Thursday March 6, 2014
Every time my daughter's friend calls I am always so impressed with her phone manners. "Good afternoon, this is Elise," she begins each conversation (and occasionally makes me smile by saying the same in the morning or evening too). She then politely asks if my daughter is available.
Then there is my son's friend. He has dispensed with any semblance of greeting and immediately demands that I put my son on the phone before I can finish saying hello. I always slow him down a bit by asking who is calling, although I darn well know who it is, and commenting about the hour of his call or what a hurry he is in. He has never gotten my hint.
Guess which one I am more likely to arrange for a get-together with my child.
Good phone manners are a nice thing. And I think everyone should practice them just so that we can all live in a more civil world. But if that isn't enough of a reason, consider this: Good phone manners will help you (and your children) get what you want.
It's human nature to respond positively toward someone who is polite and friendly. Whether you are a telecommuter who works part-time at home or a home-business owner, proper phone etiquette in the home office will only help your career.
But for the work-at-home mom, the importance of phone manners goes beyond our professional lives because our professional and personal lives can blur together. And as parents we have the added task of making sure to set a good example. None of us want our child to be "the rude child" as, I admit, I have not-so-politely designated my son's friend. However, I have to say that my kids are not as polite on the phone as Elise. So it's something to work on.
Wednesday March 5, 2014
The spring before my oldest began kindergarten I considered whether a week in summer camp might help get her ready for school. It was late April, and the trees were blooming when the idea of summer camp first came to me. But I took a while to decide about summer camp (and then procrastinated a bit), and so it was May before I settled down to search for just the right summer camp for her.
Ha! Little did this newbie parent know that summer camps can book up before the first crocus pokes through the ground. (I'm sure even sooner, but those camps were out of our price range anyway.) And while I wasn't shut out of summer camp, most local summer camps had already held their open houses, so I had to choose a camp based pretty much on brochures and websites, not a personal visit.
As it turned out, the camp was a great choice, but I learned my lesson. The next year I began thinking about summer camp in January. I made the rounds to the summer camp open houses in February and March, and in the end decided to go back to the one she had already attended.
More on Summer Camp:
Tuesday March 4, 2014
If you're a good typist, transcription might be the right work-at-home job for you. However, keep in mind there's more to transcription is more than simply typing.
A transcriptionist listens to a recording, sometimes using a foot pedal to control the speed of the playback, and types what she hears, interpreting and editing by varying degrees depending on the type of transcription job.
Minimum speeds for transcription jobs range from 60 to 85 words per minute (WPM). Types of transcription jobs include corporate, legal, general and medical.
Be wary of any company that tries to sell you transcription certification services, particularly those that make hiring you contingent on completing their certification program. Companies that turn you down for a transcription job but then encourage you to sign up for a transcription certification, usually at a cost of a few hundred dollars, are more than likely work-at-home scams.
Legitimate transcription companies will evaluate your typing speed and accuracy through testing, and look at your resume to determine if your experience matches their needs. Certification for general transcription is not usually a factor for determining if you are qualified for a transcription job. (However, for medical transcription jobs certification is often desirable.)
All About Home Transcription Jobs
More Work at Home Jobs:
Monday March 3, 2014
Last week we talked about independent contractors' taxes, which can be quite complex. But, of course, everyone who works at home is not necessarily an independent contractor.
Many telecommuters are employees. While in many respects the telecommuting employee's taxes are a bit like everyone else's (i.e., receiving a w-2 instead of a 1099-MISC), one key difference is the home office.
Can telecommuting employees deduct their home offices expenses? The answer is an irritatingly imprecise sometimes.
Employees who want to deduct their home office expenses have a few more hurdles than independent contractors do. Naturally anything your company reimbursed you for is not deductible. But the IRS will also want to know why you work at home, and then, even worse, not all of your unreimbursed business expenses (which include your home office) are deductible.
Read on for more about home office deductions for telecommuting employees.
More Tax Resources: