Many people write in and ask about where to begin a new profession as a single parent. I really have discovered alot about how single parent families struggle to find the level of education and employment that is needed to raise their children self sufficiently.The truth is, well, tough (T-U-F-F).
Here are the facts I have come to know based on research in Texas done by the Center for Public Policy Priority. They released their research in the form of a video and a cost of living calculator that tells public decision makers, as well as others, how families have their cards really stacked against them. The video profiles four (4) types of families, one is a single mom, and how they had to really fight to “make it”. In a nutshell, based on this calculator a single parent needs to earn about $45,000 per year to raise two children alone without relying on some form of aid in my area. This is a “no frills” level of income for the family. Furthermore, the actual opportunity for a single parent to find work like that is very low. At the time, only 30% of the available jobs in North Texas actually paid that much based on the job search tool they provided. This explained so much to me….and brought me to tears, actually.
So as I think about the work we do at Single Parent Advocate to help single parents and their children, and surely, when I get to speak to families personally, I advise them to take a look at careers that pay $40-$50,000 per year. Then, find training for one of those types of jobs – given that that is something they will like to do, and that will give them the right kind of work/life balance.
So, below, I have a quick three step suggestion that may at least give single moms, single dads, as well as students a place to start. It is just a great bottom line that I have learned in my own life – and I share with you to help you along the way too – a short cut of sorts!:
Step 1: Do a personality/skill test. There is a good one on Amazon Smile. You can select Single Parent Advocate as your charity there, and purchase StrengthsFinder 2.0.
Step 2: Once the book arrives, take the test. It is fun and may surprise you.
Step 3: Match your results with related jobs that pay enough to raise your kids based on the cost of living in your area. I think a good resource for checking that out is www.salary.com. They have tons of articles and information from cost of living calculators/salaries to education, to work life balance, and even job search listings.
Another great site for actually locating a job is Indeed.com. You can search by salary and city there for available jobs/careers.
You will find it really useful to create a Linked In Profile to help you connect with potential opportunities as well.
Some of you will need to get education or training for the types of jobs that fit your personality. Excite.com offers a good place to start that journey.
Happy Career Finding to you! I know you can do this!