Been thinking about a career change since Junior came along? You’re not alone. I hear moms all the time talking about switching jobs to get more flexibility, so I decided to take a crack at figuring out the top careers for mothers.
Nancy Collamer, career coach and founder of jobsandmoms.com, helped me compile this list. Generally speaking, mothers are looking for work hours they can control, she says. They are also looking for work that is rewarding, both emotionally and financially
So, without further ado, here are our top picks:
Collamer didn’t have to tell me this. I am lucky enough to work from home. I complete my duties as DivineCaroline Career & Money editor during a flexible workweek. As a former newspaper reporter, I know lots of writers, including many moms, who now make their living as freelancers. They write everything from press releases to speeches to magazine features.
This is another one I know personally. My mother was a teacher and kept the same hours that my brother and I did. Collamer says the schedule is just one of several positives. Teachers—from college professors to middle-school teachers at private schools—can often get meaningful financial breaks on their children’s tuition.
This is the term Collamer has for jobs, like her own, that are made up of appointments that the mom can set to her liking. Collamer had no career-coaching appointments after 4 p.m. the day I talked to her because she was having out-of-town company. “I schedule my day,” she says. Professions in this category include nutritionist, financial planner, photographer, hair stylist, and personal trainer.
Client Services Work (Accounting, Bookkeeping, or Legal Work)
“You limit your schedule by the number of clients you accept,” Collamer says. While many people might not think of being a lawyer as a good job for a mom, it all depends on the environment, she says. One of her clients didn’t want to return to the big-city law firm where she had logged long hours before becoming a mother—and thought she done with lawyering altogether. However, when this client found a job working four days a week at a three-person firm, it was the perfect fit.
When I was in the hospital after the birth of my son, I met a nurse who worked one shift per week. She had three sons. Someday, she said, she would ramp up her schedule, but for now, she had the work-life balance she wanted. “There is such a high demand that people are really able to name their own hours,” Collamer says.
This can run the gamut from people selling financial products to executive recruiting, Collamer says. Mothers can often set their own schedules, ramping up when they have time or need additional income and ramping down when necessary. The sales jobs that are tough for mothers are the high-powered demanding gigs, selling big, expensive medical equipment for instance.