Friday, January 29, 2010


Are you a stay at home mom who is looking to re-join the workforce? If you answered yes to this question than you might want to take some time to prepare yourself for the job hunt.

Let's face it. Today, it's almost a necessity to have both parents contributing income to keep a household going. The statistics tell us that more than 72 percent of women with a child over one year of age have returned to work; and this number steadily rises each year.

But it's not an easy situation to be in. Today's workplace doesn't really consider motherhood on-the-job experience. To be competitive, mothers returning to work have to navigate the same steps as any other job seeker, plus consider how to make their motherhood experiences work their advantage when applying for a job that others who have never left the workforce are also applying for.

But, maybe that's putting that cart before the horse. Let's first talk about how to get you started:

Ask yourself these three quick questions at the start of the job search:

1) Are you going back to an old profession or starting something fresh?

If you are planning on going back to the profession you left before becoming a stay at home mom then you might want to consider updating yourself on the new information within your chosen career field. Mom's looking to go this route also might want to consider taking a few classes in your career field to freshen up you qualifications.

If you are starting fresh in profession find something you like and are interested in. Try and find something that does not hinder a lot of stress among yourself for there will be many stresses at home when you begin working again.

2) What type of job are you interested in?

What skills do you have? If you are interested in interior design and just can't wait to tell your friends about that sale at your local fabric store, maybe retail is for you. Or, if you love being around children and were sorry to see yours go to school, look into working at a daycare. Take what you are good at and see where job opportunities lie.

3) What is important to you in the job?

Things to consider are: location of the job, the shifts required to work the job, as well as vacation and sick days that you are allotted. Also, do you need benefits? What about some sort of retirement plan? How flexible do you need the employer to be with your family time? What type of atmosphere do you require to be productive? Do you prefer working from a desk or do you need to be up and moving around?

Now that you've got an idea of where to start, take a look at what you have been doing besides raising kids for the past few months/years. Your main goal here is to assure an employer that not only have you not forgotten how to work, but also that you have been sharpening your skills while out of the working world.

Volunteer: As a mom you probably do a lot this already and just don't realize it can be considered work experience. Volunteering is a great way to build experience as well as contacts. This is also a great source of networking and can really be helpful when it comes time to land that perfect job. Consider volunteering with the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way or any number of other local and national organizations. Not only will you be impacting your community, but you will be adding to your customer service, networking, event planning and other related job skills.

Stay Active: Your child will greatly benefit from you being involved in his/her experiences at school, but so will your resume. Consider joining the PTA. Offer to hold a position on the PTA board. Become a Class mom. These things will add to your experience with adults and managing meetings, scheduling conflicts, and overcoming challenges.

Remain Well Read: One of the mistakes Returning-to-Work Moms make is skipping over the industry information readily available to them. Read everything. When your kids are napping, read the paper. When your kids are playing, read magazines related to the field you want to work in. When your kids go to bed, get online and research what is happening in your field. Find out all you can about the company you want to work for.

If you follow these tips, you will have a better chance at selling yourself as a well-prepared job candidate than many others. And, when all is said and done, you will feel more confident about your skills and abilities, which will relay in body language and tell the employer more about you than your resume.

Things to remember:

Don't get discouraged. Finding a job takes time and effort. Remember, you are competing against people who are fresh in the workforce or right out of college so the pressure is on. Prepare yourself for difficult questions. Be prepared to sell them on why they need to hire you- and back up your argument with the skills and abilities you've gained while not a part of the workforce. The most important thing is to stay confident.

Consider working part time. If you find yourself with a desire to return to work, but aren't sure what to do, consider working part time. This may be a good way to get your foot back into the working world and meet some new contacts that can help you find the job you want long term.

Are you a member of Facebook? If so check out the Tampa Employment Guide Facebook page to get even more information about searching for a job.

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