According to a recent survey conducted by the Working Mother Research Institute in the US, 70% of women with kids under 18 have jobs. This isn’t surprising considering today’s tough economic climate, and how ambitious and driven moms in the workplace are today.
But how many women are really happy and fulfilled in their careers? The survey, which was answered by over 1 500 working mothers, revealed that regardless of their field, title or earnings, women who lack flexibility are the least optimistic about their career prospects.
Moms also reported that the top two things that make their work day a success are flexibility and a supportive manager. In contrast, researchers found that moms who don’t have a family-friendly manager are dissatisfied. Of these women, 40% are considering leaving their employer within 12 months (and 28% are unsure whether they will stay or not).
With this information in mind, we spoke to Phillipa Geard, founder and CEO of South African recruitment company, RecruitMyMom to get her opinion on the top jobs for working moms.
“However, before you even start the job search, make a list of what’s important and non-negotiable for you,” advises Pippa.
Pippa’s top 5 questions to consider
Does the employer offer flexible working hours?
For some employers, working flexible work hours means you can start at 8am, 9am or 10am and finish at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm. Some companies also allow you to work from home, or they measure your work on output, not hours at the desk. In other words, as long as you deliver the results, they don’t mind when or where you work.
Do you have to drive far to get to work every day?
If you’re spending an hour or two in the traffic, it takes away from time you could be spending with your family. Rather look for a job that’s closer to home, so the commute is quick and easy.
Does the salary make it worthwhile for you to go back to work?
Consider all the costs involved in going back to work, including childcare, travel, tax, parking and a working wardrobe and then weigh up if the salary makes it worthwhile.
Is it a high-pressure job?
A moms wants to be able to come home and be present for her family and not be thinking about all the work that still needs to done the next day. Many moms downscale after having children because of the pressure and scope of work required in high-level roles. Others remain in high-level roles, but work reduced hours, adds Pippa.
If you’re still breastfeeding, does the company offer an expressing room or other facilities to make this transition time more comfortable?
15 jobs to consider
“RecruitMyMom has been going for five years now and we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of employers willing to offer part-time or flexible work options, particularly when they see and recognise the value that skilled mothers bring to the work place,” says Pippa. There’s a huge demand for:
- Digital marketers. Employers need skills such as writing, blogging, social media posting and content marketing.
- Professional PAs: CEOs are always looking for skilled, well-spoken candidates to set appointments and run diaries
- Graphic designers are also in high demand as the internet continues to explode with opportunities. This kind of work is ideal because it can be done from home on a freelance basis and is often centred on specific projects.
The best part-time office roles are
- Financial managers
- Project managers
- Working for an NPO and marketing
- Tax consultants
- Computer programmers
Some exciting and rewarding part-time jobs include
- A nutritionist or wellness coach
- A pre-school teacher specialising in early childhood development
- A tutor for school-going kids
- A commercial photographer
- An interior designer
If you aren’t skilled in one of these, but want to change directions and give it a go, there are plenty of short courses or distance-learning programmes available, so you can up-skill yourself in as little as six weeks. Remember to pick something you’re passionate about so that the time away from your family is worth it to you.
Tammy is a wife, mom and freelance writer with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. She specialises in general lifestyle topics related to health, wellness and parenting. Tammy has a passion for fitness and the great outdoors. If she’s not running around after her daughter, you’ll find her off the beaten track, running, hiking or riding her bike.