Working from home can be a dream come true for most mothers. You get to be home with the kids, save time on commuting, save money on office wear and childcare, and most importantly – have a job. Yes, life can be good.
However, it can be lonely too.
No around-the-water cooler gossip sessions, no hanging out with colleagues over the weekend, no office lunches. Basically, it’s just you, your laptop, and your work. Yes, lonely. As a mother with young kids (or even older ones), this loneliness can be enough to want you to quit your work-at-home setup and rush back to the familiar office cubicle.
How can you avoid this? In two words, Social Media.
Yes, social media is a great way of enjoying all the gossip, chitchat, and conversation that you’d want with other mothers and work-at-home parents. Want to know how social media can help you, the WAHM, even more? Here are five ways:
1. Socializing with Other Parents
Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are great opportunities to socialize with other parents. However, just as in real life, you have to make the effort of reaching out, introducing yourself, and then building a relationship.
It works exactly the same way as it does in the offline world – you talk about your day, ask about theirs, find out how the kids and family are doing, offer advice when asked for, and share your support.
It’s easy and you should be doing it.
2. Finding New Job Opportunities
You know how when you’re working in an office, you get headhunted for bigger and better opportunities? Well, that can happen when you work-at-home too. Most of my job opportunities have landed in my lap via social networking.
I’m a huge fan of Twitter and LinkedIn for professional socializing. So, how can you find new jobs or business opportunities on Twitter? Simple. Follow businesses and clients who you think would need your services, create a List and add them to it.
Touch base with them every now and then, keep a tab on how they’re business is doing, respond to their questions, let them know if you’re running a special on any of our services.
Before you know it, you’ll have opportunities coming your way.
3. Connecting with Colleagues
Are you a writer? A coach? A business blogger? Sell a product? No matter what you do, you can find and create your own “water-cooler” on social networks. On Facebook, you can create a Group and invite fellow members of your industry to join you and chat about business and non-business activities.
On Twitter, create a List and have a heart-to-heart with peers whenever you want to catch a break. In fact, if you want to extend your network and connect with more people in your industry, you can host a Twitter party and find yourself amongst thousands of fellow professionals or entrepreneurs.
4. Creating a Virtual Office Network
You can use social media to create an office network to boost your productivity and keep you connected to others. Using social tools like Skype to have a “real” conversation, or Flickr to swap photos of the kids, can help you battle isolation and still work out of home.
5. Attending Conferences and Events
If you feel like you’re missing out on all the fun and activities that people in real offices have at conferences and events, go ahead and attend one, virtually. There are plenty of virtual conferences and webinars that give you the opportunity to socialize, network,and learn.
How do you think social media can help you as a work from home mother?