But it's not for everyone. Having worked from home for the past 9 years, I want to share some of the pros and cons of a home-based resume writing business, from the perspective of someone who can "tell it like it is!"
Pros of a Home-Based Resume Writing Business
- You can get started building a home-based resume writing business in your spare time. Many resume writers get their start this way. Work a full-time job, and write resumes at night and on the weekends. This allows you to develop your skills, build a client base, and get experience without needing the resume writing business to provide all of your income (and benefits).
- Low start-up costs. If you already have a computer and word processing software (Word is the industry standard), you've got almost all the tools you'll need. With free and inexpensive website design/hosting software, you can quickly establish an online presence. Once you start generating income, you can join a professional association in the resume writing industry, and pursue certification.
- Low operating costs. You already pay a mortgage or rent and you already have utilities (and probably, Internet access), so your operating costs really won't change at first just because you have a home-based resume writing business. You may at some point invest in some extras, but you can keep them lean and mean by only purchasing what you must have.
- No commute. Wake up, walk 10 feet and you're at work. No need to drive to work and spending money on cars, gas and work clothing. Because I live in Nebraska (hello, snow!), I love working from home for this reason.
- No childcare. Technically you can work on your business while your kids are playing, napping, or with their other parent. This advantage varies depending on the age of your children and the willingness of your spouse to assist. (I can't speak to this one personally, as I borrow "my" children from their real parents, and then return them when they are all sugared up and I'm worn out.)
- Flexible working hours. This is probably the biggest reason why I am self-employed. Being a home-based resume writer has allowed me to take care of ill family members (including helping my Mom take care of my Dad before he died last year), be there for my niece's and nephew's school events, and follow my favorite college hockey team on the road, while still getting my work done.
- Professional satisfaction. Running a successful home-based resume business can give you the same professional satisfaction you had at a job, only better, because it's all yours. And most resume clients don't care where you work from -- you'll be working with them via phone, Skype, email, Google+ Hangout, etc.
Cons of a Home Business
- You're always "at work." When your work is at home it can be hard to separate yourself from it. You can never really "leave" the office, even if you stop working for the day. This is probably the biggest misconception I hear about working from home. People say to me, "I'd never be able to work from home because I'd just end up in front of the TV all day." For me, the opposite is true. I'll "check my email real quick before I go to bed" at 10:30 p.m, and the next thing I know, it's 1 a.m.
- Family and friends may not understand you're working. Once you're not working a job anymore, your friends and family may often start relying on you to do all kinds of things for them now that you "don't work." It may be difficult to explain to them that you do indeed work. My former sister-in-law was famous for this. My mom came over to watch my youngest niece while my brother worked (from home) and his then-wife taught preschool in the morning. She was supposed to be home by noon, but would frequently call and say she was running late and to just leave my infant niece with my brother to take care of … even though he was on deadline. You have to set your boundaries…and enforce them.
- Undefined working hours. Sometimes when you work from home and switch hours around to accommodate the needs of the family, it can feel like you never get off work, that you're always at work, and it can get quite frustrating. See Cons #1 and #2.
- Lack of benefits. You will not have health insurance, paid vacations, and other benefits that you get at a job. If you want them, you'll have to pay for them -- and that means charging enough to make a decent living…including benefits! You can build in your own paid days off as you generate more profit.
- Loss of social contacts. You'll spend an enormous amount of time alone working from home. You may start to feel isolated. Here again is where your network of other professional resume writers can help!
- Your motivation must come from you. There will not be anyone to force you to do the work and no threat of being fired if you don't. If you're not the type of person who is intrinsically motivated, self-employment may not be for you.
Regardless of the pros and cons of having a home-based resume writing business, the decision is up to you. Any of the cons can be turned into pros with just a little forethought and planning.