How to find flexible job opportunities
27 Mar 2018
Starting your job search can often be the hardest part, but don’t worry - we’re here to help you get the ball rolling. And the good news is that there are plenty more ways to find a flexible job than you probably realise.
Getting the most out of online jobsites
‘Needle in a haystack’ comes to mind, for many candidates trying to find part-time and flexible jobs online. There are a small number of sites like Timewise Jobs, that specialise in flexible roles, and you should keep an eye on all of them. On most other job sites you can set up a job alert for the ‘part-time’ category, although you may find vacancies few and far between – especially on industry-specific sites. And for other types of flexibility that you may need, depending on your schedule with the person you care for, you’ll need to experiment with setting up a job alert using keywords such as ‘working from home’. It’s a case of trial and error – work out which websites deliver the best job opportunities for your needs, then set up job alerts at those sites.
Don’t restrict your search to part-time and flexible jobs
If you wait for the ideal flexible job to come along, you could be in for a long wait. Take matters into your own hands! We strongly recommend you to apply for full-time roles, negotiating flexible hours if you are offered the position. More on this in our article about when and how to ask for flexibility.
Finding ‘flexible employers’
Some employers pride themselves on having a supportive workplace for carers and other groups who need to work flexibly. Do some research to track them down, and identify any employers that are of interest to you. Then follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter (many employers tweet their vacancies). And check the career page of their website once a week. A good place to start your research for flexible employers is right here on Timewise Jobs. There’s also a list on the Employers for Carers’ website. Come at it the other way too – if you’re interested in an employer who’s not on the list, research as much as you can about their track record on flexibility.
Talking of social media…
As well as looking out for vacancies on social media, make sure all your accounts are up to date and present you in the best light. Employers do check up on candidates. Not on LinkedIn yet? You need to be there! Recruitment agencies regularly use it to source candidates.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that all jobs are online these days. They’re not. Depending on the type of role you’re looking for (and especially if you’re seeking local work to make it easier to meet your caring duties), consider good old-fashioned ways of finding vacancies. Check out your local newspaper and local recruitment agencies, and look out for job ads on the notice boards of local supermarkets, schools and libraries.
Using your own contacts
Many jobs are not advertised anywhere, which can be exasperating if you feel like you’re on the outside trying to get back into the jobs market. One way round this is to use your network of friends and ex-work colleagues – which is probably far more extensive that you might imagine. The trick is to tell people you know that you are looking for work, and ask them to listen out for you. They might be able to introduce you to friends of friends or make a recommendation on your behalf. Mention your job search at the school gates or even at the doctor’s. Make and nurture contacts, invest time in them, maybe buy someone a coffee. You never know where it might lead. Remember also to be grateful to those who help you along the way.
Using the carer community
Carers will know better than job advisors what it’s like to be a carer and look for work at the same time. Coming together and sharing these experiences can often help with the burden. But your local caring community might also be a good avenue to hear about flexible opportunities in your area. Join a local group or online forum and find out how others have done it, what sort of work they do and how it helps their circumstances.
Don’t give up!
Hunting for a job can be a slog at the best of times, let alone if you have the pressure of being a carer to boot. But persevere. It may feel like a humongous task right now, but you’ll soon get into the habit of applying for roles and mentioning to friends that you’re looking for work.