Parenting is a full-time job, and it's one that can make maintaining a career and paying the bills a real challenge. Money is important, but the majority of parents rank flexibility and/or the option of working non-traditional hours, as priority No. 1 when looking for a job. Here's our list of the 10 best jobs with parent-friendly hours.
Nursing offers some of the most varied work environment and schedule options available in a career. While nurses can't generally leave in the middle of a shift, they can choose from Monday-through-Friday doctor's office positions, 12 hour shifts, weekends, evenings, and even work-when-you-can on call positions.
Teachers do not generally enjoy adjustable schedules, but what the job lacks in flexibility it more than makes up for in convenience -- parents can work while their kids are in school and be off when their kids are off, including summers and holidays. In some cases it may even be possible to work in the same building as your children.
3. Day Care Provider
Day care providers have some flexibility to set their own schedules, but for the most part must accommodate other working parents. This includes working weekday, evening, and some weekend hours. However in exchange for longer hours and reduced flexibility, day care providers can care for their own children as well, eliminating the need for them to make other arrangements.
4. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are often on the move but can schedule appointments to show properties based on their preferences, many times in the evenings and on weekends. Other duties, such as doing research and making phone calls, can easily be done from a home office, and agents can work as little or as much as they need to.
5. Bookkeeper/Data Entry
Bookkeeping and data entry largely involve solo tasks and can often be done from a home computer at odd or haphazard hours -- although attention to detail and accuracy are key, so distractions should be minimized. If working from home isn't an option, many hospitals and other companies staff bookkeepers and data entry specialists during evening hours and even for overnight shifts.
6. Personal Trainer
Personal trainers set their own hours and schedule appointments, either at a gym or in private homes, around their own personal preferences -- during the day, in the evenings, or on weekends. Also due to the one-on-one nature of the work, those with established clients may enjoy additional flexibility in terms of last-minute appointment changes.
Parents with excellent people skills and an outgoing personality can enjoy a flexible schedule as a sales representative. Job requirements vary greatly across the field; but many salespeople are able to set their own hours, work based out of a home office, work part- or full-time in a wide variety of industries, and if successful enjoy a higher-than-average salary.
8. Public Relations
Public relations is a high-powered field that's often parent-friendly because it's about connecting with people and disseminating information, neither of which requires sitting in an office. Answering phone calls and e-mails, writing press releases, and building relationships can happen at home during odd hours, while face-to-face meetings can be set in advance at times that work for you.
9. Graphic Designer
Graphic design can be done anywhere and at any time of day, provided that deadlines are met. Client meetings can be scheduled when convenient; most communication is done over the phone or e-mail; and the work is results-oriented and largely conceptual. Therefore ideas can be brainstormed while waiting in the car or at line in the grocery store, and work can be done while kids are napping, at school, or in bed.
Tutoring is a great option for teachers looking for increased schedule flexibility or adjustable hours, or for other professionals with people skills. Tutors can work in schools or private homes and can select clients and set appointments at whatever times are convenient.
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