I’m struggling to find any serious jobs from home. I don’t even know what to search for. I’d like to find a job with guaranteed part-time hours either set or flexible that will allow me to stay at home with my son. I was hoping for something like customer service, either phone based or online based and I would prefer to not have to work self employed. I’ve mostly worked in customer-facing roles, particularly in retail, but I’ve done work in finance administration, general administration and my last job was at a betting company. I’ve pretty much worked in every industry possible that doesn’t require qualifications or trade experience, except bar work. I have management experience in supermarket retail. I have an unfinished degree in English and have looked at working in creches.
It is a really important time when your children are small and I, like many readers on this site, will understand your desire to spend this time with your son rather than putting him in childcare whilst you work. It is, as you say yourself, something a lot of us look for and the reality is that there are few options out there that are not going to entail you becoming self employed. Do have a look at the vacancies advertised on this site, but most of those which do fit your criteria in other regards are not going to offer the guaranteed income of employment with someone else.
Whilst there has been great improvements in the right to demand flexible working, a recent report showed that it is actually higher earners who are likely to benefit from flexible working. The OECD has described the UK as one of the worst places for a young mother to seek work.
In your email you mention that the jobs you have worked in so far have been jobs which don’t require qualifications. You have an unfinished degree in English and I wonder whether gaining more qualifications and possibly finishing your degree is something you should be considering at this time? This could help build the solid foundation you need whilst your son is still small, enabling you to return to a better qualified role in the future.
I work for the Open University and one thing you may want to consider is transferring the credits from your unfinished degree to an open degree. Studying from home in this way could be an opportunity to complete your degree and open up opportunities in better paid roles. For more information about open degrees at the Open University see http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/qd.
You mention that you have experience in customer service, finance administration, administration and retail management. It is sometimes difficult to widen our options in terms of what we can do in work if we go by the job titles that describe our previous roles and one thing I would recommend to you at this time is undertaking an audit on your skills and achievements. Think about your experience in paid and unpaid work and identify what your main skills are and who in your area would be interested in these skills?
You have looked into crèches in your area and from this I assume you are thinking of possibly working in one. This would tick your boxes in terms of being near your own child, being employed and working regular hours so I can understand why this has been one of your first considered options. Whilst I am aware that it does not provide the security of employment many mums in your situation consider childminding. Is this something that you might want to consider? Have a look at the information on the National Careers website about this https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/childminder and contact your local council to find out about pre-registration training.
I would also suggest you find out what other people in your area that are in your situation are doing. This could be the richest source of exploring local opportunities. If you attend a children’s centre then ask around and find out what other mums are doing to earn a little bit of money. You may be surprised at what can come out of simple networking in this way.