Nikki Cochrane, co-founder of social media and digital training site Digital Mums, shares online hacks to help mothers find #WorkThatWorks that can fit into busy schedules.

Has the juggle of work, childcare, school runs, after-school clubs, and general running (or crawling with toddler in tow) got you thinking ‘there must be a better way’? Equally, are you a stay-at-home mum or on mat-leave and looking for a way to return to rewarding work without compromising on family life or shelling out sky-high childcare costs?

Seven out of ten stay-at-home mothers would go back to work if flexible working around childcare were an option. Over a third of working mums would work additional hours. That’s a crazy amount of talent that businesses are missing out on because of a lack of flexible working options.

Nikki Cochrane (on left in photo below) co-founded Digital Mums with Kathryn Tyler, a site specialising in upskilling mothers with in-demand digital skills helping them find work that works around their families. They offer two online six-month courses, Social Media Management Course and Social Media Marketing Associate Programme. They’ve recently launched an add-on 4-week ‘Do The Hustle’ course for their graduates including everything they need to know about building a successful and sustainable freelance career.


See Nikki’s tips for finding #WorkThatWorks

1. RETRAIN

Just because you’ve not done something before, it doesn't mean you can't. Some of the most successful graduates from our Social Media Management Course come from the most, on paper, unlikely career backgrounds. We’ve trained an ironing business owner, a solicitor, and a dinner lady. Visit the CIPD for a one-stop shop to the best training programmes out there.

2. GO IT ALONE

It’s a daunting step but you’ve given birth and, most likely, made it through the ‘terrible twos’. No obstacle will ever be as seemingly insurmountable as that. As your own boss, by its very nature, you get to work more flexibly. Facebook’s She Means Business is a great first stop for inspiration on setting up on your own.

3. UPSKILL

Rather than a complete career change, it may be that you just need to update your current skill set and add an in-demand string to your work bow. Our Social Media Associate Programme, for example, turns marketeers into social media gurus. This is an area chronically under-resourced in small businesses. Check out CIPD for a list of the best courses in your field.

4. IT'S GOOD TO TALK

Don’t dismiss the option of flexible working in your current role until you’ve explored all avenues. All employers must offer the flexible working conversation. It’s legislation, so talk. Before you do, think how to present flexible working as something that will help the business too. Suggest they measure you on the work you produce versus the hours you spent at your desk.

5. MOVE ON
Take a look at job sites dedicated to flexible working roles such as Timewise or Ten2Two. If nothing else, these websites will make you realise that the whole working world isn’t wedded to the 9-5.

6. GET DIGITAL

When you find the holy grail of flexible work, you’ll need some digital tools and apps to help manage your time. Check out Trello, a brilliant desktop tool and app to manage your tasks and time. Pocket allows you to save articles and blogs to read when you have five minutes. And, the extremely nifty If This Then That (IFTTT) has great ‘recipes’ to connect your various digital tools together in useful ways.

7. LINK UP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Working from home can be a lonely place. Take to Twitter and join in tweet chats about flexible working or scout out Facebook pages with freelancers from within the same industry. There are also great social apps like Peanut, which connect like-minded mothers together in a non-cringe way.

March 2017