A few months ago (in February), I realized that I definitely wanted/needed a job, to contribute an income. I’ve been an unemployed homemaker since 2010. That was acceptable until recently when a series of events led me to conclude, among other things, that it was time for me to be more independent and find a job. I talked to my husband about this deduction, about our financial goals, and he agreed. It was time for me to start this process, to step out of “survive” mode and into “thrive” mode.
At first, I thought I wanted to earn an income in the traditional sense: to be employed by an employer. I decided to take a five-week break from YouTube so that I could focus all of my efforts on an employment search and then transitioning into all of the changes associated with that. I applied for several positions, mostly through Indeed, over the course of several days.
On March 21st, I applied for a Front End Hourly Associate (cashier) position at Kroger (for the fourth time in four months). One or two days later, I received and answered a phone screen request via email. I was approved for an interview, scheduled for March 24th at 10:00 AM.
Despite my shy and somewhat-awkward nervousness during the interview, I was 99% positive that the job was mine when the interviewer asked me back in the next day to sign paperwork for a background check. While I was waiting for the background check to clear, which took a total of four days, I investigated child care options. I calculated the difference between my potential Kroger income ($9.00/hour) and estimated expenses, and I realized that I would profit less than $100 per month after child care costs alone were deducted from my salary, if I accepted this position.
I quickly realized and was reminded that a traditional job role was not for me: I felt that my employment history was too pitiful for a decent paying job; I was in a hurry to start generating an income as soon as I possibly could, and I didn’t want to waste any more time; and let’s not forget to mention all of the childcare related issues, including costs. So, I immediately started researching work-from-home jobs.
The interviewer did call back on the 30th of March to schedule me for orientation. I was hired; but, by then, I had already decided that I definitely wanted to work from home instead.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart and have considered working (earning an income) from home before. Nothing substantial ever came from my research or haphazard attempts, though; I wasn’t serious enough about it before. But, in the first week of April, my research on potential work-at-home sources of income led me to Rev. I applied as a freelance transcriptionist through their site and was approved the same day. The next day (Friday 6th April), I started their Rookie Program.
Week One. Since Rev defines a week from Sunday to Saturday, and I only transcribe during the week (with an exception or two during the initial transition phase), my first week was only one day. I transcribed 9 minutes and 59 seconds and received excellent scores. (Rev grades every project based on accuracy and formatting. Five is the highest score you can receive, and I scored fives in both categories that first week.) I earned $3.20, and I was paid Monday morning through PayPal.
Week Two. For the most part, the second week went smoothly. I was promoted from Rookie to Revver in advance on Monday 9 April after receiving high scores (fours and fives) on three to four files that day. That meant that I started earning 25% more and gained access to all of the transcription jobs available on their work-space. By Saturday, I had transcribed 85 minutes and 23 seconds, and I earned $45.91 for the second week.
On Thursday morning (12th April), I returned to YouTube, a couple of weeks earlier than I originally planned. Later that day, I received a call from the school nurse about my five-year-old son. He had awoken from afternoon nap time, crying with a severe headache. He was sent to the school nurse. No fever at that point. At first, I thought it could’ve been dehydration, but he acquired a high fever by bedtime. I kept him home from school Friday, hopeful that his fever would subside over the weekend.
Week Three. Let’s just say that week three did not go as planned. It’s a good thing that I had started a lengthier project Saturday (the last day of week two) and finished it the next day (Sunday 15 April), or else my week would’ve been an utter disappointment. I only completed one other project that week, on Monday 16 April, and received ones for both accuracy and formatting because I failed to transcribe the entire file. I was devastated with disappointment in myself.
To be honest, I didn’t thoroughly review the Style Guide when I first started transcribing (which I should’ve done), so I didn’t realize that off-topic conversations should be included in the transcription. As a result of this failed project, I decided to review the Style Guide in its entirety and was determined to take my time and ensure that I referred to the Style Guide from that point on.
My son stayed home that entire week+ with a severe headache and fever, so I had to take care of him. Plus, my period started on Tuesday. I was sleep-deprived and irritable and overwhelmed and stressed. So, after Monday, I was unable to transcribe any more files. But, I transcribed a total of 119 minutes and 16 seconds and earned $61.49 for week three.
Week Four. My son went back to school on Tuesday with headache and fever gone! Week four went well. I transcribed three files (one on Monday, one on Wednesday, and one on Saturday), a total of 112 minutes and 15 seconds; and I earned $52.48.
Balance. At first, my goal was to transcribe one file a day for Rev, or five files per week. Within the first few weeks, I realized that this was impossible if I also wanted to be successful at YouTube and WordPress and keep up with my responsibilities as a homemaker. But, after much trial and error over the past five weeks, I feel like I have finally found balance between management of home and work, with routines.
I work Monday through Friday. I start around 8 AM and try to finish by 2 PM. I work for 30 to 45 minutes with 5 to 10 minute breaks in between. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are designated for Rev; Tuesdays are designated for WordPress; and Thursdays are designated for YouTube, but I schedule the video for the subsequent Tuesday. Also, I’ve created a daily cleaning tasks list. I try to accomplish a few of the tasks in the morning during my breaks and complete the remaining tasks in the evening after dinner. This is my first full week applying the schedule.
For now, my new income from Rev is sufficient, and I am so grateful for it. But, in time, with a lot of hard work and determination, I am confident that I will be able to (a) add to that revenue through the remonetization of my YouTube channel and monetization of this blog, and (b) that my husband and I will be able to accomplish our goals and thrive!