It wasn’t going to be easy, but this mom survived the odds. Here are 3 tips to remember when returning to work after a career break!
After having spent over 3 years caring for my little one, I realized it’s time to step out again. Going back to work after a career break can be tough in the current climes. I was already working from home. Three years that were completely dedicated to nurturing a child were also spent well discovering new avenues, such as managing content for a beauty blog, and later founding my own blog. That’s exactly how The Champa Tree was born. Having said that, I was obviously not giving myself enough time. In between cleaning poops and preparing meals, I was taking work calls. Besides, there was absolutely no social life and things were changing in the outside world. So, obviously, when I decided that it’s time to also take up a full-time job, one of the toughest thing to deal with was building up my confidence to apply for jobs. I was told all sorts of things, such as -it won’t be easy, the resume reflects a break, who cares about your blogging experience, what about your little one? So on and so forth! So, imagine, someone who is already so jittery, not-confident, unexposed to the outside world (specially- corporate) for years, what is going to be her plight after having to hear all this?
But, ladies, you need to think about the experience you already have, both in work and outside work. For instance, I didn’t underestimate my capabilities for a second. With the leading parenting blog up my sleeve, I knew, it could be a wonderful add-on to my resume. Moreover, I’d built up a raft of skills as a parent which are useful in the workplace, including time management, communications skills and patience. So, we mommas have nothing to fear!
My experience says that when starting to apply for work, one must have her focus in place. Think of targeting the sorts of jobs which suit you, kind of hours which will work seamlessly for you. Also, flexible working hours to start with is not a bad idea at all. You may think you can only do a few hours a day when with flexi-hours and home-working you might be able to take on more. Flexible working is all about negotiating what is right both for you and the organization you work for.
Here are a few tips for moms who are starting work after a career break. Hope this helps!
1. Networking helps:
Tap your networks, including friends, family and former employers/colleagues. Go online on social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Many jobs are advertised this way nowadays. If you are contacting an employer who doesn’t know you, you could request for a short-term project so that they can see what you’re capable of. In my case, I ended up joining the organization I’d worked on a freelance basis with during my work-at-home days. They knew my work well. I knew their expectations. A clear understanding was drawn. The best part is that when we approached each other, the deal was inked without wasting much time on reference checks, etc. Like me, another new momma was looking out for a job and she found just the perfect one within the 5 km radii of her house. It was through friend’s friend who was going on her maternity leave, and was looking to fill her place for 6 months. The arrangement worked amazingly well, because my friend was only wanting to try out with a contract-to-hire arrangement.
2. You may want to start on a flexi-hour mode:
Try companies that specialize in offering flexible work, like Blogmint, which works with employers who are keen to blog. Also, have your research in place. What kind of work-field would interest you? What kind of sectors are the the best ones to work for in terms of flexible working. Don’t ever ignore HR policy and check out issues like their attitudes to flexible working. Talk to people who work there, if you can, as this will give you a better idea of whether policy translates into practice.
3. Build an online presence:
Spruce up your social media accounts, update information on your LinkedIn account and create a reasonable amount of online presence. Social media is inevitable in this time and age. Don’t just look so outdated when you are out in the job market. You can use social media to reach out to your old connections and let them know that you are looking for opportunities. You can also keep yourself updated with the industry news and trends.
And one more piece of advice- don’t underestimate yourself. Job hunting has never been the most pleasant experience in our professional lives. It is trying time, especially so if you are getting back into the workforce after a break (a well-deserved in the case of new moms). So, be confident of your skills. Have your support-system at home in-place, and go out with a bang.
Wish you all the luck, mommies!
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