How to Deal With a Lack of Respect When You Work from Home

Some home workers feel like the old Rodney Dangerfield comedy routine, “I don’t get no respect”. If you’re too young to remember him, check it out on YouTube.

If you own a home business, you know how it goes… Someone at a party says, “What do you do for a living?” You answer, “I run a business from home”. The look on their face often says what they won’t say out loud: “In other words, you’re unemployed”. They simply can’t believe that you can really make a living working from your computer at home.

How do you deal with a lack of respect? Here are seven tips.

  1. You might want to find ways to better explain what you do. Not a long story, but something that most people understand. “I write web content”, or “I have a fishing blog” or “I sell paintings on Etsy.” Those are all clearer than just the phrase, “I have an online business.” They’ll have more respect for you if you’re clear on what it is you actually do.
  2. Most people tie their self-worth to a job. That’s what most of us grew up being told. “Get a good job and you’ll have a good life.” People still believe this even when they hate their job. In other words, you’re not going to change their mind. Don’t expect them to understand and you won’t be disappointed.
  3. Find other home workers to communicate with. They’ll understand the struggles and the terminology. If you can, find a meet-up group in your home town. It’s nice to get out of the house occasionally and socialize. But if not, you can still meet and talk online.
  4. Learn to set boundaries. The work you do is as important as anyone else’s day job. Don’t let people use you for free daycare or running errands because “well, you’re home all day, anyway.” Learn to say no and stick to your decision. No one else will respect your time if you don’t.
  5. Realize their reaction is often jealousy. Many people would love to work from home; they just don’t know how to accomplish that feat. Of course, their perception of sitting around in their pajamas all day watching television is a far cry from what you really do. But they don’t know that. Putting you down makes them feel better about getting up and going to their horrible job every day.
  6. Do excellent work. Gain respect by accomplishment in your field. Using testimonials on your website can help show that your clients are thrilled with your work or your product. It holds more value coming from someone else than when you say how great you are.
  7. Most importantly, don’t base your self-respect on what other people think. You know that what you’re doing is of value. Don’t look to other people to determine your worth. Be proud of what you do and others will observe your confidence. If you’re unhappy with yourself, they’ll sense that, too.

To be able to work for yourself is a dream for many people. Enjoy what you do and don’t worry about the naysayers who will never understand.

The next time someone asks what you do, just smile and say, “I’m trying to take over the world.”

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