How to Tell If a Job Posting Is Family-Friendly

Job Advertisements Can Reveal the Company's Attitude Toward Families

man at computer with woman and baby
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What do parents want from work? There's no one answer to that question - where some parents prioritize flexible schedules, others are more intent on weekends completely free from any work, including email. But one thing nearly every parent desires is a family-friendly workplace.

How to Tell If a Job Posting Is Family-Friendly

How can you discover if a workplace will provide the work-life balance you need for yourself and your family before you take a job?

It isn’t always easy to know a company's attitude toward parents, but much is revealed in job advertisements.  

Checking out the company before you apply can save you some time putting in applications. You can ignore the employers who don’t appear to be a good fit and focus on applying for jobs that meet your guidelines.

Before you craft a cover letter and tap into your network for connections, review the job posting carefully for signs that the position is at a family-friendly company. Look for these tip-offs listed below. 

The Company Says They Are Family Friendly
Here's one easy signal: Some companies will describe themselves as family-friendly within the job posting (most likely, in the section describing the company). The company may also highlight awards and acknowledgements, such as making it onto a list of family-friendly companies.

Or, They Use Code Words
Even if the company doesn't directly define themselves as family-friendly, some code words in the job description can be very revealing, such as "work-life balance" and "flexibility." Look for a sense that the work completed is more important than time in office; references to work-from-home or telecommuting options can signal the company's flexibility toward parents' schedules.

Look at the List of Benefits
Does the job ad mention childcare, insurance, or other family-friendly musts? A company that pays for parental leave is more likely to provide support to working parents in non-financial ways as well. Look also for companies that call out IVF coverage, help with adoption, or other family-oriented perks.

Review the Responsibilities and Qualifications 
Not all moms and dads have the same definition of a family-friendly job. Consider what's important for you: maybe long hours are just fine, so long as weekends are work-free. Perhaps your top priority is avoiding out-of-state travel, and being home in time for your child's bedtime.

Match Your Schedule to the Job
Think about your ideal schedule, and then review the list of responsibilities and the description of what the job entails with an eye toward clues about hours, travel, and other responsibilities that might cut into your time with family. 

Make a list of the pros and cons to see how the job matches up to what you’re looking for. If it’s a good fit, or even close, take the time to apply. You can always investigate further as the hiring process moves forward.

See more tips for analyzing job ads: Job Listing Guidelines | What Should Not Be Listed in a Job Posting | How to Decode a Job Advertisement

Tips for working parents: How to Tell If a Job Will Be Family-Friendly | How to Achieve Work-Life Balance | Best Jobs for Parents