Hello, Dearest dreamers!
Do you know what is one of the most common questions I find in my email?
"What kind of career or job should I pursue before I become a homemaker?"
This is a fantastic question and I'm happy that a lot of us have considered it! Most of us will not go straight from high school to homemaker, (nor do I think that is a good idea in general,) and will therefore need to have some sort of income in the meantime. We want to be productive members of society, use our time for something valuable, and hopefully enter marriage with as little debt as possible!
It's also a valuable question to consider because some of us may not find a husband until our thirties, or will possibly never get married at all. That's a lot of time to fill! Having a plan of action as to how we will support ourselves is wise and crucial to consider.
I know that a lot of homemaking content creators don't like to address this fact, but I feel it's negligent to not acknowledge that not everyone who desires marriage and homemaking will achieve it. It's like becoming a mother: unfortunately, not everyone who desires motherhood will be blessed with that journey. With that being said, I never want to misguide anyone by setting them up to fail. Therefore, it's essential to discuss this topic.
I tried to choose occupations and jobs for a wide variety of skills, interests, and talents while maintaining one or more of the following criteria:
1. Careers that teach you useful skills regarding homemaking.
2. Careers that will be flexible and family-friendly in the long term.
3. Careers with minimal education required (ie. debt.)
I chose these criteria because homemaking requires a few things: the money to stay home, a husband who supports you, and the necessary skills to make the most of it. With that in mind, I think it's good to choose career trajectories that put you in a position to avoid debt.
Most student loans are set up with the idea of paying it off throughout your career, kind of like a mortgage. If you are not planning on having a long career, hoping instead to stop working after kids, you are essentially planning on having the working spouse pay off your student debt, which is quite foolish.
I know this can happen unintentionally for a number of reasons, but if you know you primarily want to be a wife and mother, it would be a good idea to avoid debt. That extra chunk of payment could be the driving force in your marriage preventing you from staying home full time, either to get the "value" out of the degree you earned, or out of the financial bondage that being in debt may put you in.
Set yourself free preemptively by avoiding careers that demand taking on tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. I'm not saying don't take out a few thousand dollars to pay for a minimal degree or certificate, but definitely avoid taking out thirty, forty, or even fifty thousand dollars for a degree you don't plan on using long-term.
However, I believe that if someone (like your parents) wants you to study and they are footing the bill, even with the knowledge that you want to be a stay-at-home wife someday, all the power to you. Enjoy that education! Most of us are not in that position, and it would be better to work than to do extensive studies, but if you're blessed to relax, travel, and study on someone else's dime, honestly... enjoy it.
Furthermore, making your own money as a woman is a great thing to do!
It's wonderful to build skills, establish yourself, and not become too vulnerable or dependent. You want to be able to take your time in dating and not just date anyone who will "free" you from a job or the burden of working or the burden of living at home. Making your own way in the world will allow you time and freedom to meet the right man and establish your life together.
Please note that this post is not an encouragement for women to not try for careers or achieve in the workforce. If you want to shoot for the stars and become top of the food chain in your industry: GO FOR IT! Please! These suggestions only apply to people who know that they want to stay home after marriage or children, and are looking for something suitable and compatible with those goals.
Specifically, a nannying gig if you can get it, but working as an Au Pair, a live-in nanny, or even a governess or babysitter are all wonderful work for single childless women. It gives you a lot of time to learn about childcare and child development while lining your pocketbook. I plan on opening my home to watch one or two babies when my kids are grown. And if you're feeling doubtful about finances with this suggestion, I urge you to look at the r/nanny subreddit. The profession is really growing, especially since Covid, and most nannies make at least $20/hr. In general, this one is fantastic during a short phase of your life, or even for a lifelong career. I would have loved to go to the official nannying school in the UK if I had remained single and childless. It seems like a fantastic career.
These careers are fantastic when it comes to family-friendly flexibility. There is usually minimal or inexpensive education required, and a lot of wiggle room when it comes to hours, wage, and even specific services you want to involve yourself with. A lot of my friends do haircutting on the side, and having a simple degree in nails, waxing, or other beautician services is also great for working part-time after kids if you don't want to stay home full time. I've seen a lot of girls become lash techs too, and with the rise of beauty treatments and body services, it's an industry I feel is only going to grow.
Social Media Management
This was my job before quitting to be a full-time homemaker, but I also did it freelance and by contract work after I quit my full-time job. I think I would still be interested in doing social media management if I had the time, and the truth is that most companies and small businesses are looking for help in this area. I found that most companies can't afford to hire a full-time social media person, but they could contract out a few jobs or projects for graphic design, web design, or social media management on a weekly or monthly basis.
I made money doing logos and graphics for businesses, as well as offering a social media medical kit, where I fixed up Google reviews, established social media brand kids, and doctored brand image online. All this can be done from home and is a great way to use your digital skills for money. I also found that your degree mattered less in this realm than your portfolio, especially if you are freelancing or working for small businesses.
Flight attendant, concierge, hotel management, travel agent, and other things involving travel or hosting people. I think there is nothing quite as elegant as an air steward or a female concierge. I follow one woman in particular online who works on a cruise ship, and she seems to have the most magnificent life in her single era, traveling the world while working. Of course, there are risks to this industry, but the lower echelon of educational requirements and courses make this an appealing opportunity for aspiring homemakers.
I cleaned on the side in college. I got jobs mostly through Indeed.com or word of mouth on Facebook, signing up for home cleaning opportunities. I really enjoyed this work and found it simple to fit within my regular social and work life. I also found it to be quite useful in working toward homemaking because I already had all the required knowledge for cleaning my home by the time I came to manage my house. I think that if I needed to make more money even now as a homemaker, I would probably go back to cleaning as local vacation rentals always need to hire more cleaning girls.
You could also get into landscaping, gardening, or anything outdoors and physical. I have some friends who worked in greenhouses or landscaping companies before becoming stay-at-home mothers, and it was a very nice way to get ouside, use their bodies, and work hard.
Entry-Level Banking and Finance
I always had a tiny little fantasy of being a bank teller in a quirky small town where I get to interact with all the zany characters throughout the day. I still think this is a great opportunity for aspiring homemakers. Greeting customers as they bring in their paychecks and cash, handling finances, and making small talk are all skills that you apparently don't need a university degree for. I know it would be boring sometimes and there would also be unhappy customers, but in general, I think that this is a great job for a person who doesn't want a degree but still wants to make money out of high school.
I'll never forget when I was a student and was a camp counselor for a summer. We all rolled up to the camp around the same time, and one girl drove up in a Lexus. We were like... "girl, what do you do for work!?" because we were all students at the time, and she just said, "oh I'm just a bank teller for Fifth Third!" She had no debt, good money, and no kids or anyone to support but herself, and now I recently foudn out that she's a stay-at-home mom. What a win!
If you want a little bit of education, consider a two-year associate degree at a community college. There are many jobs that are available for entry-level accounting students including billing specialists, accounting clerks, payroll assistants and more. If you're interested in math and finance, anything in banking and finance is a smart job. Imagine how helpful that would be after becoming a homemaker and needing to budget everything? And on the plus side, you may meet a rich man, who knows LOL. 👀
Secretarial Work & Admin Assistant
Similarly, working as a receptionist or secretary can be a great option for people looking to do something relaxed and indoors. I answered phones and did front desk work for my dad's company in high school and during my college summers, and it was a wonderful way to make some cash. It was unfortunately a little boring at times, and I found myself scrolling Pinterest or doing busywork, but in general, it's not a bad way to make some money without going into debt.
Some secretary positions require some schooling, but others just require on-the-job training, especially if you are to answer phones or do data input for small businesses like insurance agencies, wealth management, or other businesses. Data input is a great thing to consider as well because companies are ALWAYS needing more help in this area. I almost go ta job at one point working for a lightbulb company updating their Amazon listings. Boring, but safe and easy!
Also, check out opportunities to be an assistant. Like the good old fashioned, gets-you-coffee-plans-your-kids-birthday-parties kind of assistant. Plenty of people need these, and this is a great way to be busy before homemaking! Maybe you can even marry your CEO boss. (THAT WAS A JOKE !!!)
Medical Assistant: Nursing, Dentistry, Injecting.
A medical assistant position that requires only a two-year degree could be a fantastic option for girls who are looking to have a bit of work before getting married and having kids. Flexibility will also be there after kids as well if you choose to work part-time. And if getting the ring and having kids takes longer than you predicted, you can always bump up your degree by going back to school for something more intense.
Look into working as a nursing assistant, dental hygienist or dental assistant, or even a veterinarian assistant. Plenty of medical places like the optometrist or physical therapy places need medical assistants, or even people to take blood work or administer vaccines. I know a lot of homemakers who worked as ultrasound techs before kids, and quite honestly, I don't think I could even name all the options. Do some research, but if you have a knack for health, these types of jobs are perfect.
Retail is a great option if you want absolutely NO higher education. I know that it can be tiring and boring, but it could also be a good option if you want something low-key and relaxed before homemaking. I worked at a Hollister in university, and I honestly didn't mind it. I met some great people and it was steady work.
A lot of local girls in our town work at the Tractor Supply Co. or Goodwill and seem to be quite happy bopping around and attending to customers. These types of jobs can be tough depending on where you work, but a crunchy health grocery store or even a hardware store could be a nice option while you're in a transitional phase in your life. Even better if you can work somewhere with a bit of commission, racking up some extra cash to invest in yourself and your life!
Okay, I know this might sound a little sketchy at first, and I'm really not encouraging you to go to a crazy New York modeling agency or anywhere where you'd be taken advantage of, but I also know that some of you reading this right now are BEAUTIFUL. And yes, you can get paid for that beauty. Not all modeling requires stripping down. I did some very minor modeling work in college, mostly wedding shoots, and it was very appropriate and tasteful.
If you are pretty enough to work in modeling, it might not be a bad thing to consider before homemaking. Commercial models can make a lot of money, and a lot of boutiques, wedding companies, and general online stores need models. If you've been blessed with unusual beauty, it might be an option to do commercial photography work. I've had friends take this route before homemaking and it's not a bad gig!
Insurance, Realty, Paralegal
This is similar to admin and secretary work, but a bit of a step up. A lot of gigs like selling insurance don't require more than a course for that particular company, or a standardized test. The same goes for realty, where you can start after simply getting your license. These are competitive industries and absolutely require work, but I feel it fits the criteria of not having much debt and offering flexibility to aspiring homemakers.
Furthermore, if you are interested in law but don't want to go to law school, becoming a paralegal is a great option. You can take your minimal degree and work for bigger lawyers, avoiding a lot of debt and stress along the way. Also a great option for work after kids if you want to work on the side still.
Fitness Trainer, Instructor, or Health Coach
This one didn't come to my mind at first because I am NOT a fitness girly, but I think this is a fantastic idea for women who naturally enjoy fitness and working out. It's something that can easily be done even part-time after children and is probably also a great way to meet healthy men. Become a certified yoga or Zumba instructor, or a personal trainer at your gym.
Health coaching is also an idea for anyone interested in working more on the dietary side of things without going to become a dietitian and getting a big degree. My friend does this and it's been great for her, offering her the opportunity to work from home while coaching her clients.
I know I missed a lot of ideas, like working in a library, becoming a substitute teacher, or running your own small business, but I seriously need to move on with my day LOL. I hope this post got your gears going! If you are a young woman looking to plan things out and are trying to figure things out, don't worry. It will all be okay! One step at a time.