Think Outside the Box: 5 Flexible Jobs for Millennial Moms

Putting career on hold and spending a few years at home focusing on children and family is definitely an honorable decision, and certainly one of the biggest changes in a woman's life. I don't think the phrase "stay-at-home-mom" (SAHM) does its justice, because it underestimates the role by tricking one to think that staying at home means not working at all. However, anyone who has been a SAHM knows that taking care of children at home is indeed a full-time job.

Quite often, I hear struggles from moms who try to re-start their career after a few years at home. For one, they feel left out from the workplace for so long that they don't have enough confidence to compete and succeed in the process of job hunting. The other struggle is that they couldn't find jobs with the right amount of flexibility to meet their family needs, such as sick time, family emergencies, and no schools during summertime, etc.
For moms who managed to survive the first few years, I want to say that you are no less than any successful women in workplace. Actually, you are even tougher and stronger to get it through with limited sleep and rest. Your ability in handling stress and multitasking is so advanced that you might not even notice it. You are constantly on searching engine looking for solutions for almost every possible issue, from what to expect in baby's first year to parenting skills, from travel tips to cooking recipes, from product reviews to local events for family...SAHMs usually have excellent social media skills because the loneliness of being at home pushes mom to reach out to social communities and local groups to connect as well as support each other. If you have organized a play date, birthday party, or mom's night-out event, you know you have the skills in planning, coordinating and communications. As a popular saying on social media, "every mom is a supermom!" Don't let anything make you feel less about yourself, because YOU'VE GOT THIS!

So what kind of jobs provide the most flexibility for stay-at-home moms with a potentially successful career?
1. Virtual Assistant (VA)
Working as a virtual assistant is not only flexible on working schedule but also on work locations. You can choose to work from home, coffee shops or co-working space. The variety of job functions range from scheduling appointment to answering phone calls, from graphic designs to digital media management. Most of virtual assistant jobs are hourly paid, part-time or full-time positions. It might have a requirement of experience in specific industry but it depends on the types of companies. Some of the places to look for virtual assistant jobs are: REMOTE.CO and Flex Jobs. People have VA experience have higher chance landing a job in office/community manager or executive assistant roles.

2. Photographer
If you have a creative eye and like to take pictures everywhere you go, a job as photographer is perfect for you. Photographer is needed in many fields of industry, such as news/journalism, food, fashion, entertainment, real estates and special events, etc. Time and location are highly flexible, especially when you work remotely or as a freelancer. You don't need a degree in journalism to become a photographer, but the ability of telling a story through images and an impressive portfolio are both essential to become a successful photographer.

3. Fitness Instructor
As a new mom, getting back to shape is one of my personal goals in the first year of motherhood. Fitness club is not only a workout place for body building, but also an excellent place for social bonding and empowerment. One of my favorite part is talking to instructors from different classes and learning about how flexible their work is. Some of them teach 1-2 classes a week in the same club, while others teach 7-8 classes in different locations. The pay rate is hourly and different depending on where one works. Besides flexibility, other perks of teaching fitness classes are free gym membership, working while listening to favorite music, and making money while doing exercises. Though challenges exist (like training and obtaining certificates, safety education, and recovery from muscle injuries), one of the most rewarding points, according to the instructors I talked to, is actually connecting with students and influencing their lifestyle about health and wellness.

4. Social Media Influencer
As consumers nowadays, especially millennials are highly digital and active in social media platforms, companies/brands spend more money on digital marketing campaigns, which leads to a trending profession as social media influencer. If you have a unique voice and a strong online presence, no matter in which platform (Blogger/content creator, Vlogger on YouTube, or influencer on Instagram), brands may reach out to you for collaborations. The opportunity and flexibility are promising and limitless. However, it does take some time to build a highly engaged online presence and credibility. The pay rate for marketing influencer is variable and may not be rewarding at the beginning, but joining an influencer group or an affiliate program is an easy way to start. Here are some popular and trendy programs for marketing influencers: Amazon Influencer Program, Influenster, Bloglovin'.

5. Online Business Owner
Have you heard of the phrase "#Girlboss", a trendy tag on social media? It is also a Netflix show based on Sophia Amoruso's autobiography, about her online clothing store "Nasty Gal", and how she becomes the girl boss. Websites, like Amazon and Ebay, have provided tremendous convenience to consumers as well as business owners. E-commerce is not a sophisticated concept any more. If you have a product to sell or a unique service to provide, you can start your own business on the internet. The ultimate flexibility is to work for yourself. The freedom is maximum, but the risk is also the highest. A lot of research, study, and long-term/short-term planning need to be considered. However, with proper education, strong dedication, and progressive networking, it is not impossible to become an entrepreneur and run a successful online business.
"Being a woman in business doesn't come without challenges. My advice? Surrounded yourself with other women that support you, share ideas and get motivated." --Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company
I believe woman can have a successful career while being a great wife/mom for your family. No matter what you choose to do, if it makes you happy and valuable to the world, it definitely worths trying! Don't let anything stop you from pursuing your dream.

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