Sunday 6 May 2018

What to Do When You're a Stay-at-Home Mum Who Wants to Go Back to Work

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When you’ve been a stay-at-home mum for a while it can be too easy to think that any career prospects you ever had have gone down the drain. Especially if you’ve been working exclusively to take care of your kids for a long time, but it’s simply not true. Whether you’ve been staying at home for twelve months or twelve years, you can get back to work and create a life that is fulfilling in terms of both work and family life.

If you’ve decided it’s time to get back into the world of work, here’s what you need to do:

Do a Self-Assesment
There is absolutely no point going back to work just for the sake of it. Don’t let anyone pressure you with their expectations. Unless you actually want to do the job or unless you really need the money, you would be better off staying at home with the kids if that is what makes you happy. So, first of all, sit down and think about what you really want to do. Do you want to go back to your old job or a similar one? Do you want to try something totally new? Do you want to do an online masters in school counseling or become a teaching assistant so you can work in school hours and term-time? Really try to pin-point your desires and then you can work on achieving those goals.

Try Things Out
It may not always be possible, but if you can try out various new careers before you make a commitment, perhaps by volunteering at a local school or doing admin for a charity to see how you go, you’ll get a greater sense of what you do or do not like and find out exactly how capable you are of doing things. It will also be an easier way for you to ease yourself back into the world of work. Over the last five years I’ve undertaken around six different volunteering roles and they have all been good for my development and confidence in different ways.

Boost Your Skills
If you’ve been out of the workplace for a while due to your duties as a mum, you may find that things have moved on a little and your skills are a bit rusty. That’s perfectly normal and not something to be worried about, but you could think about enrolling on an online course or visiting your local adult education centre to ensure that you’re up to speed. Thus giving yourself the best possible chance of getting that much-wanted job, it’s really not as difficult as you might think.

Update Your CV
You’re also going to want to update your CV to show employers exactly what you’re capable of. Don’t be afraid to use examples of your time looking after your children to illustrate your strengths because despite what many people think, most employers know how difficult looking after children can be and they appreciate the practical skills you’ve gained from that just as much as your qualifications and work based experience. Just make sure that you keep it relevant to the job role you are applying for. Don’t be tempted to have just one CV and covering letter to cover all eventualities, you need to be personalising them to each job you apply for.

Talk to the Kids
Last, but definitely not least, you’ll need to talk to your children and explain to them that you’re going to be returning to work and that might mean that you’re occasionally not going to be around when you usually would be. But remind them that you love them and though this they’ll learn that work outside of the home can be an important part of life.

Good luck getting back into the world of work, think positive and you’ll be just fine!

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