The search for the right job as a Mum returning to work after having kids is different for everyone, and there is no sure fire formula for success. Often it’s a matter of trial and error, and a process that may have several false starts. The small team here at Hire My Mum know this all to well, and we would never suggest to have all the solutions. But what we can offer is an endless supply of new opportunities and job ads for you to browse, and we can offer some general thoughts about our own experiences, and from listening to the experiences of other Mums.
Be honest with yourself about what you really want from a job
Having babies is hard work. Some mums handle it better than others, but I don’t know a single Mum who was not changed by the experience of becoming a mother and raising kids. With that thought in mind, consider what sort of work you really want to do. Do you want to do what you were doing before you became a mum? Do you want to work as hard? Perhaps you want to work harder. Are you just in it for the money, or are you still passionate about your career?
For some mums the answers are obvious, but they are still worth checking. Perhaps even writing down, just so you are completely clear in your head about what you are looking for when you start searching for your first job as a mum.
Is it time for a career change?
Have you thought about what type of job you should look for, or are you rushing back to find something that matches your previous work experience. If it’s the latter, I would highly recommend reconsidering. Have a good look at the skills you have developed, and think about how they might translate across to other industries or roles. Talk to your friends, use the available government services such as center link to get some free advice.Get as many opinions as you can and try to think out of the box.
Try applying for a few jobs just to see how your application is received. There is nothing to lose in applying for a job that you don’t get, and remember that applying for a job is just as much about you finding out if you really want the job, as it is them deciding if they will give it to you.
If, at the end of the day, you decide to continue on your old path, then great. You have explored other options, and now you are even more confident that your choice is the right one.
How much time are you willing to commit?
Time is probably the most valuable thing in the world. Especially when you have young kids. Have a long hard think about how many hours you are willing to give up to start earn money again. The answer to this will relate to the earlier paragraphs about whether you are just in it for the money, or for something else like a career goal or perhaps job satisfaction. Try to put a dollar value on the time you spend with the kids (horrible I know, but that’s effectively what is going to happen). Obviously this needs to be weighed against the benefit that the extra money will bring to the family and lots of other things as well, but think about the time.
I’m not suggesting that doing this will bring you to any particular solution or decision, but it’s good to have thought this sort of thing through, so it’s ready in the back of your mind when you find yourself being offered a job that will keep you away from the kids longer than you anticipated.
Where do you find suitable jobs for mums?
Firstly, as I wrote earlier, everyone’s situation is different, and I would never want to say that any particular job is unsuitable for a mum. So the following list of ideas is based on the requirements that we have heard from the mums that we have spoken to or chatted to or from our own experience.
Jobs that fit into school hours
School hours jobs is one of the popular job categories on our job board for obvious reasons. A good school hour job is perfect for your family life. You can drop the kids at school, work for a few hours, then pick the kids up again afterwards. This can give you a perfect family life balance.
A couple of things to watch out for when you are looking for this type of work:
- How far away is it? You don’t want to be wasting too much time commuting or constantly rushing or being late to pick up the kids
- Save some time for yourself. Let’s face it, some of the best moments in our lives are the quiet relaxing moments after the kids have gone to school. These moments are important because they help you to de-stress and allow you to cope better with the next crazy thing your kids do. Be careful that taking on a new job does not eliminate all of your “you time”.
There is quite a wide variety of jobs that fit into the “School Hours” category, and it has expanded quite a lot in recent years as employers have realised that mums returning to work make great employees. Have a look through our School Hour Jobs category on the job board. Remember that our jobs are hand picked, so there will be fewer than other job boards, but a much better quality.
This article might also be useful: Finding jobs in School hours
Work from home jobs
Another hugely popular category at Hire My Mum are the Work from home jobs. As the name suggests, we are talking about jobs that can be done from home. The range of jobs available is a little more restrictive than the school hour jobs, but there are still a lot of opportunities in a wide variety of areas to choose from. The vast majority of the jobs you will find in this category are computer based, and sometimes rely on a dedicated phone line, although businesses are becoming more and more comfortable using Skype, or other online tools.
If you are considering looking for this type of work, then I recommend reading through a few of our articles on working from home. The best one to start with is probably the complete guide to working from home for mums. This article covers everything we could think of, and was written from the perspective of having tried, failed, retried, and finally succeeded in almost every topic covered.
But if you are not up for a long read, and want to jump straight in, here’s a few highlights:
Networking and word of mouth promotion
If you are working from home, you need to think of yourself as a business, no matter what you are doing. Even if you are employed by one company, you should consider that employer as a customer. And one of the many things that you need to keep in mind about customers is that sometimes they leave, and you need to find new ones. Get yourself out there! Find professional groups, build your Linkedin profile, participate in online discussions. This will improve your knowledge, keep you in touch with the industry and importantly, improve your chances of finding a new job quickly if the first one doesn’t work out.
Create a productive workspace
Creating a comfortable working environment is not always the easiest thing to do in a home full of kids. I know this challenge very well. In fact I am actually writing this page from my kitchen table because my daughter has a science project due next week and my usual working desk is covered in styrofoam planets. Sometimes you need to make do with the space you can get, but you should definitely plan to do most of your work in a beautiful, comfortable environment. Have a look at our article on Feng Shui for your home office, our guide to setting up a home office.
What sort of work can you do from home?
And the biggest question is “what are you going to do?”. As I mentioned, there are a lot of options, some of them can be a bit unusual, like filling in paid surveys, or working as a website tester, while some can be as fast paced as a corporate office job like working as a virtual assistant. Finding work completing paid online surveys is also quite easy to find in Australia, and can be a good filler for when you are between projects. There are some pretty exciting opportunities out there, but before you jump in, you should also have a quick look at our article on avoiding work from home scams.
ANother topic that you might want to explore is whether you want a job or a business. This article discussed the difference between home based jobs and businesses.
Where to start
Ready to get going? You are in the right place. Go to the Job Search page and start looking for your perfect job.
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