Changing careers can be a tough choice for anyone. But, as a single parent, you have even more to think about. Whether you’re co-parenting or handling things on your own, your decision needs to be what’s best for you and your kids. Switching careers can be a financial risk.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It does mean, however, that there are things you should keep in mind before you leap onto a different career path. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while. Maybe the COVID-19 pandemic forced you out of your job and you’re ready for a change. If that’s the case, you’ll be in the company of 40% of parents who have needed to change their job situation.
Whatever your reason, what can you do to make sure your career change is smooth? How can you make sure your kids are on board and you can continue to provide for them in every way?
Let’s cover what you should know, and how to make the process as easy as possible.
Considering Your Commitments
When you’re a single dad, you probably already have a running list going through your head of things you need to do each day. That’s not a bad thing. It’s important to consider your responsibilities and commitments before you decide to jump into a career change.
First, ask yourself if it’s the right time. Are you in a comfortable place, financially? Did you recently separate or get divorced? What do you truly love doing? It’s also a good idea to do some research before diving into a new career. What does the job market look like? Who is hiring locally?
It’s also important to think about the best careers for your lifestyle. If your kids are involved in sports, extracurricular activities, or are splitting time with your co-parent, you need to consider your schedule. With that in mind, some of the best jobs for single parents are:
- Healthcare professional
You might even consider looking specifically for jobs that allow you to work remotely. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, work-from-home jobs have become more prominent, so it might be easier to find one that allows you to be flexible.
Thinking About Time and Training
When you’re thinking about your commitments, it’s also important to think about your time. When you’re a single parent, you want to spend as much time with your kids as possible. You also have personal commitments and need to find time for self-care, too.
Before you get too overwhelmed, understand that the world of education and training has changed. Sometimes, starting a new career requires you to go back to school. Thankfully, there are plenty of online opportunities to get the additional education requirements you need. Online courses allow for more flexibility, and you don’t have to leave your home to be involved. You can even go so far as to get an advanced-level degree. Taking online classes to receive an MPR, for example, will allow you to explore careers like bioterrorism researcher or emergency management specialist.
Whatever degree or certification you go for, do your research for online or hybrid classes. It might take a bit longer to accomplish, but you don’t have to give up other parts of your life to do it, and you can stay ahead of your parental responsibilities.
Starting Down a New Path
It’s not uncommon nowadays to start down a completely different career path with little to no experience. In some cases, more education and training are needed, just like we mentioned earlier. Other times, employers will find on-the-job training more valuable. Research has shown that 70% of employeeswould be somewhat likely to leave their current job for a business that invests in employee development and learning.
So, if there’s a career you’re interested in but you don’t have any experience, don’t automatically count yourself out. Ask about employee training or look into the programs offered by different companies in your area.
Getting your foot in the door of a job without any prior experience can be the most difficult part. No matter the industry, there are, thankfully, a few helpful steps you can take along the way to make it easier for yourself, including:
- Putting yourself in the mind of a recruiter and understanding what they want
- Preparing, preparing, preparing
- Updating your CV/resume
- Researching the company before an interview
- Staying positive during an interview
As a father trying to do your best for your kids, taking on a new career path could be the best way to show them how to follow their passions. It might be a bumpy ride, but persevering to accomplish something you really want is a great life lesson to pass on. Plus, changing careers can help you to feel less stressed and more fulfilled for years to come.