The last two days I have been chronicling my journey from being a Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM) to Working-From-Home-Mum (WAHM).
Yesterday, I described how I concluded that it was unrealistic to hope that I could make any sort of income from my crafty hobbies. So, back to the drawing board.
Aside from the crafty stuff, I began considering what other skills I possessed.
I am, ultimately, an academic. With my degrees in history, I very quickly had to conclude that my true strength lies in language. I’ve always been particularly good in writing essays, both in school and later in college. I can structure an argument extremely well. In addition, I am a decent writer with a strong vocabulary, particularly in Dutch, my first language, though my English has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years as well (writing a PhD dissertation will do that to your command of a language!). In addition, though it drove me despair at times, what I enjoyed most about being an academic tutor was teaching students how to write good essays and guiding them to improve their skills.
My skill at constructing (and deconstructing) academic arguments is partially talent, I think, but also most importantly, training. At my Alma Mater in The Netherlands, first and second year history students had to attend compulsory seminars that taught what were considered essential skills for an historian: public speaking, debating, essay writing, the construction of arguments, research and so forth. In fact, in the first year, several hours a week were dedicated to this work, a very significant portion of the overall workload. It’s left me with some very solid academic skills, that I have been extremely grateful for over the years.
Identifying my skills, however, was only the first step. Next, I had to figure out how to turn these skills into something marketable. This proved to be very difficult. I looked with envy at my husband, who, with his master’s degree in Maths, made a very good living giving tutorials as a student. Unfortunately, there is very little demand for history or essay writing tutorials.
I struggled with how to turn my skills into a WAHM activity for quite a few months, until I eventually stumbled onto the answer.
To be continued….