Tuesday 23rd July 2024

Six of the best jobs for single parents

Shoestring Jane discusses six viable job options for single parents, highlighting the challenges they face in balancing work and childcare.

Childcare is an expensive business when you have two parents in the mix, but for a lone parent trying to maintain a career, it can be even more fraught with difficulty.

However, if you are creative in your approach to earning a living, you can overcome some of the obstacles. Here are six of the best jobs for single parents.

Many of these career ideas allow you to be self-employed and to work from home, both of which give a lot of flexibility.

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You can choose your own working hours and make appointments at times to suit you and your children, for example.

1. Online reselling

One of the easiest ways to sell online is through platforms such as eBay and Etsy. Reselling can be a good option.

The idea is that you buy items cheaply at car boot sales, at auctions and in charity shops and then sell them at a profit. However, you could also sell your home-made crafts or purchase new items from wholesalers.

Obviously, you need somewhere dry and secure to store your stock. However, if your space is limited, you could choose to stick to small items such as jewellery.

I love finding vintage treasures to sell on. One of the most interesting resellers I have come across in this field is Pound Girl Reseller, herself a single mum earning a good living from home.

2. Pet care

There are various services you can offer if you love animals. For example, you could become a dog walker, which pays £10-15 an hour and gives you free exercise at the same time.

Or you might offer a pet sitting service in the owner’s home, maybe feeding the animals, petting them, taking them for exercise or just keeping them company whilst their owners are working or on holiday.

Dog boarding is another option and can work well around other forms of self-employment. This involves bringing the dogs into your home, so you will need to consider whether this will be suitable if you have very small children.

You also need to register with your local council to offer dog boarding and obtain a license.

3. Dog grooming

Being the owner of a cockapoo, I know that regular grooming is essential for many breeds, and also that business is booming for this industry.

We have to book six weeks to two months in advance, or they are all full!

I have often said that if I were looking for a new career at this point in my life, I would train to do dog grooming. Many in the profession operate from garden offices, keeping their costs low and meaning they are at home to keep an eye on the kids.

There will obviously be some training and setup costs in becoming a dog groomer, but you will never be unemployed.

4. Beauty therapy/hairdressing

Similarly, there seems to be an increasing number of beauty therapists and hairdressers operating from home, although these are also professions that lend themselves to being mobile operations.

Most people need a haircut regularly, so you will always have work. Beauty therapists are also making a roaring trade, with nail services, tanning and eyebrow shaping becoming increasingly popular.

5. Childminding

Childminding offers you the chance to look after children alongside your own in your home, offering a warm and nurturing environment.

You don’t need any prior experience, but you will be required to do introductory training, register with Ofsted and complete a paediatric first aid course. You will also need a full DBS check.

You can currently claim a £600 startup grant. Childminding UK has a step-by-step guide to beginning a career as a childminder here.

6. Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant, or VA, offers a range of services to businesses, such as creative, secretarial or administrative. You can use skills you already have or train in a specific area.

You might offer a PA service, answering emails and calls, scheduling appointments, etc. or other skills such as SEO, social media, IT, bookkeeping or payroll.

You can find out more about becoming a VA here.

Don’t fancy being self-employed?

If you prefer the security and benefits of employment rather than the idea of running your own business, look at employers who allow remote working and child-friendly hours. The Civil Service or local government are often good choices in this respect. 

Jobs in schools are another option as they frequently offer term-time only work. If you don’t want to train to be a teacher, look out for other opportunities such as administrative or catering roles.

If you can, play the long game. Be smart and consider retraining for a job that will give you a decent return. Do your research to see what skills are in short supply and consider some study at home if necessary.

Invest in yourself in the short term and gain as many skills as possible to offer you long-term opportunities. As a single parent, retirement is a long way off, so set yourself up doing a job you will enjoy that will give you the flexibility and income you need.

What do you think are the best jobs for single parents? Did you choose the self-employment route or have you found a job that pays enough to support you and your family?

Photo Credits: Pexels

Shoestring Jane

Mouthy Blogger

Shoestring Jane is a full-time self-employed mum of three daughters. Her frugal partner in crime is handyman extraordinaire, Mr Shoestring. They are constantly on the look out for ways to save and make extra money. Read more on her blog, Shoestring Cottage.

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