5 Career Ideas for Single Moms
Deciding to parent a child on your own is a big step. Choosing a career path that will help you provide for your family is also a big decision for you at this stage of parenting. Maybe you’re still in high school and getting ready to consider a career path, or maybe you’re in the middle of college and now’s the time for you to evaluate if the major you’ve picked is the best for you and your baby.
The good news is there are many options that potentially fit your interests and talents. While there’s never guaranteed security in any work situation, we do have some recommendations and insights for career options that work well for single moms. But first, let’s look at some potential career pitfalls.
Three Potential Career Pitfalls
The first pitfall may seem obvious but it happens more than you think. You know the scene; you’ve been staying up late at night with a crying baby and the TV infomercial promises career success by just ordering the videos. Or your surfing the web and ads are popping up for the best training program ever! It’ll be easy they said. It is guaranteed to change your life. Next thing you know you have paid $200 for a scam. Don’t be fooled. Most of these products that promise career success on TV (and the internet) seldom work. The only thing they succeed at is marketing to people who are financially vulnerable.
Direct Sales Caution
You should also be weary of any direct sales pitch (also known as multilevel or relationship marketing) that promises you six figures in a short amount of time. We aren’t saying that all direct sales companies are bad, but be wise. If you aren’t naturally comfortable booking appointments or selling, it can become difficult for you to meet your goals. Also direct sales roles can require a good deal of money up front and require you to commit to extensive amounts of training. Truthfully, few people make it in direct sales. If you are being recruited, we suggest that you ask a lot questions. And if you’re still not sure, ask someone who knows you to meet with the person trying to recruit you. You will be glad you took the extra steps to find out if this is right for you.
Consider Educational Requirements
How long are you willing to go to school? You also need to consider how much money you have to invest in your education? By writing down your goals and what it will realistically take to reach them you can stay grounded. We want you to shoot for the stars, but get a game plan together.
If a career you’re considering requires you to take out a huge amount of student loans, is being in debt for the next 10-15 years your best option? Also you need to consider time. Ask yourself how much time you have to allow for school and work. What will childcare look like? Do you need to work a job short term to help you meet your long-term career goals? All of these questions, while they are hard and can seem overwhelming, are good to consider as you weigh the pros and cons.
Now that you’ve maneuvered some pitfalls and weighed the requirements, it’s time to start brainstorming a few career ideas. This is the fun part! These options, in no particular order, offer flexibility and pay fairly well — two things you should always consider when parenting on your own.
Five Career Ideas for Single Moms
Careers in Medical Field: Nurses, lab technicians, sonographers, physical therapists.
This will take education and time, but the pay off long term may be worth it. If you don’t do well with the sight of blood or sickness, you could also consider hospital administration. Positions in the health care industry are in high demand. Research your area and see if one would be a good fit for you.
Careers in IT: You don’t have to be male or a total geek to land a job in IT. You may love computers and feel comfortable trouble shooting problems. Training for these jobs may be offered at a local community college, or tech school. There are also great online options for training in IT. Some companies may even offer to pay you while you get trained, if you agree to work for them for a set amount of time.
Teaching: Love kids? Love the learning process? Teaching offers a predictable schedule that will be in sync with your child’s in a few years. The trade off is you don’t necessarily make much money. On the positive side, you will have benefits and if you love genuinely love teaching and kids this could be a great option for you to consider and it pays in ways that are beyond financial.
Virtual Assisting: Are you organized? Do you like to keep schedules and are you direct in your communication style? Many companies now are outsourcing administrative assistants. The benefits of a job like this are flexibility in the amount of hours you work and being able to work from home. You will typically need to be able to take phone calls and appointments during work hours, so you may need to plan on having a baby sitter or day care for the first year that baby is home.
Web Site Development: This is similar to IT, but if you have a creative side, you could learn to design web sites. With this skill you can become a freelancer and set your own hours. You will need basic marketing know how and a plan for promoting your services, but it could be a great job with the flexibility you need. This field is constantly changing so you will need to plan for staying up to date on the latest tech developments.
There are so many options for you consider when making a decision about what career path to take. We hope we’ve given you some fresh ideas you haven’t even thought about. Maybe we’ve triggered some ideas not on our list. Please leave those ideas in our comments section to help others reading our blog.
Keep us posted at Collage about what you decide! We love hearing from you.