The ideal job for a working parent? It doesn’t exist. The best job would allow you to follow your passion, support your family financially, and be there whenever your kids need you. The key is to find a job with flex time, the ability to work from home or create a set work schedule around the school day, or even part-time hours if it’s financially viable.
The following list includes jobs that are kid-friendly, jobs where you can set your own working hours, and jobs that allow work life and parent life to coexist in at least partial harmony.
8 great jobs for working parents
1. Speech and Language Pathologist
While these specialists can work in independent practices, oftentimes schools employ speech and language pathologists to work with kids who need help with their language abilities. Having kids can really help support you in this position to understand how to discuss speech and language issues with parents—plus, the position is automatically keyed in to the school schedule and offers you insight into available after-school programs if you must work beyond the final bell.
2. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents, who often work at open houses or show clients around to homes, aren’t chained to a desk 9-5—making this a great job for networkers who like being on their feet and fitting events in-between other commitments. There’s flexibility to the job, especially for two-parent families where one parent will be home on the weekend. The money is based on commission—so, the more work you put in, the more you will make in theory. This is a job where your network and expertise can grow over time.
3. Freelance Photographer
Freelance photographers usually have an area of specialty, but portrait photography is a great option for parents—every day at school drop-off you have the potential to meet new clients for family portraits. Wedding photography or weekend photo sessions can also suit people’s schedules if they work around a partner’s M-F work week.
4. Music Teacher
Certified music teachers are often employed by school districts, but if you are musically inclined, running private group classes for small kids and parents at a common space or from your home is a great option—and a place where you can bring your own children, as well. You can also consider offering private music lessons or contracting with schools and local community centers as a visiting artist.
5. Web Developer/Graphic Designer
This job requires technical and design skills in order to create websites, promotional materials, or other web or print graphics for clients. All you need is a computer, so this is definitely a job you can do from home if you want to work on a freelance basis. Whether you are paid by hours worked or contracted for a set fee for your work, you can organize your schedule in order to meet deadlines and keep your work life flexible in order to meet your family demands.
6. Working for a Youth Organization
Here’s another kid-centric position that gets you involved in your community. Youth organizations create educational or recreational programming for children; they usually hire staff to everything from accounting, to fundraising, to directly creating and running specific activity programs. A bonus: you will be aware of the activities available to your own children and may receive discounts on things like summer camps. Plus, a family-oriented organization may be more inclined to family-friendly work practices.
7. Freelance Writer/Editor
From copywriting for a print magazine to blogging for corporate websites, there is a lot of freelance work available for talented writers. These gigs, which often pay by word count, can almost always be done from home. In fact, writing assignments are often flexible enough that you can have kids playing in the other room while you type away. If not, you can fit in a few hundred words after the kids go to bed.
8. Social Media Specialist
Another job that you can do from your pajamas is social media promotion, where you spend time building the online presence of a company—you need to be able to tweet, create Instagram stories, and generally do all you can to savvily promote the work and goings-on of a business. This can be a job that requires regularly checking in on accounts or updating, but it can almost always be done remotely, on a flexible basis.