Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How to Work From Home as a Mom in Malaysia

work from home mom malaysia


People are telling me all~ the time that I'm so lucky that I get to work from home and I never know what to say because this work from home option is actually available to you, you and you - to everybody! Everyone can work from home and it's really easy! Even in Malaysia! 

Let me tell you how. 

First, the caveat - DO NOT SCROLL DOWN WITHOUT READING THIS! 

Being a fulltime stay at home mom and fulltime working mom means that you are ON 24/7. 
i. No more medical leaves 
ii. No more holidays away from work 
iii. No more companionship from colleagues (babies don't count!) 
iv. No more dressing up smart for work
v. No escape from baby (whom I love dearly but seriously. This is not a lifestyle for every parent in the world). You must be prepared to forego sleep, shower or food just to make sure that your baby is comfortable and your work is done on time. 
vi. If you are working from home and working on your own business, it also means that at the back of your mind you will always be worrying about cash flow for the future 
vii. If you are working from home and you're being paid to do so by a business, then you will worry about being redundant over worrying about whether or not you'll get the promotion. Out of sight, out of your boss' mind! 

Of course if you are reading this and you're not a parent, then the following tips will still apply to you and the only caveat you'll need to keep in mind is vi and vii. 

OK, here we go - 

How to Work From Home (And Earn Money)

1. Other People's Business 

You will need: A good reason that will allow your boss to let you work from home. And you should also be damn good at your job for this to be long-term. 

Some small /start-up and MNCs actually allow employees to work from home once a week. Go work for them and you'll enjoy the best of both worlds. 

The chances of you finding one will probably be word of mouth or by interview as these companies seldom advertise this work benefit. Once, I bargained for the firm to allow me to come in just 3 days a week at a lower salary so they could afford me and I also had time to work on other side projects.

I came across this opportunity five times in my ten years working career but turned it down four times because I did not have a child then and was looking to really learn as much as I could from the working environment. I was in the digital marketing field. 

2. Sell stuff online 

You will need: A unique product or service to sell and be business savvy (buy low, sell high; don't underestimate the cost of your time and talent, understanding of marketing and logistics) 

Lately, I buy lots of stuff off the Jobs for Caring Moms Malaysia Facebook Group which is all about empowering moms in Malaysia with the ability to sell anything they can think of. Most moms sell food items or items sourced from overseas. If you are a mom, I highly encourage you to join the group, test the market with an item you think you can profit from and start selling! That Facebook Group also features a job board for moms with plenty of part time jobs (sometimes also stay at home jobs), check it out here. 

Another good alternative is selling stuff on Carousell or start your own Facebook Business Page.  

On the international front, you could also offer digital services on fiverr.com and earn USD! Some typical services you could provide are translation services or design (logo, print, digital, etc) 

3. Be a digital influencer 

You will need: discipline to create content consistently, whether it's on Instagram, by blogging, YouTube or any other social media platform. Knowledge of web design, SEO, digital marketing and networking skills will be a big plus. 

Youtubers with a million subscribers get paid a lot of money! If you're a popular blogger in Malaysia, you'll be able to enjoy lots of free perks like free food, holidays and merchandise. I am unsure about the market rate for blog posts now, but the rates from several years ago was that a famous Malaysian blogger can charge up to RM3,000 per blog post on a product review. 

I hardly blog myself and I have also enjoyed free perks every once in awhile. 

So blog, blog, blog and be sure to promote your blog! If you start up one, email me and I'll be sure to be a silent reader. :) 

4. Be an uber driver

You will need: A driver's license and car younger than 5 years? (I have never done this before)

OK, this isn't really work from home but I heard you can get lots of pocket money, especially if you drive during peak hours! My friend used to do this part time (after working hours) and he would get an additional RM3,000 to RM4,000 every month! Of course I'm not sure if this is after toll and petrol deductions. 

5. Start your own business (what I did) 

You will need: A lot of emergency cash and a type of business that does not require a lot of space, also on retainer - accountant, lawyer, auditor for all the legal stuff 

Be your own boss. Decide to setup an office in your house. Decide your own working hours and how much you want to get paid every month. 

6. Be an investor. 

You will need: A computer, internet and investment knowledge I guess?  (I have never done this before)

You know, shares and stocks and stuff. Live off dividends? (I have no idea, but I have heard of people staying at home and doing investment part time). 



So. 

The point of this blog post is that I expect that most of you would have already known 99% of the things listed here. And yes, all the above sound like a lot of work even though the term "work from home" sounds a lot like not a lot of work is involved.

You will always have to learn something new and improve yourself to stay valuable in the changing market. Someone who knows nothing and plans to stay that way will never make any money staying at home and trying to make a living. But I guess this is the same even for those who are working outside of home. 

Never feel as if you were pre-ordained by life or death to work outside your home forever and ever. You're not! Everything you do is a choice!

We are all self-made but only the successful will admit it. 


If you really want to earn more money or decide to quit your job, there are always alternatives! 

Choose your life, and live it well! Be happy! :) 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

A mom reviews 13 Reasons Why (On Netflix)


I came across the book version of 13 Reasons Why a few years ago but gave it a complete miss because even though I am an avid fan of Young Adult books, I had absolutely zero interest in reading about teenage suicide and all that angst that went with it. This was especially so after reading John Green's Looking For Alaska. Some people like sad books and some people like happy books, and that's OK. 

And then Netflix decided to produce a whole series based on the book. And then my Twitter feed exploded with lots of young people expressing their love-hate for the show. 

And then I found myself marathoning 3 episodes of the show one night when I had trouble sleeping (ironically baby slept like an angel!) The series was produced very well and the actors are great! 

And then the next day, I watched the fourth episode... fifth episode... and then promptly stopped. Because all the signs were there that the story was only going to get sadder and weirder as it went along. 

I then did some Googling on the storyline. Then I skipped to episode 9 and 11 to watch/briefly glance at the controversial scenes and finally jumped around the last episode to have some closure to the story. 

The following is my review not as a Netflix binger or bookworm, but as a mom with a daughter. 

The long and short of it is that yes, parents, you should absolutely watch 13 Reasons Why with your teenage children because they are going to come across it someday anyway and the messages in this episode can only be used for good if you use it to open conversations with your child.

Does this really happen in school?
Do you know anyone like that?
What would you have done differently? 
What would you do if this happened to you? 
Do you have someone to talk to?
Who are your best friends?
Are people nice to you? 

And so on and so forth. 

I totally completely 100% understand why lots of people hate the show, condemning it for glorifying suicide (it actually teaches kids how to kill themselves the right way with a razor), hints that parents and school teachers are useless and that suicide is the best form of getting revenge. OMG and the rape scenes are seriously... I couldn't even get through those scenes so I just skipped ahead. 

As a mom, I am super super super glad that my children will probably never experience high school education in America because geez, as if getting good grades wasn't stressful enough, girls in America have to worry about being called either a bitch or a slut, getting raped at parties or being shot with a gun (according to Netflix anyway).  I do hope that this is an  exaggeration as children everywhere should have fun at school. 

Growing up in Malaysia, I had a very happy high school life filled with plenty of wholesome activities. I remember spending lots of time watching lots of TV, chatting on IRC and ICQ and cramming for exams. I was also super active, from being in the Chess club to Badminton to Interact to playing the saxophone in the marching band and earning my black belt in Taekwondo! 

But having watched this show reminds me that the childhood that I had might not be the one that our daughter will experience growing up. The world is different now and we have so many more cautionary tales to tell our children, from molesters to kidnappers to bad people who will hurt you or break your heart just for fun.

Of course we intend to provide our daughter with the best environment possible to help her grow into an amazing young woman. 

But at the same time, I know that I also intend to watch plenty of shows like 13 Reasons Why with her because when she gets into trouble and goes looking for help, I don't want her to find her answers with Netflix or the Internet first.


BTW, Thirteen the movie would also be a great movie to watch with your kids when they're teenagers.

(P/S - Kids, just FYI, if you slit your wrists with razors there is a higher likelihood that instead of bleeding out and dying, you could cut a nerve and paralyse your hand forever). 



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