It must be that surprise mention in The Asian Parent article, or something about the month of February, that inspires me to write about the hubby.  After having palpitations from the excitement of seeing a link back to my site from a popular parenting site, I went all agog in sharing the link, and stalked all other shares, truly curious on how many women in my extended Facebook network would be interested on having homebased jobs.   Surprisingly, there were a number of commenters who left the question:  What about something for work-at-home dads?

So since yesterday, I’ve been mulling about writing an article about my very own work-at-home dad.  Yes, folks, my husband is a WAHD.  So I asked him if I could feature him in my blog.  He readily said yes, but no pictures, please.

That was yesterday afternoon, and I have conveniently forgotten about it because there have been a few emergencies at work.

Tonight, in the middle of setting up a shopping cart for a local client, this Deniece Williams song played on my tablet, and it goes like this:

My baby, he don’t talk sweet
He ain’t got much to say
But he loves me, loves me, loves me
I know that he loves me anyway

And maybe he don’t dress fine
But I don’t really mind
‘Cause every time he pulls me near
I just wanna cheer

Okay, stop singing now.  But yeah, this song is spot on.  And reminded me again of the feature write up that I already have permission to write.

So is it possible for husbands to transition to a work-at-home career?

My answer, and the husband’s, of course, is a resounding YES!

Back in 2013, the company that he served for 18 years was bought out by the country’s telecoms giant.  About 80% of the workforce were immediately offered early retirement, while a few were asked to stay on for the transition.  Hubby was among those few people who were retained on that first salvo of massive manpower displacement.  He was given a consultancy position with a one-year contract.  Benefits were taken away, and tenure just went pfffft!  The only consolation was that his take home pay went higher, his service vehicle was retained, and he stayed in the same area.  Others were not that fortunate, as salaries were drastically cut, and others were assigned to far away places.  In that one year as consultant, he felt the dissatisfaction with the management. It just wasn’t the same.

So nearing the end of his contract, we already started planning our next move.  I asked him if he’d welcome a home-based career, and he said, why not?  He was confident that I could help him.   It was during that time that we decided to go ahead with the house extension, so that in case he decides to join me in my virtual office, we will have space.  I also wanted to have the expense taken cared of while he was still gainfully employed.

In the same manner that we prepared for my farewell to corporate, we again worked on our numbers.  Four months to the end of his contract, I stopped touching his salary.  We went into a dry run of how our life would be if there would only be me earning for the family.

The decision to not renew his contract came on the day before it actually ended.  There was a call for him to go out of town for troubleshooting.  And we decided that he would not go.

It took him eight months before he was finally hired on a retainer position.  In those eight months, he took care of almost everything around the house, allowing me more time to focus on my existing engagements and looking for additional clients that I could pass on to him.  He’s a technical person, and a desk job is not something that he would really love, but he was at least willing to give it a try.  He took an online qualifying exam for a marketing company, passed it, but failed the Skype interview.  Please refer to the second line of the song.  🙂

WordPress

Most online jobs that you would come across these days require you to at least know how to upload a post or update a plugin.  So I bought him a domain name and set up a WordPress dashboard for him, so he could familiarize himself with the back end navigation.  Just our luck that I also conduct WordPress workshops, together with my partner, The Techie Mom, for a living, so he had an in-house WordPress tutor.  🙂

In the end, he landed a job that is in itself a specialized service.   That of shipping management, which requires a working knowledge of 1ShoppingCart, Shipwire, and Zendesk.  Errrr… I also trained him on these platforms, as I have become a subject matter expert on these over the past five years.

He also became my official computer technician, performing maintenance of my PC and laptop, installing and updating virus protection, taking care of our internet connectivity, and even periodic cleaning of the CPU and keyboard.

At times that I have out-of-home meetings, he pitches in with some of my administrative and research tasks.  And I think he enjoys the research the most.  He’s very meticulous with data and he goes the extra mile, which I always say is a great VA trait.  One time, I asked him to do a research for meat curing equipment, parameters were price, ease of installation and functionality.  He surprised me with adding product reviews.  And I was like, why didn’t I think of that?

So yes, dads have a place in the virtual workplace, even those without administrative and clerical background.  They just need to find that job that will challenge them in a way that they will enjoy.  With my husband, it was the challenge of being in a very unfamiliar territory that’s making him enjoy the journey.

I’m still confident that I can give him a run for his money for the Employee of the Year Award, but the best part of having a WAHD in the house is that I no longer have to take my coffee breaks alone.

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