I am a single parent and need some advice

It can be incredibly hard to juggle parenthood and your career, and even more so if you are a single parent. Whether you are looking for a job for the first time since becoming a parent, would like to work flexible hours or looking to upskill, Inspira can help you find a way. We want to help you find a well-paid job whilst maintaining the balance between home and work.

In the UK there are around two million single parents, that’s a quarter of all families with dependent children. Over 69% of you are in work but you are more likely to be in low-paid work than other workers. Finding jobs with flexible working has historically been difficult, which can mean single parents often take low-paid part-time work to balance work and family life, and the growing cost of local childcare can also be a burden. A lack of confidence can also be a barrier for some people finding work.

Here are a few hints and snippets of advice to help you if you’re a single parent:

Returning to work after a gap

With a return to work comes a change to your day-to-day routine for you and your children. It can be an anxious time, but the key is to take things one step at a time and making sure you have a support network around you.

Have a plan

A plan of action is a fantastic way to focus your mind and make the most of your time finding the right job for you and your circumstances. A plan will help you be more focused in your job search and setting yourself short and long-term goals will help you see the progress you are making.

Choose your sector

Some sectors and certain roles have more opportunities for flexible working than others so it’s wise to do your research. Look at a company’s website or social media for clues as to whether they offer flexible working.

We can also help with this and inform you of vacancies with suitable employers.

Improve your skills

If you’re looking for a new role or to change your career direction, we have lots of practical advice available online and on a one-to-one basis, to help you work out the steps you need to take to update your skills.

Read job specs to find out what employers are looking for and identify any skills gaps you have that may hold you back from getting your next role. There are many different sources of skills training, and we can help you find the most suitable.

Working hours

Before you start making any job applications, narrow down your job search to those with hours that work for you. Don’t be tempted to go for a job that sounds amazing but is unworkable for your life.

Make sure that you factor in the commute too to establish whether a certain job will fit around childcare arrangements or school hours.

Flexible working and job sharing

Flexible working has taken on a whole new meaning since the Covid-19 pandemic. Many more employers have woken up to the idea that it can be beneficial for both parties, which is good news.

Flexibility is especially helpful if you have small children or if you don’t have a very big support network. More employers are willing to offer flexible working options, so it opens up more opportunities for job seekers.

Here is some more detailed information on flexible working

Worries around money and childcare

As a single parent, you might have some concerns around money and childcare. We can help point you in the right direction for support in these areas to ensure you’re receiving everything you’re entitled to.

Understand your rights

Knowing what you are entitled to can make it easier to plan how to ask for time off from your job. There are lots of different reasons why you may need to take time off, and there are certain times when you can request it from your employer.

Further information can be found online to help you know your rights and give you tips for requesting flexible working and time off.

Contact us for a chat

We’d be delighted to have a chat with you about working as a single parent. We can work with you to find the right training and suitable vacancies. Get in touch below to be connected with an Inspira Adviser for free 1:1 personalised career advice.

Let us help you Be Bold, Be Resilient, and Be Relevant.

To book a free 1:1 appointment with one of our advisers - email, call us or use our form and we will arrange an online or phone appointment with you.

⮞ Call us on 0345 658 8647

⮞ Email us at info@inspira.org.uk

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