As a stay-at-home mom, you run your household like a boss. You’re great at multi-tasking, you manage projects with your eyes closed, you can handle intense negotiations, and you’re skilled at conflict resolution. You slay all day every day, but your resume doesn’t reflect all of that hard parenting work.
If you’ve taken a considerable hiatus from the business world to focus on motherhood, getting back into the workforce can feel intimidating. Your well-earned skills don’t easily translate, and you have a pronounced gap in your work history that needs explaining. If you’ve made the decision to go back to work (and by “work,” we mean a paid position because we all can agree that motherhood is an all-consuming job), we’ve rounded up five simple things to help you get started on your journey to start earning a paycheck again.
1. Keep connected
Some experts say that around 70 percent of people end up getting their jobs through networking. A vast majority of jobs are not even listed and are filled through referrals. For someone who’s been out of the workforce for an ample amount of time, it’s important to reestablish your connections and try to build up your networking muscles. Amanda Mathis, a Human Resources Consultant for Money Done Right suggests “joining associations that align with your degree or passion or joining a women’s business organization, the Junior League, or anything else that your community offers” to help you establish connections that can aid you in your job search.
2. Update your resume & Linkedin profile
Mathis also advises to update your resume and have a professional look it over. “Your first step is to have someone review your resume. Things have changed since you last had a job outside the house, and what worked for you in the past may not work for the job you are pursuing. Your skill set from your time at home can translate on your resume, and connecting with someone in your field can help you select the correct wording for this process.”
Log into your Linkedin profile and delete that half-cropped photo of you at a party years ago. Put on a blazer and have someone take a simple headshot for you so you can update your profile with a more professional look. Rewrite your headline, and filter through your skills and endorsements so that your profile is up-to-date on all the amazing things you have to offer.
3. Start small
Before jumping back in full-time, consider taking on part-time or freelance work. Jennifer Lee Magas of Magas Media Consultants advises moms looking to get back into the workforce to “look for part-time or short term positions at first.” She says, “This can be a great way to ease back into the workforce. Consider your added responsibilities that do not just get put on hold at 5 pm and dealt with them the next morning.
There is no harm in taking it slow at first and looking for jobs with a flexible schedule that may even allow you to work from home. If you are offered a job that immediately makes you feel overwhelmed or one that could jeopardize your abilities to be a good parent, do not be afraid to decline.”
4. Assess the help you’ll need
Most moms look to get back into the workforce once their children have started school, while others go back much sooner or much later. Whatever your timeline, assess what type of childcare you will need and calculate your salary requirements. Do you have family nearby that can help? Will you require hiring a nanny? Are there suitable afterschool programs that your children can attend?
Mathis also shares that it’s “easy to become desperate for a job and thus fail to reflect on the bigger picture of how this job will fit into your family’s lifestyle as a whole.” She says, “Weigh the aspects of flexibility, location, demands of the job, and growth potential before you apply.”
5. Exude confidence
There is no need to apologize for taking time off to raise a family. With the exorbitant cost of childcare and decent maternity leave options, sometimes it’s the most financially viable choice. Be honest about your career break and convey the same Beyoncé-esque confidence you do as you run your household.
It’s easy to think that not contributing financially to the household means that you are not adding value, but you are adding value, each and every day. Self-confidence is one of the most important things you can bring to a job interview, so shift your mindset and let the business world know that you’re back and better than ever!