Did you decide to take time off of work to care for your kids? Are you ready to get a job? Returning to the workforce after some time can be daunting, but we’ve got a few tips for stay-at-home parents to go back to work.
Remember, you can find the right job for you and your schedule. And while compromise is sometimes necessary, it isn’t mandatory. You just have to make sure to do your proper prep work and research.
Determining Your Career Move
The first step for stay-at-home moms and dads going back to work is to determine how to do so. There are tons of jobs with various schedules and requirements.
Whether you've been out of work for a few years or over a decade, you should know what you want to do next.
Choosing an Industry
Before you look for jobs, consider what industry you want to work in. If you had a job before staying home, you may want to work in the same field. Or you may want to try something different.
Think about what interests you and your current skills. Don’t undervalue your qualifications, even if it’s been a while since you last used them.
Full-Time vs. Part-Time
Another consideration is if you want to work full-time or part-time. Full-time jobs can be great for parents of older children who are more independent. But if you still have a toddler or an elementary schooler, you may want to work part-time while they're in school.
Some stay-at-home parents go back to work temporarily. If you don't want to commit to working long-term, a temporary job can be a good way to dip your toes back in the working world without jumping into the deep end.
Polishing Your Resume and Cover Letter
Once you decide what type of job to apply for, you should update your resume and cover letter. Your resume can show how good a fit you are for a job, and you can use one even with a gap in employment.
In both your resume and cover letter, you should be honest about your work history. Don't lie about being a stay-at-home mom or dad. In fact, LinkedIn recently added ‘stay-at-home parent’ as an occupation option. This may seem appealing for some, but there is some controversy on it.
If you don't want to highlight the gap in work, you can use a functional resume. Then, you can focus on your skills instead of your work experience.
Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter
You may also want to create a few resumes and cover letters. That way, you can tailor both of them to the individual job position.
When you do this, you can change out your objective or include different skills. Creating a few cover letter templates will also save you time in the long run.
Brush Up on Your Skills
While leaving the workforce to care for your kids can be great, you may lose certain skills. As you update your resume, consider going through a certificate program or another type of training.
Then, you can make sure you have relevant skills that will help you in your next job. You can find programs through a local community college or online.
Networking and Social Profiles
Networking is an excellent way for a stay-at-home mom to return to work. You can meet with people and companies that may have positions available or know of other open jobs.
Updating your social media profiles can also help you network and put yourself out there.
Update Your Profiles
You should update your LinkedIn profile to reflect that you're looking for work. Instead of saying that you're a stay-at-home mom, you can say you're entering a particular field.
If you have a website, you can also update that to include your job search or ideal job. Then, you may receive inquiries from people who view your site.
Go to Networking Events
While using LinkedIn or a website can help you grow your network, the best way to meet people is at a networking event. You can prepare by printing off some business cards with your contact information.
Try to talk to as many people as possible and explain what you want to do. Ask people about their work and consider how you can help them. Then, they may be able to help you find a job.
Prepare for Interviews
Another crucial step for helping stay-at-home moms and dads go back to work is to get an interview. When you get to this part of the application process, you will need to prepare.
Research the company more to learn about its mission and values. Find some common interview questions so that you can start thinking about potential responses.
Here are a couple of things you can do before an interview.
In addition to preparing for what to bring to the interview, you can also find a lot of common interview questions with a quick Google search. Then, you can figure out how you might answer them. Don't create a script because that won't be natural, but you can think of points to cover.
Be sure to also practice how you might explain your gap in employment. Show that you're confident in your decision to stay home for a while but that you also know you're ready to get back to work.
Determine Your UVP
Your unique value proposition (UVP) can be crucial when there are other great applicants. A good interviewer will ask you what makes you the perfect fit for the job.
Consider what makes you unique and what skills you can use to benefit the company. Then, you can know what to cover when an interviewer asks you about those things.
Being a stay-at-home parent can provide you with a lot of skills, such as time management and organization. You can bring those skills up and cover how you can use them on the job.
Are You Ready to Go Back to Work?
The right tips can help prepare stay at home moms to go back to work.
You may need to explain your time off from work. However, you don't have to stay at home forever. It may take some time and courage, but you can start a job you enjoy in your dream field or at your dream company, even after some time at home!