Experiencing a successful career is a remarkable achievement. Likewise, motherhood brings with it adventures that open up to a whole new world of delight. The two, however, are often thought to be mutually exclusive when in fact motherhood is not something that calls for a resignation of all our ambitions. Sure, there are bound to be challenges balancing both career and parenting, but the balance is not impossible; which is why we salute the women who are so successful at it.
So how are astute working mothers achieving their best of both worlds? According to a survey by FlexJobs, 97% of parents prefer a work-from-home job or one with a flexible schedule because it would help them be a better parent.
For all those who agree, here are three super flexible jobs that have helped professional mothers achieve the balance they seek. We have also thrown in some tips about the job industries to get you started.
1) Pharmaceutical Reps
A 2011 survey by CareerBliss found that pharmaceutical sales positions ranked as the happiest for working mothers and was the second highest paying for women according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This consensus is still valid today with the growth rate for pharmacists predicted to reach 14% by 2022.
“Pharmaceutical workers are offered high pay, a flexible environment, the feeling of being rewarded at work, and good, well-educated managers,” says Heidi Golledge, CEO and co-founder of CareerBliss.
Tips to getting into the pharmaceutical industry:
- Having a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy is excellent if you want to enter this field, but surveys have shown that labour force participation had an 81.5% rate even without that particular degree. Consider enrolling for online courses that will add value to your resume.
- Do research on companies and consider how you are able to fit the role. Working Mothers has a good read that lists some of the Best Companies in Health Care & Pharma, “which offered creative flex and family-friendly practices that make them employers of choice”, especially for working mothers.
- Equip yourself with all the information you can get on the job role; the Australian Medicines Information Training Workbook is an excellent guide to prepare you.
2) Realtor / Appraiser
Realty is a viable option for mothers, though good sales skills and a good eye for property is a must. Qualifications will depend on the state you live in, but the required certificate or creditation is easily obtainable and often come with options for home-study. This makes it easier for mothers to decide how quickly they want to get back to the workforce.
Take for example Anna Altic, a mother of two and an entrepreneur who has built a thriving realty business. Anna wanted to work and yet dreaded the thought of getting back to a 50-hours work week in corporate. That’s where she realised real estate was a good fit and built her business from thereon.
Roberta Hoskie is another great example – a mother of three, she went from living on welfare, to owning her own million dollar realty business.
Tips to getting into the real estate industry:
- Though you may not need special qualifications to be a realtor, it’s still essential that you do adequate prep work and read up on all provisions that you can avail of when it comes to property in your locality.
- Keep your eye out for good property and link with someone you know who can refurbish properties that can help you get a better deal on houses.
3) Writer/ Editor/ Blogger
If you have great writing skills, consider this. A publishing/editorial background is an added bonus of course, but not strictly necessary. Nearly every company has a need for good quality content in the form of blogs, press releases, articles and social media posts – so there is no dearth of work.
“Go for it. Go for the kids. Go for the career. Don’t give up your dreams. Don’t give up time with your kids. And no matter what you do, listen to yourself,” says Helga Schier, who chose to become a freelance literary editor for its flexibility and has made quite a success of her choice.
Tips to getting into the journalism industry:
- Start a blog on a subject you care about. This could be on a subject that you are already familiar with, e.g parenting. You could even start by joining communities like Australian Mummy blogs. While there are loads of mum communities that will lend support if you choose to write on topics related to motherhood, do note that this market already has its own share of parents sharing experiences. So, we suggest that you find a passionate topic to blog about and stick to that. Good blogging can earn you awards in prominent circles like the Circle of Moms and Top baby blogs, which have the potential to further catapult your reputation as a writer/blogger.
- Write queries, send letters of introduction, connect with editors, and build your brand on social media.
- Sign up on writer’s forums like Freelance Writer’s Den, which provide platforms to seek work and learn about the writing business.
These are just three of the many flexible options available for mothers; we would love to hear from you if you have found success in any other areas.
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