Natalia Wheeler is a “graduate” of Work-at-Home School (WAHS). She began her work-from-home career by building on skills she already had as well as gaining new skills through her investment in WAHS.
In this Work-at-Home Spotlight, Natalia shares her experience with Work-at-Home School and working at home as a wife and mother of three.
Hearing her story may spark ideas to help start your work-at-home career.
1. Would you mind giving a brief history of your work-at-home journey so far?
I have had a couple of work-at-home opportunities over the years, the first one being in 2008 as a manager of some duplexes that we lived in. The “office” was our unit and I got my first taste of working from home.
Since then, I have been working part-time as an administrative assistant at our church in the Kids Ministry. Some of that work can be done from home and often is done from home. The kids' pastor at our church also has a non-profit and business he runs. Since October 2018, I have been working with him helping him organize his website, write show notes for his podcast, and other tasks.
2. Which work-from-home career did you choose?
I consider myself a Content Manager or Virtual Assistant. After taking a couple of the Work-At-Home School courses, I was able to narrow down that this seems to be an area that I excel at and have experience in.
3. How many hours/clients do you currently work/have?
I have a part-time job where I am an employee. I work up to 15 hours per week there and a lot of that work is done from home. I have one client that I work with as an independent contractor and the hours I work have varied. In the last few months, I have worked about 40 hours for him.
4. What aspect of the introductory WAHS summit (a free summit anyone can take part in) helped you to decide to enroll in the WAHS?
I was inspired by the various ways people were making a living by working from home. I liked the focus everyone made on making a living by solving people's problems. There are many “problems” people need help with and you can leverage your own talent and experience to help others with those problems.
It is a win-win situation when you can help others by doing something you enjoy. Also, the summit really showed how much value you were going to get from the WAHS program. The interviews and freebies given from the interviewees were very valuable.
5. How did Work-at-Home School help you decide which work-from-home career to choose?
When I first started WAHS, I had no idea what area I wanted to work in or what I was even good at. I didn’t consider the fact that through the work/jobs I had already had in my life, that I had some marketable skills to work with. The various courses offered through WAHS helped me see what I was good at, what I liked to do, and the how-tos of using the info I learned to find viable work from home opportunities.
6. Did the WAHS training meet your expectations? Why or why not?
Yes, it went beyond my expectations. At first, it is scary because there is a financial commitment. Then I wondered if I could make it through the coursework. There is so much to learn that it can be a little overwhelming. A couple of things helped me with my decision to do WAHS and to keep from being overwhelmed.
One was that I knew that even if I decided not to go with a work-from-home career, that I would definitely learn something that I could use in any career or job. Then I started taking courses and absorbing information a little bit at a time. The thing I tried to remember is that I didn’t have to learn everything all at once.
Most of the courses have lifetime memberships and you can learn at your own pace. Even taking in a couple of hours a week for WAHS studies was forward movement.
7. What part of WAHS did you find most useful? And the least useful?
Not every course resonated with me, but I think every course is useful. Something that may not be useful for me, would work for someone else. The WAHS Facebook group has been really helpful, as well as some of the other Facebook groups I am a part of through the courses I have taken. Also, being able to have lifetime access to most of the courses is amazing. I also found an accountability partner through WAHS.
8. How long did it take you to recoup your investment?
It took me about 9 – 10 months. I wasn’t really looking for work yet, but the opportunity arose.
9. Do you think you are really going to be able to (or have you been able to) meet your financial goals?
I think I can and will reach my financial goals. It has been a little slow for me, but that is what is working for me and my family right now.
10. Was investing in WAHS worth it?
Yes. If you purchased each of the resources and courses offered in WAHS separately, you would pay a lot more money. Some of the courses on their own are almost as much as WAHS. WAHS is a very valuable resource. I am grateful that I found it and for the course creators.
11. Have you been able to make working at home work without disturbing your family needs?
Since I have done some work from home over the years, my family is used to the way I work. However, it can be challenging when I have work I need to do and everyone is home. For the most part, they understand and are respectful of my work time. Also, working from home has made it possible for me to still be available for my children. I can go to school functions during the day, volunteer at the school, and be home if one of them is sick.
12. What do you like most about working from home?
I really like the flexibility of working from home. As I mentioned, it makes it easier to be involved with my kids and their school. However, the options to have flexibility can also turn into excuses to not do work. You have to be very diligent if there is work to be done and you work from home. It can be easy to put things off.
13. What advice would you give to someone who is considering working at home?
I would say if there has ever been something you wanted to learn, take a course. Even if you don’t know for sure that you want to work from home, taking a course can help you build skills and you may even find out you would like to work from home. Also, be reasonable about your time and your expectations. Whether you have kids at home or not or have a full-time job or not, learning new things takes time. Most people who seemed to have had overnight success were working really hard before that, we just didn’t see it.
Thank you, Natalia!
The FREE Work-at-Home event is a great way to explore ways to start your work-at-home career and to learn more about Work-at-Home School.
For additional information, you can also read a review of the 2018 Work-at-Home Summit here. My interview with the creator of Work-at-Home School, Caitlin Pyle and my interview with WAHS graduate Joanna Bradley are both great resources as well.
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Please leave them below.