A bit of a soap-box rant from me today, inspired by a conversation with mums from school, on finding part-time work.
While we watched our Grade 1’s swimming lessons we were chatting about finding part-time jobs. Jobs for women who may have been out of the workforce for years after growing up their families.
Jobs that offer truly flexible hours that will fit with school hours, so our children don’t have to be in after-school care – because it’s a mad-sweat to be there by pick-up time, and it costs precious dollars out of – let’s face it – these shitty paying jobs.
And don’t forget about employers who recognise that mothers in the work force are women possessed. That we work hard while we’re there to get our work done, so we can leave on time. We aren’t there just for the social experience, though that in itself is really bloody nice at times. We aren’t there to go out for long lunches because we might be expressing milk in those breaks, or just keep working, again – so we can leave on time for our children.
It shits me to hear yet another woman’s response when asked what kind of work they do – “oh, brain-dead stuff” – admin, data entry, retail sales, all for low rates of pay. It shits me because these women are all smart, highly skilled, motivated women who are reduced to this boring work that doesn’t fulfill them, just because they need (or want) part-time work. Who can’t get jobs back in their industry/skill area because no-one wants part-time mothers. I doubt it’s just a feminist issue either, I’d guess that most dads who want part-time work so they can be around for their families also have these issues.
Do the sums for these jobs that pay as little as $20 per hour – you might receive $300 for 15 hours work, let’s say that’s 3 days (to fit in with school drop-offs and pick-ups). The good news is that you won’t pay any tax on that, if that’s all you earn! But with childcare daily rates at around $100/day in Melbourne (or mostly more!) you’ll be pretty lucky if you actually clear any bucks at the end of the week.
I don’t know what the solution is for this, there are so many options, but without any kind of organised initiative by some kind of public interest group, I don’t see much hope for change.
So forget about those shitty jobs, and think about this for a minute – what skills and talents do you have, that you can use to help others?
If the employers won’t fit to our needs, how about you become your own employer? If you need to see the benefits, how about flexibility to dictate your hours, where you work from, where you will travel to, and what services or products you offer?
You could choose to consult in your former area of expertise, you could offer training or support in something that you are skilled at, you could write ebooks or produce videos to help people solve an issue they have.
You could do anything, if you believe in yourself, and what you can offer. Don’t let the old-school business world dictate what you are useful for now, online business is a whole new world, with completely different rules.
I’m not saying you should declare yourself to be an accountant and start filing people’s tax returns if you aren’t actually registered to do so! But is there something that you feel you can offer people, something that others are always asking for your help with, or to pick your brains about?
Start small and dream big. Someone out there needs what you have to offer.
Leave a comment and let us know – does this shit you too? And what would you do if you had no fears about doing it?