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Do you need to change careers to go back to work during these tight times

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#1 smtm

Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:36 PM

Sonia Williams a mother of two, qualified accountant, author and founder of the site Show Mummy the Money <http://www.showmummy...hemoney.com.au> , designed to help mums, save, make and protect their money. This information is correct at time of writing. It is general advice only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

What do you think? Share you tips on changing careers in order to be able to go back to work and financially survive the recession...

Sadly a family friend was made redundant this week, which got me thinking, with the number of job cuts and constant talk of a recession, I wonder if there are any mums who have had to return to work or are considering a return due to financial circumstances.

I for one am considering a return to work to help the family financial coffers and provide greater security as we enter tough times. But what roles / positions of employment are we mums best suited too? Given we have families to look after as well do we go back full time or part time? I know I couldn’t return to my previous corporate career and manage a family too. Well not with out the support of a team of helpers and that would soon dissipate the financial benefit of returning to work. So I started to think what could I do if I decided to return to work… and would this involve further education to increase my chances of finding employment in a more suitable field?

I am confident there are careers better suited to mums, that allow us to effectively manage our family as well, but what are they? Are their certain roles where we can work from home? Manage the school holidays better?

I have been doing a little research myself since as my friend has just discovered, you never know when you may just have to go back to work… and its best to be prepared, consider your options now before the recession really does kick in.

Now whilst teachers are not necessarily paid their true worth, they do have the benefit of holiday’s…no more organising baby sitters for the kids – these are intangible benefits not offered by the average employer and could compensate for the lower salary. And the news gets even better if you already have a degree. Since for some who have certain degrees you need only do another year of study to qualify to become a teacher. If you are based in Victoria and interested in this option check out the site www.education.vic.gov.au
That may seem like a long term plan, I am sure there are other jobs out there….

Have you had to change careers to be able to manage your family and help the family financially? Or do you have a great career, that allows you to manage your family? If so let us in on your secret. What do you do?

#2 helenparr

Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:11 PM

I'm in the same situation, where there might be the need to look for part time work, but going back to a career in IT and Banking is not feasible with kids, so I've been investigating the options for mums who still want to be home for the majority of the time for their kids.

I have friends who have sacrificed the career aspect of work, and are happy simply to do something different, like work at the local RSL or supermarket for a few hours a week. They get some additional money and a break from the children.

Personally, I want something more. I want some real job satisfaction and I'd like to use my skills and maybe have a challenge or two. But I still want to be home for the kids...

When my first, now 4 1/2 was 8 months, I started a Family Day Care business working from home looking after up to 5 children including my own. This is one job you can definitely do, and be available for your own children. It is however, hard work, and doesn't pay very well, so you need to be passionate about children.

Since having number 2, I have been too tired to regain that passion for other people's children original.gif but I hope to go back to it when I get more sleep. In the meantime, I have looked at earning money from home, and I have put together a website which includes some of the options I've found. Examples are; Tutoring, Party Plan sales, Pet Minding, Technical Support, Life Coaching, Writing, Transcription and Virtual Assistants.

In building the website, I'm seeing if it's possible to make money through affiliate marketing.

I get frustrated at the lack of imagination from a lot of employers. Personally, I think I have a lot of experience, intelligence and ability and could be valuable to an organisation even if it were just for 15 hours a week. Sadly there don't seem to be many jobs like that out there, although my neighbour has worked in both marketing and as a dietician on a two day a week basis. Sometimes you need the contacts and a bit of luck.

#3 amberleyc

Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:42 PM

Can't wait to follow the progression of this - I am just about to finish up a full-time contract position as a TV producer as it is all too much with my 19m.o. and I'm pg with #2. I am planning on starting an interior design/real estate styling business from home. Years on Lifestyle TV shows have taught me all the tips. But I do worry about starting such a venture - and leaving a well paid job in these financial times... but I'm exhausted and missing my L.O.
I keep thinming there must be loads of mummy-friendly work out there that I just don't know about!

#4 ausktl

Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:45 PM

Great topic for discussion as i am sure it is on many mums (or mums to be) minds. Having just found out i am pregnant and a while to go yet till this will be an issue it is worth thinking about as early as possible. At this stage assuming all goes well and to plan - my idea is to go back to work after 6-8 months (depending on the savings) and hopefully ease back into it part time, with the aim of goig full - but possibly with an early finish each day. I think a lot of it comes down to how understanding bosses are. Working for a small company where all the other people already have families they seem to be much more understanding. But time will tell. I have in recent times set up a small side business making and selling cards with the intention to get this going a but more before bubs comes along so at least it will be a little bit of pocket money coming in the door. I think there is also a lot of potential wtih making some money on ebay whether it be selling a product you have made, a service or even every 6 months cleaning out the house and selling stuff you no longer need / want. Other option is monthly markets.
Virtual assistance - that sounds like a good one though.
Look forward to reading other's ideas....

#5 Lise

Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:09 PM

I'm an academic lawyer - deliberately chose this option as it entails 1-2 days a week at the university and working from home for the remainder.  Being a solicitor would be double the salary but 60-70 hours a week away from home.  I love my job!!! And there was paid maternity leave when little surprise bundle number four arrived last year.

#6 davise

Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:14 AM


Before I had my son, I knew I wanted to get into vocational training because it was part time, flexible and reasonably well paid for a casual job. I did a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training (now you need a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment).

This worked out very well for me and training is a fairly boom or bust resistant industry. If you have experience and / or qualifications in a particular vocational area (and these can be quite broad, e.g., administration, software use or management) you should consider this area.

The great thing is, if standing up in front of a group of people is your idea of hell, as a trainer / assessor you can opt only to work with distance, online or traineeship clients which is generally one-on-one and sometimes not even face-to-face.

Personally, I am always on the lookout for trainers and I know many community colleges and WEAs are in the same boat.

That's my tip for family friendly work. I have more and I hope to post some info on them sometime in the future.

Good luck!

#7 blmf

Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

Great topic.  I am really interested in what other mums do work wise.

The job i'm on maternity leave from is 5 days a week 9-3:30pm which was great before bub no 2 came along.  I really don't want to go back to work 5 days and would ideally like 2 or 3 days so thought i could jobshare with another staff member on aternity leave who also thought it was a great idea until we hit a brick wall..... Our Boss!  

So much for working for an employer of choice and work / life balance.....

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