Help me find a new at-home career or revive my old one
September 23, 2005 1:18 PM   Subscribe

What can a marketing consultant do to earn $500-$1000 a month from home without continuing in marketing or writing?

I had a great career in marketing and then went into an weekend MBA program while doing consulting full-time. I did really well in the program and was poised to work in strategic business role at a director level, or at least my old manager level. Unfortunately/fortunately, just as I finished, I became pregnant. This was a really happy event, since I'd been told by my doctor to try for a full year, then come back for fertility treatments. I wasn't supposed to get pregnant, but we were thrilled. Of course, in a career sense, it was bad timing. I had a really tough pregnancy and barely worked for the 10 months. Now that my son is six months old, I feel like I don't care about marketing. I keep thinking I should have gone into something else. A few prospects have contacted me, but I've referred them elsewhere. I don't know what has happened. I loved marketing and was terribly passionate about it just last year! Now I keep thinking I should have gone into something else -- medicine, nursing, engineering, computer science. I feel like I'm not right for marketing at all -- I'm not a blonde bimbo booth babe, which seems to be all the rage right now. (Compare to four years ago, when smart people were in demand by tech firms.) Not only that, I'd like to stay at home with my son for another two years, then have another baby. So I don't really want to be in an office for 4-5 years. What can I do at home to keep myself earning a small income and mentally stimulated without working in marketing consulting or writing? Or how can I revive my enthusiasm for marketing?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My first thought, honestly, is sell Pampered Chef products. Their whole marketing campaign is based around family, and making cooking simple so you can spend more time with your family. You'd be putting some of your marketing schooling to work, but not sitting in an office. You can work your schedule around your family/baby. The lady I buy stuff from has been doing it for a few years, and seems to make a nice income from it.

Sorry if that sounds cheese-ball to you. :)
posted by clh at 2:42 PM on September 23, 2005

I don't know what has happened. I loved marketing and was terribly passionate about it just last year! Now I keep thinking I should have gone into something else -

You've gone through a lot of changes in the past year; you might consider giving yourself more time before you make any major decisions.

If income isn't that critical (or that critical at the moment), you might consider doing some volunteer work - it sounds like there are a lot of non-profits that could benefit from your experience and education. Perhaps your old contacts could provide you with suggestions (organizations, people) to contact about volunteer work, helping with marketing? You may find that after you do volunteer work for a bit, some of the passion will return.
posted by WestCoaster at 5:23 PM on September 23, 2005

If you still love the idea of marketing but are being turned off by the soullessness of the typical career path, have you considered doing marketing for community organizations, non-protfits, or other public service type groups? Many of these groups need only part-time help, and could really use your kind of expertise to stay in touch with donors, grant foundations, and the communities they work with. (I say this as someone who always loved the idea of marketing, but went the engineering/technology in service learning route in the end.) If any of that strikes you, let me know, and I could probably find some groups we work with that would be interested in your work...
posted by whatzit at 5:56 PM on September 23, 2005

I have a Macintosh User Group that could use some serious help in the marketing department. Email me if you're interested in learning more.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:33 PM on September 23, 2005

How about teaching? The preparation work can probably be done from home and you may find the lecture portion of it rewarding.
posted by gfrobe at 8:45 AM on September 24, 2005

To expand on what gfrobe said - it sounds like you're very well qualified to be an adjunct professor and/or instructor at a college or university. (And a lot of major universities have continuing education and - as you know - weekend executive programs.)

If you're comfortable with online work, you might even be able to teach a course that doesn't require you to be in a physical classroom. (Phoenix University and Walden University, both accredited, come to mind.)
posted by WestCoaster at 8:19 PM on September 24, 2005

Just checking out this thread, since I work in marketing, too. Perhaps I'm taking this conversation off-course, but, after reading GFrobe and WestCoaster's posts, I checked out Walden and UOP. Looks like they both want PhDs and teaching experience nowadays. Or do they just say that?

As for falling out of love with marketing, that can happen when you have too much on your plate. Maybe other things are priorities now.
posted by acoutu at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2005

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