If you’re thinking of joining the work at home revolution, you should definitely get your piece of this pie! Working from home is a viable option for many Muslim women whether they’re interested in shifting away from a full-time salaried position, looking to supplement their income, or are hoping to make some additional pocket money. Here are the success stories and experiences of several Muslim women working from home in various fields.
Remote work is not a new idea, but it is easier to accomplish and monitor now through the use of numerous technologies. Working from home via collaborative programs and workspaces can even boost productivity!
It’s no wonder then that hundreds of global companies are adopting remote worker relationships with their contract workers and employees
Remote Work – The New Norm?
Muslim women who are small business owners, and freelancers, are jumping on the work-at-home bandwagon due to its numerous advantages and flexible (yet often still rigorous) schedules.
Global online payment processor Payoneer notes in its 2018 Payoneer Freelancer Income Report, “The freelancing economy is wide open, set for increased growth across all regions. The playing field is slowly evening out among emerging and developed markets, with talent scattered around the world making itself known and available to clients everywhere.”
For Muslim women wanting the flexibility of a work-from-home job, requirements range from entry-level to highly-skilled. And higher education translates into higher earnings across all markets.
“More than two-thirds of freelancers (68%) work for clients based in North America, and half of the freelancers (51%) serve clients based in Europe” notes the Payoneer survey. When it comes to freelancing and other remote work positions, the only barriers to entry are stable internet connections and foreign language skills (usually English.)
Freelancers also don’t have to aggressively market themselves and self-promote like they did a decade ago. Freelance marketplaces have leveled the playing field for and made it easier than ever for clients and freelancers around the world to connect, find work, or hire a whole range of professionals for any kind of task!
Today through the use of platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr, Muslim women working from home can enjoy the fruits of all the free advertising their highly reviewed profile will get them online.
Muslim women can make a great living working from home! According to 2018 Payoneer survey results, the global freelance hourly rate for all fields is USD $19. This represents the average from all fields of work – from administrative workers (earning in the USD $11/hour range) to legal professionals (earning USD $28/hour and up).
These average wages provide livelihood opportunities for many Muslim women that simply don’t exist in local markets. These average rates also show that demand for educated, high-integrity workers is still high!
And even though 77% of Payoneer-surveyed freelancers are male, I see this as an amazing competitive opportunity for Muslim women to outshine their competition by bringing their own education, skills, and experience to the international workforce. And by using payment processors like Payoneer with lower fees than PayPal (and as a replacement in many Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African countries where Paypal is not accepted) they can even keep more of the money they’ll earn from these well-paying international clients!
Muslim Women Build Each Other Up!
Karrie Bhurgari, founder of KarrieMarie.com and a Houston, Texas-based Social Media Strategist specializing in Pinterest, has found her place in the online marketplace supporting other busy women entrepreneurs.
“I started as a blogger and learned I didn’t like the pressure of having to write blog posts all the time, but I did like the social promotion of it,” Karrie shares. “That’s when I found out what a Virtual Assistant was and started to find work. I come from a marketing and administrative background in the corporate world so it was pretty easy to get started right away.”
Karrie mentions that one of her favorite things about working from home is the flexibility it affords her. Karrie helps other women build their online presence and tackles their to-do lists so they can focus on their business growth. Karrie is also a Muslimah convert married to a Pakistani who spends her days busily homeschooling her three children.
From Freelancer to Business Owner
Bouchra Rebiai is a bilingual entrepreneur and another work-at-home-mom (WAHM) who runs Aurora Hikma, a boutique agency specializing in helping businesses reach Arabic speakers. She offers a variety of services including translation, multilingual website development, and digital marketing.
Bouchra started out as a freelancer doing translations, VA work, and rewriting articles until she decided enough was enough and started her agency.
“My favorite kind of work is running my agency because I finally feel like I can control my role and the types of services I’m providing,” Bouchra confides. “I also feel that in certain parts of the world, there’s a negative connotation associated with freelancers that being a business owner takes away.”
“I wouldn’t say that I chose to work from home, to be honest.” Bouchra shares. “It was something I always thought I’d start with to get out of the situation I was in, then build a physical business rather than being virtual. I lived in Saudi Arabia with my mom at the time, and for me, living there was a special kind of torture, so I wanted to leave.”
“I ended up leaving in a quite stereotypical way: I got married and moved back to my home country, Algeria,” Bouchra shares. She’s now having a much easier time being consistent with her business now after getting married and becoming a mom.
Working from home offers flexibility
Melissa Mccoskery, a Muslim stay-at-home mum in a small town in New Zealand who didn’t have access to a 9-5 office job, had to think outside the box when it came to creating a side income for herself and her family.
“I’m caring for my sick father,” she shares. “Because of my need to stay in the home to be here for my dependent family, I have to be creative with how I earn extra money.”
Sandwiched in between caring for her ailing parent and young children, Melissa currently runs a small jewelry business preserving New Zealand native flowers in resin. Her current business has been slow to start, however, even though a previous business of hers took off like gangbusters!
“When my second son was born four years ago, I started up a cloth nappy business with my newborn sleeping over my shoulder. I really wanted something other than mothering in my life. I was desperate to reach out and do something,” Melissa shares. “I learned how to set up my own web page and sell online. Soon I had calls coming in from all over the country wanting to stock my nappies in their shops.”
Melissa explains that she’s made a conscious decision to only do things that give her joy so that she doesn’t feel like it is work.
“I love seeing how flowers are preserved in time when trapped in resin,” she shares. “It keeps my mind active, as I’m constantly problem-solving. I really like the challenge, but I also like the freedom to not work if I feel like I need a break.”
The ups and downs of being a WAHM
Bouchra’s favorite thing about working from home is working while watching her five-month-old daughter play and even sometimes working with her in her arms.
Melissa shares that another benefit of working from home is that children get to be involved too! “They watch us follow our passion and they can take pride in seeing you earn a living for them,” she explains. “They can also learn a lot about business management from an early age, which will empower them to follow in your steps one day.”
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