Job Title: Owner Of An E-Commerce Company
Type of Company: My company is an internet-only company that sells educational toys and furniture.
Education: BS, Sociology certificate, Criminal Justice, Suffolk University (Boston, MA)
Previous Experience: I worked in the alumni office at my alma mater and that provided me with my first experience using a computer. I used a computer at my next job at the YMCA for fifteen years and then took graphics classes in order to build web sites for about four years before starting my internet company selling educational toys and furniture for children.
Job Tasks: Day-to-day tasks include taking telephone orders, answering customer questions, dealing with customer problems with a product, processing orders and accounting tasks. I also add new products almost daily, update the web site, look for new products, contact new manufacturers. Attending the International Toy Fair in New York in February is a highlight every year. Hundreds of toy companies showcase their new products there for buyers.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Working out of the house is good and bad. I like the flexibility it allows and being able to be around to take my children to their activities. I don't like feeling like I'm ALWAYS in the house and can never get away from work and taking care of the house. Owning a small company also means that the laptop comes with me on vacations so I can deal with any issues that come up.
Job Tips: Working out of the house is more of a challenge than you think. Be prepared to prioritize and stick to it. It's hard to make sure your work time is your work time and your taking-care-of-the-home time is taking-care-of-the-home time. Be ready to work nights to make up for time away doing the child care shuffle with activities, religious school, etc. Take a business class to help with the business and accounting end of things. Having some sales experience is also helpful. I worked in retail for four years while in college and learned quite a bit about customer service.
Additional Thoughts: Most people think it is great that I can work from the home and still be around for my family. Most days I also agree that it is the best all-round job. But be prepared for isolation. It's a lot different than working in a business environment. You also need to make sure to prioritize your time and make your work time only your work time. You need to be flexible once your family is home.
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