4 Lessons to Learn About Working From Home Before You Accept the Job

“Work from home.”, they said. “It’ll be easy!”, they said. “Man, were they right!” – said no one ever.

Cat Clayton

8:03, clocking in late again. It seemed that no matter what Sophie did – she just couldn’t make it to work on time. Or anywhere for that matter. (But that is for another story, for another time.) Just this morning the dog threw up, right as she was walking out the door. She cleaned that up, gave her pooch a little love, and headed out the door. Exactly 8 minutes later and 10 minutes away from work, she got a call from the school nurse. Avery had a fever and she would have to be picked up. She made a call to her husband and asked if he could pick her up on his way home. Matt worked nights and was just getting off so it worked out pretty well. As she clocked in though, she thought, “I wish I could just work from home. Things would be so much easier.”

Sound familiar? Often times, when real life has its ups and downs, people tend to think that working from home would just make everything easier. That isn’t necassarily the case. You need to have a few things in good working order and a few select skills before you can make the transition to a work-from-home job. Let’s debunk a few myths:

Myth #1: If I could work from home, I would never be late.

Truth #1: Looking back at Sophie’s morning, you may be thinking that if she worked from home then it wouldn’t have mattered if the dog threw up because she didn’t have a commute to work, so she couldn’t have been late. And you may also be thinking that she could have just ran and picked up Avery.

Not true. If you work from home, you still have obligations to the work that you do. Depending on how you work from home matters too. Some companies will hire you for hybrid work but expect you to be at your home desk working during your normal shift. You would need to be logged into your PC during the hours you should be working. There are even a few companies that require you to use a camera that they can log on to anytime during your working hours to make sure you are present. Even if your company doesn’t require you to log in at specific times, you still have a workload to do and need to set office hours that are just that. Taking time to take care of life situations that you normally wouldn’t be able to while at the office, really puts a pause button on the amount of work you are able to get done and the quality of work you submit.

Lesson #1: If you work from home, you absolutely MUST set office hours and stick to those hours. If unrelated life occurrences pop up, you should treat the situation just as you would if you worked out of a corporate office. If you think you can just roll with the punches, you’ll find yourself out of a work-at-home job pretty quick.

Myth #2: PJ’s here I come!

Truth #2: Not so much. You may think if you are just sitting around doing data entry, it doesn’t matter what you are wearing. You’ll just live in your pajamas and get so much work done because you are so comfortable. Not true. Studies show that when a person gets dressed up as if they were leaving the house, it puts them in a more professional mindset. You will get more accomplished in your silk top than you will in your 20-year-old New Kids On the Block pajama top. (Don’t hate, I was convinced I was going to marry Joey McIntyre when I was like 12.)

Lesson #2: Get dressed everyday! When I was 18 and decided to give a local direct sales company a go, I remember one of their sayings was, “Dress for the job you want tomorrow, not for the one you have today.” That stuck with me and I tell all of my tribe to “Get up, get dressed, and go get the day.” However, if the company you work for is ok with it or if you are self-employed, give yourself permission to wear jeans on Friday’s, or maybe if you reach a big goal you get to wear the bunny slippers all day as a reward.

Myth #3: No more meetings!

Truth #3: Wrong again. If you work for a company, it is almost guaranteed that they are going to want you to make occasional trips to the office for a company meeting or briefing. Or they may want you to get very friendly with Zoom or another virtual meeting platform. Even last-minute meetings will pop up and you will have to make the adjustments to attend, just like if you were at the office. While you can probably get by with wearing the bunny slippers under the table, you will need to be prepared for regular meetings – with actual people seeing your face.

If you don’t work for a company and you’ve decided to take your mad skills and jump into the world of entrepreneurship – you will DEFINITELY have meetings in your future. Now you have to fight to find the clients and you will have to meet with them to tell them why you are the one they should choose to run their marketing campaign or water their plants or whatever your mad skills are.

Lesson #3: Be prepared. Make sure your technology is always working well. Practice talking in front of the camera if you are nervous. You can use apps like Marco Polo to pretend you are giving a speech and then get a friend’s input. No matter what, just remember meetings are one of the things that help the world turn around. Collaboration is a must – no matter what. You won’t get away from them just because you work three feet from your kitchen.

Myth #4: It will be so nice not having Joanie from accounting popping her head in my office every 5 minutes.

Truth #4: Joanie knows how to instant message. Also, remember your daughter Avery, who is now home with a fever. If you were at the office talking to Joanie, Matt would most likely be home taking care of Avery and not getting any sleep. But, if you are at home, you are most likely going to be the one taking care of Avery while trying to balance your work. You have to find a work-life balance that works and set boundaries for yourself and your family. You will need to pretend that while you are working from home, you are actually at an office. Otherwise, your Thursday afternoon, might be full of laundry and dirty dishes, instead of getting your expense report finished and emailed to Joanie.

Lesson #4: Put your home office in a room (or closet) with a door that closes. If this isn’t an option, buy a room partition. If you can’t afford that, write BUSY and COME IN on two sticky notes and stick the appropriate one to your computer monitor so that when your family approaches, they will know if it is ok to talk with you. You can also do things like put sticky notes on the dishwasher and washing machine (and right in the middle of the tv) so that if you find yourself getting distracted, your “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT” notes will get you back on task.

The bottom line is that working from home presents a whole different set of problems and solutions than working in an office does. Yes, there are a TON of PROS to working from home, but you need to learn how to navigate around the CONS.

There is something to be said about being able to pour your own Texas sweet brewed tea and having warm leftover meatloaf from the night before for lunch instead of having to eat a quick club sandwich on dry toast and drinking something that looks like sweet tea, but definitely doesn’t taste like it, from the local cafe. And stepping out into your home garden to pull tomatoes for dinner that night is a nice way to spend your 15-minute break. Also, being home to get the new Kate Spade purse you allowed yourself to buy as a reward for hitting your goals last month, and not having to worry about a porch pirate is nice. So go – get that work-from-home job!! Just make sure you put your little duckies in a row and stay on task. You’ll do great.

Now I’m off to check out the new Kate Spade sale. Super excited about it.



They Call Him The Whineoceros

via They Call Him The Whineoceros

You guys have got to read this post.  The mom (Sarah) is delightfully witty and honest about the crazy “mom” things that threaten to steal our sanity every day – and a fellow wine lover!

Take a peek at this post – it’s a good read and will offer a light-hearted laugh and a reminder that we aren’t alone in this “mom thing”. ♥


You have to!! Because Jesus said!! Out of the mouths of babes…

As an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books – I get to do LOTS of fun things with kids.  In fact, that is one of the reasons I became a part of the company 2 years ago.  I started college thinking I wanted to be a teacher – however – being a “teacher” in Texas isn’t all it is cracked up to be…  In my opinion, teachers in Texas do not have the ability to teach children the way that they need to be taught.  There are so many rules and regulations that as a parent it is often hard for me to help my children with their homework because it has to be done a specific way.  That doesn’t make sense to me…but I digress.  I could go on for hours and hours about that.

The point is that with Usborne, I get to go into schools, preschools, daycares, libraries and community centers and hang out with the coolest kids!!  They are always saying the funniest things that make me smile, make me laugh and always make my day.

Today I spent the day with over 50 kids ages 3 and up.  I read them the story of ‘Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster’, which is one of my absolute favorites.  The message it carries is one every child (and adult!) should hear and believe.


After the book reading I sat with each child and painted their face with something unique to their personality.  I spent the day painting smiley faced suns, flowers, butterflies, heart shaped ladybugs, snakes and Hello Kitty.  One little boy asked me to paint the yellow bird from Angry Birds!  I told him I had never done that one, but that I would try.  When I was finished I took a pic and showed him and he LOVED it…although I thought I had done a terrible job!  All of the kids told them how much they liked it and it made me so happy to know I put that smile on his face…and the angry bird… 😉


Another little boy sat down (after I had just finished a dinosaur on another little boys face) and asked if I could do a dinosaur for him.  I told him I could and showed him the picture of the one I had just done.  He said, “Well actually, my favorite dinosaur is the Brachiosaurus.”  I laughed and told him I wasn’t sure I could quite do that specific dinosaur justice.  He then spent a solid minute explaining to me what it looked like.  I finally got it across that it wasn’t an option.  Then he says, “Well, actually my favorite animal that is alive in the world we live in today is…is….is…the giant gorilla.  Can you paint the giant gorilla on my face?”  The only thing I could think to say while trying not to laugh was, “I’m not sure it would fit on your face.”  I tried to explain that since there were so many kids and only one of me that to make it fair to each of his friends that he would need to pick something from the list.  He finally picked the snake.  My example picture is a little green snake with brown triangle spots and a black tongue and eyes.  As I dipped my brush in the green paint he says, “Well actually, snakes are my very favorite animal in the world and I especially like the poison ones.  The ones in Texas aren’t poisonous and can’t bite you, but I like the ones that can.  Can you paint a really poisonous snake?”  This one scared me because I felt the need to explain to him the truth about Texas snakes!!  However, I wound up doing a green snake with black and red triangles and a red tongue.  This seemed to make him happy…finally.


After I painted their faces I stamped their little hands with our Usborne signature mascot – the duck!  They all loved that and a few even walked away saying quack quack. 🙂


The last class of the day was the school aged kids.  These are kids ages 5 and up that are in public school but are out for Summer vacation.  Because this room was more advanced, they had pop music playing on the radio while the kids were playing in various centers waiting on their turn to have their face painted.  There was this one little boy that really just made my whole day.  After listening to the local pop station, the teacher put in a Michael Jackson CD.  I wouldn’t have thought these kids knew who he was, much less enjoy his music.  This one little boy just absolutely made my day.  He stood in front of the stereo and danced to every single MJ song.  When I say he danced I mean he literally danced the dances MJ did in his videos for each song.  He had to have been about 7 years old and was just awesome.  He even did the crotch grab, which was funny, cute and awkward all at the same time.  I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it, but his talent kept me entertained and in awe for sure.

I was finishing up my last face of the day (another Hello Kitty) when they started setting up for lunch.  Little Michael Jackson Jr. began to help set out the plastic ware and plates.  Just as I finished my last duck stamp and began to clean up my paint area, he walked up to the teacher as she was about to start dishing out food and said, “You have to serve me first, it says so in the Bible.”  I couldn’t help but come to a complete stop and watch the scene play out.  The teacher didn’t even know what to say and just looked at him, completely speechless.  He realized she was not on the same page as him so he continued, “The Bible says that the last person to get served should be the first person to get served and I got my plate after everyone else, so you have to give me food before anyone else.”  Now the teacher had caught up and without missing a beat says, “Didn’t you get a spoon before anyone else?”

The whole exchange just made me laugh and think about what his home life is like.  I envisioned his Sunday mornings started with Bible Study, then Church Service, followed by lunch and an afternoon of Michael Jackson dance moves training.  It’s so interesting to think about what types of lifestyles each child has.

I am lucky that the future I have planned for myself includes a company that puts me in front of children like this everyday.  The daycare was so impressed they decided they’d like for me to come back (possibly quarterly) and do book fairs for them that often as well. 🙂  I can’t wait until I get to go back.

Have you experienced a child doing or saying something hilarious (or in some cases embarrassing to you but funny to someone else)?  I would love to hear your stories below!!

As a final note I’ll leave you with a short (very embarrassing) story from when my Mini Me was 3.  It was mid October and we still had no idea what she was going to be for Halloween.  I was doing a little late night grocery shopping and thought I’d flip through the costume rack while I had the time.  The only people on the isle were me, my daughter and another woman.  Now the size or race of a person would NEVER make it in my blog unless it was relevant to the story – and this is totally relevant.  The other woman was an older, black woman that was fairly heavyset.  She was on one side of the isle and we were on the other – baskets side by side.  I kept pulling things from the rack and showing them to the Mini Me: “How about a fairy? A princess? A witch? A pumpkin fairy princess?”  She just kept shaking her head no and was becoming increasingly more irritated.  As I was about to give up, I sighed rather heavily and said, “Ok then, if you don’t want to be any of these costumes what do you want to be?”  I suppose she was irritated because I didn’t already I know what she wanted to be.  So she responds with a very exasperated and very loud comment, “I WANNA BE A TITTY!  A BIG BLACK TITTY!” Oh. My. Goodness.  I am a redhead so when I blush its pretty obvious.  I went red from head to toe and turned to apologize and that poor woman was about to pee herself because she was laughing so hard.  Thank goodness she had a sense of humor – I was mortified!  Now every Halloween the Mini Me waits until we are in the middle of Walmart and with an evil little grin says, “Hey mom, know what I want to be for Halloween this year?” :o)