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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:31 PM
Original message
I am a stay-at-home dad. Anyone have suggestions for working from home?
I have an msc in engineering, speak english, dutch, french and german, and am computer literate.
But due to a medical condition, I cannot perform constantly at 100%.

Anyone have relevant experience or tips? I don't have many expectations about the job content, creative would be great. And general advice is welcome too.

Many thanks
bmc

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Fed_Up_Grammy Donating Member (923 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. How many children and how old are they? Makes a difference.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. one of 4 and a half, one underway
yeah you're right.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. A couple of questions
I assume an 'msc' is a Masters level qualification. Correct? 'Engineering' is a rather broad term - like 'science' - could you be more specific about your area?
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. master of science in engineering - metallurgy/materials specialty
or maybe master in materials engineering? I'm not a 100% sure on the current term...
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Idea #1 - Technical writer / translator / patent researcher
You have multi-lingual skills and with your Masters degree you should easily understand the *heaps* of materials science related patents out there. It is also the sort of work you can do sitting at home, with a good internet connection and a paid subscription to a good database.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. patent work is a very good one
I may find it a bit boring, but I was once offered something like that and considered it. At the time, it involved moving, but if I could do that from home...

thanks!
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Before I suggest idea #2, I have a few more questions about your MS
(1) Did you learn to use one or more engineering / analysis tools during the course of your MS? I mean something like Moldflow / COMSOL / ANSYS etc.
(2) Did you learn imaging / material analysis techniques? (SEM / TEM / XRD / WDS)
(3) Did you learn any mechanical testing techniques?
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. here we go
1) We learnt about finite element analysis in a general way (part of mechanics) and used ansys as an example for an afternoon. Haven't been in touch with current applications much except from the input-output side.
2) Yes, from a theoretical side. SEM / TEM / WDS I have operated myself and most techniques I have used for analysis later on.
3) Yes, again the theoretical basis and the practice of tensile / torsion / bending / wear testing and some others as well.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Hmmm...
#2 Starting a small business to do imaging (SEM / TEM / Optical) is a good option (at least in the US). There is always a shortage of skilled imaging people including those who do TEM sample preparation here because they start their own little imaging shops. While it is very lucrative, and you can do it from a dedicated room at home, it is a stressful job and you'll need a fair bit of startup money ($300,000 upward, depending on what kind of equipment you buy).


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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. psst...
it can be done but not by most peoples's schedule...
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. Where do you live?
California?
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Belgium :-)
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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. taking care of even one child is huge work
I could only do my at farm business work when my child slept. Thus I was reduced to e-mail communications and a few phone calls. So, work that can be done by e-mail is what I recommend.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. email technical support I have thought about, and you're right about kids
My oldest is at school, but the youngest that'll be another deal.
They go to cribs pretty early too, but I'm not sure if I'd want that.

Thanks for the tip!
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. It's doable
My husband was a software engineer and worked from home for 15 years. It was great, particularly for the kids who always had someone at home when they got home from school.

He is pretty much retired now but still has a couple of clients he does stuff for for a couple of hours a week.

I think this kind of thing is much more common now, with all the advancements in computer/internet technology.

You just have to find that niche.

Good luck.

Mz Pip
:dem:
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. I am a Software Engineer and a Full-Time Telecommuter
Software engineering lends itself well to telecommuting.
With all those languages, technical writing is also something to consider.

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warren pease Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. Technical writing might make sense...
You could check with local tech writers and with agencies that writing contractors work through. I know a few tech writers around here and most work from home, either as full-time employees or as freelancers.

I did it for about a year a long time ago and it bored the hell out of me, but I don't have the technical skills and background your degree suggests you have. You might well enjoy the interaction with other materials engineers. And your languages certainly give you a nice set of options.

I'll respond again if I think of anything else related to getting into the tech writing field.


Best of luck,

wp
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sjdnb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well, when I left my job to become a SAHM
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 11:00 PM by sjdnb
(I was an IT Director) I started a very small web development company. But, for me I found incorporating my other skills (i.e., vertical market knowledge) into the business equation was the best way to succeed. So, we selected markets we were intimately familiar with and marketed to those types of companies.

And, we did not get stuck in one technology - We currently develop on Linux and Windows based servers using a wide variety of tools.

We also paid a lawyer to draw up our articles of incorporation and have not regretted spending that money for one minute.

When I started the business, 13 years ago - my youngest were 3.5, 2, and less than 1. My s/o kept his day job and found that, with me at home, he was able to be a lot more flexible and rose to VP in a relatively short time. But, we never intended to 'get rich', just 'get along' - provide the necessities and the occasional 'treat'.

And, so far, so good - and, I've been able to do a good deal of work pro bono for the schools/clubs and other nonprofit organizations I encountered along the way.

Best of luck.
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InkAddict Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
14. What about researching something like this?
System monitoring on a project?

http://rebar.ecn.purdue.edu/ECT/PT183/excavation.aspx

Excavating and Earthmoving
Excavation and earthmoving operations provide many opportunities for automation. The work area is often exposed and spread out, and the nature of the work is such that it can be readily undertaken by remotely operated, mechanical means. Automation is especially effective in the excavation and compaction of soils. Moving materials over a project site can be conducted with the implementation of on-board computer technologies that free the operator from many tasks. Much of the automated construction equipment available makes use of GPS technologies.

Then in that downtime between laundry loads, this:

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2005/09/build_your_own...

Build your own Japanese construction equipment paper toys
Build your own Japanese construction equipment paper toys from SAKAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD - My fav is the Macadam Roller -which is mainly used for rolling compaction in early stage and finishing- is the machine to secure the uniform compaction and the flatness of base course, asphalt mixture, etc. Link.

I apologize if you're not this kind of engineer, but for some unknown reason, these kind of things popped off in my head as being "creative."







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JFN1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. Try something on the Internet
Get a copy of a web design program like Front Page - teach yourself web design - a good friend of mine, who got laid off after 9/11 did this, and he says it's not nearly as hard as it sounds, and if you've got the time, you can build a business with it. There is a huge demand for web designers and webmasters - and its definitely a work-from-home job. And as I understand things, your language fluency can come in real handy with web design - especially if you can do translations.

Or check out http://www.cafepress.com and make your own products to sell.

You could also check out www.signingagent.com - become a notary public (it's really easy in most states) and do mortgage signings for title companies out of your home - if you live in a big enough town, they'll use you for closings for folks who can't/don't want to travel very far. Since you're in the neighborhood, they can just come to your house to sign their loan documents.

The Internet is still very, very young, and is one of the best possibilities for home employment out there. There are a lot of rip-offs out there, though, so don't give anyone money for the right to sell something for them - they should ALWAYS pay you for that. If a company wants you to pay THEM for the right to sell their products or perform their services, then it is a clear indicator that they are not making money from what they sell, and must rip off their sub-contractors to stay afloat.

I have no personal experience with working from home - but I know several people who make a pretty good living doing all of the things I mentioned above.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. web site translation
I'd just put together an introductory letter and send it to some of the top design firms, specifically those that specialize in high-end travel sites.
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
20. If you are truly fluent in those languages, translation for Euroepean publishers
I do work for publishers in Europe, and the need for good translators is ever-present. Many European publications are published bilingually--Dutch/German/etc., plus English. Since you have special expertise in engineering, perhaps you could contact publishers in that field, either journals or books.

It is not easy work, and you must school yourself in manuscript preparation and basic copyediting principles (buy a Chicago Manual of Style and read it, and check your local colleges for extension courses in translation/copyediting).
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
22. Thanks for all the tips so far! All experiences welcome, doesn't need to be in my field...
I have to sign off for tonight to get some sleep in :-)
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. My first thought
was consultancy or report writing. Or a bit of both.

It's a bit of work, but ISO consulting maybe, especially if you are qualified.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
24. web design, online references with advertising
intellectual property keeps paying 50 yrs after death
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mahina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
25. Medical transcription
translating doctor-to-english.
Good dough.
Your hours.
My .02
Aloha!
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
27. might consider some kind of writing service . . .
there's always demand for good writing skills, both in business and with individuals . . . everything from annual reports to resumes . . . I've made a modest living writing funding proposals and grant applications for non-profits, although that requires some experience in the field . . . but there are a lot of other kinds of writing that you might consider (assuming, of course, that you can write moderately well) . . . good luck . . .
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