Entering The Workforce After A Baby
Even if you've always been very good at making difficult decisions, trying to decide whether or not you're ready to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mom is a toughie. Part of the reason the decision is so formidable is that it involves both cold hard logic and soggy-eyed emotion: you may need the money or the social interaction, but it sure is hard to tear yourself away from the baby and your home.
Look Before Leaping
Taking a good hard look at yourself is the first step to take before you make that foray into the help wanted ads. You need to figure out if going back to work is the right path to take. Start by looking at your family's minimum financial requirements. Next, make an honest assessment of the type of salary you'll need to make after taking off the costs you'll incur by going back to work: transportation, taxes, work clothes, childcare, and prepared foods, for instance.
The logical next step involves the logistics of what it will mean to your family for you to go to work. You will need to consider how your family's schedule and the availability of daycare work alongside your chosen field. What type of shift would work with your family's requirements? How many work hours could you fill each day? If you will need to travel, how would you work this so as not to create a huge disruption in your family's lifestyle and schedule?
Aside from your personal assessment of your needs and the needs of your family, you need to take a good look at yourself with the eyes of a prospective employer. What are your weaknesses and how can you correct them? What can you do to increase your marketability?
*Don't apologize for the gaps in your resume. Being a mom is an important job requiring many disparate skills
*Make sure to include volunteer work on your resume to show you have on the job proficiency
*Make more than one resume, each with a focus for a particular job, if you have multiple marketable strengths
*If a potential employer wants to pay for your tuition, don't be afraid to further your education and training
*Practice your interview skills until you feel confident
*Get a tailored suit for interviews
*Don't neglect to network with your children's friends' parents. Think of them as an untapped resource for job opportunities and references
*Find a good employment recruiter to help you find that dream job
*Use job interviews to push yourself as a good prospect for employment, but avoid discussing motherhood or your concerns about your kids and their childcare.
The next part of the challenge is in preparing your kids. Talk to older children about your decision, how it will effect their lives and the amount of face time you can give them in future. Let them know you'll make time for them, and then make sure you follow through.