Finding a job as a single mother can be challenging, to put it mildly. But if anybody can manage it, it’s the Superwomen among us who are handling all the responsibility of raising a family already. With the strength, creativity, energy and commitment you’re already committing to that task, there’s no question you have what it takes to succeed in any job you desire.
Without a doubt, the best way to get a GOOD job is to go back to school and get training so you can qualify for better-paid job positions. Without an education, your job options will be limited. It is difficult to go back to school as a single mom, but it’s certainly possible.
The biggest issue you will have will be how to finance your schooling.
Here are a couple ‘private’ programs to look at:
10k Scholarship for Working Adults – Moms and dads welcome to sign up! Register for this and you get entered into a 10k Scholarship draw several times a year! For the chance at that kind of money, it’s worth the 5 minutes of your time to sign up!
10k Scholarship for Dads – A similar sort of program. Register on the site for a chance at 10k Scholarship money. This one is aimed at Dads.
Win a $50,000 Scholarship – free sign up for a chance to win a 50k Scholarship for school. You have nothing to lose but 5 minutes of time!
- The Cute Kid — Enter a Photo of your child and sign him or her up for a chance at a scholarship AND at winning paid modeling gigs
- Career Scholarship Guide — sign up for this program and you’ll be given help on finding Scholarships, Jobs, and the like
- Get Paid To Take Free Online Surveys – the gist of it is you fill out a survey and for doing so, you get paid. It’s not life changing money, but it’s something to do for some extra chow when you have time
- Look at FDP (Federal Funding Programs) which is a pay service that will help walk you through applying for federal assistance programs; many of which you may have not heard about on your own.
IF going back to school is simply not an option for you, all is not lost. There are still other job opportunities out there.
First Things First
If you have never held a job before, or don’t have a clear idea of what kind of work you’re qualified for, there are many sources that have tools to help you evaluate your career options.
Here are some public programs that specialize in helping you get jobs:
US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
The ETA’s website has a “Find Job and Career Info” section with programs, resources and online tools to help workers in all stages of job and career development. Assessing your skills, deciding on a career that fits those skills, and help on preparing for your career are all included.
Workforce/One Stop Centers
The ETA (above) partially funds Workforce and One Stop centers, a valuable resource for the job seeker in every state. They have online and onsite job postings and you can make an appointment for in-person help with resumes and the job search. For Workforce Centers/One Stop centers in your state, click the following link:
This is a “one-stop shop” for government services, so you’ll find lots of other links to government programs and services. Some of the information is a duplicate of what you’ll find in the two previous links, since it’s a consolidation of all government resources, but it allows you to search more broadly within categories related to jobs and careers and might turn up just the link you’re looking for.
If your assessment of skills and possible jobs reveals that you need more training or education, first see if government financial aid is available to help you get qualified. The links above will be helpful for that, as well.
If no aid is available for the kind of training you need, you might be able to find a scholarship designed to help single mothers acquire the skills they need to advance. The following site has links to just such specialized scholarships, and also has an advanced search feature so you can find even more opportunities to help fund any further training or education you need.
Job Ideas For Single Mothers
Now we’re assuming that you have some marketable skills, don’t need any further basic education, and know that the above resources are not the route you want to take. You’re looking for ideas! Here are some things to kick-start your own creativity:
Temporary Work Agencies
Temporary work is an excellent entry point to employment, both due to the flexibility it affords and the opportunities it presents for exploring the job market. Some people enjoy the variety of work so much they never consider accepting an offer of permanent employment. This can be ideal for the single mom, since you can continually tailor your assignments to work around the needs of your children over time.
For most people with generalized skills, continuous full- or part-time employment can be maintained just by sticking with a temp agency that treats them well and works with them to find the best matching positions.
There are both national and local temporary agencies; given here are links to some of the better-known national agencies. For local companies, look in your phone book, in the newspaper, or search online for temporary agencies in your area.
Child Day Care
If finding day care for your children while you’re working is a problem, why not provide it yourself? It’s best to become certified, but perhaps you can find a job at or near your child’s own day care center while you’re undergoing the training to become a child care professional yourself:
Earn Extra Income
Become an online freelancer, pet-sit for neighbors, transform a unique skill into a money-making venture. Here are six good ideas for earning extra income:
Work-At-Home Moms Organization
HBWM is a professional association and online community of parents who work at home and those who would like to. HBWM provides its members with support, networking, free advertising options, information, a monthly (print) newsletter, email discussion list, searchable member directory, member spotlights and corporate discounts on various products and services.
American Home Business Association
AHBA is a national association offering innovative benefits and services dedicated to supporting the needs of home business, small business and entrepreneurs. It provides its members with access to the best in traditional business benefits, Internet support services, resources and timely information that is critical to conduct a successful home, small or Internet business.
Small Business Administration
Manage your business from start to finish
Selling on EBay
People who put the time into learning how to do this really can make money. Rarely a fortune, but if you’d enjoy this sort of thing, you won’t mind working hard to earn a living. Read a few stories about how people have found success selling on EBay:
Sell handmade/vintage items online
If you have the ability to create unique products yourself—sewing custom baby items, creating art or jewelry, designing cards or personalized stationery—you can also find success by selling your own items on EBay or similar sites. One such site is:
Writing for blogs and websites
Here are some tips on how to avoid scams when looking for a virtual assistant job:
Depending upon how much time you can put into it, acting as a ChaCha guide will earn you change for snacks or some serious money.
Writing topical articles on national or local events or features
Many people use affiliate marketing to earn extra income. All you need is one or more websites or blogs, into which you insert links, blurbs, recommendations—anything that will cause a visitor to your site to click through to the primary vendor. If you’re registered as an affiliate, you earn income for that traffic.
This can be a complicated endeavor—it’s recommended that you research it thoroughly on your own. This website explains the concept more thoroughly: