If you have taken some time away from your job or career to become a mom, then getting back into work can be a daunting and anxiety-provoking thought. Even if you had a developed career and were confident in your job role before coming away to have children, the prospect of returning can be difficult for many moms to get their head around. Going from diapers, night feeds, and baby talk to a 9 to 5 job and regular adult conversations can feel strange, and the transition back into the workplace is easier for some than others.
Therefore, if you are a mom who is hoping to soon return back to work but you are worrying about it and don’t really know where to start, then don’t panic; you are not alone. It is natural for you to feel this way, and many moms feel uneasy, even guilty, about going to work and leaving their children behind. You also shouldn’t feel guilty if you feel you are ready to branch out by going back to work and are ready to reclaim some of your own life, instead of being ‘mom’ all the time. Therefore, to make this transition that little bit easier and straightforward for you, we have put together this mom’s guide to getting back into the workplace!
Be Clear on What You Want
When heading back to work after having time out to have children, it is important that you know what sort of work you are aiming to get, and what you want to get out of going back to work. Some moms want to go back to work to reclaim their own lives and to return to their career journey. However, other moms are solely going back to work for financial reasons and are happy to do their job and leave at the end of each month with a paycheck. However, it doesn’t matter what your reasons are for going back to work, as long as you are clear in your reasons.
Before applying for jobs, you should have this in mind and let it guide you when looking for vacancies. For example, you may want to look at particular organizations that are well-known for being a mom-friendly work environment, or you may want a job that has promotion and progression opportunities. Either way, by knowing what you want and being clear on it, you will find it easier and quicker to find a job role that suits you.
Update Your Materials
Several years may have passed since you were last in employment, and even if it has only been 18 months, a lot can change in the modern job market in that time. Therefore, you are going to need to spend some time updating your materials, such as your resume and cover letter. This is important as the job market is so competitive nowadays that you will need to hold the attention of a potential employer. Having an old fashioned and out of date resume will make this next to impossible. So, be sure to add something new and unique to your resume and remember that each time you submit your resume for a job application, it should be tailored to that individual role.
Develop Your Skills
If it has been some time since you were last in employment, then you may find that your skills, education, and knowledge are not as developed as they need to be to get the sort of job you would like. No matter how old you are, you are never too old to go back to school and learn new skills. Whether you want to return to a previous job role or are interested in trying to promote to a higher level, then you will likely need to brush up on your knowledge and skills.
For example, if you were working as a nurse before you took the time out to start a family, then you could consider an RN to FNP online course to give you that promotion, and something different on your resume. You can take your education and career to the next level by studying online from home alongside the other commitments that come from motherhood. Adding a new qualification to your resume could be just what your application needs!
Update (or Create) a Professional Social Media Platform
Depending on how long it has been since you tried to get into the job market by applying for a job, you may not have a professional social media platform which provides potential employers with an online accessible version of your resume. LinkedIn is one of the most popular online professional social media platforms that currently has around 400 million members from all over the world. Therefore, it is a great tool to promote yourself on, as well as getting access to potential employers that you wouldn’t usually get access to. So, if you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to get one, as you want to make sure that if ever a potential employer Googles your name, that they will find your professional social media account.
Do Some Networking
To get back into the working world, you may have to reach out to some of your old connections to see what jobs they have available. You know what they say; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and while this is only true some of the time, it can’t do any harm to know a few people in the industry you are trying to get a job in. So, get back in touch with some of your ex-employers and let them know you’re back and you’re ready for your next challenge.
However, don’t worry if you are trying out in a brand-new field or industry and don’t have any old connections from before you started a family. Instead, you can spend this time researching local networking events and meeting new people. You can also have a look online at some of the online groups that you can participate in, which will help you to keep up to date with local developments in the industry, as well as potential job vacancies. You may also find some jobs being advertised on LinkedIn, which is yet another reason why you need a detailed professional social media platform as soon as possible!
Consider Part-Time Work
If you are finding it difficult to find the type of role that you are looking for, that also fits in well with your role as a mom, then you may decide to look for some part-time work instead. This could just be a short-term form of employment to make the transition easier for you. By asking around local businesses and temp agencies, you may be able to find a job that suits your needs and interests on a part-time basis until you find a permanent full-time job. Not only does this help you make some extra money to support your family, but it also gives you something new to put on your resume. It could also potentially lead to a full-time position; you never know!
Prepare to Answer Questions Asking about Your Gap in Employment
One of the first questions that you are likely to be asked about when a potential employer looks at your resume is what you have been doing during the recent gap in employment. It is important that you prepare for this question but are also not worried about giving the honest answer. Some moms that are returning to work worry about explaining their time off, but it doesn’t have to take over your entire interview. There are a few different ways that you can go about answering this question; you could simply say that you had some time away from employment for personal reasons, or state that you had time away to start a family, but are now ready to return to work and your career.
However, some moms don’t like the idea of telling a potential employer that they have been off work to start a family in case it brings into question their reliability and availability compared to childless employees. However, a fair and experienced employer will likely have been in this situation before, so you may consider just being honest and instead focus on what skills and knowledge you can bring to the role.
Don’t Be Desperate!
Confidence is key when it comes to interviewing for a job, so make sure you go into the meeting reminding yourself of how skilled and talented you are. It will be much easier to convince the interviewer that you will be an asset to their workplace if you believe it yourself. Don’t act desperate and be ready with examples to show the interviewer how amazing you are. Make them unable to turn you away!
Returning to work after becoming a mom can seem scary and daunting, but by following this guide and believing in yourself, you will be back in the world of work before you know it.