Five Flexible Job Ideas for Working Parents

For many working parents like myself, flexibility rivals salary as the core quality we look for when it comes to job fit. When the kids go back to school it frees up about seven hours of the day for work. The hard part is that this block of time often gets interrupted by something kid-related, such as forgotten lunches, sick days, lice infestations and so on. Whatever the fiasco de jour, I’ve staffed it, and I’m sure some of you have, too.

The unexpected demands that surface at home refines working parents’ savvy when it comes to prioritizing, troubleshooting, and creative problem-solving. It’s not the only way to hone these skills, but on my craziest days it’s heartening to remind myself that these will be byproducts of my efforts.

The good thing is, there are a variety of flexible jobs out there that enable you to fully participate in the professional world and to be hands-on in your kids’ lives. But in order to meet the needs of both realities, you need a good plan.  

If you take a job that allows you to work from home, make sure you figure out a care plan for your kids. Don’t try take on both. It won’t work. Your kids think you are theirs when you are at home. They don’t want to share your attention, and you can’t have your colleagues or clients hearing your kids while you are on the phone.     

If you are going to telecommute, set yourself up for success by making sure you are properly staffed from day one.   

According to Simply Hired data, nearly 87,000 U.S. jobs accommodate work-from-home arrangements. This represents 1.85 percent of all open positions.

These are some great flexible jobs:  

Sales Jobs

Average Salary $45,000 + bonuses

There are a wide range of sales jobs waiting for pros like you. It will take your best communication and organization skills to keep you customers up-to-date and in the loop. Some jobs may require local or out of town travel.  

Search Sales jobs

Customer Service

Average Salary $37,000

Be that service-oriented pro who can answer customers’ questions and clear the air. If you love working with people (from your own personal office), and you have a great phone presence, this could be the perfect role for you.  

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Animal Caretaker

Average Salary $23,000

Give cuddly critters a boast while their pet parents are at work. In this role you get the chance to cash in on your love of animals. Take neighborhood pets for walks, give them treats and play with them. Add a bit of fun to their day and to yours. Additionally, most kids love animals and can serve as ‘interns’ when it comes to play time. 

Search Animal Caregiver jobs


Average Salary $56,0000

There are a variety of ways you can use your food expertise to create meaningful and flexible employment for yourself. Dietitians are always in demand as food writers, educators and counsellors. This position allows you to be creative in how you approach the job market.

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Travel Agents

Average Salary $35,000

Help individual travelers and tour groups create amazing adventures. This exciting role gives you the chance to work closely with clients and to build relationship with vendors in the travel industry. Many positions offer travel benefits and discounts.

Search Travel Agent jobs

With the right job, a good plan and a little creativity, working parents really can find the right balance for themselves and their families.

On June 22, 2017, this article was updated from its original form.