Talia Jansen is mom of two who returned to the workforce after several years as the Chief Household Officer for her family. She focused on raising her young children and off ramped from the world of work but she successfully re-entered after several years away and has great wisdom to share. Thank you, Talia for contributing this blog.
After you’ve raised your children, or if you find yourself an empty nester, you might find yourself at loose ends. So many years of having a million things to do all day and all of a sudden, that work disappears. It’s just you in the house with no kids to focus on. Not everybody wants to go back to work, but some mothers decide to jump back into the workforce. It’s a good way to spend your time doing something rewarding and to earn money, but the re-entry can be very daunting. When you’ve been out of work for a long time, you might find it a lot harder to jumpstart your career. The job market is competitive and the way that people apply for jobs has changed drastically since the last time you were officially employed.
Nowadays you’re going to have to go through online assessments and applications before you even get a chance to interview. Having a gap in your employment history can work against you because relevant experience is very important to employers. They aren’t as willing to take a chance on people and they’re asking for years of experience in a similar role before extending a job offer.
I’ve probably scared you a bit and you might be thinking that you’ll never be able to get back into the world of work after taking a career break. Don’t worry – it’s still possible. There are ways to get your foot in the door. Consider this advice and choose the right jobs wisely and you can find yourself working again.
Confidence is a very important quality, especially when it comes to job interviews. If you don’t come across as confident then you’re not going to land that job. The problem is, when you’re starting out on the back foot because of your career break, it can be difficult to be confident. You’ll be nervous about the fact that your competitors have more recent experience than you but you can’t let that put you off your stride. Just because you don’t have recent experience it doesn’t mean that you don’t have relevant skills. Don’t downplay your previous work experience just because it was a long time ago. Make sure that you play it up as much as possible. If you’re worried about lack of experience, talk about your comprehensive and transferable skills instead.
Use Your Experience As A Mother
You might not have experience in the workplace, but you’ve got the best life experience there is; being a mother. It’s the hardest job in the world and you managed that so you can do anything that you put your mind to. The skills you learned as a mother can be transferred into the workplace so make sure that you bring them up in applications and interviews. Crisis management skills are a big part of being a mother. Dealing with difficult situations on a tight schedule is just part of your day-to-day life. Compared to that, the crisis situations that you’ll deal with in the workplace will be a piece of cake. Those crisis management skills will equip you for jobs like nursing so consider an online RN to BSN Degree Program to get the right qualifications first. The level of compassion that you show as a parent is also a great skill to have when it comes to nursing.
Time management skills are another important skill you employed as a mom. Any job out there is going to want people that can organize their days to be efficient and productive. Raising children prepares you for that incredibly well.
Dealing With The Gap
The big gap in career history is the biggest worry that people have when they’re trying to get back into work. It’s always a worry that employers will discount you as soon as they realize that you haven’t been at work for a while but that isn’t always the case. Some people will and you’ve just got to take it on the chin, but if you present it in the right way, it won’t be an issue for employers.
You’ve got two options when it comes to your resume. The first thing to do is to skirt around the career gap altogether by avoiding doing a chronological resume. Instead, do a skills based resume where you highlight all of your attributes and put your job experience in the relevant places, rather than listing all of your jobs with the dates. This makes it easier to get to the interview stage where you can explain properly. Having the chance to tell your potential employer about your career as a parent in-person makes it easier to put their mind at rest.
Your second option is to be completely upfront about it. Put it on your resume with the rest of your job history and make sure you list all of those great skills that we talked about earlier. Some employers will be put off by it but you’ve just got to deal with that. However, other employers won’t mind and they’ll respect the fact that you’ve been upfront with them about it.
Use Your Connections
All of the problems that you’re having getting work will go away if you’ve got somebody to vouch for you. If somebody that an employer trusts recommends you, they’ll be more likely to overlook the fact that you’ve taken a career break. That’s why it’s a good idea to use any connections that you might have. Ask friends and family if there are any job vacancies where they work that they could put you up for. It’s also a good idea to stay in touch with the people you used to work with before having kids. You never know how useful they could be down the line when you’re trying to find a new job.
Getting back to work after a long career break is difficult, but not impossible if you put your mind to it.