Being a mom is a full-time job, but if you’ve got some spare time or want to help contribute to your family income, it’s never too late to find work. While many on maternity leave are fortunate enough to have a job they love waiting for them, those who have been out of the office for a while or never really found a career worth committing to can now think outside the box and pivot focus with freelance jobs.

It all starts with a skill. Think about what you have to offer and see if it matches demand on freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour. New freelancers in any industry can take time to build up their portfolio and reputation, so be patient and don’t give up. More and more companies and startups are tapping into the gig economy, so it’s an exciting time to try freelancing.

There are a variety of freelance careers to consider, but it’s worth finding the one that fits not only your skills and schedule but also your long-term interests. Here are a few works from home favourites:

Writer
One of the most exciting and in-demand roles out there; starting as a writer might seem daunting but if you think you’ve got the flair, go for it! There are different writers – copywriters who work on marketing and corporate wordsmiths, article and content writing, SEO and social media writers, and more. If you’re great at grammar and fact-checking, you could even consider being a remote editor – the ‘words’ the limit.

How to get started: Check in with your network to see if any companies they own or work for will give you a chance to write a few blogs or social media posts to build experience. You may need to do this for free at first as you’ll be learning on the job but, with experience under your belt and a brand new portfolio, you can start charging clients with ease. 
Brush up on the basics: Coursera has great e-learning options, especially for content writing, but there are many free options, like the Content Marketing Course by Hubspot.

Photographer
Do your friends ever tell you that you take great photos? If you’re someone who gets excited about lighting, angles and the beauty of framing, you might be enthusiastic about becoming a paid freelance photographer. Of course, portrait photography is a popular freelance choice. However, you can also consider still life (product shots or interior design) and architecture photography. If you’re willing to go out with a story, editorial photography is also an option.

How to get started:

  1. Set up a separate photography-related profile on Instagram and regularly update it with shots you’re particularly proud of as a start. You’ll learn a lot about your style and exactly what you can offer gradually.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback from people you admire too, either online or offline.
  3. Once you’re confident about your work, start promoting your profile and applying to the jobs you want.

Brush up on the basics: The Reddit Photo class is an excellent introduction to photography but, if you know exactly what you’d like to learn more about, find a related course – for example, image editing on LinkedIn Learning.

Translator
The Middle East is a strategic base for companies worldwide, and with over 100 nationalities calling this region home, there’s a growing demand for proven translators. In addition, interpreters are often hired for live events and conferences. Still, it’s easier to freelance for translation jobs that ensure written material or content is accurate and engaging for native speakers.

How to get started: If you’re bilingual and can write well, we recommend finding your industry niche – for example, legal translation is different from literary translation, and cultural nuances in all languages matter. At the same time, build your experience, pitch for smaller projects and help convince prospective clients that you’re worth taking a chance on by offering to do a sample exercise. Once they recognize your talents, it’s easier to negotiate prices.
Take language proficiency tests and sign up for language courses from respected companies, such as ESL. It’s worth noting that legal and certified translators are often required to register on official government portals before accepting work.

Interior Designer
If your home looks like the cover of Wallpaper or Interior Design magazine, chances are you already have an eye for this career but just never thought of taking it up professionally. It’s an exciting, creative and often challenging path where you’ll get to work on everything from complete home transformation projects to putting the crucial final aesthetic touches in offices.

How to get started: If there are design companies or mentors you want to learn from, ask them about internship opportunities. In the meantime, get in touch with friends and family about considering your services – a lot of people put off small interior design jobs, so you’d be helping them out while building a solid portfolio.
There are excellent e-learning options online, but consider enrolling in The Designers’ Studio if you live in Dubai. Launched by interior designer Anam Clarke, the venue’s certificate courses are aimed at busy moms, with timings that factor in school pickups and dropoffs.

Digital Marketer
Once whittled down, a trendy role is essentially about helping companies promote themselves online. If you have a background in traditional sales and marketing, digital marketing could be a freelance career for you. What makes each marketeer unique is their skillset – content and copywriting, social media, generating sales leads, website design, and community management are all worth knowing. The result? Driving a target audience to pay for the goods and services you’re helping to promote.

How to get started: knowing how to market yourself that’s the first step. While you may have a great CV, it’s worth working on your brand and building a website or blog that highlights your learnings and unique perspectives.
Remember the basics: Coursera and Udemy have excellent digital marketing courses, including ones that dive into a range of specializations, such as social media and podcasting.

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