Has parenthood made you think of working with children?
Parenthood can present many challenges, from learning the new skills you need to care for your child to juggling your home life with your career. Perhaps you are finding the latter too difficult – your time and energy is being pulled in too many directions. Maybe you have asked to work part-time, only to find that you have just as much work as before, but less time to do it in.
You might have reached the conclusion that a career change is needed. But where do you start? If you’ve worked in a particular field for most of your adult life, a change of direction may be daunting and you possibly don’t know what other type of work would suit you or if you have the qualifications necessary for a different role.
Roles that fit easily around family life include online jobs that you can do anywhere at any time – businesses are becoming more and more savvy with the use of online staff. After all, if you work from home via your laptop, your employer doesn’t have to pay for office space and related expenses. Working from home has many advantages, such as being able to work at hours that suit you (perhaps after your children have gone to bed or are at school) and not having to pay for or endure long commutes.
Some people find working from home a little lonely, though, and if you feel that it would not suit your personality or particular skills then consider another obvious solution to needing to balance a career and childcare – look for work in a school.
Before you had children you might have baulked at the idea of working with children. But think of all those amazing skills you have developed through caring for your own child: patience, multi-tasking, attention to detail, creativity, time-management and communication. All of those attributes are very much in demand in a school setting.
To get an idea of whether working in a school would suit you, you could write to local schools and explain that you are thinking of making a career change and ask if you could perhaps spend some time helping as a volunteer. Schools are often crying out for members of the local community to help out by listening to the children read, bake or even help out in the office. You will know very quickly whether a career in a school is something that you would enjoy and be capable of doing. At that point, you can refine your rather more universal job search to one that is tailored towards jobs in schools.
There are many different roles within a school, from administrative work to teaching assistants to teachers, and you may need additional training or qualifications to take up a role that will suit you. During that retraining period, continuing to volunteer at a school will not only give you valuable experience but also provide you with relevant experience for your CV, and hopefully a good reference for any future employer.
Making a career change can be a big step and you will need plenty of support and guidance. But certainly online jobs or working with children in a school would both provide you with the flexibility you need to be there for your children and earn an income to support your family.
Work by James Walsh licensed under Creative commons 5