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Career Monday: Single Mom? Use Online Courses to Get Ahead!

Now that you’ve entered the world of single parenthood, you’ve probably realized it comes with its own set of challenges. Playing the role of both mother and father can be tough. As a single parent, you want to do what’s best for your child, but you want to continue to better yourself. But you probably feel like you only have time to do one or the other.

The good news is that you can do both! You can join the long list of single mothers who have taken online courses. What could be better than learning a skill online, without having to spend time commuting or in the classroom? Then, you can still be there for your child.

Follow these steps to get started with your online classes and begin a new career path:

1. Choose a career. Now that your situation has changed, you may need to change your career. Choose something that still allows you to spend time nurturing your child.

• When you’ve completed your studies and have secured a job, ensure your schedule allows for family time. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to be able to earn enough money to provide alternate care in your absence.

2. Watch do-it-yourself videos. The internet is one of the best resources today. You can learn how to do almost anything by watching online videos. Unless it’s a skill that requires special certification, you can build your knowledge online.

• Do-it-yourself videos on sites like YouTube can help you earn while you learn or while you’re waiting on your certification.

• Let’s say you’re interested in becoming a computer technician. You can learn quite a bit from online videos. Then, you can start small and offer the services to your family, friends, and neighbors.

3. Enroll in an online degree program. Many colleges now offer full undergraduate and graduate degree programs online.

• You can stay in the comfort of your home as you get certified in a specific skill or earn a degree.

• You can fulfill the requirements of the course by listening to online lectures, blogging with classmates, working on group projects via video chat, submitting your work electronically, and communicating with your professor through email.

• Choose a program that allows you to have flexible hours. Once you set your school hours, you can designate other time to spend with your child.

• Try to find a program that offers scholarships or financial aid. There are some institutions that offer monetary assistance for those in specific situations.

4. Use your computer to find a job from the comfort of your home. Once you’ve completed your coursework, you can start job hunting online. There are many career networking sites. LinkedIn.com is one of the most popular. Plus, almost all corporations now list job openings on their websites and most will conduct online interviews.

• It has become common practice to submit an online application. You might have to think outside the box. Is there an opportunity out of state? Go ahead and apply. It might mean a new start for you and your kids in a new location, or it may mean a great remote working opportunity.

• You can even mention in your application that you’re willing to work from home or a remote location. Some businesses are cutting down on overhead by outsourcing the work or hiring freelancers.

Being a single mother means you have to make the most of your time. When you’re the only one financially supporting your family, it’s important to find a career that will let you do that. Taking online courses is a great solution.

Online courses allow you to go at your own pace and still dedicate time to being a good parent.

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