Coding Profession and Parenting

tamminj

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Hello,

I would like to find out if coding is a good field if you are raising a family. I know you can work from home, part-time and full-time working as a coder. Also, how would you adjust your work schedule during the summer? I need a profession where I can have some flexibility. Thank you in advance for all those who respond.


Thanks
Tamara
 

Pam Brooks

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I think it depends on where you work.

If you work in a small private doctor's office, you might not have much flexibility. They typically work M-F, 8-5, and often carry such a small staff that flex hours aren't possible, but it depends on the practice. Remember, people need medical care year round, and depending on what specialty you work in, the practice might get busier in the summer months (think orthopedics).

If you work in a hospital setting, know that it's a 24-hour a day, 365-days per year business. That sometimes means that you can work off-shifts, but it depends on the management. I offer flex hours for some of my staff, such as working 4 ten-hour days and getting Fridays off, but nobody gets the entire summer off. Employees with little kids need a childcare plan and a backup plan, or they run the risk of having problems in the workplace if they have lots of missed time because of childcare issues.

Working from home is typically something you can do if you have several years of experience , but you often have to produce a certain amount of work during a specified time frame, and can't always dictate when that time frame is. Plus, you must be able to replicate a professional office space within your home that you can lock and keep confidential patient records from the eyes of others. It's challenging work that you have to be able to concentrate on....not while tending a fussy toddler. A lot of coders I know who work from home schedule their hours in the evening when they can concentrate without interruptions.

For me, it has always been a 40 hour a week job, year round. My kids were in daycare and summer recreation camp. During the early years, I was lucky to get 2 weeks vacation and by the grace of God, my kids turned out OK! I don't consider this a 'great' field if you are wanting to be a SAHM, unless you work very part-time. It's a great career if you want some financial stability, challenging and steady work and if you're lucky enough to work where they offer flexibility.
 

tamminj

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Thanks Pam for giving your experience as a parent and as a coder. I recently had a new edition to our family. Know we have a 16, 13, and a 5 month old. Its been pretty interesting, but joyous experience.
 

cordelia

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Pam nailed it perfectly. I would also add that longevity with an employer can also allow for flexibility. I have worked many places over the years and many employers will reward the hard work and dedication of an employee by allowing them a more flexible schedule. This can be hard to come by when just starting out.

Cordelia, CCS, CPC
 
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