After a few months — or a few years — of being a stay-at-home mom, you may be ready to get back to work. However, daycare challenges, lingering uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and other factors sometimes make it difficult to commit to a full-time role. Whether your goal is to contribute to your family's financial stability, to flex your working muscles again — or both — part-time work is an excellent option for some women, thanks to the flexibility it offers.
In fact, according to The Mom Project, a digital talent marketplace and community that connects professionally accomplished women with world-class companies, an estimated 43% of highly experienced women leave the workforce after having a child, often due to inflexible work hours.
In addition, 90% of working mothers surveyed said the pivot to remote work triggered by Covid-19 was a positive experience because it enabled them to prioritize their family time. And, 72% report being able to change their work hours throughout the day in a way that better supports their home life.
In other words, with school and work still in flux, the need for flexible or part-time work is greater than ever for moms who need or want to go back to work.
There is also some good news for stay-at-home moms looking to reenter the workforce: Employers are increasingly acknowledging that mothers make great hires due to their organizational skills and unparalleled ability to prioritize.
"Many working mothers realize that what used to take them 40 hours to complete at work, they can now do in 20," says Sue Campbell, co-author of "The Parental Leave Playbook." Mothers' potential to optimize just about every area of their lives is impressively high, explains Campbell.
According to Katie Fogarty, founder and CEO of The Reboot Group, a New York-based consultancy that helps job seekers create the best version of their career stories, remote and part-time positions can be fantastic "on-ramps" for many women as they get ready to re-enter the workforce full-time. Part-time work is also an excellent way for mothers to maintain a presence in their field of choice. "There's a lot to be optimistic about right now," when it comes to remote work and part-time work, says Fogarty.
Hibaaq Abdillahi, community manager at The Mom Project, agrees that this is a great time for interested moms to get back to work. "Women know how to work at a high level and get everything done," says Abdillahi. "Moms know how to prioritize their priorities."
So here's a roundup of some great job options for moms that offer flexibility and growth opportunities so that your career is always moving forward.
Best job for doing work on your own time: Researcher
- Salary range: Varies depending on the field
- Skills required: Top-notch organizing abilities, data and information wrangling, first-rate communication skills
Lots of jobs out there are supported by research. University professors often employ research assistants while planning courses or completing writing projects. Filmmakers hire researchers in advance of shooting. Publications hire researchers to fact-check material before publication.
And since the internet is always open, this is a job that can be done whenever you have time. Even if there are tasks requiring you to contact people during business hours, you can research the contacts and prep at your own pace and then strategically set up times for calls and meetings that suit your schedule.
Best job that gets you into the workplace from time to time: Shift work
- Salary range: $30-$12 and up for retail; up to $55 per hour for some jobs in the hospitality industry
- Skills required: An outgoing personality and willingness to help customers, brand awareness, problem-solving skills
We get it: Working remotely isn't for everyone. Some people thrive in a bustling workplace but maybe just can't be there all the time. If that's you, working in retail or the hospitality industry (as a hotel receptionist or reservation agent) might be a good option, especially since forecasters predict a bump in brick-and-mortar retail experiences and travel. With shift work, you choose how long you want your shifts to be (the most common options are 8-, 10- or 12-hour shifts) and how many days per week you'd like to work.
Best job for capitalizing on the experience you already have: Consultant
- Salary range: Varies depending on the profession
- Skills required: Online marketing and networking
This one is really what you make it. Start by setting up an online home base (like a website with a blog) where you can describe your expertise, highlight your past accomplishments, and detail the services you'll offer. Pass the link to your colleagues and add it to the signature in your email.
Update your LinkedIn profile to let potential clients know you're available. Help publicize yourself by commenting on blog posts related to your subject matter, writing and publishing short, timely articles on your blog and LinkedIn page.
Another strategy: Ask trusted colleagues to leave a testimonial on your LinkedIn page highlighting your top skills and achievements so that the value you'd bring to any project is clear.
Best job for highly organized people: Virtual assistant
- Salary range: $20-$75 per hour
- Skills required: Ability to schedule and organizing, good name recall, strong computer skills
If you've kept up with your computer skills, know how to manage external communications, and love making someone's schedule function without hiccups, then you'll excel at being someone's virtual assistant. There are two ways to become one. First, you can create a website that details what services you can provide and some testimonials from folks who have seen you in action and promote yourself on social media, LinkedIn, and on sites like Craigslist. Or, you can register with one of the many companies that have popped up offering these services.
Best job for using the knowledge you already have: Teacher, coach, personal trainer or tutor
- Salary range: $20-$75 per hour
- Skills required: Online marketing and networking, patience
If nothing else, the Covid-19 crisis has led to opportunities borne out of necessity. Some people have hired extra academic support for their children. Others have felt comfortable organizing small group activities for their kids and friends. And if you've got sought-after skills, such as a personal training certification or an advanced degree in an academic subject, now is the time to put that expertise to use. Hunt around Facebook, MeetUp.com and Nextdoor.com for mom groups in your area where you can post about the services you'll offer. If you live near a college or university, post on bulletin boards in the student center.
Best job for using your artistic skills: Web designer or graphic designer
- Salary range: $15-$35 per hour
- Skills required: Computer programming in HTML, design background
Notice how many jobs mentioned here require some sort of digital home base to serve as a showcase? And aren't snazzy logos and design the first thing you notice when you land on a website for the first time? Well, that just proves how vital freelance designers are. So if your skills include packaging and presenting clients' information in a readable, eye-catching way, or creating visual logos that match a client's brand, then these positions might be the perfect way to work remotely or build up a portfolio of work.
So, when you're ready for a full-time position, you've got work to show off.
Best job for planners: Event planner
- Salary range: Usually priced per service or package offered
- Skills required: Excellent communication skills, a knack for researching specialty services, and materials, food; relationship-building skills
Moms know how to multitask. That's just facts. If you have a knack for thinking through everything that makes a party or conference memorable and are great at pulling together details, this could be your calling. One way to get started is to conceptualize kids' parties or act as a wedding day Master of Ceremonies/Coordinator. To get started, let your network know about your new venture and start small. Put together a themed event and take beautiful photos of the cake, party favors and decor. Use them to create a website and social media presence, then announce your services in local Facebook moms' groups and community centers. As for figuring out what to charge, start by researching what other planners' fees are in your region and set your fee in the same ballpark.