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Balancing family and work life can be challenging. With a huge number of parents reporting that their work impacts them taking care of their families, or being able to allocate enough quality time to their children, it begs the question, should we be making a career change to fit in with our lifestyles?

Today we’re discussing flexible jobs for parents and some common myths about adult education. Believe it or not, there are a number of career paths out there that will afford you the flexibility to both work and spend time at home. But what are these elusive jobs, and how do you get one? Check out our tips on the best careers for parents, and what you need to land one.

Child Care and Disability Support

With disability support and child care, not only can hours be flexible, but many of the skills needed to provide a great service to clients/children are used by parents in their daily lives whilst looking after their own children. And whilst some additional training is required, the basics of being kind, caring and compassionate mean that these career paths can be great options for parents.

Marketing Assistant

Parents are usually resourceful and organised, and often have marketing experience without even knowing it – ever helped with a fundraiser or school event? This means working in marketing can be a good choice for parents. The beauty about a job in marketing is that there are many rungs on the ladder (marketing assistant in a small firm or marketing manager in a national one) and you can choose which one you want to aspire to, based on your lifestyle and how much time and energy you’re willing to commit.

Teacher’s Aide

Many parents are natural teachers. They are invested in their children’s education, and have been encouraging learning from an early age. Becoming a teacher is a great way to further your passion for teaching children, however, for some, investing in their own education to achieve this goal is not always a viable option. Becoming a teacher’s aide, however, can be much more attainable, and whilst teacher aide training is necessary, getting qualified can be much more manageable. And what’s more, you’ll work whilst your kids are at school so you won’t miss out on time with them.

Work From Home

For many, working from home is the ultimate goal, but how do you find a company willing to pay you to work from your couch? Well, in actual fact, many roles, which have been traditionally located in a corporate environment are being outsourced to home-based workers. Project managers, business analysts and accountants are all jobs that can be done from home now. Not all companies have come around to this way of thinking so it may be that you have to work in the office and broach the subject of working from home once you’re a trusted member of the team. Alternatively, go for the interview and make your case – what’s the worst that can happen?

Other jobs are solely advertised as home-based positions, such as data entry, freelance blogger, virtual assistant and inbound telemarketer, so if you’re set on working from home, one of these careers may be for you.

There are a number of great sites out there that can help you find work-from-home opportunities such as “work at home mums” and “stay at home mum“, which are both for mums and dads, despite the name!

Create Your Own Job

If you have a passion for something and want to be your own boss, setting up your own business may be for you. It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for the faint-hearted, but get it right and you could be leading the life you want in no time.

Your Education

Whether you have the skills needed for your dream job or you’re still learning the ropes, there are a number of courses out there to help you get the recognised qualifications, experience and skills you need to launch yourself into your chosen career.

With online and face-to-face options available, we’re in an age where getting an education has never been easier, no matter what your circumstance.

Study Online with Swinburne

Leonie North, Bachelor of Business alumnus from rural Victoria, chose to study with Swinburne Online because she didn’t want to give up her full-time work and relocate her children to study in the city.

“I always thought that I should go back and study a degree but it just kept being put on the back burner.

“When I realised I could study online in my spare time that was when I thought I have to bite the bullet and make it happen.

“There’s always been a bit of a stigma attached to not having a degree, so I always felt a bit defensive about my experience and my abilities.

“Now having the degree, I can actually see the difference and the value in it. It does build your knowledge and your confidence, and I don’t feel the need to defend my experience and my abilities now because I have achieved the qualification.”

Visit Swinburne Online for more information about courses and to apply

Vocational Training

Vocational Partnership Group helps young adults enter the workplace. From careers advice to resume preparation, their Ready 4 Work Program aims to equip people with the skills they need to achieve their career goals, and their Community Learning Program helps young adults gain nationally recognised skills.

VPG also offers workshops for parents to give them skills they need to be the best parent they can be.  Every FamilyProgram seeks to improve wellbeing and development of children through Parent Workshops and Triple-P Parent Coaching. Offered across the Tablelands and Cassowary Coast, this service provides a great opportunity for parents and care givers to connect with other parents, expand their knowledge, share ideas and tools and to develop simple and realistic strategies to parenting tasks.

For further information on Every Family Initiative Facebook page or contact them on 4091 6411.

Adult Education Myths

I’m too old to study
No matter how old you are or what stage of life you’re in, you can return to education. Online courses and TAFE classes usually do not set age limits. If you want to study something you’re passionate about, go for it.

It’s too late for a career change
Is it really? It’s common these days for people to have several different careers over the course of their life, and it’s becoming much more accepted amongst employers too. In fact, a new generation of middle aged apprentices are entering the workplace – you could be one of them!

I haven’t got time
The beauty of courses these days is that you can allocate as much or as little time to studying as you can afford. Full and part time options are available on many degrees offered by universities, and for those who have to study out of business hours, around looking after their children or other commitments, the number of online study options out there means that time is no excuse not to study.

I can’t afford it
Flexible payment options, government subsidies and loans can all provide assistance to those looking to return to study. Some course fees can be covered whilst you’re studying and paid back when you’re working. To check out the options available to you visit Study Assist or contact your prospective course provider.