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Top 10 money spinners for working parents

on April 17, 2012

I’ve finally reached the point during my child rearing years that I would actually like to go back to work and earn some money of my own. After being a SAHM for three years, it appears that I am no longer in demand in my previous career (Marketing) as everything has moved on rather swiftly since I left and so, I am left with two choices; 1) accept a huge pay cut in Marketing and work my way back up the career ladder (unfeasible given the hours I would need to work and the associated childcare costs) or 2) find an alternative career.

Now, I’ve been thinking a lot about this latter option recently. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think where my skills lie so that I can launch myself on the world all focused and rebranded but that, pretty much, is as far as I’ve got with the process. It’s not that I don’t have skills, it’s just that there doesn’t seem to be much call for (nappy) bomb disposal, crisis diverters or expert negotiators except for maybe in the Middle East and I’m not sure that’s entirely where I see my new career heading.

So, after various discussions with other Mums and Dads at the school gates who have re-branded themselves, I’ve come up with a top 10 of potential money spinners for other parents who may be looking for a career change or a way of working round the children either by re-training completely or by working with the skills they already possess.

  1. Reflexologist – A one year course which involves attending one or two-day seminars spread over this time period. It requires around 8-10 hours of home study per week and a small amount of written assessments with an examination taken at the end of the course. GOOD IF: you can touch other people’s feet without freaking and are over 18. BAD IF: corns, bunions and cheesy smells are not your thing.
  2. Cake maker – A couple of the mums have done this actually; one specializes in cupcakes and hosting cupcake making parties for kids and the other does wedding cakes and cake-pops in the post. GOOD IF: you can make a decent sponge. BAD IF: you can’t.
  3. Tattoo designer – GOOD IF: you have a fair amount of artistic flair. BAD IF: you’re needlephobic.
  4. Nail technician – Nail Courses cover gel, acrylics, manicures/pedicures, nail art, and maintenance and you can train at home. GOOD IF: you’re spare time is limited and you want to get started quickly. BAD IF: you’re not a people person.
  5. Copywriter /proof-reader – Companies, students, the press and plenty of others rely on people to proof-read their work before it gets printed to check for errors. You can set up on your own fairly quickly and with minimum outlay with this idea. GOOD IF: you have an impressive command of the English language and grammar. BAD IF: you don’t.
  6. Cleaner – Zero set up costs and everyone knows how hard it is to find a decent, honest and reliable cleaner. Once you’ve got a few clients, word of mouth will complete your journey fairly quickly. GOOD IF: you take pride in grime-busting and are a bit of a perfectionist. BAD IF: you hate cleaning.
  7. Childminder – You need to complete a pediatric first aid course and be ofsted registered (which costs around £90). These certificates have to be renewed annually but you can be up and running with this business very quickly. Earnings of around £4 per hour mean that if you take a fair few children, the money soon adds up. GOOD IF: you like children and need to take your own child(ren) to work. BAD IF: you prefer your house to be immaculate.
  8. Teacher – This is a good one if you already have a degree as the PGCE will only take a year to complete full-time (slightly longer for part-time obviously). Or you could work as a teaching assistant/classroom helper and beg the school to sponsor you while you train. GOOD IF: you have school age children as you can work round their holidays. BAD IF: you don’t like other people’s children.
  9. Photographer – You just need a decent camera, an eye for a good shot and a portfolio of your friends’ babies. If you have a room you can convert to a studio, so much the better. GOOD IF: you enjoy taking photographs and have a good ‘eye.’ BAD IF: money is limited as the initial set-up and cost of equipment can be quite high.
  10. Dog walker – There are literally hundreds of working people with dogs at home who need to be exercised during the day. The opportunity is there to make some decent wedge. Average charge is £5 per half hour and if you take three of four dogs at once, the money’s not half bad. GOOD IF: you like dogs and walking. BAD IF: you’re allergic to them.

So there you go, my top 10 of potential money-spinners for those of us who need to work around the children and / or school hours and who may or may not have certain skills. The trick is to work with what you have or identify what you enjoy and go with that. Feel free to comment on your own career changes after having children; it would be useful to know what else is out there for the rest of us.

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