Your priorities shift when you become a parent, and you have to forgo some things to be there for your kids. That even extends to work, where you will now need to ensure you have a job that is consistent and accommodating to make sure you can maintain your schedule as a parent.
However, not all jobs offer that. And sometimes the job that looked great on paper for a working parent is suddenly demanding more time than you have.
That is why it is important to do your research more than ever when applying, so you can spot clues of a family-friendly company. A recent article from Stacker shares some of the traits you want to keep an eye out for to determine if a company will be flexible towards you needing family time.
1. Reasonable Parental Leave
While companies do have to allow their employees maternity and paternity leave, that is often unpaid leave. However, some companies do indeed offer paid parental leave of several months. Continuing to have an income is a much bigger relief than just knowing your job will be waiting for you.
It might sound strange to those unfamiliar, but more companies are now offering stipends for employees to pay for babysitters and daycare. When the alternative could be losing that employee all day so they can watch their child, the choice to offer that benefit makes sense.
3. Medical Leave
Everyone should want a company that will allow them to have paid medical leave for emergencies, but that becomes even more valuable as a parent. With young children who could become ill, you want to know you can be there to care for them.
One positive side effect of working during the pandemic has been parents have been able to be at home for their kids while still getting work done. There is now a push to get employees back to the office, but accommodating companies should realize there will be days when parents need to be home, and that it is fine when they can still perform their duties away from the office.
5. Support Groups
Nowadays bigger companies may even offer parental support groups so parents can share information and ask for suggestions. Some jobs have even done virtual groups aimed at children to help take care of them when you are busy.
6. Fair Wages
While not specifically about childcare, the salary you are offered suddenly becomes much more important as a parent. There may have previously been positions where you were willing to grit your teeth on a low salary in exchange for being at a prestigious company with a chance for advancement. But as a parent, you need a decent salary immediately.
7. Job Sharing
Sometimes you are able to work, but not quite ready for a return to a full-time schedule. That is not always accommodated in the corporate world, but other companies will allow for job sharing. This means your role can be split between you and someone else to fill out the hours between you two.
8. Office Environment
Some companies will even be open to parents having their children in the office. The organization may have a play area, and should at the very least have changing stations located in the building.
9. Fertility Benefits
If you know you want a family, investigate the company’s medical plan to see how they help you there. Not every company will do so, but ones aimed at being family-friendly could even offer you medical coverage of in vitro fertilization.
10. Policies Protecting Pregnancy
Though it is against the law to fire someone or refuse to hire them because they are pregnant, that does not mean all workplaces will be hospitable towards pregnancy. On the company’s site keep an eye out for accommodations for pregnant workers under their employee benefits section. Some companies may unreasonably expect you to have no change in your capacities.
As a parent your goal is no longer just asking “is this role a good fit for my career?” Now you also have to consider if the role will be a good fit for balancing your family life.
For more detail on the importance of these qualities, be sure to read Stacker’s article on the subject here.
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