Single moms face the challenge of needing to work to support their children. While there are some wonderful fathers who do pay their child support many times the opposite is true and as a single mom you end up burning the candle at both ends just to make ends meet. When you get laid off it can be tempting to settle for any job you can find. There are pros and cons to that situation and before you accept a job you should consider the options.
Settling for Minimal Hours and Minimal Pay
If you accept a job at a place where you probably won’t be making enough to cover day care costs for the few hours you get to work each week, you are probably better off waiting and continuing your job search. It can be tempting to say that it’s a temporary job and that you’ll keep looking for another job, but what are the chances of having time to go to interviews, scour the want ads and distribute resumes while you’re trying to earn enough to live on? There are several programs through Social Services that will help you while you are in between good jobs. There is no need to settle.
Room to Advance
If you find an entry level position that offers the potential to advance then you may want to consider the pay cut or the longer commute. Job security and the possibility or promotions and career growth are positive reasons to settle for a job that you really don’t feel is best for you. Think of it as a temporary position like a trial period before you can move up to the position you really want.
A varying schedule is a problem for many single moms. Daycare hours and time to spend with your children often get compromised when you vary between day and evening shifts, rotating weekends and other scheduling problems. If taking a job will keep you from having quality time with your children, will cost you more in child care and create a stressful situation for your child it may be best to wait until you find a job that won’t alter your schedule quite so much. Children can become quite distressed when Mommy isn’t home to tuck them in, or they go to bed and the babysitters only to be awoken a few hours later to go home.
I know that being without a job after a layoff is a big concern, but no matter how tempting it may be to settle for any job that comes along make sure you take the time to weigh the pros and cons before accepting a job that will disrupt your family life.
After the initial shock of discovering you’ve become one of the millions of unemployed Americans, one of the first things you need to do is look into the what unemployment benefits are available in your state, particularly in the area of job search assistance.
Many states have computer job-skill matching services that can assist in looking for a job. Typically, you are required to complete a profile with information about your education and job skills, which will give you the opportunity to let potential employers know what you are capable of. Include your most reliable contact information so that if a job matches your skills, you will get the notification quickly.
Other information you might be asked to supply is any veteran information. You may be asked how far you are willing to travel for a job, and what the minimum pay is that you will accept for a job. You might be asked the type of work you are seeking such as office, factory or retail as well as whether or not you have a shift preference.
Skills that might be evaluated could include whether you have any special transportation skills such as a CDL license, or the ability to operate a forklift. They may inquire as to whether you speak multiple languages. Other common skills you might want to include are computer skills and physical skills. As you progress through the profile, the program will begin to request more specialized information pertaining to actual job skills and the level of expertise you have. It is important to be as accurate as possible when completing all phases of the profile to ensure a good match.
Employers go through a similar process when they are in need of employees. Companies can post their vacant positions and the necessary skills needed to meet their job requirements. The computer then matches our skills with those needed for any open jobs in the system.
Once you have created an account, you can log into the system whenever you like. New jobs are added regularly, so it is a good idea to check the postings frequently. Failure to check frequently, or at a minimum at least once a week, could mean you miss an opportunity.
While each state’s job search program is somewhat different from the others, the basics are the same. There is usually an online help feature you can use to help you set up your account and maneuver through the system. Staff at the local unemployment office can also assist you with this job search benefit.