The best jobs for moms are flexible, high-paying and enjoyable. Sounds like a fantasy, right? Not if you are strategic about your career. With some planning and research, you too can land one of the best jobs for moms. First, you need to think through what exactly goes into the best jobs for moms.
Your life as a working mom stretches from the intense days of caring for a newborn to the hectic time of preparing your high school senior to leave the nest. So it shouldn't be a surprise that the best jobs for moms are flexible, letting you ramp up your attention on your career and slow down when the demands at home are more pressing.
Ideally, you would start thinking about flexibility when you choose a career field. But even if you're already a successful executive, it's never too late to negotiate a flexible schedule or look for a less stressful position.
Unfortunately, it's no use having an amazing, flexible job if your take-home pay won't cover child care. That's why it's important to pursue a career that will earn enough so when you do want to dial back the intensity, you can afford to do so.
Traditionally, male-oriented fields pay better than those dominated by women. But as with the increase in demand for nurses, historically female professions can have a resurgence. Learn about the pay scales in your field and related areas through networking and research, and you'll be in a better position to angle your way to more money.
So often, we try to leave our personal life at home and be an automaton at work. Wouldn't it be great to have a job where you could be seen as a whole person - mom, woman and worker - and freely discuss your children?
Take your cues from those around you on chatting about family life or bringing kids to the office. But don't be afraid to push boundaries, in an appropriate way, in acknowledging that you have home and caregiving responsibilities. You may find that your first step frees your co-workers to discuss their family too, creating a more collegial and connected workplace.
It should go without saying that the best jobs for moms respect your rights as an employee. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is alive and well, and the work-life literature documents how the mommy track can derail a promising career.
Make sure you understand your rights and stay alert for warning signs that a prospective employer isn't progressive when it comes to working moms. For instance, when a hiring manager asks whether you're married or have children, during a job interview. The question alone is illegal in most states, and certainly doesn't signal a family-friendly culture.
When you're looking for role models, where do you turn? Your mother? A mentor in your field? Or do you look to famous working moms like Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver, who took on high-powered careers while also raising children?
Check out these celebrity moms' stories of compromise and professional success. They may inspire you to follow your dream in both your home and work life -- or give you ideas for a rewarding career path.