Single Working Millennial Mom: The Scariest Four Words There Are

A single millennial mom shares her struggles to find her place in the workforce

Trying to find a job as a millennial in the current economic climate is very difficult. Add a child into the mix and the task becomes nearly impossible.

As a millennial, I had no experience coming out of university and limited options in an oversaturated marketing and journalism market. And, yes, I am a single mom, which adds to the stress of most things. Having my daughter in tow has had negative effects on the stress of finding employment, but it has also had positive effects, too.

The positive aspects of having my daughter and fighting to find my dream job is that I have the best possible reason to try. I want my daughter to be proud of me when she is older, and to see the struggles that we’ve been through as a lesson that you can achieve anything if you really try. I also have to find a job in order to support my child which lights a fire under my butt.  

I see a lot of people in my generation unable to obtain employment and instead work in jobs that aren’t related to what they spent four plus years studying and paying for at university.

For a brief time, I worked in the service industry as a server after I graduated. Almost all of the servers I worked with were educated and had chosen to remain in the food industry instead of struggle through entry level professional positions with crappy pay. The service industry is enticing, and provides a pretty impressive income but the drawbacks are plentiful. It doesn’t challenge the mind or make use of your fancy degree. The hours of work were also the complete opposite of what would have worked well with my daughter’s schedule—working nights isn’t ideal when you are a single mom.

But I pushed through and kept following the career I actually wanted. I believe that having a child helped me passionately pursue my career, because I needed it for the both of us.

The negative impacts were glaringly apparent as well. I was often turned aside in interviews because I was viewed as a liability. With several people vying for the same position, my inability to work intense overtime hours or to travel lowered my consideration as an employee. I also experienced going through an internship and being turned aside as an employee because it was believed that the workload would be too stressful alongside my status as a single parent. This was disappointing to hear.

Recently, I started working in a position that has helped me forward my goals and I am very happy with the flexibility and expectations of my employer. It is incredibly important as a working single parent to find an employer that respects people who have children. It makes all the difference.

I am now considering heading into law school. Battling the working world as a millennial and a mom has brought me to the realization that there really is no obstacle that is too large for me to overcome. Every day, I learn how to navigate through the ups and downs of the professional working world while balancing the pressures of being a single mom. 

I don’t know what will transpire in my future, but for now I have hope. My desire to dream big for my daughter and I is all I need to keep on keeping on. 

Images courtesy of Kat Green

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