Single Parents Getting Back on the Career Path: Anne's Story

Author: Bette Miles-Holleman

Single parents, with or without college degrees, have a particularly difficult time juggling work and family responsibilities. Throw unemployment into the mix, and things get crazy.

Anne Heerdt, a 43 year old mother of three, teacher and retail sales associate, has been looking for full time job in her career field for over three years.

She finished her Masters degree in Education in 2006. While this has made her more marketable in her field, she has still not found a permanent teaching position.

“There are postings, however there are tremendous number of applicants...offerings for preschool teachers, part time Teacher Assistants, and other jobs that are not full teaching jobs.”

Anne is still considering more education to help her find the teaching job she wants. “I would add more specific education such as working towards my special ed degree in a program that would allow me to teach at the same time…I am interested in my ELA (English Language Acquisition) certification and several districts offer that as part of employment…”

Many people take on one or more part time employment positions until they can find a job in their field of work. To that end, Anne has taken other work outside education to help make ends meet.

“I have a full time job at a major retailer where I inch up the pay scale. I have been there 3 years now and run the photo lab. I sub on my off days. For awhile, I had three jobs because I was also grading the writing section of standardized tests for a national temp service.”

What’s Anne’s advice to those with specialized training on the job market?

“Don't take it personally and keep talking positively to people you know. You need to express that you do need a job, but not in a way that is negative so they will not call you back or want to talk to you. Don't make every conversation about job seeking, since often people do not have the power to give you a job anyway, but it can build connections.”

Bette Miles-Holleman is a retail merchandiser, customer service analyst, model and stylist with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry.

She is also a wife, home school mom of 5, and a Squidoo evangelist.

In her spare time, Bette writes, knits, teaches, cooks, sings, lives and loves on the West Coast of the USA.

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