Returning to work after time off to care for small children can be scary. If you’ve been away from the workplace for a while, you might feel nervous, worried about whether your skills are rusty, or just sad about having less time to spend with your children. I remember thinking that some of my colleagues were acting like my children at times! If you’re planning a return to work and not sure where to start, try some of these tips to help you.
Assess Where You Are
Assess where you’re at right now. Ask yourself if you’re just an unemployed person. The answer is no, you aren’t. As a parent, you’re already doing a job. It’s easy to feel as though you’re doing nothing professionally, especially as you aren’t getting paid, but remember that motherhood is full-time work and hard work too.
If you weren’t doing what has to be done for your kids, the world would have no future to look forward to, so you shouldn’t sell yourself short. You haven’t been doing nothing. You’ve been busy with something that’s important to society as a whole.
What Skills Has Motherhood Taught You?
Motherhood will have taught you a lot of new skills. Rushing to get all the kids to school, sports practice, play dates, or doctor’s appointments? That’s time-keeping. Making sure everyone has the PE kit and their homework is organizational skills. Helping other parents to arrange carpooling is teamwork. Are you connecting with other mothers? That’s networking.
All of these are skills that are desirable in an employee. When you interview for a job, whether you’re using an urgent care physician job search board or retraining to be a florist, remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to talking about what you’ve done in a paid situation. Think about the things you have had to learn in order to be a good mother and find a way of putting these skills into work-speak.
Job experience is essentially just about providing proof that you are able to what the job requires of you, and all the things that you’ve done as a parent can be used to show how competent you are if you find the right way to present them.
Reduce Your Isolation
When your children have started school, you have free hours, so use these as a window of opportunity. You don’t need to jump straight back into the world of work. Instead, you could volunteer to get you out of the house and into a group of people working together.
After a few too many days of wondering whether you’ll ever talk about anything but cartoons, dolls, or Lego, volunteering with adults can help to restore your sanity. It also looks great on your CV, showing that you’re driven and active.
If you with other volunteers, you can meet people who can give you up-to-date references, which is very helpful when you start applying for jobs. It can be a way to build up the start of a professional network.
Find something you care about and volunteer your time to stand out from other applicants.