6 Tips For Stay At Home Moms Transitioning Back To The Workplace
Whether you’ve been away from the workforce for three months, three years, or much more, returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom is a unique transition that has highs, lows, and everything in between. The choice is always a personal one, but it seems as though everyone feels entitled their opinion about your personal decisions.
If you’re a mom who has been raising children full-time, and you’re looking to return to work, here are some tips to manage the transition.
1. Decide what this new arrangement looks like to you. Do you want to go back full-time or part-time? Into the same career or a new one? Sometimes we take for granted that we’ll be going back to what we were doing before-kids, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you want something different. Consider all the options before you before you jump into anything.
2. Do a little self-analysis. Be honest about why you’re returning to work and what you want to get from your return. Money? Stimulation and “adult” time? Career accomplishments? Your motivations will guide your job search, so it’s incredibly important to know them ahead of time.
3. Consider flexible work options. Whether you want to return to your previous career or start a new one, workplace flexibility has come a long way over the last few years. Options like telecommuting (or working from home), flexible scheduling, part-time schedules, and freelance gigs are all open to you. What would be ideal for you given your dual role as parent and professional?
4. Consider an internship. The Today Show recently did a segment on internships for adults, the trend where companies help stay-at-home parents and others who have been out of the workforce for a long period of time get back to work through short-term assignments. The internships have two purposes - first, to help adults gain some new experience and dust off their skills, and second, to help companies identify potential employees who may have been out of the office for the last few years, but who have the potential to be great additions to the team.
5. Take time to reconnect with your professional persona. This gives you time to realize that you’re a “woman returning to work” instead of a “mom returning to work.” Your professional self is the one that should be portrayed to employers, both in your application materials and during the interview process, but it can be difficult to locate and dust off the professional-you, when the parent-you has been in charge for so long. Take some time to return to your professional self.
6. Don’t go it alone. Talk regularly with other moms who have gone back to work about their experiences and challenges. There is safety and support in numbers, and speaking to people who have been where you’re about to go will be extremely helpful in plotting your own return to the working world.
Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Content and Social Media at FlexJobs, the leading site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. Brie writes about job searching, career advice, and telecommuting and flexible work trends on the FlexJobs Blog, and she interacts with FlexJobs’ job seekers through social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.