Finding a job is a challenging process for anyone. But imagine looking for a job while taking care of the kids. The whole process gets even harder. You have to pay attention to everything: family, job-searching process, household responsibilities, hobbies, and maybe even a side hustle.
You need to be able to set goals, improve productivity, think creatively, and keep a healthy work-life balance. If you can work from home, it may be simpler to balance work and family responsibilities. Nevertheless, working from home isn’t your only option if you need a career to support yourself while caring for children. There are also other opportunities.
In this post, we’ll provide some practical recommendations for people who are looking for a job and need to take care of children at the same time.
1. Prioritize Networking
When applying for employment online, you may find it a waste of time (not always, of course). Instead, to make the job-searching process more effective, try to make professional connections by contacting old coworkers and meeting new people in the field you want to work in. If someone suggests you for a certain position, your chances of passing an interview are substantially higher. Businesses do not like hiring random people, so if you want to work at a certain company, your best hope is to get a recommendation from someone who is currently working there.
You may apply for a hundred jobs online, but only a tiny percentage of them will reply. On the other hand, if you can convince five people in your network to recommend you to their employers, you will most likely acquire two, three, or even four interviews as a result! Tell your connections that you are actively looking for work and ask if they know of any suitable job openings.
The whole process should not take a lot of time, which means that you can spend more hours with your children. It is also beneficial to know about websites that can be of use when it comes to looking for a job or people you want to ask for help.
Useful resources for job-seekers:
- LinkedIn. Connect with recruiters and learn from other people who are also looking for employment. Find motivation and motivate others.
- Nuwber. Find contact information of people who you think can help you. For instance, if your friend you are no longer in touch with can provide you with valuable information or can even help you find a job, search for that friend’s contact details by their name.
- US.jobs. If you want to find a government job, this site has your back. Its interface is easy to use, and the site has very little spam.
2. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Everyone is looking for employment these days, and some people tend to go so far that they even forget to rest. That is why some people think that if everyone is going through hardships, then it is okay to suffer. But looking for a job is also a process that can be enjoyed. The main thing is not to be hard on yourself, especially when you have children. Try to find time for yourself: have a walk after a long day, read a book, or listen to music. If you want to spend more time with kids, enjoy these activities with them. Completely immersing yourself in the work-finding process is a huge mistake. It will eventually make you hate your job if you don’t find time for rest.
3. Slow Down
Accepting job interviews as soon as they are offered can help you avoid coming off as uncooperative. If, on the other hand, you have a lot going on at home, you should say something like, “I’m happy you called. I am busy taking care of the kids now, but I pledge to give you my full attention. Is there any possibility we’ll do it later?”
Choose a time for the meeting when your children are at school, asleep, or in your spouse’s care. Thank the recruiter for their time, and assure them that you and your partner have everything under control. This demonstrates that you are a responsible person who knows how to manage your time.
4. Accept that It May Not Always Be Hard
Having kids is hard, and it gets even more difficult when you try to cope with family and work-related stuff. However, you should understand that it may not always be this hard. When you find a job, it will get easier. Life is all about balance. If you know how to juggle all aspects of it, you will succeed at everything you will put your mind to. It would also be great to teach your children the same approach. Explain to them that all hardships are temporary, and there is always something nice waiting ahead. It will help them later in life.
5. Inquire About Family-Friendly Policies
If you’ve been given a job, inquire about the company’s policy on parental leave. How many of the team members are also caring for children? Also, ask if you can speak with any of them. Employers have recently given this topic more attention. If you are breastfeeding, inquire about special rooms where you can feed your baby. According to a 2016 University of Minnesota study, “60% of women mentioned that they are not provided with adequate break time and place to pump breast milk.” If the company you want to work for has the same policy, find a new place or ask to work from home.
6. Emphasize how You Can Benefit the Company
During the initial stages of the interview process, you can expect to be asked questions about your motivations for returning to the workforce while still caring for your children, as well as the specific changes in your family’s circumstances that have allowed you to return to work at this time.
Most of the questions about your objectives for returning to work should have been addressed following the initial phone interview. Discuss how your abilities may assist their firm and talk about the goals you can achieve in that job.
It’s the deciding factor in whether you’re employed or not. To acquire this job, you’ll need to demonstrate that you understand what they do and why you’re the person they should hire.
7. Set Yourself Apart from Other Job Seekers
If you have been out of work for a long time, you should do all you can to impress potential employers during the interview process.
Be ready to answer questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why did you apply for this position?” easily and confidently. If you do well in the first few minutes, you’ll have fewer issues with other interview questions. Employers enjoy asking questions early in the hiring process, so be prepared. Also, don’t forget to mention all your achievements, even if they seem small to you. What if the achievement you mention will help you stand out among others?
8. Be Patient and Persistent
Searching for work is difficult for everyone, but it may be more difficult if you also have childcare duties. Expect the hunt to last at least a few months, if not longer.
It is quite okay for a company to reject you for the job they are offering. Keep your head up, even if you face some setbacks. Don’t let one interview make you overconfident or one rejection make you want to give up.
Moreover, don’t give up while contacting potential employers. You should not be scared to ask for feedback after the interview. Be persistent and don’t give up quickly. If your kids take too much time, take a break, but after you have settled everything, return to work.
Every job seeker will sometimes confront hurdles, whether they are new to the field or veterans who haven’t taken a vacation in years. Difficulties, unfortunately, are common aspects of the job-searching process. Concentrate on the aspects you can control (your CV, cover letters, interview, and preparation), and keep going. Make your children a priority and learn how to combine family and work-related stuff.