The appearance of a child changes the lives of parents. According to stats, only one in four women returns to work two weeks after giving birth. The rest changes the usual role of a working woman to a stay-at-home mom.
Motherhood is filled with many wonderful moments. Still, a day with a child looks like a full-time job. During this time, it is impossible to be interested in professional changes or improve professional skills. Therefore, when it comes time to find a job again, there are many worries and questions. Let’s deal with them together!
Why go back to work?
Conscious motherhood gives pleasure. Under the mother’s care, the baby grows, explores the world, and reveals his potential. Enjoy this stage of life to the fullest because children will soon grow up.
Some time passes, and the stay-at-home mom thinks about the question: “Shouldn’t I go back to work?”. The reasons are different depending on the circumstances:
- Some parents deliberately stay at home until the child goes to school. They plan to find a job no earlier than the scheduled time.
- For others, it is important to combine two things: child care and earning extra money.
- Someone does not want to lose professional skills, so consider different options.
Whatever your reason for going back to work, it’s your decision. And this is the right decision. Discard doubts and prepare in advance for a job search after a gap in employment. Is it difficult? Somewhere around how to organize a move during a pandemic. Well, in a word, you can do it!
5 steps before you start looking for a job
It doesn’t matter how long your gaps in employment lasted. You will be able to find a job. And to make everything go smoothly, do not rush to dump a CV from several years ago to the old addresses. Start with the preparatory steps.
Step 1. Set your goals
Finding a new job is just the beginning of your career. Formulate your goals with the perspective of time. What position do you want to hold in a year? And in five years?
At the same time, do not forget to assess your capabilities. If you do not like full-time work in the office, then consider options for part-time work and remote work. The labor market has changed since the pandemic, so you will be pleasantly surprised by new opportunities.
Step 2. Start networking
It’s easier for you here than a novice with no experience. Call colleagues and ask about vacancies. Join professional communities online and share your plans. Update your entire LinkedIn profile with up-to-date information. If you need to refresh some knowledge, ask for tutoring. The more people in your professional circle know about you, the better.
Step 3. Work on your CV
Start by reviewing the requirements for the desired position and the CV of potential candidates. You will immediately notice the changes during your stay as a stay-at-home mom. If you haven’t written a CV in a long time, look at some resume templates. To stand out from other contenders, you can record a video to your CV. Use a webcam recorder.
Step 4. Write a cover letter
This is the first document seen by an HR manager. Briefly describe your strong skills. Honestly state the reasons for gaps in employment and your expectations from the employer.
Step 5. Build a website
The website will tell more about you than a standard CV. Post a story about yourself, your portfolio, contact information, and quality photos here. Here you can use a Windows or Mac screen recorder to show what you’re capable of by recording your digital skills on the screen and a photo editor to create some catchy visual content.
Application and interview
After the preparatory stage, it is time to move on to the main. It’s great if, despite the stay-at-home mom period, you find a job right away. But even if applications remain unanswered for some time and interviews go unanswered, don’t give up. Failures are also part of the process.
Instead of despairing, do the following.
- Be flexible with each application. Read the requirements carefully and check your CV. Each company has its rules and expectations from job roles. Adjust and personalize your cover letter as needed.
- Prepare for the interview. Many recruiters during the pandemic abandoned the usual interviews in the office in favor of video calls. Take care of the technical aspects in advance, put on the right clothes, and find someone to leave the child with during the interview.
- Analyze your mistakes. If your interlocutor does not mind, then record the screen during the video interview. Look at yourself from the side. Think about what needs to change. Next time, be prepared for questions about gaps in employment.
- Remind recruiters about yourself. Of course, you should not spam on the company’s email. But a letter of thanks to the recruiter for the time spent is just that. If during the interview you thought it appropriate to share your additional skills, do so.
- Be patient with yourself. Several rejected applications and unsuccessful interviews have not yet sentenced you as a professional. While looking for a job, take additional courses and improve your hard skills or soft skills. Look for the positive in the job search process.
To make good use of your search time, try volunteering or freelancing. This way, you will regain your skills, expand your social circle and fill your CV with fresh experience.
The stay-at-home mom is not only a forced break from work but also an opportunity to look outside and rethink your career plans. You already have experience, you can gain new skills through online education and strengthen your CV. Set a clear goal, forget about rushing, and find the best job. Good luck!
I’ve been hearing buzz about “returnships,” created just for this purpose. They are a chance for a returning Mom to test the waters, and for the employer to see if this might be a good fit. I think they are primarily in the banking industry, but I think this is a terrific idea!