Are you home with children at your feet, braying for your attention? They’ve become your full-time job. So how could you ever go back to a career? Returning to work after a long period can be daunting for a stay-at-home parent. The entire process of going to work after becoming a mom starts with one thing, your mindset.
The first thing that you have to get over and combat is this thing called mom guilt. For some reason, there is this temptation to feel guilty for being a working mom, as if you are supposed to pick one or the other. You have to pick either being a mom or working. You don’t always get to pick. I’m sure you love being a mom. But “mom” is not your only title.
How to Find a Job as a New Mom?
Before you became a mother, you were just you. You went to school and did your own thing. Being able to do your own thing is what gives us an identity. We have this feeling of “Who I am.” And that’s what you need to develop as a mom, figuring out “Who are you outside of motherhood? Who are you outside of changing diapers? Who are you outside of making sure meals get on the table?” What ignites? And here’s the thing: you need permission to step into that. Always remember that you have permission to be the person that excites you, and there is no guilt.
So, how does this process of going back to work begin? Now, even if you are a new mom, you have probably been outside the workforce for a while. Dealing with the whole pregnancy, giving birth, caring for an infant, and then a toddler. This is about three years of not working (and by the way, being a mom is a job. Raising children is not a “break.”). You must find ways to start balancing work and life now that you are reentering the workforce.
Finding The Right Path For You
Going back into the job market after a multi-year absence is undoubtedly much harder than a simple job switch; you have that big resume gap between thinking about as well as asking yourself where you want to enter the job market again. That’s the first thing to ask yourself; you might want to enter the same field you were in. That is the easiest because then all you have to do is address the resume gap, but that’s not for everybody. You might want to move into a different field. Lastly, you also have the option of working for yourself.
After you become a parent, your priorities shift. You might want to enter the job market full-time again, or you might want part-time work, or flexible hours might suddenly matter to you much more than they used to, or a location might matter to you now. Many moms find it highly appealing to work from home, and there are plenty of resources. For example, finding a remote job through Lensa or other online job and career websites.
You also want to ask yourself what intensity of work you want to be doing. Do you want to get on that career ladder again where you have a challenging job, where you are striving and going after promotions, or do you maybe want something a little less challenging and stressful?
Once you have figured all that out, you must ensure that your resume is up to date and looks friendly and professional. Here are a few resume tips to help moms reenter the workforce.
Renewing Your Resume
Don’t Hide The Gaps
So when it comes to your resume, a good tip is not to attempt to hide the gaps or the times you’ve been away. For example, if you have been a stay-at-home mom or an anchor parent for the last few years, that’s fine; just make sure you’re not trying to hide that. There’s no point; hiring managers and recruiters don’t appreciate having to hunt around on your resume to look for it.
The best way to go is with a reverse chronological resume. This means that your most recent job should be listed at the top. To reassure you, moms out there, so many people have had gaps for so many different reasons. It’s not that big of a deal and is way more common than you think. So, no need to hide it.
Don’t List Stay-At-Home Mom As A Job
Another tip is, don’t mention anywhere in the resume itself why you haven’t been employed for whatever number of years. What I mean by that is, don’t write in your summary that you are a stay-at-home mom. This is not the place for it; nobody cares in this particular spot. Though, you could very briefly mention it in your cover letter or if you’re writing a personalized email to somebody.
Update Your Skills
Do take an online course or start doing volunteer work. This will allow you to have something up-to-date on your resume. This is such a valuable tip that often tends to be underplayed. If you have not been working outside of the home for 3, 7, or 10 years, whatever the case may be, this is a great time to try and improve your skills.
You can take an online course, and there are free ones called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). That’s a great thing you can list on your resume, especially if it relates to your field or there are transferable skills. In terms of developing you as a leader, it can be beneficial to have navigated several different areas of your life that come naturally to mothers. For example, suppose you’ve ever worked anywhere near a parent-teacher association. In that case, you get to experience the politics of organizing events and navigating numerous people.
Get It Proofread
The final resume tip is to share it with somebody you trust to proofread it. I know you’ve heard this before, but it does make a huge difference. You can share it with someone who works in your industry, maybe your old buddy from the office, ask them to have a look at it for you or a friend who’s good at proofreading.
Being a mom is not easy. Pairing that with a career makes things even more complicated. You have to make sure that you are giving 100% to your kids and 100% to your job, and throughout that, you still make time for yourself. Reentering the workforce after having a baby is very challenging, and it can be scary. At the start, you might struggle to keep your career alive while still being a mom.
Just know that being a mom is already the most challenging job out there, so no matter what comes next in your career, you are fully capable of succeeding.