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How Can Stay-at-Home Parents Return to Careers in Today’s Job Market?

How Can Stay-at-Home Parents Return to Careers in Today’s Job Market?

Due to the economic crisis, the job market is flooded with people seeking employment. Some may have been employed by the same company for many years and others may have just graduated and started their first job or are even still looking for it. So what can you, as a stay-at-home parent do when you want to launch yourself back into the workforce? How can you compete?

Here are some steps for How Can Stay-at-Home Parents Return to Careers in Today’s Job Market:

Step 1: Get Organized
There are several challenges when faced with returning to the workforce. The first issue is how you will handle the responsibilities you have at home? Are your children old enough to be alone or do you have to arrange child care? A parent choosing to return to his or her career needs to carefully plan and organize how their household will run under this very new and different situation. This is important for the family, but also important for a successful career. Without having backup plans and strategies to deal with things like illness, holidays, half-days, the summer months, and extra-curricular activities, situations may arise that make you look unreliable and distracted.

Step 2: Launch Your Job Search Properly
There’s plenty of competition out there, so your job search materials need to be impeccable. Update your resume and have someone review it, preferably a professional resume reviewer. You’ve been out of the workforce for some time, so be sure to include ways that you’ve kept skills up-to-date if you can. Volunteering, part-time work, organizations, and classes all show that you’re ‘work-ready’ even if they aren’t exactly related to your profession. Today, job-seeking is probably different from the last time you were out there. Now being ‘out there’ means being on the Internet.

Get a LinkedIn profile, distribute your resume on job boards, and search for jobs online. There are opportunities to connect via industry and geographic location. For instance, if you’re looking for jobs in Philadelphia, you can post your resume on a site like that zeroes in on your desired location. When you apply for a job, be sure to tailor your cover letter (and resume) to highlight how your skills meet that specific job’s needs. Most importantly, network, network, network! Let everyone you know – family, friends, previous co-workers, acquaintances – that you are looking for a job.

Step 3: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Yes, you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, but you probably haven’t lost your work ethic, ability to learn, or reliability. If you were good at what you did before and were a hard-working, reliable employee, there’s no reason why you won’t be again. Take this attitude into your job interviews. If you don’t show that you’re confident in your abilities, how can an employer be confident about hiring you?

Sometimes it isn’t enough to tell ourselves, ‘I’m good enough!’ A great way to genuinely build confidence is to beef up on your career and industry knowledge. Read industry trade magazine, blogs, and news. Read books. Doing this during your job search will also have you ready to converse about noteworthy topics when they come up. Preparation boosts confidence and eliminates nervousness. Most job seekers get nervous that they’ll be nervous on the job interview. Preparation is your safeguard against the jitters – prepare by gaining knowledge (about your industry and the company you are interviewing for) and prepare for possible interview questions. Do you have good answers for your absence from the workforce and how well you’ll be able to perform returning to it? Don’t let an interviewer catch you off guard.

Step 4: Don’t Give Up!
Your employment opportunity will come. Will there be people who choose to pass on you because of your gap in employment? Probably. But if you follow the first three steps, and you’re determined to restart your career, there will be employers who see your value and dedication, especially if you’re able to effectively show your value to them. Soon you’ll writing a brand new chapter in your life, one where you’re proud of your current, professional accomplishments as well as the previous, personal accomplishments you experienced during your time away at home with your kids.

Go get ‘em, Mom and Dad!

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Filed under:Career, Coaching, Job Search

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