“My name is NATALIE. I have worked since I was 15, I am currently 29 and I live in NY. Now I’m a single mother who lost my job through and it was not my fault.
I was with the same company since I was 20 and I worked very hard with dedication and passion. It was a good job for many years. I showed up, I worked, I made people happy and finally I had purpose in my life.
Then one day my boss called me into his office and said he was letting me go, part of a downsizing operation. Nothing personal, he said, they just didn’t have a room for me anymore.
I left that company managing 17 employees, who were directly under my responsability.
Since my benefits have expired, I have had to walk away from my apartment for rent with all of my son’s and my belongings.
We now live with my elderly grandmother in her small condo; my son and I sleep on an air mattress in the front room. I look for work every day, even though I have no money to get around. I have to borrow some money here and there just to get my son to school.
There have been times when I didn’t even know how my son and I would ate at night. I am a hard-working woman who wants to work and earn money, but I haven’t been able to find work.
I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve sent out. And do you know how many interviews I’ve been on? That’s right, zero.
I try to stay optimistic, but it’s not always easy. I’m just trying to live day by day. I just need support until I can land a new job. I just need your help.”
Unemployment is a devastating experience for anyone, but an unemployed single mom has different challenges that a single household does not have. This is because they are not only responsible for themselves, but they are responsible for their children as well.
Ø Start to research resources
Most communities have programs that support single parents. Research what is available in your area; from educational and training programs to job listings and financial assistance, there may be more resources for single parents than you realize. It may be difficult to know where to begin, but one way to start is by contacting your local employment center for a list of these community resources. You may also want to connect with other single moms to find out what resources they are aware of. Ask for help in applying for these community resources, and remember to be your own advocate and keep trying.
Once you’ve identified available programs or resources, apply for those that you qualify for and that fit the needs of your family.
Infact you can get money if you’re a single unemployed mother from a number of government and private granting foundations in US and Europe.
In today’s economy characterized by underemployment and low-wage work, it wouldn’t be so hard to imagine the plight of single women raising children alone.
And yet the rate of single motherhood has been steadily increasing over the past years.
Recent statistics show that in 2017 of the world’s 2.3 billion children 14 percent — or 320 million — are living in single-parent households, most often headed by single mothers. But sadly, the majority still live in poverty.
Ø Cultivate your network and ask for support
In the first period cultivate your network by connecting with those who are close to you. Family, friends, and ward members, including your home and visiting teachers and your bishop, are important resources. When they know that you’re looking for work, they can refer you to companies they know are hiring and people in their network who can help with your job search. Consider asking for help with job leads, résumé writing, and interview preparation. Don’t be afraid to also ask for support in your day-to-day responsibilities, including child care, household repairs, your calling, transportation, or whatever else you need to make ends meet and get back on your feet. If your family’s immediate needs aren’t being met, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Ø Make Your Job Search a Priority
An American Time Use Survey in 2013 shows that women who are not employed tend to spend more of their time caring for others and doing housework than nonemployed men do. Caring for your children and taking care of needed housework is important. But if you find that your days are consumed with these activities and that they don’t allow you sufficient time to dedicate to your job search, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Do what you can to maintain a routine as if you already have a job. Wake up at the same time, get dressed as if you’re going to work, and spend the time you would have spent at work looking for a new job.
Ø Take Care of Yourself
Stressful situations can take a toll on your health. Take the time you need to maintain balance and peace and to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health while you are unemployed. Eating right and getting enough sleep are more important than ever as you fill your day with activities to help you meet your employment goals. And during this potentially emotional time, make a conscious effort to address your emotions head on; don’t ignore your anger, fear, loneliness, or sadness. If needed, seek help from friends and family or reach out to professional resources. Don’t forget to continue doing the things that you enjoy and that bring you peace, and find time to focus on gratitude and service, both powerful tools to help you feel optimistic and fulfilled.
Ø Pick a path that suits you:
There are many jobs and work that you can set as a source of income. All you have to do is pick a path that suits you. There are millions of single mothers that have come to a satisfactory level of financial stage enabling them to serve their children well. I’m not saying that it’s easy find a solution, but if you stay positive you can try.
Here are some tips on what paths that are available for you. But be aware you can take a deep look into each one and make a choice of your own that you think is good for you:
1.Start working on a facility with flexible hours and day care services
2.Make your own income source by getting a work from home job
3.Take a course or degree on a field that can help you get a job that suits your lifestyle
4.Be self-employed and start your own workplace
1. Working in a place with flexible hours or day care services
The flexible hour work should be at most taken into consideration is when your child is at a stage of nursery or schooling. You might have to pick him up, go to your child’s events and be present at times for other occasions. So, if there is no one else it is better to work under flexible hours.
2. Getting a ‘work from home’ job
There are many websites that allow you to query through millions of jobs posted daily that you can start working on. You can find a good reliable employer and start working on a field you are familiar with. There are various types of jobs in online sites which you can do freely from home as long as you get the job and meet the deadlines.
Some of the leading sites are;
It’s useful on having a look at least on some of these sites and checking whether there are work you are familiar with. If so, you can start immediately to apply for it after creating an account.
3. Take a course or degree on a field that can help you get a job
You can work on online courses or do a course or degree at a nearby university. This is kind of an investment for the future job you will take. If you have some money saved up it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in improving your knowledge and skills so that you will be able to work for high salaries for a high end company. This practice would be best suited for a single mother that has time at her hand. Knowledge is power, use it wisely and you will succeed.
4. Be self-employed or start a small business
The other option is to be self-employed or to start a small scale business that you can handle while taking care of your child. You can start a beauty parlor, a saloon, a tailor shop or any other shop of your liking depending on the skill set you have with you. This would give a good financial income and will have the comfort of doing it from a place of your own.
So, What path should you take as a single mother?
It is up to you! You can decide your own pathway. You have the capability of achieving the greater good.
In summary, you should start working on a suitable job to your liking to achieve financial stability while making an investment for both you and your child and take care of your child giving the happiness he/she deserves.
There is always a way if you seek for it. Walk on the path you like and if you do not see one, create your own.
Originally published at Medium on May 3, 2018