Many moms prefer to stay at home once having a family. However, once your children are more self-sufficient and you find yourself with more and more time on your hands, you may be thinking about returning to work outside of the house . It’s normal for this thought to bring with it some unexpected emotions. You may feel guilt at wanting to leave your child to go back to work, or you may even feel excitement at the prospect of returning to your old line of work that you loved so much. Whatever your feelings about the decision, you need to do some research into how best to market the skills you’ve been using as a mom into the ever-changing workplace.
Marketing Your Mom Skills
You may think that raising your children may require skills that don’t relate to the workplace; however, many of the skills you use can relate very well… as long as you know how to communicate how you’ve used them to a potential employer.
If you have organized a car pool to and from school or various school events like field trips, you know how to plan effectively. Creating and running fundraisers for the school, your child’s scout troop, your church group, etc. or even helping to maintain a budget for the funds raised from the event can also show relatable skills. The skills used to pull off this type of planning regularly are similar to what a project manager does on a regular basis.
You probably also sit down with your kids to help them with homework every day .. Not only are you showing that you know how to be a leader and encourage others, but you have also been keeping your own language, math, science, etc. skills sharp by practicing them right alongside your children every day.
By maintaining the complex schedules of your own appointments, getting your children to school and school events, , making sure that your household has food and that it is prepared correctly and on time, you show that you can not only maintain your own schedule but that of others as well. Many top-level executives do this regularly, and have to use computer software to maintain those schedules, so if you can keep track of your family you are definitely using skills relatable to the workforce.
Volunteering at the school or even at a church, a non-profit, or other functions while the kids are in school can show that you are still able to work regular hours while raising your kids and that you do want to work. Make sure to put your volunteer experience on your resume and use someone you know well at the place you volunteer at as a reference, if possible.
Even being able to use social media effectively is a skill that many employers like to see on a resume these days. If you have been using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms to communicate with family or friends from far away about the kids regularly and know how to use them well, an employer may be able to relate that to a current job opening.
Doing Research on the Current Job Marketplace
The job industry you worked in previously most likely changed quite a bit over the years you have been away. It’s important to know just how much it has changed so you can market the skills you have been using as a stay-at-home-mom to that new industry. You will have to do some research. Job titles may have changed slightly, and if they haven’t, the job descriptions may have changed due to emerging technology or just simple restructuring of the industry.
The best way to get ground floor knowledge in the quickest way possible is to contact former colleagues that may still be working in the industry. They will know first-hand how things have changed. Invite them out for coffee or lunch and discuss your intentions to go back to work. If they are still working in a job you are intending to get back into, they may even know of a job opening at the company at which they work and can put in a good word for you for when you apply, or can let you know it’s okay to use them as a referral/reference when applying for that job opening. They may even have advanced while you’ve been away and are in a position to do the hiring and can offer the position directly.
The most important thing about getting back to the workforce after working as a stay at home mom is that you must be open to change. Your skills are still marketable but the marketplace itself will most likely have changed and you will have to learn how to promote your skills to today’s market.