I constantly wonder what career options there are for me going forward. Although currently happy as a Stay At Home Mum (groan, hate that term) I know one day I’ll be going back to work in some shape or form. But what will it be? I know in an ideal world I need that work that works for my family and I. Flexibility is a massive driver for the path I take, and I know many other parents struggle to find that perfect work life balance when their life includes the ties and constraints of a young family.
So if a career as a blogger, elf or wine taster never takes off, here are some realistic options for Mums like me, looking for careers that could really work around the needs of the small ones. It’s definitely food for thought…
Pressure and Stress leaving your little one to return to work
Many new mothers soon come to realise after giving birth, that their former career paths are simply no longer what they want from life, and that they are too demanding on their time. As a new mother, it might feel intuitively wrong to leave your child in the care of a nursery, or you may simply feel you want to be home more of the time.
These sudden shifts in priority are not uncommon, after all, as a new mother, it is instinctively normal to put the needs of your child above everything else. With that fact firmly in mind, more and more women are seeking to re-qualify in freelance roles that offer more flexible working hours and more time to be with their new families.
1. Certified Bookkeeper
You may be forgiven for thinking that, to be a certified Bookkeeper, you may need past experience working within finance, but you would be wrong. Anyone can qualify to practice Bookkeeping, and with good marketing, certified Bookkeepers can earn excellent wages, while working from home during hours to suit the individual, even at times hiring other Bookkeepers to expand their business and services once fully certified.
The ICB accredited bookkeeping qualification has two main tiers, starting at level 2, then moving on to level 3, which after completion, gives the holder certified Bookkeeper status. This means that you can start to run your own Bookkeeping practice and work the hours that you would like to do. The Associate of Accounting Technicians (AAT) level 3 course also awards certified Bookkeeper status, while both are distance learning based, there is a certified tutor assigned with the knowledge to answer questions and help with advice and guidance. The AAT is also extremely well known by employers and attaining the Level 3 qualification will make you very employable in Accounting. This can open opportunities for flexible and part-time work.
Every business has accounts and, at times requires the services of a certified Bookkeeper, meaning regular work and repeat business is a realistic goal, there has never been a better time to combine the fresh challenges of becoming a new mother, with a new career path that will free more time to spend with your family.
2. Personal Assistant (PA) or Executive PA
PA work is an appealing option, as it is far more common to get days working at home and flexible hours. This is due to advances in technology and with so many PAs making this request, management views it as routine.
Anyone new to PA work must remember it is not secretarial work. Though there are administrative tasks, PAs get involved in meeting and business support to their managers. It is far more interesting than old secretarial work, due to technology advances.
There are now senior roles for PAs, which are executive PAs and Executive Assistants. These are much more Business supports/partners of their managers and they can have very interesting roles with little admin to deliver. In London, Executive PAs can earn in excess of £55K.
Given that PA and Executive PA careers have such good progression, pay and flexible working hours; it’s an excellent choice for new mothers. A key focus of a successful PA is their use of soft skills and how they manage their relationship with people of all levels. For this reason, you should consider training in workshop style courses.
Training to be a PA is the only way to fine tune these skills and be effective in the workplace. Online training is not ideal for developing skills around managing a professional relationship. You should also ensure the training is accredited by a body such as the CPD Standards Institute. This will strengthen your CV and ensure that the standard of the course is vetted by an outside body. You can find out about getting classroom based PA or Executive PA courses in London at Souters Training.
3. Freelancer Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants work for themselves and provide PA and other types of services to individuals and entrepreneurs who do not want to hire a PA. They do all work remotely and on their own hours. You need good technical PA skills, but most of all you must learn how to run and promote your services as a business. Most new VAs fail to gain continual new customers, due to poor sales or after sales. This is the main focus of VA training, rather than PA training. Most failed VAs are actually great PAs, who fail to make the transition from employee to freelance business. You can find out about VA Training in London here.
4. General freelance work
Freelance work is popular and can vary to all types of fields from Yoga teaching to Computer Programming. However, if you chose freelance work for the first time, consider undertaking an Entrepreneurial Training Course. This will ensure that you will gain the skills and knowledge required to take your business forward. You need to know the best way to structure your freelance operations, how conduct marketing without overspending and how to manage your accounts and cash flow. These types of skills can be gained in Start Your Own Business Courses, which are run by both the AAT and CPD. Souters Training will be able to advise you on the best approach for your individual requirements.
You can find out more about the training available for all of these roles in the London based Souters Training.