bring you happiness and socialization.

Additionally, social events don’t need to be all day.  You can take a few hours to attend a happy hour with a friend, walk a few loops around the block while you chat, or simply meet in a park for an hour.  The goal is to socialize on a consistent basis; it doesn’t need to be extensive or expensive.

Create your own group

If you don’t have many friends or aren’t finding the right groups in your area, create your own! Sites such as Meetup.com allow you to create a custom group.  You might set one up based on a certain age group, hobby or common interest, or make it for moms only.

When you create your group, you get the added benefit of choosing the activities you love to do.  You’ll meet like-minded people who likely share a similar lifestyle and enjoy doing the same things.

Being social as a work from home parent may take a little bit of work, but once you create a schedule that works for you and your family, it can become something you truly look forward to.  Create the social experiences that interest you and work for you and your family!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 26 March 2018 17:47

HireMyMom Success Story: Whitney Shutt

Name: Whitney Shutt
City / State: Houston, TX
Kids & Ages: Elijah - 2 years 

What’s your success story with HireMyMom.com?

I am a bit of a rare situation, I was at a full time job when I got pregnant and wanted to stay home with my son so I became a member of Hiremymom.com in May/June of 2015 and it only took me about a week or two to land my first interview and was hired on at the company that I still work for today (going on 2.5 years) in August of that same year.   

What’s your educational and experiential background?

I have my bachelors in Corporate Communication and have about 1 years worth of experience in a non-profit organization and 2.5 years of experience if business development, web organization, ghostwriting, transcription, and other various virtual assistant tasks. 

What is your top tip (or tips) for landing a gig on HireMyMom.com?

Be open to anything, even time zones. I work on pacific coast time, but live in central. If you are willing to put in the work and be flexible then you should more often than not find exactly what you are looking for.   

What’s your favorite thing about HireMyMom.com?

The ability to have a website where the jobs have been vetted. I know I can go to this website and know that I won't get scammed and that everything that I see listed are honest employers looking for employees. 

What’s one fun fact about you?

I love to read when my husband takes over toddler time :)

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 24 July 2017 14:23

5 Top Tips for Work From Home Success

Working from home is often the goal of many moms.  It affords flexibility, more time with family, and a comfortable work environment.  While it’s a goal that can lead to a big increase in the quality of your life, it also comes with challenges.  

Between distractions and the lack of traditional work environment, it can take a while to find your footing in the home based working world.  Read along for some best practices for a smooth work from home life.

Separate your spaces

While it might be comfortable to work on the couch for a while, it can lead to posture issues and a lack of focus.  It’s better to establish an office or a separate space in your home specifically reserved for work.  If you don’t have the extra space to make a bedroom into an office, you can set up a space at the dinner table, or place a small desk in another room.

It’s best to eliminate as many distractions as possible, while keeping the environment as “businesslike” as possible while being from home.

Get out of the house

Some people find home based work too isolating and mundane.  If you start to feel this wya, it’s best to get out of the house as much as possible.  You can even work from a coffee shop, park or office space daily.  Even if you obtain a “work from home” job position, you might still look into something more social like a coworking space.

Coworking spaces combine people from a variety of industries and businesses into one location.  This provides the social, office environment while allowing you to keep a flexible schedule and unique working arrangement.

Treat it like work

Working from home is still work! It can be easy to see it as a way to work less and spend time all day with family or friends, but unfortunately, work still needs to get done.  Use the first few weeks to find a good balancing act between the two, and then be sure that you’re working when you should be.

Of course, the benefit of home based work is flexibility, so there will be times when you can use evening or early morning hours to work.  Going outside of the schedule is more than permitted, but a routine work schedule (most days) makes for more effective, productive work.

Unplug

While you should treat your home based career like work, it’s also important to unplug! As home based workers, it can be tough to turn it off.  Your computer is essentially your workspace, but it needs to be turned off once in awhile.

This is why it can be helpful to establish specific work times, so it’s not too tempting to work well into the evening.  Use your off time for friends, family, and personal time, and work on a schedule that works best for you.  Avoid the trap of working around the clock - it can cause unnecessary burnout, stress, and fatigue.

Set your boundaries

Boundaries are important when you work from home.  Since you typically become the point of contact, person who’s there for appointments in the home, caregiver, and so on, it’s important to maximize your schedule and set boundaries so you can still get work done.

Working from home requires some forethought and effort between you, your employer, and your family, but it can be done.  It’s a wonderful working arrangement that affords more flexibility and less missed good times, but ensure that you’re being smart about it and setting boundaries that keep you healthy, happy and productive.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 27 March 2017 16:38

6 Signs of a Great Website

In this day and age, everyone has an online presence.  Especially if you have a business, you know the importance of a quality website.  It’s a known fact that every business has (or should have) a website, but do you know what makes one better than another?

Although you can spend a lot of time and money on specific designs and fancy templates, it’s really crucial that you have the basics down first.  Read along for some best tips and advice to ensure your website is helping your business.

Make Your Contact Clear

Is it easy to contact you on your website?  You should feature a phone number and/or email address at the top of your page.  A “Contact Us” button is great, but people often want something even more accessible.

Ensure that this information is prominently displayed, easy to read, and accurate.  Think of it this way: if someone was ready to buy or order something from you, you would want to make it very easy for them to contact to order from you or hire you.

Professional Photos

Quality, professional photos are truly key to a solid website.  Especially when it comes to photos of you and/or your team, it’s important to make the investment in good headshots.

Additionally, utilizing professional photos gives readers and potential customers a glimpse at you.  Not only does this humanize your brand, but it allows for a brief connection before any business is done.

Let Them Get to Know You

Just as a professional photo allows us to connect visually, information and content allows this as well.  If you feel up to it, include some personal or fun information on your site.  If nothing else, share some of your story about why you are where you are, as well as the “why” of your business.  

This really helps people connect beyond simply purchasing or hiring you, and these days, people want to do business with people they like and trust.  When someone feels like they know you, or can relate or appreciate something personal you said, they’re more likely to give you a call.

Include Calls to Action

It’s great to have a nice site, but if you’re not prompting visitors to do anything, you’re losing any chance to gain their contact information or work with them further.

Can you offer a free download or free one-on-one session for email addresses?  Create a sidebar prompt for this and collect those email addresses.  You could also have an information-gathering form, which typically works best for service-based businesses.  Since the person visiting your site is already likely interested in hiring you, obtaining more information about them and/or their need makes it all the easier to hire you.

Consider the Design

Beautiful design is very important.  Old, outdated websites aren’t pleasing to the eye, and it may show that you’re a bit out of touch.  We buy with our eyes, and if we don’t like what we see, it’s very easy to discard products and services as well.  Web design can be quite an investment, but there are plenty of do-it-yourself sites, or sites that offer design at a discount rate.

Although it’s tempting to try to do-it-yourself, it may create more headaches if it’s not your expertise.  It’s better to go into a web design meeting with an idea of what you want, then shop around a bit for designers who can bring it to life within your budget.

Nothing is more frustrating than a website that’s tough to navigate! This includes broken links, incomplete sentences, sites that won’t load, and so on.  Make sure that each move is intuitive, and that someone without any knowledge of your business can understand it.

Make it Mobile

Everyone is checking websites on their phones these days! If your site isn’t mobile-ready, it becomes a very frustrating experience for readers and potential customers.

There are sites out there that offer to make your website mobile, but more often than not, most templates are mobile-friendly.  This is absolutely something crucial to ask your web designer, as well as ensuring that every important feature functions well on a phone.

It’s not enough to look good on a phone - it must also function perfectly!

These are just a few basic steps to ensure that your website is beautiful and not frustrating to your visitors.  Take the time to get these things down, and then introduce more fun, fancy features that may bring that something extra to your website!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 07 November 2016 16:59

4 Tips to Achieve Ambitious Goals

 

Achieving goals is a prominent concept in business, life and self-development, and it’s for good reason.  When we set goals, we’re more likely to get where we want to be in life.  Although establishing these goals is a lofty and admirable practice, there are ways we can go about them that will ensure that they’re much more achievable!

Write it out

We often forget things if we don’t write them down.  Think about going to the grocery store without a list - we often end up forgetting several things.  The same can be said for to-do lists and other means of writing down reminders.  First of all, by writing down your goals, you’re more easily able to remember them on a daily basis.  Additionally, writing down your goals makes them that much more real.

Visualization is another large part of goal-setting, so if your goals are time-oriented, purchase a wall or refrigerator calendar so you may see your goal date, daily steps, or time passage appropriately.  When you can actually see something in front of you, it’s a more constant reminder of what you’re trying to achieve.

Every day, every week

Do one thing every day or every week to work towards accomplishing your goals.  It can be as simple as reaching out to someone, making a contact, networking, completing a document, or anything small that will help you on your way to success.

Choose an interval that works best for you.  If you know that daily practice isn’t possible, stick to weekly.  When you keep this momentum going, no matter daily, weekly or monthly, you’re more focused and able to come back to what’s important.

Be realistic

Goals must be realistic to be obtained, and what’s realistic for you may not be the same for your friends, partner, or family members.  You know what you’re able to accomplish, and you also know that goals require you to push a bit.  We feel much more accomplished when we’ve strived for a goal and made it happen, so ensure that “realistic” does not mean “easy.”

With that in mind, set goals that are able to be accomplished in a set amount of time.  By keeping time ambiguous, you’re less likely to commit.  Set a specific goal, with a time frame, that is possible within the scope of your lifestyle and willingness to accomplish it.

Move forward

If you’ve reached a goal, go a step further or establish a new, more bold goal that is similar.  You can also choose another step forward that will complement your prior achievement.  Setting, achieving, and moving on from goals is all part of self-improvement; we can stretch ourselves and work to improve and grow.  

Goals don’t need to be scary or unobtainable dreams - they can be a real part of your life that allows you to strive for more and gain a true sense of accomplishment.  Reach for your goals, whether they are personal, business-related, or simply related to improving yourself.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 17 October 2016 20:03

Hire My Mom Success Story: Beth Rodgers

Name: Beth Rodgers 

Location: Michigan 

Kids & Ages: 3,5,8,10

What’s your success story with HireMyMom.com?

I had been looking for legitimate opportunities for me to be able to work and still be home with my kids.  I wasn't impressed with what I had been finding on my own.  I heard about www.hiremymom.com and went back and forth on whether or not to pay for a membership.  After checking out the reviews on the hire my mom website I decided to give it a try.  I hadn't been a member long when I came across a listing that I knew would be perfect for me!  Me and the Mouse Travel was looking for a vacation planner specializing in Disney travel!  I had a series of telephone interviews with the companies owner and was offered a position!  I have been with Me and the Mouse Travel for 3 years now!  

Screen Shot 2016 09 15 at 11.35.37 AM

What’s your educational and experiential background?

As soon as I seen the listing from Me and the Mouse Travel I became so excited! I had worked for Walt Disney World and studied tourism in college I knew that I would be perfect for this job!  I graduated in 2003 from Central Michigan University with a bachelors degree in business management with a concentration in Human Resources and Travel and Tourism. 

Check the site daily new listings get posted daily.  Brush up on your phone and facetime interview skills as most of the time you won't meet your employer face to face.  Also, make sure to follow up on resume's and applications you send!

What’s your favorite thing about HireMyMom.com

My favorite thing about having a membership with HireMyMom.com is that they did the leg work weeding out any job opportunities that I wouldn't have considered legitimate, professional job opportunities.  

What’s one fun fact about you?

I LOVE my job!  Just like Hire My Mom helps you to find a perfect job to fit your life circumstances I help families plan magical vacations to fit their desires!  My planning services are free to use!  For more information about my Disney vacation planning services please visit  http://meandthemouse.com/vacations/beth-rodgers/ or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

 

If you'd like to be featured as one of our Success Stories, please contact us!

 

 

 

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 06 June 2016 16:14

4 Fun Summer Activities for Kids

School's out for summer and it’s time for the fun to kick in! Although most parents will still be working, home based moms have the benefit of some flexibility be with their kids over the summer. Although kids are ready for playtime and relaxation, they’ll need something productive to do as well.  

Lounging is fun but can become boring quickly.  Keep their minds working and engaged - most kids thrive on a schedule and planned activity of some kind!

Programs

Let your kids learn something new! Summer is a great time for fun education in the way of day and overnight camps and discovery activities at your local YMCA or school.  These programs offer anything ranging from karate to cooking and gardening.  This will likely be a lot of fun for kids, but it’s also providing them with new skills and something to look forward to.  They can also meet new friends or strengthen bonds with existing friends by joining with a buddy!  Local animal centers, rescues, and conservation centers also offer programs in the summer, so they’re worth looking into for craft days, volunteer training, and much more.

Libraries also often have summer programs and there’s the added benefit of allowing your kids to rent books while you're there. Summer reading is a great, enriching activity that most kids really enjoy.  If you’re feeling ambitious, work with them to set a summer book goal to reach, depending on your child.

Sports

Certain sports thrive in the summer, such as swimming and baseball.  If your child is interested, pursue joining a sports team for the summer.  This is a short commitment, but allows them to participate in a team sport and see if they enjoy the sport itself.

Swim practices are typically in the mornings, and parents can take turns with carpool, as well as get work done while waiting for them to be done.  It’s a cool, healthy way to spend a summer while encouraging team sports and values!

If a team sport isn’t up their alley, bowling (and similar sports) can be fun too! Take a few afternoons and schedule a bowling date with your kids and their friends.  Any activity that gets them moving and having fun is a key for summer.

Craft

Crafting is another way for your kids to have fun and utilize their creativity muscles.  These days, there are several pottery places, canvas painting centers and more.  You can do this in a group and alternate carpooling with other moms; it can be fun to take a few hours in the afternoon for yourself too!

If you want to keep your art and craft projects at home or less expensive, here is a fun list of simple, low cost activities you can set up just about anywhere!  These can also be education for your kids as well.

Field trips

Plan 3-5 day trips over the summer with your family.  These don’t necessary have to be all day, but you can visit a local farm, science center, or see a play or a kid’s movie.  Make these trips a little more special than a typical day or night out by adding a few activities into one day, or do something bigger like going to an amusement or water park.

The fun of summer comes from spontaneity and laid back lifestyles, but it’s also important to incorporate structured activities, educational and creative options into your child’s summer.  Apply some of these tips and see your child blossom while having fun this year!

Published in Work from Home Tips