Six tips to help mothers make career decisions

Looking for a new role? Whether you’re re-entering the workforce after a break, or fancy a change of career, here are six tips to help you make the right decision.

Finding the right career can feel virtually impossible – especially with the wide range of options available to us today. It’s even more difficult when we’re faced with a blank sheet of paper.

So, to help you start to narrow your thinking and hone in on the areas or careers that might be a good fit for you, here are six tips.

Start by understanding what your career will entail

A day in the life of every professional is very different. If you want to be a teacher, you need to take time to understand what professionals in this field do every day to determine if it would be a good fit for you.

If you freak out at the sight of blood and needles, then nursing may not be a wise choice for you, for obvious reasons! Maybe you could still work in a healthcare facility ,if that’s where your interest lies, but in other departments such as customer service, nutrition and records. 

Look up the list of jobs available and even consider volunteering for a short while before getting started to avoid choosing a career path that is not right for you. 

You can search potential career options online using sites such as Uni Compare and compare them to your skills and characteristics to find one that is a good fit for you. (Uni Compare is a website that helps those who need guidance with their university application process.)

Check the degree you need to get started

It’s possible to start some careers without a degree. However, for others, higher education is necessary to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to do the job.

Even where a degree is not necessary, you can still sign up for one – many degrees are available remotely using online learning today. The benefit of taking a course related to your career path is that you will be equipped with knowledge and skills that can make you a more effective employee or business owner.

Find out how many years it will take to get your qualification, as well as how much money you will spend on your degree. This information is always available on each university’s website. 

Make sure you have the necessary soft skills 

In each field, there are a number of soft skills that make you a better candidate for a career in it. For instance, for a customer service rep, proper communication, good listening skills, empathy and patience are key. So if that is the path you want to follow, you will have to be good at these skills or willing to work on and improve them. 

Check the demand for workers or business opportunities available 

Before you choose a career, check the demand for workers and the industries that are hiring. Is there an increasing trend in demand? What about future projections? What factors affect or could affect employment in the sector you are eyeing?

If you intend to go into self-employment, it’s never too early to start exploring business opportunities and testing their viability. 

Research working hours and schedules

For some careers, you work from 8am to 5pm. For others, especially in healthcare and hospitality, you work in shifts. And thanks to advance in technology, some careers allow you to work remotely from home. Take these considerations when selecting a career path.

Choose a path that will work best for you and your children. If you would rather stay with the kids all day long, then maybe you could consider a career that allows you to work from home. If you have help from family or would be open to babysitters or other forms of childcare, you can choose to work away from home.

This way, you can achieve your career goals, get financial freedom and still spend time with family when you are not working. 

Find out the salary 

Last but not least, check how much you are expected to earn each month or how much profit you can make if you are considering self-employment. Will it be enough to meet the financial needs of your family?

That said, don’t choose a career just because of the salary. You need to consider all the other factors before making your decision. Choose a well-paying job or business that is in your areas of interest and one that you can handle. 

Make a career plan

Once you have made a decision, come up with some career goals and a plan. You need a good plan that will allow you to study and find a job or start a business while spending quality time with your kids. You also need to plan well to avoid straining your family financially.

For instance, if you need money for college or a short course, budget wisely to avoid using money meant for daily expenses on tuition. Remember, businesses may take time to break even, so take that into account too. Don’t forget to set aside an emergency fund to cater for those unforeseen expenses. Balancing a career and family may seem tricky, but it’s doable if you plan well. 

Finally, if you are having a hard time deciding the direction to take, talk to someone. You can talk to an acquaintance, hire a professional career coach or find a mentor

Photo by Jen Theodore