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Ask Sherry: What jobs pay well and let you work from home?

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

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Could you please give some examples of occupations that could allow one to work from home and, ideally, also to pay well? (even if they are occupations which require higher education.)

It depends.. there are a lot of options

You could be a freelance writer, a bookkeeper – you keep ledgers, receipts etc, for people who have their own businesses and organize/scan/file them into proper envelopes for the accountant, some lawyers work from home, many accountants as well.

Small business owners who are consultants also let you work from home and go occasionally to sites if need be, like myself.

Basically any job where you sell your brain and don’t have to physically be there (e.g. hotel manager, office manager, scientist in a lab, engineer who needs to survey building sites, etc), will technically allow you to work from home.

The problem is finding companies and job roles where they do not demand that you are in the office physically even if you don’t need to, and you are not needed to physically be in the office to do your job.

Not many companies let you work from home, many are old school traditional and want to see your face in the office, to see what they are paying for.


So even in my job – it is UNUSUAL for me to be at home so often, in fact, I normally have to be in the office all the time, as per what the client wants, which isn’t at all strange — many high paying jobs in contrast, are jobs that you need to be in the office for – usually directors, VPs, etc, even if it is “brain-based”.

That said, if you are able to work from home and demand a high pay like I am, you need to specialize in something that you can sell that companies want, and have no choice but to pay for because you are the one demanding the terms of remote work and a lot of money.

Of course, I take a risk each time I work from home without “permission” and each time I ask for more and more money per hour (companies can dislike this and fire you), but that’s the reason why I save a lot of money – so I can turn down contracts and tell them no thanks.

I don’t need their money.

Even today, I can retire on a bare bones salary, and maybe just pick up something minimum wage to offset the cash flow.

I wouldn’t need a 6-figure job any more to live, I have enough saved.

To reach that, you need to have serious discipline in budgeting and managing your money – I’d focus on that as well in addition to finding a high paying job.

I’ll go off on a tiny tangent here, but sometimes the money itself like a high pay is not everything – if you can’t manage $100, you can’t manage $1000.

Actual wealth comes from saving what you earn.

Not spending it to look wealthy, despite what society says. I only buy and spend what I can afford, well below my means.

But long story short, anything that is brain-based as a job, can be done from home, but it all depends on the company and its attitude towards remote work.

So many employees are able to connect remotely from computers at home, can be on phone calls.  I personally see zero point for any of those jobs to require being in the office, unless the company is unable to give up the traditional workplace model and requires your face.

And sometimes, like in my case, you just tell them – if there is no telecommuting allowed, then no thanks. .. and they can try and find someone else who can do what I do. (Good luck.)

Not satisfied with my answer?

Here are a bunch of other articles mostly from CNBC that love to list jobs that make 6-figures and let you work from home.

What career path would you like your son to follow when he is a grown-up?

I know this will also depend on his own likes and abilities, but given your life experience and knowledge of the work market what would you like for him? I guess it would be something in STEM, but what field? Engineering, medical, financial, computer science?

I don’t know if he’d go into STEM. Honestly, I would like it because I understand it, and know that it is a lucrative job market with low supply and high demand, but if he isn’t inclined towards it, I won’t ever push him.

The only job I want for him has to have these things:

  • Be enough for him to survive on, support himself and his family (if he chooses to have one), and to save for his future
  • Work a job that makes him 75% happy. I don’t need him to be gushing with joy over his job, but he can’t go to work every day, feeling ill the minute he sees the office because of the stress and toxicity of his job
  • Have a balanced life of work and play – ideally only 40 hours a week or less
  • Is relatively safe – I’d be so worried all the time if he became a policeman, firefighter, etc.

That’s it.

What I do not want for him are these professions if I can help it:

  • Pilot or Flight Crew Member – The cancer rate of pilots is higher for breast and skin, and with the way the airline industry is getting squeezed on costs, I would also assume they’re cutting corners on maintenance and so on, which means he could be on a shaky aircraft
  • Anything working in or around nuclear – For obvious reasons
  • Chef – They work crazy long hours for little pay, have no family life, are stressed AF, usually end up smoking or doing drugs to combat the stress, have to work holidays and times off, and if he likes to cook or bake, I hope he keeps it as a hobby
  • Investment banker – I have never heard of them having less than 80 hour work weeks, and I am not so keen on that whole lifestyle in general

I want him to have a balanced life.

I don’t know or really care what it is, but he has to make enough money to live on, and be reasonably happy doing it.

Of course, the best jobs that pay the most are in STEM, so if he has the aptitude for that, by all means, I will encourage him.

As of late, he seems to show a real affinity for numbers and math, so I feel like STEM is not going to be that far of a reach for him. I won’t be forcing him into anything he won’t want to do.

I can only guide him based on what I feel he would enjoy, be a sounding board, hope he takes my advice, and wish him a full and happy career.

Have you read Burry’s opinion about index funds being a bubble ? What are your thoughts about it ?

Article: Michael Burry who predicted the subprime mortgage crisis and made bank, says we have an index fund bubble as well

I read it, and while he has a point, I don’t think that it is valid only because it works in theory, but not in real life, and the stock market is made up of real-life people, traders, and human energy.

You’d have to have ALL active investors completely exit the market.

I mean only passive investors left, and frankly, is that actually going to happen?

Even myself, I don’t invest 100% in index funds, I invest in individual stocks as well for dividend gains, or capital appreciation. I’m still half an active trader, even while being passive.

And if this stuff really crashes it means that all of these 500 big-name companies in diverse industries have to crash overnight, all at once.

Is that going to happen? REALLY?

The subprime mortgage industry crashed because it was a single focused point – subprime mortgages.

Index funds comprise of hundreds of stocks/companies, in various industries.

If the index fund became too heavily weighted in a specific technology for instance, that might be an issue, but even so, there are other stocks in that fund that aren’t that specific technology that would have to also crash at the same time.

It is so unlikely because one crash in one industry can also mean a boom in another. It is never static with all of them going down the drain, unless of course… we don’t take care of the Earth, ignore all the warning signs and basically burn ourselves to a crisp.

Thoughts?

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. Christine

    I’m a mobile Notary / Loan Signing agent and I’m also an independent Home insurance sales agent, I primarily work for a big insurance company (1099), that allows me to work from home. I absolutely love the flexibility, freedom, and pay is good too. My kids are homeschooled and works out perfectly. I’m in California

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I am so happy for you! What a great job. Working from home gives you such flexibility to get so much done, while still putting in 40 hours.

      Reply
  2. jackie pizzini

    I want to work from home for Amazon as a csr. the problem is when i call Amazon.. they say they are not hiring in Virginia for that position but yet i see these terrible companies advertising that Amazon is hiring. please.. id like a job from home at Amazon. What can i do?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I cannot help you there. If they are not hiring but saying that they are, they’re lying.

      Reply

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