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Flexible Online Jobs for Moms: My Chat with Laura Stuckey

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Proofreading might be the flexible career you're looking for!

It’s no secret that there’s a huge demand for flexible online jobs for moms. Even before the COVID crisis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that many parents, especially moms, need flexible work options. If you’re a mom searching for flexible online jobs that fit your family’s life, this interview may be for you. 

Have you been scouring the internet with terms like “online jobs for new moms?”  How about “flexible online jobs for moms?” If you have, you’ve probably encountered proofreading on a few lists. For example, this Woman’s Day list of flexible stay-at-home mom jobs is just one of the places you’ll find it. That’s because proofreading is an excellent fit for moms with kids from babies to older teens. Why? Because you can accept projects of various lengths and complexities. That means you can be there for your family the way you want to be. And you'll still be earning income – right from home!

Even better, you don’t need a degree. All you need is the willingness to learn and a keen eye for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Do you notice these things day-to-day, and long to fix them? If so, you’re probably a great candidate for a proofreading career or side hustle.

Flexible Online Jobs For Moms? Knowadays Can Help!

Do you want to make a career of proofreading? Maybe another skilled, flexible part-time job for moms? Then it’s best to invest in solid training. The right course can give you the assurance you’re on top of the skills you need to succeed. It can also prepare you for the business side of these flexible careers for moms. 

And that’s where Knowadays comes in. It's true that you don’t need any special certification to offer proofreading services. But Knowadays provides thorough self-paced instruction with tutor support from past students. And they guarantee freelance work if you score 80% or above in both the Becoming A Proofreader and Becoming An Editor courses. 

When you take these courses, you’ll learn vital skills. You'll be ready to take on the flexible online jobs that are right for you. And you may even have work waiting for you when you finish your training.

Meet Laura, proofreader and Knowadays Tutor!

Laura Stuckey is the mom of two teens. She was working a job that took time and energy from her family. Her searches for flexible online jobs for moms like her brought up proofreading – every time. Finally, she found Knowadays and decided to take a chance on their Becoming A Proofreader course. That led her to a new career. And it was the end of looking for flexible job ideas for moms, too. 

Now, not only is she a freelance proofreader – she’s a tutor for Knowadays, as well!

I’ll let Laura pick up her story from here.

Hi, Laura!

Can you tell us what inspired you to take the Becoming A Proofreader course? What was happening in your life that led to the decision to look for flexible online jobs for moms?

I was working on a mentoring project with a charity that supports people with criminal convictions who want to make positive changes in their lives. My role was to meet prospective mentees. I assessed their suitability before making appropriate pairings with mentors from the community. Then I would oversee these relationships. 

The whole setup was excellent, and the team of staff and volunteers was wonderful. But I just knew that it wasn’t the right fit for me at the time. The job required more than I could give of myself energetically and emotionally and still have enough left to give to my family. I knew I needed to give myself a break and find something that allowed me to invest in my family first.

I’ve always liked the idea of being my own boss. I would often search the internet for work-from-home opportunities, and proofreading came up every time. It piqued my interest because I’ve always had a strength in the English language. I just didn’t think I was qualified to do it. Sure, I could call out dodgy spelling, punctuation, and grammar anywhere I went (just ask anyone who’s ever eaten out or watched a subtitled movie with me!), but I assumed that a related degree was a prerequisite to making a living from it.

It took several years and probably dozens of searches. Then I finally decided to investigate properly just to be sure I wasn’t cut out for it. It was at this point that I came across Knowadays – though they were actually Proofreading Academy back then – and their Becoming A Proofreader course. 

They promised to teach everything an aspiring proofreader needs to know, and they asked for no formal qualifications whatsoever. Even better, they were offering the opportunity to work with their partner company, Proofed, to anyone achieving a distinction score on the final assignment. That was all the inspiration I needed!

Did you have any goals in taking the course beyond finding a flexible mom job that worked for you?

My goal was to qualify to work with Proofed. I didn’t really have a game plan beyond that. But I knew that even if I didn’t get the distinction, there would be other routes I could follow with the training behind me. My ultimate goal was to use the course to give me the start I needed for a successful freelance proofreading career.

Knowadays provides training for a flexible proofreading business – right at your fingertips.

Why did you choose Becoming A Proofreader over the other options? What factors went into making that choice?

The work opportunity with Proofed was the deciding factor for me. I must admit I was a bit suspicious of the whole thing to begin with. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is – right? 

But I did my research and in the end was won over by the positive Trustpilot reviews, a free trial of the course, and a phone conversation with one of the team – who couldn’t have been more friendly, knowledgeable, or helpful. It helped, too, that I was able to split the cost of the course over a few monthly payments.

What did you love most about Becoming A Proofreader while you were taking the course? What aspects have been most helpful to you in your flexible online jobs?

I loved that it was self-paced, so I could fit it in around whatever else I had going on. And I appreciated the quizzes and proofreading exercises that gave me the chance to practice what I was learning. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the course’s light tone and the humor woven through it. It really helped with some of the drier topics! Also, the thorough feedback I received on my final assignment was a huge help. Even though I got a distinction, knowing where I could improve really set me up for getting off to the best start at Proofed.

Having ongoing access to the course content after graduating was invaluable. It meant that I could always go back and check up on those things that hadn’t quite made their way into my long-term memory yet.

Do you feel you had good support while taking the course? Can you tell us why or why not?

To tell the truth, I wasn’t actually aware of how available and happy to help the tutor team was. It’s not something I expected from an online course! I didn’t have any issues with understanding the content. But I’d definitely have at least checked in for some reassurance before the final assignment had I known that I could!

The tutor support has always been there with Becoming A Proofreader, so perhaps I just missed the memo! But it is for sure much better publicized now and explicitly stated in the first lesson of the course. Students are even giving the option to schedule a video call with a tutor if an email exchange won’t cut it. 

Was it easy to start with Proofed once you completed the course? Do you feel Knowadays prepares moms well for this transition?

The transition to Proofed was very smooth. They clearly explained that, because of the limited word count for new freelancers, the flow of available documents might be limited to begin with. My experience was true to this. But as my word count increased (this happens progressively as you continue to receive positive feedback on your work), the number of documents I could access naturally increased with it.

You can never predict the challenges a new document will present you with. But I felt that the course had given me a good grounding in being assertive in making edits while staying within the boundaries of proofreading and avoiding plagiarism. And Proofed provides excellent resources for its freelancers. That includes a comprehensive FAQ page that solves many issues all in one place. I never felt like I was on my own.

Moms need flexible jobs. Knowadays can help!
Online proofreading is flexible enough to give you a chance to relax… while you work!

In addition to freelancing, you’re also a tutor at Knowadays. Can you tell us about your work there?

Yes! I was excited by the opportunity to apply for a position with Knowadays, having had such a positive experience as a learner on Becoming A Proofreader

Now I’m on the tutor team. I get to support others in fulfilling their dreams of living a freelance life. Or sometimes just earning a side income or honing their skills to help with their own work or writing projects.

The company has come a long way since its beginnings as Proofreading Academy. Now, it also offers courses in editing, freelance writing, and formatting. And there are more in development. It’s a dynamic place to work – there really is never a dull moment! And the team is fantastic. We’re an international bunch, and we’ve never all been together in the same room, but there’s a strong team vibe. The tutor team is made up entirely of Becoming A Proofreader graduates. This shared experience helps us to relate to our learners and keep them at the center of everything we do.

While we were preparing for this interview, you told me you’re the mom of two teens. How well does your proofreading/editing/tutoring work fit into the flow of family life? Would you say these are good choices among flexible online jobs for moms of older kids?

They’re brilliantly flexible! I tend to work during school hours. But even when I have something to finish up after the kids get home, I can take a break and catch up on how their day has been or help with homework before diving back in. 

If one of them is sick, I don’t have to worry about taking a day off, getting someone to look after them, or leaving them home alone. It means I’m around during school holidays, too. Not that they need me all the time these days. But it’s nice to know that I can be available when they do.

What have been the biggest changes for your family since you began working your flexible online jobs?

The flexibility is probably the biggest change. It’s overwhelmingly positive, although I think my daughter might sometimes miss having the house to herself for a while after a busy day at school! 

For my son, this new way of working has given him his dream come true – the dog he’d been pleading for ever since he could talk! Now that there’s someone at home almost all the time, we’ve been able to add a cocker spaniel, Flame, to the family. 

It was challenging for a while trying to manage work and a crazy puppy. But he’s now a great work buddy. He gives me a good excuse to take regular breaks away from my screen and get some fresh air.

If you have a knack for noticing mistakes, proofreading might be for you.

How did you and your family deal with the challenges that cropped up during your study or once you began this career?

Making the transition from a predictable income to the freelancing world felt a bit risky. And we did take a financial hit for a while. It takes practice to get up to speed with proofreading. Because the pay is often based on word count rather than hours, it can take a while to build up to a solid hourly rate. Picking up temporary evening work allowed me to plug the gap while we needed it.

Working from home comes with its challenges as well as its bonuses. To begin with, I would set myself up at the kitchen table, which was fine most of the time. But too distracting when the kids were off school (and annoying for them having to tip-toe around me). It’s much better now that I’ve set up a workstation in another room. I can close the door if I’m on a call or really need to concentrate.

Are you able to meet your financial goals with your online jobs freelancing and as a Knowadays tutor?

In short, yes! These days, most of my work hours are taken up with tutoring at Knowadays, and this provides a steady income that covers what I need. On top of that, I can still accept documents at Proofed when I find the time and work with independent clients when the opportunities arise.

Many of our readers are moms like you who want to know if they can make enough money in a flexible online job to make taking the course worth it. In your opinion, could a mom earn a decent income with part-time proofreading once she graduates from Becoming A Proofreader?

I’ve partly covered this already, and I think it’s important for prospective proofreaders to have realistic expectations. 

If you’re completely new to proofreading, you’ll still be finding your feet, and it might take time to build up to earning the kind of money that you’re used to or that you’re looking for. 

The benefit of working with a company like Proofed is that it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.” You can work as much or as little as you like, so you can gain experience – honing your skills and increasing your efficiency – while still working elsewhere if you need to. 

Once you feel ready, you can transition towards making proofreading your main gig.

What are your favorite things about your freelancing life?

The feeling of being in charge of my life and able to prioritize what’s most important to me is my very favorite thing. Knowing that I can work from anywhere is a great feeling, too, and I can see that coming into its own once the kids have left home. (It might be a small consolation for the empty nest!).  

As an introvert, it suits me to spend plenty of time in my own company, but I still get the benefits that come with being part of a team. And being able to work in my joggers and cozy down under a blanket on a chilly day is a perk I’ve never had with any other job!

What would you change about your flexible online jobs if you could?

There are no real downsides for me now that I’ve got into my stride. I do miss having holiday pay, and for a while that held me back from actually taking time off. Even a week off at home seems expensive when you look at it in terms of how much you’ll miss out on earning during that time! 

But now I set myself an annual leave allowance just like when I was employed, and I average out my base earnings across 12 months. Then I put aside anything I make from overtime or additional projects and take it as a bonus once the tax bill is paid.

Are you a mom looking for a flexible online job? How about proofreading?
Proofreading is a flexible online job you can do even if your kids are young.

What does your typical day/week of work look like? Do you feel this is a great flexible online job that would work for other moms, too?

I typically work for Knowadays Tuesday–Friday during school hours, with an occasional meeting outside of my regular hours because a couple of my colleagues in the USA and Canada are usually just getting out of bed when I’m clocking off (I’m in the UK). 

I can flex my tutoring hours if necessary to accommodate other work, but I generally fit other things around it.

I’ve been doing some freelance work recently with a company whose clients include one of the UK’s largest pub chains, and I’m enjoying dipping into the world of menus, posters, and magazine spreads and reviewing design elements as well as spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 

Coming back to Knowadays – there’s no such thing as a typical day! But as well as grading final-assignment submissions, most days involve a good amount of interaction with learners by email and video call. I might be helping them with an issue that has cropped up while they’ve been working through a course or reviewing their assignment feedback with them and looking at next steps. 

In the quieter moments around this, there are always other projects to work on. The tutors double up as the in-house editing and proofreading team for new courses and a lot of the other content that Knowadays puts out, and we are constantly developing new resources, such as practice exercises and mock assignments to give learners the best value for money and chance of success.

What tips would you give to moms who are on the fence about freelancing or are still wondering if proofreading is a good flexible online job for moms like them?

  1. Connect with others: If you’ve got an idea of the kind of freelance work you’d like to do, then talking to others who are already doing it can be a great source of inspiration and advice. And if you want to work for yourself, then building connections can be important for securing clients, too. If there’s no-one you can reach out to in your real-world contacts, you’re sure to find like-minded people online. There’s a proofreaders and editors group on Facebook, for example, with 26K members!
  1. Write a pros-and-cons list: I’m a big fan of these! If you’re considering freelancing, then you probably already have a strong set of pros in mind; if there are some cons holding you back, then listing both sides can give you a clear picture to work from. Seeing the pros written ­­down can remind you of your “why” and keep you motivated, and you can set about finding solutions to the obstacles. Don’t do as I did and waste years convincing yourself that it’s not for you when the answers could be closer than you think.
  1. Take your time: Don’t feel you have to do it all at once! Most freelance businesses can be built around what you’re already doing to begin with. If you can find some extra time to take those first steps while you’re still earning a steady income, or while your kids are still small and you’re perhaps not ready to commit to a lot of hours, it can make the transition less daunting – and give you a chance to test the waters and see whether it’s something you definitely want to pursue

Conclusion: Try Knowadays’ Training and Start Flexible Online Jobs For Moms Like Laura – And You!

Laura Stuckey left a job that took too much of her time and energy, leaving her with not enough for her family. She longed to change her life and spent years looking for flexible mom jobs. 

Now she can put her family first – being there when needed, and answering her son’s lifelong dream. She paved a path to the life she wanted with flexible online jobs for moms that you can do, too.

Have you found yourself searching for flexible job ideas for moms, too? Would you love to do what Laura’s done? Can you see yourself as a mom with one of the flexible online jobs she’s made her own? Have you, like Laura used to, been telling yourself that proofreading, editing, or freelance writing sound cool. But that they aren’t for you?

As Laura’s story proves, with Knowadays, they can be! Laura has used the thorough training and lifelong course access to her family’s benefit. She aimed high and earned the distinction score that gave her the opportunity for guaranteed work with Proofed. Then she distinguished herself further and became one of the Knowadays tutors. Laura can help you redesign your life – doing interesting and fulfilling flexible online jobs on your schedule, so you can be the mom you want to be for your family.

If you are tired of searching for flexible online jobs for moms, check out this interview!
Ready to break out your red pen?

Is Proofreading the Flexible Online Job For You?

Still not sure about whether proofreading might be the perfect flexible online mom job for you? Wondering if you’ll be investing your money for no real reward or change in your life? These are very understandable worries. 

And Knowadays wants to help you put them to rest.

To that end, they offer a free version of their proofreading course. It’s drawn directly from the course material, so you’ll learn something useful even if you don’t purchase the course. 

The free version even includes an interactive proofreading exercise so you can get a feel for how well you already do at spotting errors. You can do it as many times as you want over seven days.

Think of this mini-version as a test drive – yours just for clicking the button!

But what if proofreading isn’t the right fit for you? Or maybe you’d love to be a proofreader and an editor? Maybe freelance writing sounds more like your perfect flexible online job?

Another Proofreading Option

Are you drawn to crime novels and court shows? Still love the idea of proofreading? We’ve got your case covered, too! Proofread Anywhere’s Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice might be perfect for you!

Knowadays has options for you, too! Check out their full sales page. You'll find all the flexible online jobs for moms you can create with the right training. As a bonus, each of their courses has a free trial version drawn from the course material. So you’ll always be able to try before you buy with Knowadays!

Now it’s your turn! 

Does proofreading, editing, and/or freelance writing sound just right for you? Can you picture them fitting into your life? See them providing you with additional income and something that is your own without taking you away from your family life?

Would you like to know more about proofreading, editing, or freelance writing? Are there other flexible online jobs for moms you’d like me to cover? Share your comments, questions, and suggestions below! I’m always happy to help!

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