Jump to content

Menu

s/o biological clock--flexible careers for women


maize
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've thought a lot about the need for flexible career options that would allow a woman (or man!) to remain professionally active and earn decent income part time if desired while raising children. What sorts of careers would lend themselves to that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My old neighbor is a speech pathologist for the local public schools. When she had a baby, it was nice because she was able to easily shift her schedule to more part time for quite some time, and when she went back "full time" she was still off by 2:00 or 3:00.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the persons support system too.

 

A friend is a part time magazine journalist but her in-laws are her backup babysitters when she needs to be in office meetings and her regular ad-hoc babysitter isn't free.

 

Many of my friends do part time accountancy work but they are established in their careers before kids. So their work credentials have already been established. They usually can bring work home.

 

Paralegal work as well has part time positions but again most would hire someone who had years of full time legal work experience in the legal field. She isn't allowed to bring work home.

 

Work from home jobs are pretty much demand and supply so it's hard to tell. Many of my friends who need work from home jobs with "decent" income are doing telephone sales like timeshare, travel bookings, telemarketing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with speech therapy, physical therapy, etc. And nursing.

 

Anything computer-related, especially things often done independently like graphic design.

 

I thought teaching would be more family-friendly, and I've lucked into part-time positions lately, but generally teaching is pretty all-or-nothing. Though I would contend the skills make you a flexible employee.

 

Writing

 

Marketing

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flexibility in my experience is dependent on region and employment culture. If there are more workers than jobs, flexibility is out the window because the employer has plenty of workers to choose from, and no need to put up with an irregular schedule.

 

I have also noticed that a hugh percentage of work from home positions do not come with benefits so as always the issue of not having health insurance,vacation and sick days, etc. becomes thorny.

 

Around here RN's make good money and benefits but all the shifts are 12 hrs which makes scheduling day care a bit of a nightmare. Medics are also 12 hr, but dispatched is 8 hr. I have known of several female medics who made the switch to dispatch after having a child just because of the scheduling thing.

 

A lot of the telecommuting that used to exist in IT has gone away. Dh is one of the very last in his company that is allowed any work from home flexibility.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

both hospital positions:

nursing (friend L&D nurses who worked one shift a month, and ER nurses who only worked a handful of shifts.)

pharmacist (dd had one job was two weekends a month,  that was her in to a full-time position at the hospital where she's working now.  she says she wants to start having kids next year, and she can cut back her hours.)

 

dental hygenist

web designer

tech

school teacher -can work substitute only. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an unpopular opinion, but I don't feel like I can do much with my advertising background as a SAHM. First of off, my children are young so that's a struggle. No support system. But even so, I'd have to make enough money doing free lance work (I used to do FT graphic design in an office) to justify the cost of the software. A professional subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud, not homeschool or student account, would easily be $50/mo. for me.

 

I'm trying to get into tutoring but it wouldn't be substantial income as it wouldn't be many hours a month. It would make me feel better about my resumé, though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Working for the government is family friendly, but not really flexible. I work regular hours, nice benefits, including separate sick leave, understanding coworkers etc. You can work from home a few days a week, and you can shift what your start time around within a wide window. But you can't start and stop working. Hiring is so erratic that if you give up your job you have no guarantee of finding another similar position. I sometimes envy nurses. It seems they can drop in and out of the workforce and there are always jobs available.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone up above mentioned lawyering as being mommy friendly. It is decidedly not, fwiw.

 

yeah.    dh's nephew's ex is a lawyer.  he spent more time with the kids because he's a musician. (he does a lot of weekends and evenings).  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone up above mentioned lawyering as being mommy friendly. It is decidedly not, fwiw.

I think it could depend on the type of law. When I told an acquaintance from church, who was a practicing attorney and now a judge, that I had taken the LSAT, but decided not to go to law school because I wanted to stay home when I had kids, she was surprised. She thought that if she ever had kids, she would have switched to real estate transactions, etc., part time. She never did marry and have children, so her assumptions about how flexible her career could have been may be wrong. There's another judge in our area who in her mid-forties, with kids who are just a bit older than mine, but I'm not sure what sort of support she had to be able to raise them and advance her career to judicial appointment.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another attorney here who thinks lawyering is not particularly family friendly or flexible. I keep up my CLEs but I don't think I will go back. Part of it is having both spouses with demanding jobs just doesn't work with kids in my opinion. One spouse really has to have some flexibility when you have kids because kids are so needy and unpredictable.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it could depend on the type of law. When I told an acquaintance from church, who was a practicing attorney and now a judge, that I had taken the LSAT, but decided not to go to law school because I wanted to stay home when I had kids, she was surprised. She thought that if she ever had kids, she would have switched to real estate transactions, etc., part time. She never did marry and have children, so her assumptions about how flexible her career could have been may be wrong. There's another judge in our area who in her mid-forties, with kids who are just a bit older than mine, but I'm not sure what sort of support she had to be able to raise them and advance her career to judicial appointment.

There are two female judges in our county. I know them because they have kids in 4H.

 

Stay at home husbands. That is how they do it, manage re election campaigns, etc. One of the dad's is going back to work now that the youngest child is in school full time.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Counseling (such as MSW)

 

All sorts of health care jobs. Offices have more regular hours than hospitals and can still be part-time. Nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists.

 

Photography

 

Music teacher giving private lessons

 

There are part time lawyers and part-time doctors of medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, etc.

 

The trouble with some of these is considering the years and expense required; some might find it cost prohibitive to work part-time if there are a lot of educational loans.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah. I didn't find it flexible or family friendly either.

My dh has a very flexible position as a PT public defender. He works mostly from home, except for his court hearings. He is also a military JAG which we find to be family friendly because the time commitment is mostly weekends. So, yes, some legal jobs are family friendly.

 

I will say that his public defender pay rate is embarrassing, so the family friendly piece definitely comes at a price.

Edited by 2squared
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I misunderstood this thread. For some reason I was thinking a job where while you are home you are also watching kids. For something like that I couldn't imagine anyone working at home as a lawyer with interruptions to change diapers or make meals. Maybe a PT lawyer that has a nanny or leaves the home in the evenings when their spouse is home.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I misunderstood this thread. For some reason I was thinking a job where while you are home you are also watching kids.

I was thinking in the broader sense of which jobs allow you to switch to part time work without losing your job, or allow you to work as a part timer and still be able to climb the career ladder later if need be.

 

So for nursing, my mom switched to part time easily since there was a shortage, it was easy to get a permanent part time or permanent night shift nursing job. She very easily went back to full time nursing job when she was too bored at home and wanted to work more hours.

 

For my husband's kind of job, it is hard to switch to part time even though the culture is quite family friendly. Child is sick and he needs to work from home or he needs to go home to drive kid to urgent care, no questions asked. However the company has lots of applicants for his job since they pay fresh graduates well. So there is no incentive to have part time staff or work at home staff when they can hire a fresh graduate who can work full time at the office for less pay.

 

For my friend's magazine journalism job, it is beneficial for her company to let her switch to part time, mainly working from home because she is doing the same work for half the pay. The amount of work is seasonal and does not require a full time staff every day. It is hard however for her to switch back to full time in the same company. She had to look for other companies who have openings for full time journalist staff.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking in the broader sense of which jobs allow you to switch to part time work without losing your job, or allow you to work as a part timer and still be able to climb the career ladder later if need be.

 

 

 

Ah, if this is more the question, the options are far more reaching.  

 

Many jobs can be part time if you can leave the house, working from home is limiting.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Counseling (such as MSW)

 

 

 

My sister disagrees.  At least with small children.  The cost of practice space and rate of insurance reimbursement doesn't leave much for regular daycare costs.  And with her professional focus on children and social services, it's a lot of after school scheduling and emergency calls, so now you're talking nanny prices.  Most therapists need to have evening hours anyway, to accommodate clients who work 9-5 (ish) so, while it may be flexible, it does cut deeply into family time.

 

(My sister is, ironically enough, currently nannying.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone up above mentioned lawyering as being mommy friendly. It is decidedly not, fwiw.

 

Typically, in-house counsels would have a better chance at flexibility than private practice lawyers. I've known some who come in earlier so they can leave in time to pick up kids and one who came back p/t after having kids. They tend to have good benefits and vacation time. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another attorney here who thinks lawyering is not particularly family friendly or flexible. I keep up my CLEs but I don't think I will go back. Part of it is having both spouses with demanding jobs just doesn't work with kids in my opinion. One spouse really has to have some flexibility when you have kids because kids are so needy and unpredictable.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

The other thing that strikes me about this is that for most of my lawyer friends, they had to delay having kids, because it took some time to get to a place where working part time or shorter hours was a possibility - most of their 20s they were working flat out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sister disagrees. At least with small children. The cost of practice space and rate of insurance reimbursement doesn't leave much for regular daycare costs. And with her professional focus on children and social services, it's a lot of after school scheduling and emergency calls, so now you're talking nanny prices. Most therapists need to have evening hours anyway, to accommodate clients who work 9-5 (ish) so, while it may be flexible, it does cut deeply into family time.

 

(My sister is, ironically enough, currently nannying.)

WRT daycare. With any career you want to be long-term you need to think long-term. One consideration is daycare v. Cost of time list if not working. People often think cost of daycare is just balanced against the money one earns at the time one needs daycare. Often that is interpreted as making paid work "not worth it." However, there is significant costs in not working. Some fields it is extremely hard to get back into, even when one has worked hard to maintain skills, contacts and continue to network. Long term it can be better to pay day care despite its costs to keep ones place in field, move up professional ladder, gain experience.

 

My county government has a few 30 hour a week social work positions. If a person could transition to one of those for a few years and possibly get weekend, evening hours or adjust hours against a partner daycare costs could be limited while continuing to gain experience and build retirement.

 

If one is an MSW doing private practice counseling, one could reduce costs by sharing office space, leasing space from a bigger group, leasing time in one of those buildings that lets you have an office only when you need it (like all day Tuesday). You do not need a full time office.

 

You can't regain the years you don't work at all. Years worked that barely cover daycare are a significant value long-term when one figures in pay increases based on experience and opportunities,and retirement contribution during those daycare years and after when contribution is hire because pay is higher.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any hospital degree job ....one can work a couple of shifts, work full time and have flexibility on when, or snag a weekend job that pays full time hours (work 24 but get paid 36).  

 

That's what my mom did when I was growing up. She worked two 12s on the weekend, and was home with us all week. Dad took care of us on the weekend. 

 

There are also per diem jobs, similar to substitute teaching, but with healthcare. 

 

Oddly, she discouraged us from nursing, because of the high level of burn out, but I wish she hadn't. I ended up as a vet tech instead, so still hard work with emotional fall out, but for half the pay. I think the helping thing runs in the family, not only was she a nurse but her mother was too and then I ended up the veterinary equivalent. 

 

Oh, another field is real estate. Both grandmothers did that for a while. Totally possible to show homes just in the evenings and on weekends, when dad is home to watch the kids. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The nanny route is what families do here. Unfortunately the math doesn't work out for more than one child if not medical or law, so finance and engineering drop out until dc are school age, then reenter. Ocassionally the wife will be able to find an offshift position and they will trade in parking lot, but the travel expectations are the real killer. Teaching works very well here, most reenter when dc are school age if no grandparent to provide daycare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot of careers can be at least co-opted to allow for parenting. I do think that within a lot (maybe all---but my experience is limited in some careers) of careers there are areas which are more conducive to working with and around family commitments. I was originally in a surgical subspecialty which was doable until I had a sick child. I ended up switching into EM (which required doing another residency which negated some of the benefit in the short term) and then doing a fellowship in toxicology. Now I would say I have a career that works well with parenting. I work 1-2 shifts/week and take some additional toxicology call. I'm blessed to be married to a man who is an awesome dad and takes care of the kids while I work but even if I was relying on outside childcare this would be doable. I will admit that I am more comfortable leaving my kids with their amazing dad than someone else so I understand that there may be some additional nuances to this for others.

 

*Yes, I also appreciate that there are some members of society [and, sadly,even this board] who believe that leaving your children with their father while you work is deserving of significant mom shaming/mom guilt.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what my mom did when I was growing up. She worked two 12s on the weekend, and was home with us all week. Dad took care of us on the weekend. 

 

There are also per diem jobs, similar to substitute teaching, but with healthcare. 

 

Oddly, she discouraged us from nursing, because of the high level of burn out, but I wish she hadn't. I ended up as a vet tech instead, so still hard work with emotional fall out, but for half the pay. I think the helping thing runs in the family, not only was she a nurse but her mother was too and then I ended up the veterinary equivalent. 

 

Oh, another field is real estate. Both grandmothers did that for a while. Totally possible to show homes just in the evenings and on weekends, when dad is home to watch the kids. 

 

yes - we have an acquaintence she was the breadwinner as a rs agent, even when the kids were younger.  dad mostly had odd gigs and could be with them when needed.

 

I do know a woman who started selling insurance when she was a divorced mom of eight.  she was able to fully support her children.   it's still fairly flexible - though Obamacare rules make open enrollment extremely intense.  (re: think of tax season for accountants. - even ds son the cpa firm intern was working late nights and Saturdays at the end.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I misunderstood this thread. For some reason I was thinking a job where while you are home you are also watching kids. For something like that I couldn't imagine anyone working at home as a lawyer with interruptions to change diapers or make meals. Maybe a PT lawyer that has a nanny or leaves the home in the evenings when their spouse is home.

 

people who are serious about working from home - still have a nanny/babysitter come in for the kids while they're working.   especially if they're interacting with clients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pharmacist

 

I'm a pharmacist who re-entered the workforce. I earn, working part time, what many people earn working full time.  

 

My DIL graduated from pharmacy school when she was 6 months pregnant.  She has the sweetest job working 2 days a week and an occasional Saturday.  My grandson goes to Moms Day Out for 1 of those days and the other works such that my son can take care of him.  She is expecting another child in July and will keep the same schedule.  The pharmacy manager was thrilled when he found out she would still be working.

 

I'm not sure I would encourage someone who already has children and who has no college background to go back for this degree because it is 6 years and a lot of hard work, but for a young lady planning college, it's an excellent field that allows flexibility when one decides to start a family.  Much of the success, too, may be varied based on geographic area and need for pharmacists.  My DIL is in a very needy area.

Edited by Miss Marple
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

people who are serious about working from home - still have a nanny/babysitter come in for the kids while they're working.   especially if they're interacting with clients.

 

Maybe. I don't know how often.

 

When I wrote my comment it was following this post:

 

My dh has a very flexible position as a PT public defender. He works mostly from home, except for his court hearings. He is also a military JAG which we find to be family friendly because the time commitment is mostly weekends. So, yes, some legal jobs are family friendly.

to which I thought, "well that's convenient... he probably has you to watch the kids so he can work from home." But I realized the poster was probably just sharing to state that she considered her dh's job family friendly.

 

It seems to me sometimes people have the option of a spouse to watch the kids while they work from home (can't help but think of that BBC clip with the man on camera and the kids bursting in the room) but for me personally it drives me bonkers trying to do anything with the whole family here even if dh is watching them. They are loud. I could not justify hiring a nanny or sitter while I worked from home for the reasons I listed up thread. I would have to make enough money just to pay for software then a sitter on top of that? no thanks. I'm not sure it's true everyone pays for a sitter/nanny. I think a lot of people luck out, have a support system to rely on. Mother-in-law, mom, aunt, etc. I see it around here all the time. But I don't have that nearby. So I agree that in some cases I'm sure people do that, but in other cases I think they just luck out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD is thinking about a career as a music teacher.   Definitely not a lot of money, but it's a field where she can work as much or as little as she'd like.   She has two music teachers now who have been tremendously positive influences in her life, and I'd love it if she could do the same for other students one day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The women I know with careers and kids almost all have a mother or MIL who devotes her retirement to taking care of grandkids.

 

Really?

 

I knew many who didn't, in fact, most I knew when I had young kids, didn't.  My kids went to full time day-care/pre-school.

 

I did things backwards.  I waited until my older two were 9 and 7 before I decided to stay home full time and homeschool them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really?

 

I knew many who didn't, in fact, most I knew when I had young kids, didn't.  My kids went to full time day-care/pre-school.

 

I did things backwards.  I waited until my older two were 9 and 7 before I decided to stay home full time and homeschool them.

 

Well I don't know people that specifically have an in-law that does daycare all day, but my SIL used a daycare run by her husband's family member (so they got a discount I'm sure and had the comfort of knowing someone in charge) and now that both her kids are older my MIL picks them up from school every.single.day. and brings them to her house til my SIL gets off work. When I lived closer to my MIL I did not like to ask her to do things like that as I don't particularly like my kids riding with her. Her vehicles smell like smoke and then I'd have to worry about making sure the right car seat was installed.

 

Another person I know has mentioned on social media how when she had to juggle all the kids she asks her dad to tag along with her. I know he's not the only relative near her, either. That's great. I'm happy for them. But I just know that's not possible for everyone. I suspect that some days she'd have her in-laws pick the kids up from school, too. When I worked at VBS her kids were there but I didn't see the parents both days I was there. I think the in-laws brought the kids.

 

I do have a lawyer friend with kids. She's a single mom. Her parents helped her out all the time. Driving the kids and watching them. I think her mom watched her kids when they were really young.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I don't know people that specifically have an in-law that does daycare all day, but my SIL used a daycare run by her husband's family member (so they got a discount I'm sure and had the comfort of knowing someone in charge) and now that both her kids are older my MIL picks them up from school every.single.day. and brings them to her house til my SIL gets off work. When I lived closer to my MIL I did not like to ask her to do things like that as I don't particularly like my kids riding with her. Her vehicles smell like smoke and then I'd have to worry about making sure the right car seat was installed.

 

Another person I know has mentioned on social media how when she had to juggle all the kids she asks her dad to tag along with her. I know he's not the only relative near her, either. That's great. I'm happy for them. But I just know that's not possible for everyone. I suspect that some days she'd have her in-laws pick the kids up from school, too. When I worked at VBS her kids were there but I didn't see the parents both days I was there. I think the in-laws brought the kids.

 

I do have a lawyer friend with kids. She's a single mom. Her parents helped her out all the time. Driving the kids and watching them. I think her mom watched her kids when they were really young.

 

I don't know that many (or didn't when my kids were little) whose family lived close enough to watch their kids.  DH and I lived about 2500 miles from his parents and mine were not even in the United States.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know that many (or didn't when my kids were little) whose family lived close enough to watch their kids.  DH and I lived about 2500 miles from his parents and mine were not even in the United States.

 

I think it's partly a Southern thing. Seems like the majority of people I meet have a relative here. Even if they aren't someone with young kids. Their brother, their sister, their aunt, their parents, someone. We used to live closer to our parents, but when we did we still weren't in the same town or able to rely on them for a million kid-related things. Like, my parents currently live a few hours away but Mom has Parkinson's. She can't even hold my kids. Dad doesn't do well with really young kids, but now that ds is older, I could leave ds over there if I had to while visiting. MIL will watch the kids if we visit but I feel like we have to have a good reason to leave them there without us. We basically get chided if we want to go on a date night ("when we had kids we didn't go on dates").

 

When I went back to my hometown for my grandma's funeral I ran into the mom of an old high school classmate. She said her daughter lived in town. She apparently moved away for a few years but settled down there. I think it's really common. My siblings live very far away, but none of them have kids.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend who does substitute teaching and she loves it for the flexibility. She can pick which days she wants to work, take full or half days, pick which school she wants, and even which grade she wants to teach. After awhile, she got on teachers' preferred lists and was able to get openings in her favorite classrooms first.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sister disagrees. At least with small children. The cost of practice space and rate of insurance reimbursement doesn't leave much for regular daycare costs. And with her professional focus on children and social services, it's a lot of after school scheduling and emergency calls, so now you're talking nanny prices. Most therapists need to have evening hours anyway, to accommodate clients who work 9-5 (ish) so, while it may be flexible, it does cut deeply into family time.

 

(My sister is, ironically enough, currently nannying.)

For any of these professions, it depends on many factors.

 

This isn't a thread about jobs where you will for sure be able to manage part time work and a family, but about those where it is more likely to be able to find positions that offer a better work-family balance.

 

But it depends on where you live, what is available at the time, and the culture of the particular profession where you live.

 

Sometimes one might need to be more creative, like seeking out job-sharing positions by networking with others who are looking for the same thing, or by teaming up with one or a few other women and starting a business together to make it work. It definitely isn't always easy, even for the careers listed. Sometimes it can be downright discouraging and people decide it isn't worth it. I think this has something to do with the large numbers of SAHMs I see who have left various professions. But if one wants to, or has to, there are careers that can make staying in the work force part time in a meaningful way more feasible.

Edited by Penelope
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with those who say health care careers. Dss is a firefighter/paramedic and ddil is a nurse. Dss is currently in nursing school and eventually they'll both be in the nursing field. They've been able to work their schedules so they've rarely needed someone to watch the kids. When they have, they've been fortunate enough to be able to call on family. Between us, dil's mother and dil's sister, one of us is always available if they can't schedule one of them to be off while the other works.

 

The downside is they often tag team so their time together as a couple and as a family is limited. Understandably, they guard that time and are very discerning about how they spend it - only occasionally choosing to get together with others outside the family. Our oldest grandson has been in preschool for the past year and will start kindergarten in the fall, and youngest will start preschool soon, so it's getting easier. (Alas, they won't be able to homeschool, which makes me a bit sad but is right for them).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...