Finding work as a young parent and your rights
Finding work as a young parent can be difficult.
The decision to get into or return to work after having a baby can be a difficult one. You may be battling with feelings of uncertainty as to whether becoming a working parent is right for your family, or be worried about finding suitable childcare and a working pattern that fits around your schedule. To help keep the process of finding work as a young parent as stress-free as possible we have set out a few simple tips to keep in mind if you choose to go back to work.
The decision to get into or return to work after having a baby can be a really difficult one.
You may be feeling uncertain whether becoming a working young parent is right for your family, or be worried about finding suitable childcare. As well as this, you might be worrying about if a working pattern will fit around your schedule.
To help keep the process of finding work as a young parent as stress-free as possible we’ve set out a few simple tips to keep in mind if you choose to go back to work.
Planning a routine and finding childcare
When it comes to finding work, it’s important to plan a routine that works for both you and your family as early as possible. This includes a routine for your working schedule and childcare arrangements.
Some parents find it easier to plan childcare arrangements before they have committed to a new job to avoid any last-minute panic or stress.
Look into things such as:
- Whether you want your child care provider to be within the local area of your work place or your place of study
- Whether you want child care to be local to where you live
Whether you want child care to be local to your friends and family, so that they can pick up your child after hours
Starting your job hunt
Before you start your job hunt, it’s important to decide whether you’ll be seeking full-time or part-time employment. While some find part-time work easier to fit around childcare, some young parents may want or need to work full-time. It’s also a good idea to work out how this will affect your benefits.
Where to find a new job
- You can start by searching on job agencies such as, Reed, Indeed, Fish4Jobs Monster and TotalJobs
- You may also want to think about paid apprenticeships, which will allow you to train while you work
- Women Like Us post job listings of flexible and part time job opportunities on their website; they also offer free advice to working mothers on finding work and provide affordable support workshops
- Check the website for your local newspaper to see if they have a jobs section
- Some companies also accept speculative applications, where you apply for a job that has not been advertised yet, in the hope that when something comes up you will be considered for a position. Check whether the company you apply for accepts speculative applications beforehand
- You could create a list of the companies you’d really like to work for, and check their careers or jobs section for new jobs
- It might be useful to follow the companies you want to work for on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, as they will often post about new jobs
Negotiating flexible hours
If you need to work full-time then you could find a job that offers flexible hours or negotiate flexible hours with your current employer.
Some employers will allow you to negotiate your contract so that for example you could work later on some days and leave earlier on others. It’s important to note that not all employers will offer flexible work patterns, but if you are interested it’s important to ask potential employers whether it would be an option.
You can get information about flexible working at the Gov.uk website here.
Writing your CV or application form
A CV or application form can be a bit daunting to write, as it’s the first chance you have to impress your potential new employer. Take a look at Prospects; they have lots of information about how to write a CV and they have examples as well.
Going for an interview
So, your CV or application has impressed your potential employer, now it’s time for the interview! It’s natural to feel nervous before an interview, but remember that you have been invited because the company is already impressed with what they have seen from your CV/application.
By researching the company and the job role, you’ll feel more prepared, which can also help to calm your nerves.
It’s also useful to practise some common interview questions with someone you know, so that you have answers prepared for what they might ask you. Prospects also include a list of interview tips as well as some general interview tips.
Your rights as a working parent
It’s very important to understand your rights as a working parent, including what help and support you’re entitled to.
There’s lots of useful online resources that should be able to help you.
- NCT provides specific advice on how returning to work affects your career
- Citizens Advice has lots of information on your rights as a working parent
- Gov.uk provide advice and information on making the transition from benefits to work, with specific help for parents
- Working Forward from the Equality and Human Rights Commission aims to make workplaces the best they can be for pregnant women and new mothers