Taking time out of the workforce to have children can be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. It is sometimes a little hard to admit, but after a few years of one-way conversations and re-runs of the Wiggles, the lack of adult conversation can wear a little thin.
Deciding to return to work can inspire a range of emotions from trepidation and feelings of guilt, through to quiet excitement. For many who have devoted years to child-rearing, the employment market may have moved on and job hunting can be a frustrating series of closed doors.
Anticipating the problems which parents can encounter when returning to paid work, can assist in overcoming obstacles, making the transition easier and less stressful for both you and your little ones.
- Upskilling and Training
If you are struggling to assimilate back into full time work, chances are your skill set may need a little refresher course. Whilst there are innumerable courses available, mature students are often competing against university graduates for the small number of jobs available.
This is where thinking outside the square may be your best chance for success. Consider less common education streams, such as airport manager courses, which can be done online or think about upskilling your current skill set.
2. Revitalize your Resume
Taking a break to rear children inevitably leads to a gap in your work history and while a year can be hidden fairly easily through some ambiguous date fluffing, two or more years can prove tricky.
This is where undergoing training or education can be of benefit. Filling in gaps with positives which will increase your attractiveness as an employee can add value to the time you spent away from the workforce.
The break from employment needn’t be addressed in your cover letter. This should be where you sell your professional experience, skills and expertise – years away from the workforce do not detract from or diminish these, they are your job currency.
3. Tap into your Experience
Running a household and caring for a baby take a good range of skill sets – respect it as such and don’t undersell its value. Many employers will be parents themselves and understand the challenges involved in child bearing and returning to the workforce.
4. Become Social
Join LinkedIn and other social media sites where work contacts can be established. Keep up with work colleagues and trends in the industry and when you are ready to return to work, spread the word through these professional connections.
Chances are, if you have a strong reputation within your field, offers will follow.
5. The Art of Interviewing
Practice selling yourself in an interview setting. The old ‘tell us about your strengths and weaknesses’ chestnut is sure to raise its ugly head at some point. Develop strong, positive responses and rehearse them so they are given confidently and smoothly.
6. Be open to lower your expectations
Technology advancements move at a rapid pace and if you haven’t kept your training relevant, it may mean picking up where you left off is no longer feasible. Starting back a little lower on the pecking order may be the best way to get a foot in the door until you are back up to speed.
7. Prepare the children for the break
Get children used to being away from you by gently easing them into daycare. Make sure you have peace of mind when working by placing them in the care of someone you trust and having a backup network of support if things go askew.
Educating yourself, keeping abreast of changes within your industry and staying relevant are the best tools to carry if you are intending on returning to work after children. Training courses can often be done online and can be worked around your daily routine.
Take this advice and before you know it you will be back in business!