Whether you’re a new parent ready to re-enter the world of work or you’re a seasoned parent with a desire to try something new for better work-life balance, there are numerous options to choose from that offer great pay, creativity and, most importantly, flexibility. These jobs will give you more time with your family while still giving you autonomy over your schedule and the amount of money you can earn.
The benefits of a flexible job
Workplace flexibility is a hot topic at the moment, but it’s not just where you work that makes the difference. A flexible job gives you the freedom to choose your own hours and shift your work around to suit your lifestyle, but it also gives you the opportunity to choose who you work with, picking your own clients and setting priorities that work for you. No-one should have to choose between working and their kids’ wellbeing, but with a flexible role, that isn’t an issue. It offers the perfect balance and prevents burnout in the process. There are a few things to consider when looking for the right career.
Weigh up childcare options
If you’re choosing a job where you’ll need to be away from home for any amount of time, you’ll need to weigh up the childcare options available to you and the costs. If you have a family member who can help out, for example, you can be far more flexible with the hours you work compared to if you need to hire a childminder or use a nursery service, which will eat into your profits as an added expense and therefore may limit the hours you can work.
Location, location, location
You also want to think about whether working from home is what you really want, or if the break in your routine of working elsewhere might actually be preferable. There are pros and cons to both. Working from home gives you the option to set your hours more freely, but it can be nice to meet people in person and enjoy a change of scenery.
Time management throughout the year
As a parent, you also need to think about how you’ll manage school holidays — whether your children are at school age now or that time is a few years off. Working parents can find school breaks a challenge, so you might need to arrange childcare swaps with other parents to share the load, or even look to summer camps or full-time childcare in the future.
Once you’ve decided what works best for you, you can start searching for the right role. Here’s some inspiration to kick off your job search.
If you have a specific skill or qualification, online tutoring is a great way to earn money from home. This job typically earns anywhere from £15 to over £30 per hour, which varies based on the subject and level of expertise you have. But with the right marketing for your business and skills, you can earn a great income from online tutoring and help others learn in the process. It’s a very fulfilling job that can be built around your routine, so you have more time with your kids. From teaching English as a second language for foreign students to helping teens with their GCSEs or adult learners, consider who your skills are best suited to.
If you’re looking for a creative outlet that enables you to get out and meet people, few jobs can match a career as a wedding photographer. This role centres on capturing the once-in-a-lifetime details for couples in love on one of the most special days of their lives, so you need to have excellent attention to detail but also have a creative eye. It’s a good idea to set up a website and start posting your work on social media, as couples looking for a photographer will likely look online first and they’ll want to see examples of your style.
If language is your thing and you’re a grammar whizz, proofreading is a fantastic job to earn great money doing something you love. Freelance proofreaders can set their own hours and work as much or as little as they want, so it’s perfect in terms of flexibility around childcare, school and holidays. From technical documents to websites and blogs, eBooks and academic papers, proofreading comes in a host of different forms, so you can pick and choose what interests you.
A career as a fitness instructor or personal trainer serves double duty, because not only can you earn money but you can stay fit which can be tough to find time for as a busy parent. But if you’re passionate about staying healthy and want to inspire others to do the same, you could become certified as a personal trainer or specialise in an area of expertise such as spin training or pilates. Fitness instructors have their pick of places to work too. You could host classes in your local area, teach private or group classes at your gym or even offer virtual classes to reach a wider pool of people.
A virtual assistant deals with a wide range of tasks for businesses or entrepreneurs, from responding to emails and making phone calls to bookkeeping, social media management, scheduling calendars and typing up letters and documents. If you’ve ever held an administrative role in the past or you’re a tech savvy person, this virtual version could be a great fit. As a virtual assistant, you can work from anywhere providing you have an internet connection, but bear in mind that your clients may need you to work to certain hours to accommodate their operations. However, it’s an in-demand job that offers great pay and plenty of flexibility.
Caring for your kids is a full-time job in itself, but there are plenty of careers that offer up versatility in terms of hours, location and pay. From online jobs that you can do from your living room to creative outlets, hopefully these jobs have given you some food for thought for your next role.