Tips for stay-at-home parents re-entering the workforce
Have you spent the past few years at home as a fulltime parent? And now that your children are at school all day, are you excited to get back to work again?
Re-entering the workforce after raising your kids can be challenging. In fact, according to Kate Weisshaar in her Harvard Business Review article “Stay-at-Home Moms Are Half as Likely to Get a Job Interview as Moms Who Got Laid Off,” many employers have a bias against candidates who have taken time away from work to raise their children. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to make the process easier.
Realistically assess your skills
In her FlexJobsarticle “8 Tips for Parents to Find a Remote Job When Re-Entering the Workforce,” Jennifer Parris advises that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re not qualified anymore. However, it’s important to remember that you still have all of the skills and experience you did before you had children — plus, you’ve also developed new skills in the past few years. So, before you talk yourself down too much, take stock of where you actually stand and what your skills are. Remember that transferable skills — such as problem-solving abilities — can be just as useful in the professional world as at home.
Determine your relevant experience
Update your résumé with relevant experience that pertains to your career goal, as Kim Isaacs recommends in her Monster article “Résumé tips for full-time parents returning to work.” Think about things like volunteer work, continuing education, professional development courses and freelance work. For example, if you’re looking for a job as a project manager and you’ve spearheaded annual fundraisers for a local charity, that’s relevant experience that a hiring manager will want to see.
Take advantage of your network
Let’s face it: It’s not easy to get invited in for an interview if you have a gap on your résumé. But if you already have a contact at a company, things are easier. That’s why it’s a good idea to get the word out that you’re looking for a job. Contact people from your professional network — such as former colleagues and business connections — and let them know you’re re-entering the workforce. In addition, talk to people in your social network — for example, at your tennis club or volunteer organization — and ask them if they know of any opportunities.
It’s not easy to re-enter the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent — but it’s not impossible. With these strategies, confidence in your abilities and a generous dose of perseverance, you’re likely to soon find a position that can help you get your career back on track.