We’ve spoken in the past about starting a business from home and, for many mums, this is the dream. What better way to fit work around your life? Forget office hours. You’d be able to start and stop whenever it suited.
But, we don’t all have that choice. Sometimes, tight budgets and family needs mean we have to head out into the world of work. After all, there can be some delay in starting a business and seeing a return. And, we can’t all wait that long. It’s no wonder, then, that many mums take on shift work such as retail to keep the family afloat.
Of course, working for someone else opens you up to trouble, especially when you’re working around your kids. If you have to leave because they’re ill or injured, your boss could soon lose their temper. Plus, work is becoming increasingly uncertain for those at the bottom of the food chain. Zero hours contracts are becoming the norm. And, the emergence of a gig economy makes it much trickier to find a stable income.
That said, it is still possible to provide a secure life for your kids. Here’s how.
Be picky about what you choose
There seems to be general agreement that we should take any job which comes our way. In fact, new job centre standards demonise those who. But, if you know a job won’t provide the income you need, you shouldn’t take it. Despite popular belief, it’s incredibly tricky to apply for jobs when you’re working. If you’re not available for interviews at a new employer’s request, it’s an instant black mark against your name. Plus, taking a zero hours contract means being available to work at last minute. You don’t want to miss essential interviews because you get called in. So, think hard before accepting any position.
Sign a contract
Remember; stable income is the name of the game. You need to find a contract on which you know you can keep your family. That means no zero hours and no uncertain gig positions. And, never take your employers’ word for it. Make sure you both sign a contract before you start work. Otherwise, your hours could change last minute, and you wouldn’t have a legal leg to stand on.
Know your rights
Talking of legal legs, it’s also important to know your rights. With 49% of working mothers believing their employer discriminates against them, it’s crucial you know your rights. Research your rights when it comes to flexible working. And, if your boss attempts to bring an unfair grievance against you, contact an advisory, conciliation and arbitration service to ensure everything is by the book. Don’t let the potential cost put you off. Failure to seek representation could lose you your job.
It may also be worth joining a union, who can provide ongoing support. Again, there is a cost involved. But, knowing you have someone to back your corner will go a considerable way towards ensuring your job suits your parental position.