Free career advice for mums – your questions answered

What is the best place to look for part-time flexible jobs?

Mumof3 As my user name suggests I have three children When my youngest starts school I would love to get a job during school hours e.g. 9.30 until 2.30am (preferably with school holidays off as childcare for three would be very expensive). I don’t know if this is realistic… Do you have any advice for the best websites or places I could try to search for part-time flexible jobs? My background is in marketing but I am open to try new things. Thanks

Fiona’s Answer:

My advice would be to focus on what you want to do, and then think creatively about how to do it flexibly. In your case – assuming you’d still enjoy a marketing role – I would seriously consider focusing your search on small to medium-sized businesses that need help with their marketing, and would be pleased to not have the commitment of a full-time employee.
Remember approx. 70% of roles aren’t advertised, so it’s really important you undertake a creative job search to find these seemingly elusive flexible roles.

In terms of whether it’s realistic to not work any holidays, only time will tell. You would obviously take your annual leave entitlement to coincide with your children’s school holidays, and it might be that you have to pay for a little childcare to be able to cover. To make the cost of holiday childcare more palatable, I would change your perspective on it and think ‘If I can get by the rest of the year without paying for childcare, then paying for a few days in holidays are worth it’.

Just make sure you don’t take any old role just to fit around your kids – you don’t want to be undervaluing your skill-set and taking a role that is really unfulfilling.

How do I work out what career/job is right for me?

NorthernBird I am a SAHM and want a job to fit in with a family but don’t know where to start as have no idea what job would give me the flexibility with youngish children. Do you think that there are any careers that would be a good starting point for me to start researching? Thanks!

Fiona’s Answer:

This is a common dilemma – so rest assured you are not alone in wondering this! There are so many jobs out there that the only way of working out what is right for you is to focus on yourself first:
– What natural strengths do you have? i.e. skills that you are good at and enjoy using
– What motivates you at work? For example – do you like having a role that gives you meaning or feels worthwhile? Do you love autonomy, or being an expert in something? Do you want to have friendships at work?
– What lifestyle choices do you want to make? i.e. what hours do you want to work, how far are you willing to commute? What do you need / want to earn? Would you consider being self-employed?
– What are you naturally passionate about? This can help narrow down the types of industries or companies you would like to work in.

How do I turn being a stay-at-home-mum into a positive in job interviews?

Mrs F I suppose my concerns are more to do with my confidence. I feel like I’ve been out of the work place for so long that I am worried about being able to convey what I’ve done since having children… Any advice on how I turn being a stay at home mother into a positive for an employer?

Fiona’s Answer:

Confidence is a common challenge for mums who have had a break.
Here are 3 top tips for you:
– Go in with a positive mindset – if you can’t see the positive in yourself then it’ll be hard to convey at an interview. Listen to your inner gremlin and flip any negative statements into positive ones.
– Remember you haven’t lost the skills and attributes you gained whilst being at work – they’re still there!
– If you have done anything whilst you have been a stay at home mum then be proud of it and highlight any achievements and skills that you have used eg. voluntary work or fundraising at your children’s school or helping in the community may have used your organisational skills or your ability to influence and persuade others to do something.
– Talk confidently about being ready and keen to return to the workplace – an employer does not want to hear that you have ‘no idea how you’ll sort the childcare’!

Download Fiona’s FREE e-book – “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” TODAY. It’s packed with tips, exercises and inspiring case studies to get you out of your rut and on the way to your new career.
Fiona Clark photo 20131Fiona Clark is a qualified confidence and career coach who founded Inspired Mums to inspire women to reach their full potential at work. She is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles.
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Twitter: @Inspired_Mums