9 Lives for Women Blog

What You’d Earn for Unpaid Jobs | February 8th, 2013

It’s not news that stay-at-home Moms have a relentless, all-consuming 24/7 job. I laughed out loud when I once saw a cartoon with an exasperated mother asking her children: “Do you really have to eat dinner every single day?”

Stay-at-home Moms are often dedicated volunteers as well—another job that consumes many of the evaporating hours in a single day.

And for all that time and effort—as a Mom and volunteer—there’s no green dollar paycheck. I was reminded of this fact when I read an interesting little snippet in the November 2012 issue of Real Simple magazine—reporting that $112,962 is the yearly salary a stay-at-home Mom would earn.

This six-figure salary was determined by the career advice web site, salary.com.

“The income was calculated by combining the average wages, plus overtime, for the jobs a mom typically performs, including laundress, janitor, driver, cook, facilities manager, psychologist and household CEO. The results also showed that the average stay-at-home-mom works a grueling 94.7 hour week and would make an average of $22.94 an hour.”

My purpose in sharing this snippet is not to encourage women to give themselves the CEO title for the years they spend at home. On many resumes and Linkedin profiles I’ve seen women use this title, and I know it does not play well with employers. Your time home with your family is time valuable to you.  No attempt to attach greater business world value is necessary (unless professional household management is your goal).

The reason I highlight this fictional salary is to prove to all you dedicated volunteers that your time has real business value. If a six-figure salary can be generated from laundry, driving and cooking, imagine the value of the writing, financial management, PR, sales and myriad other skills you so generously give to organizations far and wide?

If and when you do decide to go back to the workforce, think of this household CEO salary and never doubt that your volunteer work did not have business value. If you position your volunteer work in business terms—using all the facts and figures to prove success—you’ll command fair compensation and easily work your way back to a professional career. —KAS

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