The term ‘Mumpreneur’ was added to the Collins English Dictionary two years ago, supporting the rise of female entrepreneurs who are making their careers work for their families. In June last year, the Guardian reported on the increasing number of mothers who are now self-employed or freelancing – and with the cost of living on the rise, it’s little wonder families are feeling the need to bring in two incomes.
As the option of being a full time, stay-at-home mother arguably becomes less feasible for many families, contracting offers women a flexible and financially independent career path. Whether operating under an Umbrella Company or setting up a Limited Company and going self-employed, there are several advantages to becoming a contractor – and we’re taking a look at how a career as a female contractor and mother can lead to a multitude of rewards.
Striking the balance
While women can make the move into contracting after they have children, there are benefits to taking the leap pre-maternity. Becoming a contractor before you have children gives you an opportunity to establish yourself within a given industry and begin growing your client pool before the time commitments of a new baby take over. However, from creating a LinkedIn account to networking via Twitter and Facebook, you can continue to nurture your contact list post-pregnancy – even if you’re physically absent from the world of work.
One of the major benefits of contracting is the flexibility that comes with it – allowing you to tailor your schedule around your family life so that neither are impacted by your status as a working mother. So, by taking your first step towards self-employment, you can avoid having to make the decision between being a hands-on mother and a successful career woman – but instead, make your lifestyle work for you.
One of the major factors that can deter women from entering the world of contracting is the concern over financial insecurity – but with experienced contractor accountants and industry professionals offering advice to new and established contractors, support is available throughout the sector.
Being employed by a company offers major appeal for many expectant mothers – offering them job security and advantageous maternity packages. But contracting allows women to maximise their take home pay and begin planning for a financially stable future post-maternity. Women who opt to set up their own Limited Company may be entitled to Maternity Pay – while in other self-employed circumstances, Maternity Allowance could be an option. If you’re concerned over your options, speak with an expert to find out more.
For many mothers, having a child is often overshadowed by a need to return to work, meaning they have less time with their new-born than they’d like – and post-maternity, many families struggle with issues surrounding childcare. While increasing childcare costs can make full-time employment seem pointless, contracting provides mothers with an independent income, whilst allowing them to fit their jobs around their family – potentially minimising reliance on expensive childcare.
Widening your net
Taking the leap into contracting can be a daunting prospect, but the gains can be invaluable. While becoming a mother is an incredibly rewarding experience, many women still seek stimulation in other areas of their lives – and branching out into contracting means you can enjoy a busy and successful career while enjoying time with your new family.
With contract jobs often being temporary and the need to work remotely being part and parcel of the job, expanding your reach is crucial to success as a contractor. Harnessing the power of social media channels means you can network on the move and respond to any work-related queries in a timely and efficient manner. By creating a strong social presence, you’re guaranteed to widen your reach and ultimately grow your client pool.
With a number of exciting opportunities within your reach, a step into contracting could put you on the path to a career you love – and give you a chance to reap the personal and financial rewards that come with it, whilst enjoying being a mother.
About the author:
Paul Gough is Managing Director at Intouch Accounting – bringing specialist contractor accounting services to skilled contractors across the UK.