Real WAHM: Janice Lim, Online Writer and Virtual Assistant

DSC00467Name: Janice Lim

WAHM Occupation: Freelance Writer / Virtual Assistant / Blogger / Social Media Manager

Website: Janice Lim (Professional website), Roller Coaster Ride (Personal blog)

 

1. Hi! Thanks for being a WAHM guest on the WAHMderful Life. Please tell me a little bit about yourself, your family, and what work you do from home.

My name is Janice. I am a work-at-home mom to three kids – Zoe (11), Ziya (10) and Ziggy (turning 2 on Feb. 28). Together with my boyfriend, Jon, we have been a blended family for almost four years now.

I used to be a full-time working mom. Aside from helping out in family businesses, most of my work experiences involved working for non-profit organizations such as the Figaro Foundation Corporation (social service arm of the Figaro Coffee Company), the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) and most recently, the Philippine Coffee Board. I specialized in the fields of events and project management, marketing and communications.

Currently, as a WAHM I wear many hats. I work from home as a freelance writer, virtual assistant and social media manager. I also write about my personal experiences as a WAHM on my blog, Roller Coaster Ride.

 

2. What made you decide to become a work at home mom?

I didn’t initially set out to become a WAHM, although deep inside my heart it has always been what I wanted. I just didn’t know then how to make it happen.

In June 2010, I found out I was pregnant with Ziggy. Back then, work had become more stressful. Because I held a top management position, I was always on call and sometimes had to report for work on weekends as well. We had also just moved to our present house, which required me to commute to and from work every day.

All that took a toll on me and caused me to have a spotting episode during the first trimester of my pregnancy. My doctor ordered bed rest for 3 days. It scared me so much because I had had a miscarriage just 3 years before. In order to protect my baby, I decided to resign from my job, which turned out to be a good decision because just a couple of weeks after my last day of work, I bled again more profusely and was ordered to go on bed rest for 3 weeks. The pregnancy went smooth sailing after that.

It was that time when I became a stay-at-home mom when I first started blogging. It was also when I was presented with my first job as a WAHM, which involved developing business plans for a foreign client. The project only lasted two months. After that, I began earning from my blog doing sponsored posts but the income wasn’t much and didn’t come that often. So, I contemplated going back to a full time job, which I did when Ziggy was already 10 months old. However, that only lasted two months as well. We had trouble finding a trustworthy housemaid and nanny to tend to the house and kids. I was also unhappy with my new job and missed being hands-on with my kids so I resigned from my new job. That was the moment when I made a conscious decision to become a WAHM.

I realized then that I could actually earn from home by doing something I used to love doing a lot – writing. It took a few months but I finally officially started working as a freelance writer in August 2012. Thankfully, more work opportunities kept coming my way soon after that.

 

3. What are some of your challenges as a WAHM?

I think the most challenging thing about being a WAHM is the constant juggling act. We don’t have a nanny or maid, so aside from work I also have to do the chores, take care of three kids and make my hubby happy. Although I try to stick to a schedule, sometimes things just don’t happen the way I want them to and so I’ll have no choice but to just wing it. Having a very active toddler around all the time also makes it very challenging to concentrate on work sometimes.

Another thing I find challenging is finding alone time with my hubby. Since we don’t have a maid or nanny, my hubby and I usually can’t leave and have date nights. Sometimes we leave them with my in-laws so that we can go out but that doesn’t happen very often because we don’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone.

 

4. How has being a WAHM benefited you and your family?

Being a WAHM enabled me to become a hands-on parent. I wasn’t that hands-on when my girls were little because I was working full time. So, when I became pregnant I vowed to change that. I feel that now is my last chance to do everything I never got to do with my girls before.

Also, being a WAHM with no nanny and housemaid has helped foster teamwork within our blended family. Each one of us has our own assigned chores. We now have a system that works for us, most of the time.

Aside from that, my income as a WAHM also greatly benefits my family. The loss of my salary as a working mom was a big deal to us. My husband took on all of the financial responsibility and we struggled a lot. Now that I’m earning regularly, life has become a lot less stressful money-wise.

 

5. What kind of services do you offer as a WAHM/What is your line of business as a WAHM?

I offer a wide range of writing services for businesses and professionals. I provide well-written copy for marketing collaterals such as brochures and flyers. I write business letters, reports, proposals, newsletters, press releases as well as web content. I also contribute articles to websites such as Daily Glow and the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center.

As a virtual assistant, tasks vary according to the needs of the client. Most common tasks involve email management, email marketing, research, calendar management, handling customer inquiries, managing social media accounts among others.

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