FREELANCE KNOWLEDGE FUTURE OF WORK

How Part-Time & Freelance Work Can Benefit New Parents4 min read

June 16, 2017
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How Part-Time & Freelance Work Can Benefit New Parents4 min read

Going back to work after having kids is a different experience for everyone. It is a personal choice and many factors contribute to the decision. Some slide right back into a full-time job after a quick couple of days. Other parents, if they have the financial freedom, may choose instead to embark on a new career as a stay at home parent.

Some countries, like my home country of Canada, allow one parent to stay at home with their newborn for a year, which is awesome. Other countries do not offer progressive policies.

There are also many educated professionals with great work experience who decide to completely opt out of the workforce upon becoming a parent. The reasons vary, but often include poor access to child care or tax disincentives. They often still wish they could participate in the workforce to help their family financially. Until now it has been very difficult for these moms to easily find flexible work.

Going back to work has its challenges

Regardless of when or how you decide to go back to work, going back to work is NEVER easy. You now have someone else to think and worry about. Depending on the age of your children you need to consider reliable child care options such as the help of a family member, a nanny (could be expensive) or day care (limited hours).

The stress between splitting time between a career and family is a juggling act. Many parents worry about how they will be able to stay home if their child is sick? Can they participate and attend school activities? Or if they will even have time to get groceries, have the laundry done or get a meal on the table?

The stress between splitting time between a #career and #family is a juggling act. Click To Tweet

Flexibility is key in your new life

Flexible work is a solution to this growing problem of work/life conflicts. In fact, the need for flexible work is what led my partner and I to co-found Workhoppers. It’s also the number 2 reason people chose to go independent, as part of AND CO’s newest Slash Workers study. As busy moms, we were looking for legit flexible work in our own community, but there was no easy way to find it. Hence, we created a site ourselves that connects companies directly with the perfect local candidate for the job at hand.

Flexible work is a solution to the growing problem of work/life conflicts. Click To Tweet

There are many types of flexible work options to choose from such as: compressed workweeks, flextime, job sharing, part-time, telecommuting and freelance. Each of these options can help ease the stress on parents. Today’s flexible work arrangements are a big change in the workplace and it is in part due to companies embracing the desires of their new workforce, which includes a growing number of millennial parents. The millennial generation puts a high value on their own personal needs which includes more time with family, leisure and self fulfillment.

The freelance potential for parents

Luckily, for today’s busy parents, companies are increasingly hiring flexible professionals to execute short term or part-time projects. Companies are relying heavily on outsourcing work and hiring the best person for each project at hand. In fact, according to this study more than 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelance by 2020.

More and more parents are taking advantage of this new trend and turning to freelancing as a way to juggle their busy lives. They are opening up freelancing businesses and offering their services to companies on a contract or part-time basis.

More and more parents are turning to #freelancing as a way to juggle their busy lives. Click To Tweet

For those parents that may have stayed at home for a while and are feeling a little rusty on their skills you can get started freelancing, too. Begin by reading up on the latest literature in your specialized field, reconnect with your working side and reach out to old employers to see if they need an extra hand.
Trends in the job market are favoring more flexible work/life styles that line up with the unique challenges of working parents. New parents should keep freelancing in mind as a great way to step back into the job market on your own (more flexible) terms.

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Linda Singer is a co-founder at Workhoppers; a website that pairs companies with freelance candidates seeking contract or part-time work. Learn more at workhoppers.com.
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