For women who have taken time off from work to raise their families and/or take care of an ailing family member, getting back into the workforce can sometimes be a daunting task. In many cases, things have changed since they left. The job search landscape is different, and convincing employers that you are a good hire is not easy to do.
This is my advice to moms returning to work after an extended absence:
Include relevant work on your resume wherever possible. In the best case scenario, moms will have done part-time work and/or volunteer work in their fields to keep their skills fresh. That will be the most important information to highlight. Barring that, moms can list volunteer work. Work with the PTA or homeowners association is worth highlighting as well.
Stay abreast of what is happening in your field. You can do this by joining a professional association and going to monthly meetings as well as reading professional journals. You should educate yourself on any changes in the field so that when you go for interviews you can speak knowledgeably about current happenings.
Revitalize your network. You may have been out of the loop for some time with your network while you were out of the paid workforce. Before you jump into your job search, seek out former colleagues on LinkedIn and get back in touch with people that you had good working relationships with. These people can really help you with your job search, but it’s best to invest in them first before asking for anything.
Volunteer in your field. One real benefit to doing work on a volunteer basis is that it puts you in the environment to meet people who are in your field. In a sense, it can be another form of networking. And it gives a potential employer an opportunity to see how well you work, so that if an opening occurs, you would probably be considered. After all, the employer already knows you, so why take a chance on someone who may not be a good fit? Even if an opening doesn’t occur immediately, you have expanded your network so that you are in a position to hear about openings that you probably wouldn’t hear about otherwise. Co-workers who are impressed with your work ethic will be happy to refer you to positions that they hear about.
Upgrade your skills. If you haven’t worked in your field for a few years, more than likely you will need to update your skills. You may need to obtain a certification or take advantage of continuing education to make yourself more employable. It’s a good idea to research different job postings to find out what types of certifications or training employers are looking for so that you can spend your training dollars well.
While getting back to work after a gap in your paid work life may have its challenges, it is not impossible. There are things that you can do to get back to work more quickly.
*For professional assistance with getting back into the workforce, call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today!