Single Parent Careers


Jennifer Robson
1 February 2019

It’s hard enough being a working mum, but what if you’re a single mum?

Lacking spousal backup, how do people manage work commitments, life’s curve-balls and parenting duties without something getting lost in the shuffle?

8 Things Single parents are great at:
  1. Single parents quickly learn how capable their children are and are much better at teaching children how to develop the skills needed to care for themselves. 
  2. Single parents balancing family life and careers also become great at systems.  They simply cannot manage without them. Being organised and having a system helps them to stay on top of everything or at least one step ahead!
  3. Planning ahead really helps, one lady we spoke to said she would make lists of all the tasks she needed to do a week in advance then cluster them by geography, so she could plan to pick up certain items when she was already going to be in that place saving her masses of time later. 
  4. Weekly rituals help one of the other mums we spoke to, she said she always works late on Tuesday’s, so her son knows that that's the night he gets to order pizza and watch a movie with his baby sitter. 
  5. Develop their own idea of what's right and what's wrong and are liberated by their own choices
  6. Know how to make their life simple by using the tools around them be it help from friends, premade foods etc
  7. Use their network, to both care for their family but also to provide them with support and me time
  8. Laugh when they make a mistake.

So how are these skills beneficial to their careers?

Being a single parent not only makes you resilient but forces you to develop a range of soft skills that can be applied to your career to help you to advance. 

Key soft skills identified by employers are;
  1. Communication
  2. Self-motivation
  3. Leadership
  4. Responsibility
  5. Teamwork
  6. Problem solving
  7. Decisiveness
  8. Ability to work under pressure
  9. Flexibility
  10. Negotiation
  11. Conflict resolution

As with hard skills, you should spend some time considering what your soft skills are. This is especially true for single parents. Reinforce your claims to have soft skills with real examples of where you have used them.
We have created a video series and workbooks in the member's area to help you to cope with grief and plan a happy future for yourself. Please accept our condolences and we hope that you find the resources we have created useful.