Carolyn is a stay at home mom of 5 and knows the struggles of trying to make money while still being able to be there for your children.
The difficulty of finding a job that can accommodate parents with kids in school can be overwhelming, especially if you have limited employment skills and only a high school diploma. I know because I've been there. Sometimes it can seem hopeless.
There are jobs out there that can allow you to work from 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday, especially if you don't have a degree. When I was a single parent I had a heck of a time finding a job that would pay enough to cover rent, bills and groceries and allow me to be there in the morning when my daughter went to school and be there to pick her up when she got out of school.
- 9am-3pm Monday-Friday: No weekends
- No university degree required
- Flexibility so you can stay home when your child is ill or has a day off school
Get To Know Your Neighbourhood
The first piece of advice I can offer for parents wanting to work while their children are at school is to get familiar with what's in your neighbourhood. Maybe you live downtown like me, or in the suburbs. Are there any local businesses close by that are hiring? Are there places you shop in regularly that you could ask if they are looking for help? (many jobs are not advertised).
Next time you take your kids to the park or for a walk, look around and make a list of places you would like to ask if they are hiring.
The school your child is attending may have a position available too. My daughter's school paid parents to supervise kids at lunchtime and so forth. Check with your child's school or other schools close by if they have any positions open.
I lived within walking distance of many shops and businesses. My job hunting started there. I knew that even with a car I didn't want a job that required too much travel time so that I would always make it on time to pick up my daughter from school.
Top 5 Blue Collar Jobs
If you're not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get busy, these jobs might be for you:
1. House cleaning
You can either work for a company such as Molly Maid or offer your services as a private maid. Some house cleaning companies make you work weekends, others do not.
The benefits of house cleaning privately are:
- you set the pay and what you are willing to clean (laundry included?).
- your time schedule and where you are willing to work.
2. Home Care
You do not require any sort of degree if you wish to work in home care as a support worker. This job requires you to do light house cleaning, shopping and cooking, for example. The pay is decent (especially if you apply through your provincial government), and you can specify which shifts you are willing to work. Be careful which company you choose to work for as some expect you to be available evenings and weekends and do much more than light cleaning or cooking.
3. Home Day Care or Before & After School Care
I would recommend that you have CPR training and adequate space if you want to watch children during the day or before and after school. Your home must be child-proof and safe for children. You can advertise online, in the newspaper and through your local schools.
4. School Bus Driver
There is a big demand for school bus drivers here in Canada and they offer free training. The pay is good, and the hours you work are during school hours.
5. McDonald's/Tim Hortons
Both companies state on their websites that they are flexible in their hours. Both also offer training and health benefits which are valuable when you have little ones.
If you really need to find work, don't overlook your local McDonalds or Tim Hortons, at least until you can find a job you would enjoy more.
Top 5 Office Jobs
Here are some office jobs that do not require a degree and are within the Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm time frame:
1. Customer/Client Service Representative at a Bank
This is the one position that does not require a degree, you simply must have good people skills and organization skills. These jobs can be applied for through the bank's website such as RBC, TD Canada Trust and so forth. Just enter the criteria and check out the job openings. You can submit your resume and cover letter through their website as well. (Some branches are open Saturday, make sure the position you apply for is for Monday to Friday only).
2. Administrative Assistant/Receptionist Position
Depending on where you apply, some businesses want you to work Saturdays or evenings, make sure to check the listing to make sure it is a Monday to Friday position only. Most administrative jobs do not require a degree, but a few years experience, or at least computer and telephone skills.
My first administrative job was at a Member of Parliament's constituency office. It was Monday to Friday 9-3 and I had benefits. Check your local MP's office, your MPP/MLA office or even your city counselor office for openings. They are not usually advertised so it's worth it to ask as they pay more than private business.
3. Data Entry Position
There are plenty of these positions that do not require any kind of degree that pay reasonably well and it is possible to find one that does not require evenings or weekends.
I recently went to the Service Canada website and typed in the keywords "Data Entry" and found positions on the first page for my area that did not require evenings or weekends, so these jobs are out there.
4. Sales Representative for RESPs
A popular RESP company here in Canada that offers flexible self-employment opportunities selling RESPs is Heritage Education Funds. The downside to this position is that it is very hard to do if you don't have a car. However, if it's something that you would enjoy doing because you like people and are outgoing, there are always ways to get around regardless.
5. Financial Advisor
Various companies essentially let you work for yourself and set your own hours. You will most likely need a car if your city does not have good public transportation. Some courses may be required for you to take before you can start selling financial products.
Edward Jones is just one example of a company that will pay to train you and where you essentially work your own hours.
Find a Family-Friendly Job in Canada
- Canada's Top Family Friendly Employers 2016
Provides a listing of the best companies to work for (as of 2016) and has a search feature if you are looking for a job with them too! A great resource!
Working from Home Online
This is a huge topic with countless suggestions so I won't go into too much detail (this topic is a whole other article). However, I wanted to mention this because as a stay at home mom it's something I personally have been working on and I'm sure many of you have also googled it to find some suggestions.
Quite frankly, working from home is the best job you can have. Even if you didn't get the same level of pay as you did before you wouldn't be paying for daycare or gasoline and things like this. As a parent working for yourself and working in the comfort of your home, you are able to set the hours you wish to work. You'd be there for your child whenever they needed you. Plus your office attire could include pajamas!
What Job Can I Do from Home?
That, my friends, is the million-dollar question and only you can answer that. I will tell you that the best place to start is by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I Iove to do?
- What fascinates me, and I always want to learn more about it?
- What do I have experience in?
- What wisdom or knowledge do I have that I could share?
- What am I good at? What skills do I possess?
- What do I have lying around the house that I can put to good use?
- What is my budget like? How much money can I spend to set myself up from home?
Those are the easy questions. The most difficult question is: Can I afford it?
If money is tight (and I assume it is or you wouldn't be reading my article) then you need to get off the ground and running ASAP.
Work From Home Online Jobs You Can Start Tomorrow
You can get up and running right away and for little or no cost. You just need a computer, Internet and the ability to communicate:
- Blogger: You make money from advertisements, ebooks or items you create and sell on your site, sponsorships for products, etc.
- Affiliate Marketing: You make a commission from a sale that is made because you directed the person to it. There are countless products to choose from and many affiliate programs to choose from.
- Drop Shipping: You set up an online store on an e-commerce site and sell products available via drop shipping to your customers.
All of the above can be done using a platform of your choice. I personally highly recommend WIX if you are just starting out because you get professional-looking templates, SEO, and email marketing (to name just a few services) help included and they have the option of adding e-commerce to your site as well. It's super easy to create a website, you just click and drop. You don't need to know any HTML.
If you choose to get into dropshipping and want to offer a larger selection, I would recommend using SHOPIFY as your platform. They offer a 30-day free trial and have pretty much all the resources you need on their website (yes, even dropshipping products from a variety of sellers) and tutorials on everything if you're never done it before.
More Online Jobs You Can Do From Home
Here are a few more suggestions that might suit your needs as a parent of school-aged children:
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writer
- Customer Service Rep
- Course Instructor
- Web designer/graphic designer
- Social Media Manager
These are just some of the more typical jobs you can find online. I hope that this help guides you in the right direction. Please let me know in the comments if this topic is of interest to you and if you would like me to write a separate article on it.
Last Word of Advice
Be creative, think outside the box and do your research! This is the best advice I can give any parent with school-aged children. Many jobs are not advertised, and many jobs are right in your own neighbourhood, you just have to sniff them out.
Make full use of the Internet and check online job banks and the classified section of your newspapers for openings.
Let friends and family know you are looking for a job and wish to work only while your children are at school. Sometimes it can make a difference if you know people that can help you. Many businesses prefer to hire someone that a current employee recommends rather than hiring someone off the street. So speak up!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Carolyn Dahl
Md Mosherof Hossain on May 18, 2020:
I am from Bangladesh . Am interested to know about virtual assistant job which is possible work from home.
This is my mail id : email@example.com
Moon Daisy from London on January 07, 2018:
It's often hard to find a job right away. I would recommend doing some voluntary work to start with to give you the confidence to get back in the workplace, to really make a difference to your community and feel useful, and to get valuable experience that you can carry through to your next job.
Volunteering helped me tremendously to get used to the whole working environment after a big break, to the time commitment and to having colleagues again. Each voluntary post acted as a stepping stone to the next, and then to my first paid job. And then to the next one! They built up my experience, and helped me to realise that I could do it!
Terese louis on October 21, 2015:
Need to find a job.i have a degree as a realestate.
SharonBallantine on November 29, 2014:
I encourage anyone who is looking for employment to be clear on the experience that they want to have. This will include things like the flexibility to be home for your children in the mornings, afternoons, and weekends.
Be clear on your goals, but don't limit yourself either. Is it a requirement that you be able to be home before and after school? What if the job has a daycare center or after school program that would be awesome for your child.
Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on October 23, 2013:
What great ideas! It's already extremely difficult to find work in this current economy, even four years after the start of the recession. Especially for a single parent, finding work and also being able to be available and present for your kids is a challenge.
Good luck to everyone looking for work! I'm there with you!
Carolyn Dahl (author) from Ottawa, Ontario on January 28, 2013:
Great ideas Bronterae, I think that if you have any skills you should consider a way to make money from them if you can.
Bronterae from Nor Cal on January 28, 2013:
Great hub. I would like to add some ideas. If you have educational skills like music or English, you can teach/tutor from home. As a mediocre violinist, I started as a volunteer music teacher at school and it has grown into a full schedule of 15 privates at $15-20 for a half hour plus another school job, 2 hours a week at $50 hr. I started taking lessons again to stay ahead of my children. :) Get to know a music store owner/librarian/book store owner/the teachers if you have kids etc.. to get clients.
Carolyn Dahl (author) from Ottawa, Ontario on January 28, 2013:
It is difficult to try and make money from home, I hope my suggestions can be of great help for you!
jkang219 from California on January 27, 2013:
Thank you! I've been looking for a hub like this... It's been challenging figuring out how to be a stay at home parent and still make a little money on the side. I'll have to look into some of these suggestions.
ElleBee on January 09, 2013:
I think your idea about before/after school is a great one! It is also improtant to have the proper licensing required in your area. I know in my state you must be a licensed child care provider to watch children in your home regularly. Another option would be working in a school or center-based after-school program which your child could attend. I know that when I worked in an after school program some of my co-workers had school age children who would attend the program at their site, and this worked very well for them.
Moon Daisy from London on November 16, 2011:
Nice hub, and some good suggestions here.
Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on March 25, 2011:
Good advice. I know it seems almost impossible these days to work and still be somewhat of a stay at home parent. I have struggled with that for years. I might have to check out some of these solutions.