For many women, building a family means taking a break from a career they love and want to continue. By the time they’re ready to return to that career, they may have lost the former position, advances may have changed the profession entirely, and their references may be too outdated. All these factors may complicate a mother’s desire to return to work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
If you’re considering a return to the workforce, these tips may help.
Reassess Your Situation
Before you frantically begin searching to find the nation’s top-rated resume-writing service, you may want to take a realistic look at your situation. You can’t expect to return to your career at the same level at which you left it. After years away from the field, you’ll lack the recent experience employers value, and you may not know about technological advancements that have changed the field.
Formal schooling might not be a realistic or rational option, but taking some online courses might be a good idea. Perhaps take some refresher courses specific to your field and learn about the latest tech innovations and how they’re used by professionals in the industry. Conversely, you may want to re-evaluate if your former career is still right for you. This could be an opportunity for you to pursue an entirely new career. If you find yourself starting over anyway, why not chase a new dream?
(Re)Build Your Network
If you had the foresight to know you would be returning to your career one day, you may have maintained close connections to colleagues through the years. If the decision to relaunch your career was made only recently, you probably lost touch with co-workers, bosses, and other helpful contacts. This is the time to rebuild those relationships and develop new ones. By networking with professionals in your field, you’ll have more opportunities to learn about professional events, such as conferences and conventions. You can also connect with your local Chamber of Commerce and attend free events in your industry. Your new connections may also recommend you for new job openings, and you can reach out to recruiters. For example, if you used to work in the medical field, you could find some life science search partners to help you find a great new job.
If you’re still having trouble finding a paid position, consider volunteering with a charity or community-based organization. You can do some good while gaining valuable experience that will look good on your resume. Even after just a few months, you may be able to upgrade to a paid position. While it might be best to reserve this as a last resort, it can be a good way to get your foot in the door.
Share What You Have Learned
You’ve been away from your career for the last few years, but that’s not to suggest you’ve been kicking back and doing nothing. You’ve been raising children and taking care of your home, which is pretty hard work in itself. At the very least, you’ve learned a variety of skills, including multitasking, budgeting, time management, and mediation. All of these skills can be added to your resume and discussed at job interviews. Many employers in today’s market are aware of the burdens that parenting entails and can appreciate the skills you’ve developed while taking time for your family.
Returning to work after a long absence is going to take hard work, perseverance, and a good degree of ingenuity. While it may be frustrating to start at the bottom again, your dedication and willingness to learn will help you rise quickly. The only failure is in giving up.