Top Tips for Having a Career When You Are a Parent

Being a parent is not always plain-sailing at the best of times, but can be even more difficult when you are also trying to get back on track with your career. Whether you are returning to work or are looking for a new career pathway, one of the eternal questions of parenthood is ‘Why should I give up my career to be a parent?’. However, it is possible to have both, and this guide will examine how you can get the career of your dreams while bringing up a family.

Choose a Child-Friendly Career

Whether you can get both a career and a family is very much determined by the type of career that you are planning to work toward. Although being a parent is supported and even encouraged in most modern careers, there are some jobs in which you can work around other commitments easier than others. One of the most child-friendly careers is teaching, as this can allow you to match your hours with that of your child’s schooling. Not only this, but educational facilities will usually be understanding of familial commitments, and often offer creches and other services for parents. 

If you are looking for something a little bit different, you should also consider going self-employed or starting up your own business. By doing so, you will be able to maintain a flexible work schedule and even work from home, foregoing the need for childcare. A final option is to use the skills that you have learned during becoming a parent, such as patience and empathy, and apply these to your job. For instance, nursing and healthcare careers can be great options for those that want to use their job to help other people. 

Get the Right Qualifications

Being a parent can help to rejuvenate your outlook on life and you may start to be inspired by your own children’s educational aspirations. Not only this, but many people who are focused on starting a family do so without having concentrated on achieving the right qualifications first. In addition, if you are looking to start a new career after becoming a parent, you may find that you do not have the correct qualifications anymore that could allow you to work toward the career of your dreams. Then, the break that maternity leave provides you with is a great opportunity during which to consider going back to school and renewing your qualifications. If you are uncertain what course is right for you, you should speak to a college or careers advisor who can guide you to the right option. 

For most new parents, the best pathway to take is an online course, as this will allow you to complete your degree from the comfort of your own home and around your other responsibilities. 

Find the Perfect Work/Life Balance

However much you are dedicated to progressing in your career, it is paramount that you do not allow it to take over your entire life. As a parent, it is especially important to make sure that you have an excellent and well-adjusted work/life balance. This will help you to have the time that you need to spend time with your kids and help them to grow into great adults. Although finding the right balance between work and life can be difficult, it is possible in every career, even in high-demand roles such as nursing. 

To find out more about how you can achieve the perfect balance between your kids and your career, Global Health Education has compiled a guide to achieving work life balance for nurses which can help anyone working on achieving their dream goals. 

Consider Your Timing 

Although you might think that you want to start moving forward in your career as soon as possible, this is not always the right decision. Instead, in order to make sure that both your parenting and your career go successfully, it is paramount that you choose the right time to begin on your new career path. For instance, you need to think ahead to the near future when you are planning your career, and you should ask yourself important questions, such as whether you are planning to have more kids in the next couple of years or whether major life events are coming up. 

By waiting until after these milestones to start out on your career, you will be able to ensure that it goes smoothly and that you will be able to cope. This does not mean that you cannot work on your career at all though, and there are many ways that you can prepare for your new career without taking a degree or applying for jobs.

Find Childcare

When you are a parent, you have to take your children into consideration when you are making any decision, and you have to plan how they will be looked after while you are working. This is especially the case if you work long hours, if you are a single parent, or if your kids are still young. However, there are many options for childcare available that can help you to make sure that your children are happy and healthy while you are working on your own dreams. 

The most obvious solution to this is to hire a babysitter or to find the perfect creche or nursery to look after your kids. However, this can be easier said than done, and you should seek recommendations and reviews before you make any final decisions on this. 

However, there are many firms that now offer childcare services to their employees, and you should ask about creche facilities and services before you decide to accept a job from an employer. If neither of these options are possibilities, you should try to find friends and family who can share out the responsibility with you, or ask your child’s school whether they offer an after school club. These are both excellent options as they allow your kid to be cared for in an environment that they know well.

Look at Jobs With Flexible Working Hours

When you have a child, there is an almost endless list of things that can go wrong, from childhood sickness to absentee babysitters. To make sure that you are able to adapt to any emergencies concerning your children, and to help you to make it to every parent’s evening, you should try to find careers and jobs that offer flexible working hours. For instance, many virtual jobs, such as that of a virtual assistant, have flexible working hours as jobs can be completed at any time of the day or night. Not only this, but an assortment of healthcare and nursing jobs, such as that of a counselor, and even teachers, such as piano teachers, work on an appointment basis. This means that you can set dates around the other commitments and occurrences that your family life can suddenly spring upon you. 

Plan Ahead

Although the best-laid plans often go wrong, there is no harm in planning ahead and seeing where this may lead you. Planning ahead can help to make sure that you are there for all the big events in your family’s lives, as well as your career highlights. For instance, you may need to arrange transport to school on certain days, and you may need to consider extra childcare when things at work get intense. If you are struggling to plan ahead alone, there are many digital tools that can help you to do so. For instance, calendar applications for your mobile can allow you to create schedules and set alarms for important life or career events, allowing you to make sure that you can stay as organized as humanly possible.

Get Support

Juggling having a kid with a career is hard, no question about it, and sometimes everyone will need a little bit of extra support to help them to keep going. This can be either emotional or financial. Although many people seek to get support from their family and friends, such as a listening ear or help with the kids, there are many more formal avenues that you can go down. For instance, if you are struggling to make ends meet, there are many charities and government support schemes that can help you to keep afloat financially, while you may also consider looking for a parenting group if you need to talk to someone in the same position as you. 

If you are struggling emotionally, you should make sure that you visit your GP or local medical center, who may be able to advise you on how you can improve your mental health.

Create a Routine

One of the most important things you can do though is also the simplest, and that is creating a routine. Creating a routine can help you to complete all the tasks that you need to in one day, concentrate on both your kids and your career, and can also allow you to keep stress to a minimum. This can include working at a certain time every day, having the same sleep pattern, and eating meals at regular times.