“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.”
That’s a well-known quote that many real estate agents use, because it really shows what’s most important to their clients when it comes to renting or buying a home. We could use that same quote to describe the three things that matter in finding a job as a single mother: flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.
You’ve got to be able to fit your job around your family life, and adjust your family schedule to cope with what you’re required to do for work. We’ve found eleven job categories that score high on the flexibility scale – is one of these right for you?
Note: We are currently creating a FREE training course for single moms to learn how to make money online by creating websites. Since you can work on this WHILE AT HOME whenever you have free time, this is an excellent means of earning extra money. There is no BS, no shady sales tactic on our part here. Just free information to help give you some extra tools to get financial freedom. Start with the FIRST introductory article on making money online with websites.
1. Real Estate
A job as an independent real estate agent can be a great job for a single mom. You can also be part of a larger real estate company. If you join a company, you won’t have to worry about things like office space, installing extra telephone or computer equipment, or doing advertising, because that’s all generally part of the package that the company handles. If you’re going to be an independent real estate agent, you’ll need to think about and take care of those issues yourself.
For the most part, you’ll be able to set your hours with this job, and depending on where you live you might not have a lot of travel time. You will need to be able to meet with clients and show them the houses, so there could be time when you’ll have to be available on their schedule and not yours. You’ll need a cell phone and a reliable car. If you live in a big city with good public transportation, you may not need a car, but you’ll be limited to showing homes and apartments that are close to bus or subway lines. On the other hand, that’s a good selling point for the property!
You will have to apply for and get a real estate license in order to become an agent, whether you work alone or with a company. Depending on the state you live in, you might have to pass a test or take a series of classes in order to get that license.
2. Sales and Product Demonstrations
Avon, Tupperware, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Amway – you’ve probably heard of all of these names. You might even use their products yourself! Many single moms have made part-time money or even a full-time career out of door-to-door sales of these products. One of the reasons these jobs are so popular is that most direct sales products offer bonuses and incentives to their best sellers. If you work for Mary Kay and you can sell more than $100,000 worth of products in one year, you’ll get a prize of a new pink Cadillac. Other companies offer discounts to their sellers, so if you regularly use Amway’s cleaning products, for example, you could save money by becoming a distributor.
Many of these sales positions require you to buy a start-up kit or to become an affiliate, which might involve membership fees or obligations. If you enjoy meeting people and selling products, and you think this type of job is a good fit for you, the best way to start is by picking a company you know and checking their company website for information on how to join their sales team.
3. Affiliate Marketing
This sales job is a form of advertising. A lot of people who have their own websites or online blogs use space on those sites to advertise third-party products and promote those products to their readers. For example, someone who writes and maintains a blog about healthy eating and exercise can sign up to be an affiliate for another company that makes and sells vitamins, or one that runs a diet food plan (like Weight Watchers), or even a chain of health food stores. They’ll use the company’s logo and ad information on the blog or website, and will probably write several articles about the benefits of using that product or service. When a reader clicks on that logo or ad and goes to the company website, the blogger will get a small amount of money. If the reader buys the company’s product or service, the blogger will generally get a percentage of the sale.
We’ve cooked up probably the most comprehensive guide on making money online through niche websites — which is the bread and butter of affiliate marketing (you need to first HAVE a website and get traffic to that website before you can make money with affiliate marketing — we show you how to start doing this from ground up for free).
4. Health Care
Most health care jobs require training and licensing, but if you have the time and the money to get that training and become licensed, health care jobs can be both flexible and high-paying. Some jobs can even be done in your own home – many massage therapists work out of a spare room in their house. Some massage and physical therapists go to the client’s home to work with them, and others use a central office space shared with other health care workers. There is a growing demand for home hospice care, so if you would like to work with older people, you can usually find work at a local nursing home or a freelance job as an in-home health care aide.
5. Medical Transcription
Another medical-service job is transcription. This is a job you can usually do at home, which makes it ideal for single mothers with small children. You’ll need to do some studying to get familiar with the vocabulary used in various fields like pediatrics or gynecology, and learn how to spell the names of common symptoms, treatments, and drugs. Then all you’ll need is a good computer and some transcription equipment, and you’ll be ready to start working. Read this article to find more information on typing jobs for single mothers.
If you’ve ever been a teacher, you can turn your classroom experience into virtual video lessons. Charter schools and public schools are turning to freelance instructors to save money on facilities and personnel costs, and there are opportunities for certified teachers from kindergarten to the high school level in subjects like math, history, science, English, and foreign languages (Spanish is popular). You can also work as a tutor with children who need some help with their homework. Click here to get more information on become a freelance tutor.
7. Handmade Crafts
If you have a lot of time and enough talent, you have a chance to earn money by making and selling handmade items like knitted socks, personalized bookends, beaded jewelry, or other things that people want to use themselves or give as gifts. Many crafters get their start on sites like Etsy, but you can also sell your creations at street fairs or local shops. If you’re thinking of making edible products like cookies or jam, you’ll have to make sure that you’re following any health and safety rules set by the state or federal government in order to sell them legally.
8. Graphic Designing
Another artistic field is graphic design. This could involve making banners, creating logos, designing business cards, creating brochures, or any other item that needs to be printed or published on line. You don’t need to be licensed or trained before you start, but you do need a good computer and the right software. Top of the line software like the Adobe Creative Suite will cost you at least a thousand dollars, but there are free software options for desktop publishing, photo processing, and image creation that you can use to get started. There are lots of YouTube videos showing you how to use the main features of most software systems, and it’s a good idea to go through them to learn how the software works before you start looking for clients. If you don’t, you’re going to be learning the software on the job. That’s not a bad thing, but it will mean that it will take you longer to do each job, and that might impact your client’s schedule.
9. Customer Service
Most companies outsource their customer service these days. When you’re trying to get your washing machine repaired or talking to someone about your bank account, you might be talking to a customer service representative who’s located in a different state – or even a different country. While many of these jobs are done from call centers, some companies also hire freelance customer service representatives to work from home. You’ll need to have a separate telephone line and a computer, and a quiet space to work. This job works best for single moms whose kids are in school.
A lot of small business owners don’t have the time or the training to do bookkeeping, so if you’re good with numbers, you’ll be the one they call for help. This is usually a very flexible job for most of the month, and then a very demanding one at the end of each month or every three months when businesses need to balance their accounts. You will probably be spending at least some time at each business you’re helping, because that’s where all of their files are. You’ll also be using their computer and accounting software, in that case. However, some people may want you to take care of all of the computer files, so you’ll need a laptop and good tax and accounting software like QuickBooks or Sage.
11. Tax Preparation
Tax preparation is a job that keeps you busy for a few months, but it may not require much of your time the rest of the year. There are two ways to do this job: as a certified public accountant (CPA), or as a freelance tax preparer. To become a CPA, you’ll have to get a license from the state you live in. In order to get that license, you’ll probably need to have a degree in accounting. If you’ve already gone to school and have a degree, you’ll only need to study for the licensing exam to get certified as a CPA. This license may make it easier for you to get clients, especially business clients.
To do tax preparation as a freelancer, all you need is a good head for numbers and the right tax preparation software. You’ll also want to get some training, because there are details that you’ll need to know about state, federal, and local tax regulations. It’s a complicated business, and that’s why many people pay to have their taxes done for them. Most freelancers start out helping people do their individual tax filing, but if you have a business or accounting background, you can offer your services to small businesses as well.
12. Freelancing (Bonus)
It’s absolutely possible to make a part time or even full time income online as a freelancer. That is, doing jobs online that pay you per job. There are many different freelance gigs. Please read our comprehesive articles that aim to help teach moms to make income freelancing.
Article Freelancing: How to Make $1000 a month as an Article Freelancer
Fiver Freelancing: How to Make Money with Fiver
You can read more in our ‘Freelancing to Financial Freedom‘ series.