A Guide to Returning to Work for Mums
For many women, having a family means taking a break from the professional environment for some time. Whether for a few months or a few years, it can leave a mother anxious and disoriented when it is time for them to go back to work.
Going back to the professional world may seem bleak for a mother who has taken a break from full-time employment to raise her children. If you are in this situation, don’t stress as we are here to guide you to get back on track.
You may feel hesitant about getting back to work and you will probably have lots of questions. You have been out of the workforce for some years and so your confidence will be knocked. You may be concerned whether your skills are still relevant, or whether the career gap could hinder you from getting a good job.We hear you and understand your concern!
I don’t believe that being a mother compromises your resume in this competitive job market. Hiring managers may have hesitations when it comes to hiring a candidate who has been out of the workforce for quite some time, but skillful hiring managers can recognise good candidates for a position regardless of their personal circumstances.
You’ve done a good job in tending your kids and family’s needs. It is now time to put the focus back on you and getting back into your ‘work’ wardrobe again!
So, here are some steps that you may want to consider as you begin your, “Back to Work”, journey.
Knowing what’s out there would greatly help you decide what to do first, when to start, and where to go. Research the positions vacant and the companies that offer good renumeration. Are there any skills that you need to brush up on, or new skills you need to learn? Create a job search plan and add it to your calendar. It may seem a little excessive but knowing all the things that you have to contend with when applying for a job, will help you keep on track.
Get clear with what you really want.
You want to go back to work, but you are not sure what job you really want to do. Returning to your previous career, might seem easier than starting over in a new role, but what about trying something new?
There are many things to consider. Start with a broad list of your preferred job options, and then you can trim these into sub-categories:
- What type of company or organisation feels like the right fit for you? Is it the service industry, merchandising, manufacturing, product development etc.
- What position you want to hold? Are you looking for a company that has promotion opportunities or you just want to go to work, finish your tasks, then head home?
The clearer you are with what you want, the easier it will be to narrow down the jobs that you should apply for, and not be overwhelmed with too many options.
Prepare your marketing material.
Marketing material? Yes, it happens to be your resume. An impressive and updated resume can make all the difference. When applying for positions, make sure you highlight and tailor fit your skills to the position the company is looking for and if you want to be a game-changer, you could develop a simple website for your professional bio and resume. There are many online platforms that can help you build a modest, yet professional website.
Sharpen your professional skills.
After having time away from the workforce, we can fall into a more relaxed lifestyle routine. To return to work we need focus on being job ready. Looking at the skills that employers require for the positions you are interested in is a good place to start. Be strategic in highlighting what you have and what you are lacking. You can either take a class for a specific skillset or read some articles online which could help you gain familiarity of the ins and outs of the position you are going for.
Get out there and build your network! These days it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. Start reconnecting with network and socializing by going to industry meetups and events. Ensure that your social media profiles are up-to-date and will not spark any doubts from possible employers.
Do not underestimate the power of socializing.
Get that confidence back.
This may be the last step, but it is critical. Being out of the workplace for a while and going through the whole process of searching and attending job interviews again can be nerve-wracking. For many new mothers getting back into full time work is one of the hardest parts of their career.One can have mixed feelings and can feel insecure and unqualified compared to the next candidate. Hiring managers can sense a lack of confidence. It can come through in your cover letter, resume, handshake, posture, or your tone. The best way to fight this, is to have a real and clear reason why you are returning to work and to really understand the value that you will add to the organisation.
You don’t have to do these things alone. Get in touch with us today to learn more tips on how to get that mojo back.
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
—Sophia Loren, Film Actress
If you are a mum and you are having a difficult time adjust to your new workplace or returning to work, then reach out to The Conscious Room today.