to ask what you do if you are self employed/work at home

(289 Posts)
PocketFluff Mon 11-Nov-13 08:58:45

In a few threads recently people have talked about being self employed, some only doing a few hours a week, or being able to have a work at home job that fits around the children.

Can I be nosey and ask what it is you do and get a bit of the action myself?

pianodoodle Mon 11-Nov-13 09:02:03

I teach music smile

SillyTilly123 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:03:36

I'm not technically employed, but dp has his own gardening business and my job is to drive him about (because he doesn't drive hmm) and do the books/make appointments etc. I think next year i'll put myself on the books though so I can "earn" too.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Mon 11-Nov-13 09:05:34

I started a small business, I paint furniture, murals, canvas (usually childrens characters) and I also do memory boxes and other bits and bobs. I started a few months ago and am doing really well so far, although I have had to cancel doing a few murals this month since I broke my ankle sad which is the down side to being self employed, I don't get any sick pay.

ilovesooty Mon 11-Nov-13 09:07:50

I'm a counsellor in private practice in addition to working full time.

Brittapie Mon 11-Nov-13 09:08:00

I've done ok in the past doing the direct selling type things (Ann Summers, Usborne, Avon) but you do need to be a certain type of person to be successful.

ChrisTheSheep Mon 11-Nov-13 09:11:27

I do publicity for an educational charity run by friends.

MaeMobley Mon 11-Nov-13 09:18:16

accountant/ bookkeeper.

Contraryish Mon 11-Nov-13 09:22:23


Joysmum Mon 11-Nov-13 09:22:43

I do up buy to lets up and then manage them myself.

I do childcare SE around my two nanny jobs. Usually babysitting but some stuff during the day when I can too.

From home (and when I babysit) I knit stuff. I haven't started selling yet but I have an original theme for knitting so hopefully it'll be popular when I do start selling in the New Year smile

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 11-Nov-13 09:29:12

I'm a researcher and policy wonk with a national charity. I can work from home about 85% of the time or whenever I don't have to attend meetings or supervise the rest of my team. (Although perhaps oddly, I often choose to go to the office anyway as I like the atmosphere and contact with colleagues and the outside world.)

I've not always been able to work from home, though - only as my work has evolved to the point that it generally makes no difference where my desk is - and there's also been a fair bit of negotiation with my line manager and rest of the team. I think working from home requires more motivation especially if you're prone to procrastination generally!

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 09:29:14

Copy writer/poet/aspiring novelist if I ever get the bloody book finished.

strawberriesandplumbs Mon 11-Nov-13 09:32:28

Local magazine/advertising and buy to let.

MiserableCowWhenUpTheDuff Mon 11-Nov-13 09:33:59

Online seller...

We sell jewellery online (through amazon and our own site) it allows me and OH to both work from home smile

SummerRain Mon 11-Nov-13 09:37:04

I work for several market research companies, mostly mystery shopping but we do online projects too which can be done at home. I also do dps books and do all the administration and running of his business. And I do freelance work when I can get it,business admin, writing up documentation and whatever else comes my way.

I've just stated a new job wohm though and I have to say it's great to get out of the house, being stuck at home constantly was tougher than you'd think... I was starting to feel really isolated.

PocketFluff Mon 11-Nov-13 09:45:54

Wow, a real range of jobs here!

moldingsunbeams Mon 11-Nov-13 09:51:30

Editor and online sales.

Working at home full time is ok as long as you have a social network outside of work, friends or family you speak to regularly or you can go a little mad. I have a friend who works from home like me and as both our dc now walk to school alone we can both go weeks without talking to anyone in person other than a shop person and the dc.

LittleMissGreen Mon 11-Nov-13 09:54:13

I worked as a self-employed software engineer/web designer for a few years.

SharpLily Mon 11-Nov-13 09:54:49

I write and proof read. Sometimes there's a little translation thrown in too.

I am childminder during the day, a cake maker and crafter at night!

cakewitch Mon 11-Nov-13 09:59:51

I make cakes

Anchoress Mon 11-Nov-13 10:00:23


oldnewmummy Mon 11-Nov-13 10:01:50

Technical writing and consulting. I also do a bit of lecturing, but that's not from home (obviously).

OnlyThePurpleOnes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:07:43

Freelance graphic designer. Sometimes I have in-house contracts lasting anywhere from a week to a month, otherwise i'm working for private clients from home or from a freelance workspace.

hottiebottie Mon 11-Nov-13 10:10:11

Another translator here. smile

FookingHat Mon 11-Nov-13 10:13:50

Graphic designer, freelance.

NynaevesSister Mon 11-Nov-13 10:14:17

Another writer. I used to work for a publishing company but the commute and stressful hours were a killer. I loathe working for myself but I love being able to fit work in around school run etc.

CocacolaMum Mon 11-Nov-13 10:17:16

Crafter here smile I cannot really say what I do without outing myself cus its a bit niche but I love it and am 8 yrs into it!

JackShit Mon 11-Nov-13 10:22:39


headoverheels Mon 11-Nov-13 10:24:46

Marking assignments for students in my profession.

duckyfuzz Mon 11-Nov-13 10:29:06

Education consultant - some online monitoring of trainee teachers, some in-school consultancy, some writing of policies/training plans - enough variety and contact with real people to keep me sane, but without the day to day insanity of gove!

BadgerBumBag Mon 11-Nov-13 10:29:34

I was a childminder until the summer and now I have taken a massive pay cut to make bunting, quilts, cushions, bags, brooches. I break even though and make a little on top smile

Lazysuzanne Mon 11-Nov-13 10:32:03

Online seller (health and diet related products)

Love the freedom and solitude of working from home

accounts manager. I work from home and office. Now the children are at school/nursery I usually work in the office 10-3, and schedule any client appointments for hose times. I then work from home, answering calls and the odd email whilst the children are about, but then when they are in bed I catch up with invoicing, balances, reconciliations etc.

I'm studying for my accountancy qualifications so that I can move to the next level.


PrimalLass Mon 11-Nov-13 10:37:31

Publishing services (editing, proofreading, project management).

Oddsocksrus Mon 11-Nov-13 10:39:51

I write for trade press publications, I give marketing and PR guidance to businesses in my sector, I chair a charity.. I work 4 days per week plus a couple of evenings and the odd Sunday to get all this done but I am available for all school events, do about 75% of the school runs too.

These used to be my full time employed job, amazingly I managed to drop the dross and keep most of the stuff that makes my brain work when I quit after maternity leave. I work for 5 companies instead of 1 now, its great, best thing I ever did

IsSpringSprangedYet Mon 11-Nov-13 10:45:13

I currently do the books for DH and hopefully when the little baby isn't so little, I can be more practical. Like a part time farm hand.

I also want to join the committee for DS3 pre-school (they are desperate sad), and maybe do at bit more at the primary school, although those aren't paid/SE jobs.

MmeGuillotine Mon 11-Nov-13 11:11:36

I'm a novelist.

mumblechum1 Mon 11-Nov-13 11:17:24

I run my own will writing business. It's supposed to be part time as I also have a day job 2.5 days a week but the will writing is taking over almost all my spare time now.

HarpyFishwifeTwat Mon 11-Nov-13 11:28:36

Writing. And the odd admin bits for DH's business

RafflesWay Mon 11-Nov-13 11:42:33

Bespoke travel consultant - self employed - for past 15 years. Love it and can't imagine doing anything else now.

mumteedum Mon 11-Nov-13 11:43:26

Can I jump on bandwagon here and ask those freelance designers how they manage sporadic childcare?

I was a freelancer in a related discipline (again bit niche so not going to out self) but haven't figured out how I could manage to go back now I have DS. I do teaching PT which I love and hope to develop but it's not enough money and I miss being hands on. No family nearby and DH not helpful with childcare so I haven't figured it all out as most childcare has to be set hours, not 3 months full time and then nothing for a bit!

Holistictherapies Mon 11-Nov-13 11:44:42

I am a Massage Therapist and this year became a NYR Organic Consultant (Neal's Yard Remedies products)

paulagil Mon 11-Nov-13 11:48:01

I'm self-employed with an internet business and I spend all day on Mumsnet. I don't earn a lot of money, TBH.

SantiagoToots Mon 11-Nov-13 11:48:32

Startup consultant.

NettleTea Mon 11-Nov-13 11:57:28

I manage PIL's farm, run a glampycampsite, and am a Forest school leader. I am also a qualified and practicing (a little bit) medical herbalist, make kids clothes, dye wool and make cloth nappies.
Variety being the spice of life and all.

froubylou Mon 11-Nov-13 12:13:55

I give legal advice to landlord's and letting agents. And do the books for dps building company.

I can earn decent money if I want to. It depends how much time I put into it. At the moment I am 34 weeks pregnant so taking it easy. But hopefully come April time I will hopefully be able to get back into it.

House of Colour consultant.

Yet another translator here! smile

BitOutOfPractice Mon 11-Nov-13 12:16:29

I run a little PR agency. Couldn't work for someone now. I'm unemployable

Szeli Mon 11-Nov-13 12:23:54

I'm a media makeup artist and do other beauty bits too.

Started doing more bridal and less editorial when I had DS so its mainly evening and weekends for the practical stuff so it works quite well

BadgerBumBag Mon 11-Nov-13 12:24:00

Nettle.... You are living my dream!

FriendlyLadybird Mon 11-Nov-13 13:03:11

Writing, editing, PR ...

Wonderwhy123 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:23:05

I sell stuff on eBay and Facebook.

ViviPru Mon 11-Nov-13 13:25:55

I'm a self-employed fashion graphic designer, primarily kidswear for volume retail.

Nettle that all sounds RIGHT up my street. Could you divulge your campyglampsite? Or if not pm me the deets? Always looking for new ones to visit....

ViviPru Mon 11-Nov-13 13:27:31

OMactualG... Nettle has a DEWAARD... I die.

I teach drama and deliver schools workshops for various organisations. In terms of childcare, the hours are all over the place and it's a PITA. dd is in preschool every morning, and I have two childminders who I've registered her with and can phone up to see if they have space whenever I need it. They often don't, so it's favours from friends or if out of school hours, I have teenage babysitters to call on.

Crowler Mon 11-Nov-13 13:33:53

I work in IT. Mostly from home.

rallytog1 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:46:34

Writer for an advice service. Not the most exciting job I've ever had but it's so much better than having to spend three hours a day commuting to work.

annieshaf Mon 11-Nov-13 13:56:31

Financial modelling and business plans.

bolderdash Mon 11-Nov-13 14:01:17

Book-keeping and audio typing.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 11-Nov-13 14:07:49

Gardener/garden designer.

Talkinpeace Mon 11-Nov-13 14:49:30


elQuintoConyo Mon 11-Nov-13 15:04:38

I'm abroad. I teach English to students of all ages (3-80!), make crafty thingamybobs, proofread. In the summer I also do unofficial tours of my town (so, not all is at home). I've also walked neighbours' dogs for a spot of cash.

DH works from home as a translator.

FookingHat Mon 11-Nov-13 15:23:41

mumteedum Mon 11-Nov-13 11:43:26
Can I jump on bandwagon here and ask those freelance designers how they manage sporadic childcare? I was a freelancer in a related discipline (again bit niche so not going to out self) but haven't figured out how I could manage to go back now I have DS. I do teaching PT which I love and hope to develop but it's not enough money and I miss being hands on. No family nearby and DH not helpful with childcare so I haven't figured it all out as most childcare has to be set hours, not 3 months full time and then nothing for a bit!

I don't! It's a fucking nightmare! You'd probably do ok if you have family to help out as and when, but I don't have any. I haven't been working much the last fews years because of dcs being pre school age, but wanted to. When I was actually offered work I had to turn it down as I couldn't sort out the childcare. Now that they are at school it is still tricky because if I am offered say 2 days work, do I try and find a place with a childminder or the after school club and get them all settled for just 2 days? Most childminders won't take them for such a short time anyway.

My area is niche too [wonders]

FragglerockAmpersand Mon 11-Nov-13 15:29:59

Writer & academic.

Love working from home. No boss getting all up in my grill, no commute, can work in a dressing gown or the bath if I want to, frequently do my best work half-cut on rioja with Chopin in the background at 10pm.

On the downside apparently some people think freelancers can go for months without being paid by their clients and still pay the rent etc. hmm

TheSmallPrint Mon 11-Nov-13 15:39:30


Pendeen Mon 11-Nov-13 15:39:36


TheSmallPrint Mon 11-Nov-13 15:40:19

<waves at Pendeen> Nice to see another architect on here. smile

fifi669 Mon 11-Nov-13 15:51:22

sillytilly you should put yourself on the books ASAP. If you pay yourself anything less than £149pw you'll have no tax/NI to pay, you'll build up your contributions for state pension, be able to claim SMP/SSP etc and of course your salary will come off your DHs taxable and NIable profit. Just in tax at 20% you'll be saving around £1,500.

FookingHat Mon 11-Nov-13 16:20:37

fifi669. Do you mean that sillytilly should get low earnings exception so she doesn't have to pay NI? I looked into that as self employed and it said that if I did that I wouldn't be entitled to any benefits, including maternity allowance etc.

fifi669 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:37:23

She wouldn't be self-employed, she'd be employed by her DH who she currently does the books for unpaid. To earn credit when employed without actually paying NI you have to earn between £109-149pw.

Talkinpeace Mon 11-Nov-13 16:40:42

if sillytilly becomes an employee of her husband, she can be paid right up to the NI limit this year and it will save him tax

next year (2014/15) there is a £2000 bonus for all employers so it will DEFINITELY be worth her being on his books .....

DH and I each have companies : we'll be using both of the £2000 offsets .... have to check how it interacts with CT though

frisson Mon 11-Nov-13 16:46:53

Freelarnce copy editer.

justpaddling Mon 11-Nov-13 16:54:04

Health and safety consultant. Travel to clients a couple of days a week and do a couple of days at home during school hours on SE basis. Also another person who could never have a boss again!

mondaymondaymonday Mon 11-Nov-13 17:34:13

Can I jump in pretty please and ask those who are freelance writers/copywriters/proofreaders how they got into that line of work? I have some experience and vaguely relevant qualifications in that area and would really like to start doing some freelance work from home...

SimplyRedHead Mon 11-Nov-13 17:39:38

Another interpreter here smile

Most of my work is booked directly via word of mouth but I also work through a few agencies and am listed on a couple of websites.

FragglerockAmpersand Mon 11-Nov-13 17:46:27

monday - it's a combination of talent (not always very much of it ]grin]), qualifications, decades of grifting, utter bloody-mindedness and sheer luck, I think. And everyone ends up doing it by completely different routes. Bloody-mindedness probably the most important factor there I suspect. Not very helpful, sorry!

ElizabethBathory Mon 11-Nov-13 17:46:30

Freelance copy-editor/proofreader. Only 1.5 days a week though. Work for an academic publisher the rest of the time. Wouldn't mind going full time freelance one day smile

FragglerockAmpersand Mon 11-Nov-13 17:46:54

Har. Other people proofread my work, as you can see grin

ElizabethBathory Mon 11-Nov-13 17:53:17

Monday everyone I know has got into it different ways really. I got a job with a publisher because of my languages and postgrad degree, and got my editorial experience that way.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 17:54:40

monday stick to your niche (or find one), build up your contacts, network like feck and do a bit of cold-calling. Most medium - large companies are used to 'buying in' copywriters so there's definitely work there. Avoid the bidding websites unless you're happy earning buttons.

OK, maybe they have a use in building up a portfolio, but stick to your niche and don't bid for anything that won't move you forward in your overall goal.

There's also a freelancers board which isn't particularly busy but has lots of great posters.

Littleredsquirrel Mon 11-Nov-13 17:55:11

employment lawyer (when I'm not getting distracted by MN)

bubalou Mon 11-Nov-13 18:01:11

I'm a search engine optimisation consultant and I'm just about to start my own online business too.


WantToFindWorkLifeBalance Mon 11-Nov-13 18:17:40

Annieshaf - financial modelling and business plans sounds interesting. How did you get into that?

chipshop Mon 11-Nov-13 18:29:40

Feature writer for a newspaper. My office is in London and I'm up north so work from home.

BoFo Mon 11-Nov-13 19:18:26

Wow, this is great exposure to the variety of jobs there are that suit home working - I had no idea!

I work from home, healthcare researcher.

Heartbrokenmum73 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:36:46

IT Tutoring online

NuggetofPurestGreen Mon 11-Nov-13 19:38:50

monday was about to ask the same question. I've got two degrees in English but have worked in a totally different industry for 12 years but have been wondering about copywriting/copyediting/proofreading for ages. No clue where to start though!

float62 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:39:40

Used to do a lot of book-keeping but recently started the virtual assistant thing and this is better because 1) I actually get paid more per hour worked than the pittance small businesses used to pay me. 2) My home isn't filled up with shedloads of other people's crap paperwork. 3) Book-keeping bored me shitless. I had to jack in the Phd and woth when ds (ASD) spent most of yrs 1-4 either being excluded, p/t educated or waiting for months on end (more than once) for a school place. I do miss the atmosphere, camaraderie and being around other people though.

thenicknameiwantedisgone Mon 11-Nov-13 19:40:40

Chartered accountant here.

Talkinpeace - the £2k NI allowance is only against employer's NIC, not employee's so you still have 12% employee's NIC to pay. Any Er's NIC saving would result in lower allowable expenses for CT so would effectively be taxed.

m0nkeynuts Mon 11-Nov-13 19:45:15

Freelance web developer/analyst here. Also create PC/Mac games and mobile apps for children with SEN in my "spare" time smile

stubbornstains Mon 11-Nov-13 19:48:55

Traditional signwriter (but I don't work at home, I have a studio up the road).
Re: childcare- well, if your income is low enough to claim tax credits, you can get 70% of your childcare paid for (via said tax credits). If you don't have a job on, you can use that precious time to hone your high-octane marketing strategy and get more jobs--or go on MN--

BlingLoving Mon 11-Nov-13 19:50:06

Monday, I think it is a lot about contacts and networking and experience. I'm trying to get a small communications agency off the ground and so far all my work has come from people I know, in areas i am an acknowledged expert in.

It's early days but I love it so far. Freedom, flexibility and even the admin feels like it has a purpose.

ilovelymum Mon 11-Nov-13 19:54:24

I don't work ,but I`ve always wanted to be a teacher and come on who doesn't want to make cup cakes!!!!!!!!!

insertsomethingwitty Mon 11-Nov-13 19:59:45

I do audio typing from home.

PoppyT Mon 11-Nov-13 20:00:58

Float62 I'm thinking of becoming a virtual assistant - any tips or advice?

ElizabethBathory Mon 11-Nov-13 20:00:58

People interested in editing work, start by looking at the website. Loads of info there. Think there's been a few threads about it here too, not sure how much detail they went into.

plannedshock Mon 11-Nov-13 20:07:35

Hairdresser here!

NuggetofPurestGreen Mon 11-Nov-13 20:12:04

Thanks Elizabeth yeah I've looked at that website it's good info alright.

Talkinpeace Mon 11-Nov-13 20:15:14

bum, had not read through the whole of the infographic - but it will still make it worth putting slightly higher employee salaries through ....

meerschweinchen Mon 11-Nov-13 20:15:17

Sorry to go off topic slightly, but would any of the translators mind giving me a few tips? I'm surprised there's so many of you here! I currently teach languages - a job which I do enjoy - but now I've got two young children I'm considering a career change, mainly so I can be more flexible. I've done a bit of paid translation work, but not a huge amount. From the research I've done it appears that experience counts more than qualifications. I'd love to know how you got into translation and how you find it.Thanks!

Tuhlulah Mon 11-Nov-13 20:15:32

PhD student (not) writing up.

motherinferior Mon 11-Nov-13 20:18:27

Journalist. I do a bit of editing too. And assess applicants for a foundation. And co-wrote a textbook on diversity. That sort of thing.

Bonkerz Mon 11-Nov-13 20:21:03

I'm a childminder.

DancingLady Mon 11-Nov-13 20:21:20

Proofreading, copy-editing, project management for publishers. Plusses: can work in PJs, no commute, work when I want. Minuses: waiting ages to be paid, no holiday/sick pay, periods of no work...

I'm a regional manager for a luxury cosmetics brand. I technically work from home, though 4 days are out and about. Great job as I can be flexible as and when I needed

RevelsRoulette Mon 11-Nov-13 20:23:40

I own a website.

Heartbrokenmum73 Mon 11-Nov-13 20:25:04

I do not want to make cupcakes!!!!

Eat them, yes. Make them, hell no!

BananaramaLlama Mon 11-Nov-13 20:26:09

I run an online retail business, and also see people for appointments where they can try out the options and choose (being cagey for avoidance of advertising, rather than because it's dodgy things I sell...!)

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 11-Nov-13 20:28:13

What kind of website Revels?

wordfactory Mon 11-Nov-13 20:32:32

I'm a writer.
I also run severl websites and for-profit blogs.
I also review books (but this is absurdly terrible pay).

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Mon 11-Nov-13 20:34:05

Just got a job doing customer service for an online retailer. Its sucj a relief as I was sacked from the last one. I have quite severe mobility issues and don't drive so it's been amazing not to have to sit on a cramped bus for two hours crying in pain!

Procrastinating Mon 11-Nov-13 20:41:03

I'm an OU lecturer. Most of it is done from home - online tutorials, marking etc. I'm only out a few hours a week.

PigsInParis Mon 11-Nov-13 20:42:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nettletea Thats what I want to be doing in ten years time grin I'm hoping to start Forest School Training next September if life doesn't lead me down a different path first!

Xmasbaby11 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:11:25

I did work freelance as an editor and writer. However, work is erratic and the pay not great, so I went back to teaching which is much better paid and has all the benefits of full time work: sick pay, pension, paid hols etc.

Occasionally I daydream about working from home again, but it seems to only work if you have a partner who is the breadwinner and you are not dependent on your income.

PrimalLass Mon 11-Nov-13 21:21:13

Can I jump in pretty please and ask those who are freelance writers/copywriters/proofreaders how they got into that line of work? I have some experience and vaguely relevant qualifications in that area and would really like to start doing some freelance work from home...

A postgrad in Publishing Studies and years of in-house experience grin

annieshaf Mon 11-Nov-13 21:25:49

Wanttofindaworklifebalance I trained as a chartered accountant with a big four firm and did a course in financial modelling when I moved into corporate finance. After I left I set up as a sole practitioner and kept in touch with ex colleagues who have referred work to me as there is a gap in the market locally for this type of work for medium and small businesses who can't afford to pay big four fees.
It has worked well for me as I can do the part of the job I used to enjoy and manage my work around school hours.

DancingLady Mon 11-Nov-13 21:35:39

Like PrimalLass said: for me, a publishing degree and 6+ years in-house. This helped to build contacts so that when I eventually went freelance I knew people who'd send work my way. There's a LOT of competition for freelance proofreading/copy-editing work nowadays.

hottiebottie Mon 11-Nov-13 23:33:57

Guinea Pig meerschweinchen (grin) - you need qualifications AND experience to make a decent living as a freelance translator. In my case - degree in modern languages (though theoretically could be in anything if you also have sound knowledge of a foreign language or are bilingual), experience as staff translator in public service and industry, Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation (IoL Dip Trans) and membership of Institute of Translation and Interpreting. You also need good written English and sound knowledge of one or more specialist subject areas. This would be a good starting point:

Consider an MA in translation studies - Bristol University runs a distance-learning course, ITI website has details of other courses. At the very minimum, obtain the IoL Dip Trans - distance learning course available from London City University (and elsewhere, I think!)

The ITI website also has useful information about getting started Remember that translation is not a regulated profession as such - we regulate it ourselves as far as we can, but anyone can set up a business and call themselves a translator or translation agency, which means there are plenty of fly-by-night cowboy outfits on the market who get away with ripping off unsuspecting clients and paying peanuts to the translators who actually do the work. There are also some excellent agencies that are a delight to work for. Good, enlightened clients are willing to pay decent rates for high quality work, as it costs them less in the long run.

How do I find it? Great - I've worked freelance on-and-off for the last 20 years or so, fitting it around family commitments, going full-time during DH's various redundancies, having breaks for babies and working part-time around the demands of a young family. Child care is still essential during working hours, self-discipline is a must and you have to sort out your own pension and manage all the other roles that go with running a small business...but the best thing is that it's you, not your boss, that decides whether or not to accept that job request. wink

Run my own business - greyhound coats and bandanas. We sell through our website, and attend specialist sighthound events.

meerschweinchen Tue 12-Nov-13 10:16:43

Hottiebottie, thanks so much for such a detailed reply. I do already have the DipTrans, as I realised I'd need qualifications to help me get some work, and thus build up my experience. I don't know much about the Iti though, other than the fact it exists, so thank you so much for taking the time to post the links, it's really helpful! And I'm glad you enjoy translating as a career smile

NynaevesSister Tue 12-Nov-13 10:53:47

Can I jump in pretty please and ask those who are freelance writers/copywriters/proofreaders how they got into that line of work? I have some experience and vaguely relevant qualifications in that area and would really like to start doing some freelance work from home...

Degree, then started as an editorial assistant and worked in house in staff for various publications until redundancy made me go freelance a little earlier than I wanted. Spent the first year with hardly any work and it took a whole to build up. Am very lucky to have had a good reputation in a specialist niche to build on. Nearly all my work is commercial now as writing for company websites etc pays the bills. Would like to go back on staff one day as miss feature writing.

OnlyThePurpleOnes Tue 12-Nov-13 11:03:16

mumteedum My daughter goes to nursery 9-3 and i manage my work around those hours. When i get busy (like now!) I work evenings after she's gone to bed at 7. Think i crawled into bed at 1am this morning... i am looking forward to 'maternity leave' (Ha!) in 6 weeks time!

bebopanddoowop Tue 12-Nov-13 11:12:45

Artist and printer, have converted front room of our house into a studio.

bebopanddoowop Tue 12-Nov-13 11:21:50

stubbornstains - if I didn't already love my job, id be after yours!

CocktailQueen Tue 12-Nov-13 11:28:27


Maitri Tue 12-Nov-13 11:33:00


TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 12-Nov-13 11:35:53


Pendeen Tue 12-Nov-13 11:50:50

Waves back to TheSmallPrint smile

leolo Tue 12-Nov-13 12:54:18

Freelance sub-editor.

BibbleBabbleBobble Tue 12-Nov-13 13:10:50

Freelance trainer.

MysteriousHamster Tue 12-Nov-13 13:25:32

I have fulltime employment now but was self-employed for a while as a writer/editor a few years back.

Nearly every gig I had, I got through previous employment (I had worked in both magazine and book publishing).

The only job I've ever had that wasn't with a previous employer was someone who wanted my copywriting experience that I'd got in a very specific niche for one of those employers.

In other words, the best way to get freelance proof-reading/editing/writing work is get a fulltime job OR (as it's not easy, I know), to be very lucky and very good and land a gig somewhere else.

Once you have one it's much easier to build up a portfolio.

I'm a private tutor. Work at home during the day preparing lessons mnetting and doing admin and then tutor after school and on Saturday mornings. Most tutoring is in the students home but I do have a few students who come to me!

Mirage Tue 12-Nov-13 13:27:39

Gardener,grower and sometimes I work on the farm.Generally I work 9-3 Monday to Thursday,but during lambing,shearing or busy times I'll do the sheep and feed the lambs first thing,go to my gardening jobs,come home,pick up the DDs and go back down to the sheep until 6 or later if something is lambing. I've been self employed for 13 years now and can't imagine not being.

NettleTea Tue 12-Nov-13 13:30:18

As Ive been asked, our glampycampsite is here

NettleTea Tue 12-Nov-13 13:30:52

there goes annonymity.....

ScienceRocks Tue 12-Nov-13 13:32:07

Freelance writer, mostly stuff for trade mags but also training materials. Some editing.

Monday, I am trained in the professional field I write for. I worked as a journalist on one of the business to business mags, held a variety of roles and met lots of people from other similar publications along the way. After eight years and two children, commuting and childcare plus a husband who works long hours, combined to make my position untenable, so I went freelance and looked up all the contacts I had made over the years. They remembered me (always smile, never be rude!), liked what they had read of my writing in the past, and gave me work.

It is still a juggle, especially as I do voluntary work too (PTA, governor) but worth it for the huge change it has made to our family life.

Talkinpeace Tue 12-Nov-13 13:36:19

WOW, I'm not often jealous of other people's self employments. grin

working9while5 Tue 12-Nov-13 13:40:30

I'm still working but pregnant with number 3 and won't be returning.

I'm a speech and language therapist. My plan is to do a bit of additional training in mindfulness and behaviour analysis to become a sort of language/behaviour/parenting consultant/offer tutoring to children with language difficulties/run language/behaviour/early parenting workshops etc. I already can offer a range of things like Incredible Years, early communication training, specialist training for school support staff that's accredited, dyslexia support etc but I try to expand my "portfolio" of what I can offer each year.

I'm not really looking for loads and loads of work, just to do enough to keep my hand in and pick up a bit of money. I have been acquiring and stockpiling assessments and resources since I first qualified and have put a lot into training, so for the next few years I just intend to do enough to keep my professional reg active, keep me up to date etc and then scope out what sort of business I can make out of it (if any).

I love studying and training so I am lucky that way, I will always happily sidestep.

andthepiggotupandslowlywalkeda Tue 12-Nov-13 13:50:24

Illustrator doing children's stuff, and the very odd bit of prop-making. I'm not exactly busy, but it's been what I've been able to cope with while DS is at nursery.

MagratGarlik Tue 12-Nov-13 13:59:18

Same as educatingarti, except I've recently also taken on someone else as well to cover areas that I don't cover. I have a few daytime students (post-16 and post-18), but mainly I'm out of the house from 4pm-9pm.

I also carry out data analysis and run training sessions on a consultancy basis for pharmaceutical/biotech companies, medics and academics (to keep up some of my past research interests and knowledge).

I do exam marking too and serve on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals, though the latter is unpaid.

Pluses, working for yourself. No company politics. Minuses, work creeps into everything because your home is also your work space. The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives though.

I'm a maths tutor, currently do about 5 hours in the evenings and hoping to do more daytime work when dd is at school. I was a maths teacher before the children were born.

I also do A level exam marking around May/June which is a nice extra, especially since this is when the tutoring dries up for the summer.

Pluses, working for yourself. No company politics.

This ^

It is so nice not to have to deal with "politics" and interesting relationships between colleagues. I also have no problems getting on with my boss these days!! grin

PocketFluff Tue 12-Nov-13 14:52:26

I'm amazed at the range of interesting and creative jobs you lot are doing! Very inspirational.

To the tutors - how do you get your pupils? Is it all word of mouth, do you advertise or do you 'sell yourself' to schools to promote you?

I signed up to a company a few years ago now to do exam marking (ks1 and 2) but never heard anything back. Is there any in particular that people would recommend?

And to everyone, thank you! Hope this thread has been an inspiration to people as much as it has to me!

OneMoreChap Tue 12-Nov-13 15:04:46

IT consultancy - lots of aspects.
Don't always work from home, sometimes have to travel away/offshore/ sequestered premises for weeks/months at a time.

Lots more travel once kids grew older/left home
XW was a bit of a cow, so I tended only to get weekends, and only when I fought hard for them up to 2 a month.

Worked for a major corporate, offered a job by a contractor, did that for a bit and now contract for myself/others.

Sadly, get bored easily at home which is why when working on some types of documents you may see me on MN more often.

Getting some in - hard to do as you need 10+ years of experience on doing the stuff I do - much of which you could never get if you managed kids :-(

fancyanotherfez Tue 12-Nov-13 15:12:35

pocketfluff I get my students through advertising. I advertise on Hometutorsdirectory. I have let if slide a bit because I also have a P/T teaching job that is eating into my time. i want to go back to tutoring though.

I have also applied to do exam marking and haven't heard anything back. Normally the jobs are online at the examining boards. EDEXCEL is the big one, also AQA and OCR.

fancyanotherfez Tue 12-Nov-13 15:13:30

Sorry, I was trying to correct my typos and hit post instead. ( I'm not really an illiterate teacher smile

When I started out I advertised anywhere that required me to spend little or no money, so things like post office windows and I do get more enquiries via word of mouth, but is my biggest response from advertising.

I sell dd to KK bras on eBay

emcwill74 Tue 12-Nov-13 16:01:18

Book designer/production editor/proofreader

MagratGarlik Tue 12-Nov-13 16:21:12

I started off with one of the large agencies, who I still do work for on occasion, though my work is mainly via my own company now and working with someone else whose subject coverage is complimentary to my own.

However, prior to tutoring I was a tenured academic at university and then changed to secondary teaching. I have students via contacts from both of these. Finally, word of mouth has counted for a lot.

I get almost all my students through word of mouth. I occasionally advertise on first tutors but usually only for a week or so in September. I could easily double my hours if I wasn't a SAHM during the day. It helps that I teach maths which is popular for tuition, and that I can teach up to a level.

fancyanotherfez can you mark A level? The exam boards are in need of extra A level markers due to getting rid of January exams. I work with OCR, their website had vacancies last time I looked.

Forgot to say that having previously been a teacher, I have lots of contacts in different schools who give my number out which is very handy!

biryani Tue 12-Nov-13 16:35:31

I'm a landlord, which isn't really a job as such. I also do a bit of teaching, a bit of tutoring, some driving and some shop work. Anything for a few bob, really, until I get a "proper" job.

musicposy Tue 12-Nov-13 16:59:47

I teach music, that's word of mouth as I've been doing it for years.
But I do the odd bit of maths tuition here and there, mostly people begging me to help them improve their GCSE grade - but a few years back when the recession hit I was a bit shorter of work and so went through Personal Tutors.
On one hand it was annoying as you have to send them quite a big percentage of every lesson, but on the other hand, the amount of work that came in was unbelievable. New people every week - as many as I could take. If I ever went somewhere new and had to start afresh, that's what I'd do.

zaphod Tue 12-Nov-13 17:07:20

Clown. I entertain children with magic, facepaint and balloon modelling at parties. I am really lucky because I love what I do, and am good at it, and it only involves a few hours a week.

Talkinpeace Tue 12-Nov-13 17:18:22

Out of interest, how many of the self employed earn enough to really live on?
Arbitrary figure of mean national wage £26,000 a year (tax return figure not turnover) not pro rata
Less or more?

I'm only asking because HMRC are trying to get rid of 'pin money' self employments from the tax credit system and its interesting to gauge how widespeard they are.

I'm "more" btw

OvercomeByGravity Tue 12-Nov-13 17:32:43

Freelance historian.

Talkinpeace I don't yet trouble the tax system (as it were), but I'm not in the tax credit system either.

I'm keeping my brain going until I can turn my doctorate into something publishable.

jenpetronus Tue 12-Nov-13 17:35:43

I run a gite here in France, & love it (mostly)

queenofpuddings Tue 12-Nov-13 17:36:32

marshmallow maker/ interior stylist/ jamie at home sales consultant

Oh no, I'm far less, probably about 5k a year? I do a tax return, though I don't earn enough to pay tax.

headoverheels Tue 12-Nov-13 17:44:39

I'm far less than that at the moment because my child free time is only 2.5hrs per day. I'm planning to step it up next year when DS2 starts school.

blueberryupsidedown Tue 12-Nov-13 17:59:57

I'm a registered childminder, earning about £13k a year. Our joint income is above national average and we don't have a mortgage, so for us that's sufficient to live on.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 12-Nov-13 18:05:52

I guess a better question would be how many of you are earning less than NMW x 30hour week and claiming working tax credits?

empra Tue 12-Nov-13 18:07:19

Another accountant and tax adviser here

I pay tax but not vat as sales are just below threshold. Profits are enough for the nice extras (more that 1 holiday abroad a year), gym membership, nice clothes etc. Not £26 k after all taxable deductions but then I only actually have to work for 2 or 3 hours a day and I close the whole thing down most school holidays.

It's a business to supplement our lifestyle and let me stay at home even though dc's are 11 & 9. I probably could grow it, work more hours and make a lot more but I don't want to (and luckily don't have to). I'd rather carry on volunteering at school and be a school governor.

Don't claim any tax credits and am on the losing child benefit band due to dh's income.

ElizabethJonesMartin Tue 12-Nov-13 18:15:36

I don't want to out myself but one of the professions and I have never wanted shorter hours and more time to clean the house! So definitely did not pick working for myself to ensure I had more time to do house jobs.

In terms of advice to teenage girls and students I would say pick careers where you can work for yourself ultimately and where the basic hourly rate is pretty high and where most people cannot qualify into what you do and cannot pass the exams as then you will be one of the few who earns quite a bit.

Littleredsquirrel Tue 12-Nov-13 18:15:38

I earn much more working for myself as a lawyer than I would do working for a law firm but it would be difficult if I hadn't spent years building up contacts and a strong client base.

Talkinpeace Tue 12-Nov-13 18:19:32

Another one who worked and passed exams for many years before going self employed - hence why I actively do not advertise - all my work is word of mouth or infamy reputation in the sector.

duckyfuzz Tue 12-Nov-13 18:24:51

I started working from home in Sept and by the end of Dec will have earned about £15000 over those 4 months. This compares pretty well to my previous full time salary on SLT at an academy, and I know which I prefer!

I own a small marketing company... Really love itsmile

blue2 Tue 12-Nov-13 18:32:58

Baileys - was this all achieved through bra selling on ebay, or have you now diversified?

BakeOLiteGirl Tue 12-Nov-13 18:34:11

I'm a Makaton signer and do lots of creative sensory work with children. Absolutely love it. To make up any shortfalls I work part time in a commercial theatre FOH in the evenings.

MollyBerry Tue 12-Nov-13 18:35:29

Transcribe from home and tutor.

AussieKylie Tue 12-Nov-13 18:47:45

Chartered Accountant and tax advisor, have just started up on my own, really enjoy the client interaction and work but find it hard to fit around my 1 and 2 yr old!

Won't make any real money from it though till both are at school but really enjoy it and that's what matters at the moment!

Doobydoo Tue 12-Nov-13 18:49:45

Bofo sorry if silly question...but what do you do as a healthcare researcher?

Blue2 - all just with a shop on eBay. I don't want to diversify on amazon or to manufacturing my own stuff. I just want to afford the nice extras and not feel like I'm relying on dh for money. (Lazy cow emoticon)

I just sell the well know brands like Freya, fantasie and triumph. Have a background in accountancy so am very careful to make sure that I make profit after all costs deducted. Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.

Pastaforteaagain Tue 12-Nov-13 20:10:29

I offer an online 'super nanny service' advise parents on their children's eating,sleeping,behaviour and potty training. Most can be done from home and I can rely on friends or dh when I work away from home.

fancyanotherfez Tue 12-Nov-13 20:21:38

8Coffee* Thanks! Yes I can mark A Level (Law and Business Studies) Have previously only taught AQA spec, but the contyent is the same. I'll have a look smile

fancyanotherfez Tue 12-Nov-13 20:26:44

(Note to self: Bloody review message before posting!)

stubbornstains Tue 12-Nov-13 20:41:40

I have only just started turning a profit, and a very slim one at that. My official start date was April 2010- 2 months after DS's birth. I am a lone parent. These 3 facts are not unrelated smile.

But, month upon month, year upon year, the business is very slowly growing. At its present rate, I should hit the 30 hours @NMW target in 2 years. (That's consistently- on a monthly basis I did it for the first time this August).

I often muse upon it, and I think that if I didn't have DS, I would have been able to put approx. twice the hours in, and it would have taken me half the time to get this far.

Problem is, if you pull the rug out from under all the small, unprofitable little businesses (especially the ones run by people juggling childcare of small children), then they will never have the chance to turn into big, healthy businesses one day.

purpleshinyone Tue 12-Nov-13 20:50:35

Medical secretary for DH small private practice.

WhatHo Tue 12-Nov-13 20:55:10

Pitch editor affiliated with a couple of custom publishing companies. It's feast or famine though - I spent the whole summer gnawing my nails off with no work, now I'm inundated.

I stopped being a sub/proof reader as it was such a crowded market and followed my skill set. I love taking a project from vague idea to magazine, even if it's about plumbing.

Talkinpeace I'm only asking because HMRC are trying to get rid of 'pin money' self employments from the tax credit system and its interesting to gauge how widespeard they are.

So, what are they going to do with people? confused

Talkinpeace Tue 12-Nov-13 21:14:03

people will still be self employed but
- they will not get tax credits unless the business is viable (ie taxable profit equivalent to >24 hours at NMW
- they may well be restricted from offsetting losses against other income to reclaim tax
so if they don't make much, the state will not top them up : which I have to admit seems reasonable.

EyeOfNewtBigtoesOfFrog Tue 12-Nov-13 21:16:23

Writer. I'm in a particular field of publishing and got started by working in a proper, in-house full time job for a publisher (pre-DC). My freelance work initially came from former colleagues, then once I had that freelance experience I approached other publishers.

Dizzydummy Tue 12-Nov-13 21:50:38


KingCrimson Tue 12-Nov-13 22:39:21

Yet another translator here.

I spent a couple of years teaching English in Milan while I was building up a large enough clientele to make a living out of translation.

I have a law degree and the DipTrans, and a fairly niche specialisation in pharmaceutical patent litigation.

musicposy Tue 12-Nov-13 22:39:45

No, not enough to make a living, about 8k at best. But I don't claim tax credits either. They stopped them a year or so ago due to our income. Not sure why as DH is not a big earner and I'm sure we don't earn enough, though between us we're over the 22k I've heard mooted.

I haven't bothered to investigate because we cope and I don't want anyone sticking their nose in and saying I need to get a "proper" job. I only work 3 days a week and that's only part time hours, which suits me fine. When the children are left home I may well do more and then I will make a living wage out of it - it's certainly possible. A friend of mine teaches singing and her husband piano and they do very nicely indeed, if their car, house and holidays are anything to go by!

makeminemango Tue 12-Nov-13 22:44:57

Clinical psychologist- private practice with own limited company smile

minibmw2010 Tue 12-Nov-13 22:50:51

Personal Assistant for the head of a small but busy law firm. Boss works remotely too so it works well for us with email, phone, etc. DS in Nursery 3 days and the other 2 I work when he's asleep or evenings.

johnworf Tue 12-Nov-13 22:57:29

I have a retail website. I import funky organic fabric from Scandinavia and sell it. I make some of it into children's clothing that I also sell. Alongside this I source and sell unusual quality/handmade gifts and homeware.

I have worked hard and built my business up from nothing. I'm far from being a millionaire but it's flexible (I work full time), and I love all aspects from buying, making, marketing, customer service and web design. Not to mention all the SEO that is needed.

If you have a dream, a focus, some business/internet knowledge and not forgetting the all important business plan, then I'd say go for it.


WinkyWinkola Tue 12-Nov-13 23:10:47

Fascinating. Just marking my place.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 12-Nov-13 23:20:46

I'm a beauty therapist.

Sibble Wed 13-Nov-13 03:10:32

Project Manager, have been able to take on more contracts and more hours as dss have got older. Work alot from home and always around school hours, rarely work school holidays (although may have to this year as have been offered a contract too good to turn down but has a december start date)

mrswishywashy Wed 13-Nov-13 07:37:59

I'm a Maternity Nurse so work away from home a lot. However once I have children I'll shift into consultancy work for sleep and feeding support for under ones. I'll also offer behavioural support for under fives as well.

I also am just about to complete my IAIM infant massage certificate so will run classes as well.

inadreamworld Wed 13-Nov-13 09:40:00

I am a private tutor. I was a teacher in a school before I had my children. My Mum looks after the children a couple of afternoons a week while my students are here and DH does it at weekends. This is an interesting thread as it gives me other ideas. I am only part time though so I do get out to socialise and go to toddler groups etc.

strawberries the advertising sales job sounds interesting, how did you get that? I used to work in that area pre-teaching.

LocalEditorColchester Wed 13-Nov-13 09:44:00

How do we manage to juggle everything eh?! Don't forget to add your businesses' free listing to your local Mumsnet website to reach more potential customers in your area! Click on the Find your local Mumsnet site like top right of this page or the Post Code finder right. smile

I used to be a seamstress and dressmaker, thinking of going back into it.

MagratGarlik Wed 13-Nov-13 10:01:19

I have to say, I am working full time and despite being self-employed I couldn't do it without reliable childcare in place. It doesn't necessarily give me more time with the dc's than I had when working full time at university.

However, I combine many aspects of my university role (teaching, examining, research, publication, involvement in current scientific developments) without the politics of academia etc. I like my boss better now too.

victoriapoole Wed 13-Nov-13 10:14:55

I run a events company. I run events, providing advertising on our website and now starting to sell party supplies. I love being self employed smile

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 13-Nov-13 11:51:10

OvercomeByGravity I'm intrigued: what does a freelance historian do? Not pinching ideas: I'm trying to set myself up as an operational analyst.

OvercomeByGravity Wed 13-Nov-13 12:11:29

MinesAPint, without wishing to sound silly, I do historical research for people who want it. So, I do an awful lot of genealogy for people who thought the BBC made it look easy, then discovered it wasn't; land and house history for schools / the council / landowners, that sort of thing. I also do geographically-specific local history research for other historians who need someone 'on the ground'; and I do volunteer database work for my local archive, because the data tends to be cleaner if the person looking at it has the faintest idea what it means. It helps enormously that my doctorate was in landholding and family structure, which translates very well to all periods, so I'm not tied to the period I studied (which would a bit limiting, being Pre-Conquest and non-UK!).

CornishMade Wed 13-Nov-13 12:12:53

I work from home - part time hours around preschool - doing marketing for local businesses. Have a marketing background obviously!

Suzietwo Wed 13-Nov-13 13:15:11

Divorce solicitor

Work full time from home with full time Child care. But still means I see them more than I would if I had a real job.

Believe I am also unemployable mow

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Nov-13 13:49:17

Ah yes, the joys of having been free range for so long that nobody in their right mind would try to coop us back into a full time office.

Then again, being able to juggle our own hours is quite cool.
Inset day tomorrow so we are all off up to London for the day smile

Crowler Wed 13-Nov-13 13:51:34

As my boss and I often joke, we are no longer fit for normal employment.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 13-Nov-13 14:15:26

Overcome that sounds great.

TigerTrumpet Wed 13-Nov-13 14:15:32

I have a childrenswear label, a stationery line and provide professional advice/support to online independent retail outlets. I'm a 5 to 9er (or more like a 7 to 11er, once DD is in bed).

ZombieMonkeyButler Wed 13-Nov-13 14:17:36

I sell online at the moment - on eBay and Amazon. I also have my own website under construction. I have been "playing" with it for many years (the online selling, not the website) and have also been working part-time in paid employment to keep my income up.

However, at the end of this month, I am leaving my part-time job to dedicate more time & resources to the business. I am due to receive an inheritance which is enabling me to invest both time & money smile.

It is already profitable in a small way, but I am hoping to make it properly profitable - NMW x 30 hours PW - within a year or so. I already know my market & customers so fingers crossed!

Tournesol Wed 13-Nov-13 14:58:04

so many interesting jobs, it is amazing how resourceful parents can be to create work!

Like many others on here I am a freelance non-fiction writer, copy editor, proofreader and indexder.

It has taken me a while to build up good contacts but things are starting to look a bit more consistent for me. Totally agree with previous posters who advised prospective editors to find a niche.

blue2 Wed 13-Nov-13 15:55:41

Baileys Thanks for your reply.

Just come back from a Christmas Fair and wondered if I shouldn't start to purchase some nice stuff in bulk, and then sell it on...

How do you find "nice stuff" to sell??

(Oh, and I'm not thinking about scarves or jewellery - they're being flogged to death round here...!)

Octopus37 Wed 13-Nov-13 16:20:51

I am a Market Researcher. Started off doing mystery shopping and still do some of that too. Has its down side, but on the whole I love it.

I teach art & craft and life skills

spiderlight Wed 13-Nov-13 16:32:23


azteccamera Wed 13-Nov-13 16:37:51

I have a small PR consultancy and work for various different companies - I'm based about 2 hours outside of London - most clients are based in London but only see them once a month/fortnight. Have one child at school now but when she was at home, had childcare 4 days/week - combination of nursery and grandparents!

School pick up is pretty early so make sure I work extra hours in the evenings!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 13-Nov-13 16:45:07

*people will still be self employed but
- they will not get tax credits unless the business is viable (ie taxable profit equivalent to >24 hours at NMW
- they may well be restricted from offsetting losses against other income to reclaim tax
so if they don't make much, the state will not top them up : which I have to admit seems reasonable.*

This will put a lot of small businesses out if business/discourage more from starting up. What is cheaper, topping up through tax credits or JSA for an extended time (as it's not like they'll be able to just walk into a suitable job)

BitOutOfPractice Wed 13-Nov-13 16:47:18

azteccamera snap!

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Nov-13 17:22:48

but if you do not expect your main breadwinner business to make a net profit of
£6.31 x 35 x 52 = £11,557 per year,
then surely the answer is to review the business model

there is nothing to stop people starting a job while still working
or leaning on their other halves while starting up
but a taxable profit of under £12,000 should not be a big ask

OlyRoller Wed 13-Nov-13 17:39:12

Proofreader, translator.

I also buy and resell art.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 13-Nov-13 18:13:51

I run a dogwalking agency, I'm self employed and so are all the others. Fits in brilliantly with school terms/hours, especially as we charge more for services provided outside term time. No more office politics to put up with ever again!

Janacek Wed 13-Nov-13 19:13:43


ElizabethJonesMartin Wed 13-Nov-13 19:24:59

Boris Johnson’s message to freelancers: “I salute you”
12th November 2013By PCG

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today sent a message saluting freelancers across the UK, saying their “contribution to the lifeblood of our economy is immense”.

His comments come as he shows his support for National Freelancers Day, the annual celebration of freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs in the UK.

In his message, Boris Johnson acknowledged that choosing to go freelance can appear daunting but said it is “a choice that’s brave, and ambitious, fulfilling and rewarding”.

National Freelancers Day on 21st November will see Karren Brady joined by a high-profile panel of experts for a ‘Question Time’ style debate at LSO St Luke’s in Central London. On the panel alongside Karren Brady is Isabel Oakeshott, Political Editor of the Sunday Times, LBC’s Nick Ferrari and BBC Business expert Liz Barclay along with John Glen MP. Freelancer and broadcaster, Sue Lawley, will chair the debate.

Following recent research showing freelancing is the fastest growing sector of the European labour market, some topics for discussion will be the impact of freelancing on the economy, as well as how decision-makers should respond to the freelancing and acknowledge this when formulating policy.

Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, said:

“Boris Johnson’s message to the 1.7 million independent professionals in the UK for National Freelancers Day is incredibly uplifting and represents a clear understanding of what freelancing is all about.

“He recognises the crucial, flexible expertise of freelancers and how much they contribute to the UK economy. It’s refreshing that he also understands that the choice to go it alone can be a daunting one, recognising the personal risk that freelancers face. We salute him!”

Read Boris’ full message:


I wanted to send my very best wishes to freelancers everywhere on National Freelancers Day. Your contribution to the lifeblood of our economy is immense. Taking the plunge on being a freelancer is an immense decision that can in many cases appear daunting. But it is also a choice that’s brave, and ambitious, fulfilling and rewarding. There are now 1.7 million freelancers in Britain, many of you propelling growth in the city I am proud to serve as Mayor. London salutes you, and so do I. You are our bright and vital talent. Whether you freelance, you are an entrepreneur or you run a small business three things you won’t be short of are ability, aptitude and agility. Those triple As are the theme of this year’s National Freelancers Day. They are also exactly what any budding freelancer needs to succeed! Good luck. I look forward to your continued success in the years ahead.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Nov-13 19:46:15

Considering Karren Brady is the daughter of a millionaire Football club director and got the publisher of soft porn papers to buy her first big project, I'm not sure what she's got to do with freelancers ....

PortBlacksaand Wed 13-Nov-13 20:35:14

Artist / Illustrator / Cartoonerist

Mirage Wed 13-Nov-13 20:45:00

Oh,forgot to say that I sometimes deal in antiques and collectables,mainly books and vintage clothes,but anything that catches my eye that I know there is a market for.

Beavie Wed 13-Nov-13 21:11:58

Book dealer.

BadPoet Wed 13-Nov-13 21:13:00

I worked from home for 6 years, now I WOH but still freelance. I describe myself as a Project Manager but it's coming up on 10 years self-employed and I've done proofreading of translations (I was not in the UK at the time though and I do not have a qualification - would recommend anyone interested in that field takes the advice of the other posters), website copywriting, editing and content management, transcription, exam marking for a professional body from home and now it's mostly project planning & delivery, group facilitation, coaching and counselling.

I have several professional qualifications, all of which I funded myself and for the last 8 years my work has mainly been split between 2 organisations offering me repeat contracts (mostly just one now, and I'm currently actually employed by them too 2 days pw and freelancing the other 3).

Up until this year I have been able to work school hours only. I've deliberately extended them now. The first few years coincided with having very young children and I didn't make enough to be taxed, but as I have been able to put in more hours I have - for the last 5 years I'd say. I'm aiming to get back into permanent employment now, although I quite like the mix of employed part time and freelance the rest.

ginzillas Wed 13-Nov-13 22:51:07

I'm a writer. I love my job (except for getting the pay cheques in once I've done the work...)

NuggetofPurestGreen Wed 13-Nov-13 23:02:53

So jealous of all of these jobs. I want to be a freelance proofreading copywriting dog walking historian! grin

I remember seeing someone on one of those 'I love 1990' type programmes and their job title was "Soap Historian" or something. Now there's a job I'm qualified for!

NuggetofPurestGreen Wed 13-Nov-13 23:03:35

Soap as in soap opera by the way. Not the cleaning material grin

CinemaNoir Wed 13-Nov-13 23:12:20

fishandlilac what do you mean you teach life skills? Sounds interesting..

BitOutOfPractice Thu 14-Nov-13 07:50:07

Pity Boris Johnson didn't get a freelance editor to check over his statement then he wouldn't have two immenses within ten words of each other wink

EyeOfNewtBigtoesOfFrog Thu 14-Nov-13 09:09:59

Aww, thanks Boris. That letter is sweet and it is nice to feel that someone recognises the contribution we make – but it does feel a bit like the headmaster's speech at the 6th form leaving do.

Some of us are actually quite.... high-powered! Not me especially, but some of the highest-paid and most influential people in the country are self-employed. Boris makes it sound like we are all nobly struggling in our wee garrets. smile

I tutor in the evenings once DD is in bed.

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 10:42:35

I'm surprised at the wide variety of home working, but getting the impression that most are (like me) only just scraping a living.

I can only do this because my living costs are very low and I'm a naturally frugal sort, but sometimes I wonder if I've shot my self in the foot because I've become so out of step with 'normal' nine to five life.

I've got so used to being my own boss and arranging my time to suit myself that I think I'm now unemployable.
Really I think if I went for a job interview they'd be able to tell that I've spent the past ten years in my pajamas.

ImpOfDarkness Thu 14-Nov-13 10:49:00

Translator. I earn about three to four thousand euros a month.

bolderdash Thu 14-Nov-13 10:49:02

Lazysuzanne - I think it's losing confidence in a way. I was thinking the other day I ought to find a part-time job to supplement my hours but the thought fills me with dread. I just don't know how to get on with people any more having spent so many years working on my own. I'm a bit inappropriate with what I say sometimes. Minor things would really irritate me. I don't think I'd take criticism at all well. And I'd find it really hard to sit for hours a day next to someone I didn't like much.

I'm employed by someone so my income is reasonable for part-time working at the level I am. But I'm getting concerned that I'm becoming a bit of an eccentric recluse.

Turnipvontrapp Thu 14-Nov-13 10:53:50

Self-employed - bookkeeper. Was an accountant pre-kids. Works really well for me as do school hours a few days a week.

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 10:54:03

Bolder,I was always the eccentric recluse grin

OneHolyCow Thu 14-Nov-13 10:56:53

ImpOfDarkness wow. What language(s) do you do?

DancingLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:03:56

I'm not scraping a living, but it's feast or famine some months - turning down work, or emailing contacts to ask if they've got anything. I make anything from 15k to 25k a year, and am shit with money. I don't save anything. blush I do try to put £500 a month into joint account, and I pay the majority of DD's nursery fees.

And like some others on here, I'd find it really hard to be back in an office! What, you need me there at 9am? Every day? Erm... OK.

ImpOfDarkness Thu 14-Nov-13 11:10:13

French and German, but in a very lucrative niche that I'm not sharing grin

OneHolyCow Thu 14-Nov-13 11:18:27

ImpOfDarkness grin fair enough!
Inspiring though. I don't need that kind of money but it's good to know it's possible to make it!

hottiebottie Thu 14-Nov-13 11:28:33

ImpOfDarkness ... are we the same person? grin

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 11:34:11

Oh lord imagine having to be anywhere at a specified time, never mind at work for 9am every day.

I only just make it to the hairdresser for 5.30 every six weeks grin

Ilikecakes Thu 14-Nov-13 12:05:11

Freelance marketing/PR....going really well....two weeks in! wink

EyeOfNewtBigtoesOfFrog Thu 14-Nov-13 12:09:13

I make pretty good money considering I only work 3 days a week (and barely that when you think of all the household admin and school duties etc that creep in). £20-25K in a year, but it does go up and down a lot and some people pay very, very late. TBH it would be difficult if I was a single parent - the fact that DP has a salary means we can absorb the feast and famine aspects.

DancingLady Thu 14-Nov-13 12:16:44

Same here EyeOfNewt. DH has a regular salary so mine can fluctuate. I was freelance for 4 years before DD was born - I think I'd feel resentful if I'd gone freelance after having a child, as I do feel my career has stalled. I feel like I work, but I don't have a career - unless I go back in-house I don't have any prospects for promotion. That makes me a bit sad sometimes, but the benefits of flexible self-employment do make up for it!

Suzietwo Thu 14-Nov-13 14:13:10

its not only being in the office, but doing things THE COMPANY way

or having to explain myself. i am so much faster working by myself. decisions which would have to go through 15 people in a normal firm take 2 minutes while im washing up breakfast

BitOutOfPractice Thu 14-Nov-13 15:02:11

I don't think of myself as a freelancer. I think of myself as someone who runs a small business that happens to be from home. I employ a pa and several freelancers myself. I have clients on retainers so the income is reasonable steady though it can sometimes take a while to get paid. And I make a good living which is a bloody good job as I am as single parent. I am out and about at meetings 2 or 3 days a week so never feel like I'm reclusive. Quite the opposite in fact!

Not all people working from home are in a lonely garret as someone else said.

WilsonFrickett Thu 14-Nov-13 18:14:19

Slow payers are the bane of my life. I'm doing some work for a big corporate just now who are banging on about their CSR in relation to their suppliers and I just want to shout 'just fucking pay us on time.' A. Lot. angry

ScienceRocks Thu 14-Nov-13 18:39:55

Same here, eyeofnewt and dancing.

heritagewarrior Thu 14-Nov-13 18:55:31

Consultant architect.

ElizabethJonesMartin Thu 14-Nov-13 18:57:18

A lot of those who aren't employees earn quite a bit actually. Generally in the UK if you can own the business you tend to be better off not worse off than those paid under PAYE. Plenty of us will also pay others who do work in our businesses. So don't assume all self employed women earn peanuts. Kelly Hoppen is a sole trader and earns a fair bit just to mention one example.

ethelb Thu 14-Nov-13 19:02:55

I have a business selling seed subscriptions that I run from home evenings and weekend. I hope/estimate that in its second year (starting today) it will provide me with the same post tax income as my PAYE job and I won't have to live in London/commute to run it, saving £1000s a year.

Iwillorderthefood Thu 14-Nov-13 19:08:14

I work 16 hours a week flexibly promoting walking and cycling to school. I work from home, but go to schools for meetings. I work around the school day and reduce hours in holidays.

Talkinpeace Thu 14-Nov-13 20:13:58

I've been free range since having DD 15 1/2 years ago.
DH went free range 15 years ago.
We have no regular income.
Some months we pay off capital on the house, other months we load up the credit card.
But after relying on Tax credits for the first three years now we do not get them at all. And the mortgage finishes in less than a year.
the work could dry up too ... so we have become very careful with money as there is no salary safety net.

WilsonFrickett Thu 14-Nov-13 21:46:56

I'm not scraping a living by any means, considering the hours I work. But for me it was partly a lifestyle choice to spend time with DS as he has addition support needs so I'm not going at it full tilt. I think what I do is extremely lucrative in terms of hours available:hours actually worked:hourly rate.

SimLondon Thu 14-Nov-13 22:07:48

Well im a freelance IT contractor but work 80% of the time on site at clients in London. Only I've lost it with train / underground delays and yesterday have given clients 4 weeks notice. I'm hoping to start my own web design agency locally. Other half is making comments about bills needing paying but the little person is asleep by the time i get home most nights so enough of the commuting malarkey.

Wish me luck please :-)

ScienceRocks Thu 14-Nov-13 22:28:59

Good luck sim!

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 22:32:59

Free range Talkinpeace. ..are you an egg grin

minibmw2010 Fri 15-Nov-13 07:10:52

I'm self employed as a Legal PA working from home. Last tax year I earned £9k, this year it'll be closer to £13 as I've got more clients working 3 days and a few hours here or there in the evenings, about 25 a week. Based on what id have paid working in the city 3 days together with train fares I'm much better off the way I am. Only downside is it's a bit lonely working virtually but on the upside I can catch up on TOWIE in my lunch break or put on laundry, etc.

CraziMummie Fri 15-Nov-13 08:33:20

Photographer mainly specialising in babies/children, first days at school, birthday parties etc etc.

tummybummer Sat 16-Nov-13 21:05:40

Another freelance writer, editor and proofreader. It scares me that there are so many out there, just waiting to pounce on my work if I drop the ball. grin

Like most I started out in f/t work for a publisher and then went freelance and with a lot of hard work and a side helping of luck I have now found myself a really, really nice niche.

I earn good money and can fit it around childcare. I feel very lucky, but obviously there are things like no sick days, no paid holidays... and to be honest the eternal fear that it's all going to evaporate...!

SlightlyDampWellies Sat 16-Nov-13 21:15:34

I write project funding proposals for charities in a specific and quite specialised area. I did it for a charity for about £30 k full time salary, but the commute and childcare meant that I was paying out some £500 per month more than I earned after tax.

I am very ad hoc now.... I quit my job earlier in 2013 and would say I have earned about 9k since... before tax. I also do the admin for DH's business so we can have just a part time bookkeeper.

The freelance thing is not quite working so I am considering returning to study and branching out.

newbiemum13 Wed 20-Nov-13 19:07:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ditsie, Ignoring your blatant advertising:

My first thought is that no way in hell would I pay £85 for three animal shapes which aren't at an amazing quality. Especially not when I can get something like this:
For significantly less.

Your shop isn't that old so that won't help, nor would having only one item, the more items you have the better on etsy. You need a shop description and picture. Your product needs a better description (and price!). Your shop name doesn't really make it clear what you do. Your tags are odd ("children's"). Have you got an etsy sellers team in your area? Might be worth joining for local advice, my local team are really good.

Littleredsquirrel Thu 21-Nov-13 14:09:29

Ditsie/newbiemum13 I would agree with what's been said. Your price point is way way off. £85 is a price I'd hesitate at for a piece of art for my living room. I would never in a million years pay it for a picture for a nursery. I would have thought you'd be looking at the £20 mark.

newbiemum13 Thu 21-Nov-13 21:46:43

Hi thanks for your advice. I'll have a look at all of those things. I actually thought I was private messaging someone on this forum but clicked the wrong thing (new to mumsnet!) I did then send the other mumsnet member the same message but this time through private messaging-phew!! No idea how you get a post deleted though! Does anyone else know?

Littleredsquirrel Thu 21-Nov-13 21:48:49

If you report yourself MNHQ will delete your post.

I agree with Little RE price mark, £20 at most. You might get slightly more at local craft markets.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 01-Dec-13 15:30:03

temp/emergency nanny/night nanny

MistressDeeCee Mon 16-Dec-13 08:20:47

Music Tutor and in between that, Data Entry

I've got several jobs, I work 4 days in an office working for safeguarding children board, then I work for myself as an holistic therapist, I also work in direct sales (Juice Plus and Tropic Skincare) so can get out and about in the community too with party plan etc....makes for a varied and exciting lifestyle at times smile

TracyHi Wed 01-Jan-14 16:47:11

I am a mentor with Usborne books, started when the kids were at school, they're in their 20's now lol!

HOMEQCRICH Wed 01-Jan-14 16:53:55

Cleaning and property inventories for landlords

Wherediparkmybroom Wed 01-Jan-14 17:18:27

I run my own fishmongers on the beach, I take the 7mo with me and let him sit, sleep, play in his sivercross while I work, anyone who doesn't like it can buy their cod in waitrose!

biryani Wed 01-Jan-14 17:42:36

Bit of lecturing, bit of translating, bit of teaching. Also a small landlord. Work in music shop on casual basis.

BombayBunty Wed 01-Jan-14 18:01:34

Occupational health advisor. I phone people who are off work sick or struggling at work and make plans for them to return or review them until they are well enough to return.

SugarHut Wed 01-Jan-14 18:35:09

Model. Although less and less as the wrinkles appear and appear grin

AllDirections Wed 01-Jan-14 18:49:25

I'm just starting to do online moderation for an organisation that do online qualifications. I also do NVQ assessing for another organisation, mostly from home.

loveolives Wed 01-Jan-14 18:52:33

I don't work but my OH is self employed. He owns a roofing business.

Commele Wed 02-Jul-14 13:05:59

Copywriting when the work comes my way. I also work for a baby and kids clothing company. They are looking for more people who want to earn commission/free clothing by holding parties.

Binkyresurrected Wed 02-Jul-14 13:16:13

I own a Birds of Prey Display team. I visit fairs and fetes, youth groups, basically anywhere that wants something different. I also take my team to parties, it makes a nice change from soft play for the kids and adults.

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