Whether you’ve taken a break from the workforce due to unforeseen circumstances or you took time off to start or grow your family, reentering the workforce can be intimidating, to say the least. And leaving the comfort of your home and managing a career and family can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. With a little confidence and preparation you’ll be ready to climb the corporate ladder like you’ve never missed a step.
1. First things first, get your mind right. Remember stress is mental and that means you need to come to the realization that like everything else, reentering the workforce is a process. Not to mention, you’ll have to give up weekly mid-day playdates at the park, taking cookies to your kid’s class every Tuesday or chaperoning every field trip. As exhilarating as it is to sit on a bus with 30 screaming kids, you will have to find excitement elsewhere.
2. Look the part.Whether you’re starting out and interviewing or have already landed your new gig, one thing remains true. First impression is a lasting one. Now let’s be clear, I don’t suggest you break the bank, but please invest a little time and money into your wardrobe, trust me, it matters. If you’re working with little to no budget, shop clearance at your favorite stores or consider thrifting. You’d be surprised what you can find at your local goodwill.
3. Network, Network, Network! Ever hear the expression its not what you know, its who you know?! Well honey, let me tell you, it is SO true. I mean don’t get me wrong you cant walk into the hospital saying you’re a brain surgeon and you know Robert when you just graduated high school, but please believe, relationships are EVERYTHING. Make sure you CONSTANTLY cultivate them. If you’ve landed that new job, do what you can to attend a few work functions after hours, you’d be amazed how many connections are made outside of the office, even when you work with the everyday. If you’re still looking, find local business mixers to attend and talk to EVERYONE! This is a MUST.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice.How many times have you said this to your kids? Well, now its time to make good on your advice. Simply put, brush up on your skills or learn new ones. In the digital age things change quickly, so nabbing an online refresher course could make or break how effectively discuss the skill in an interview, and then make good on it.
Once you’ve made the adjustment from mommy working to working-mom, and made the appropriate contacts, give it some time. And be sure to follow up, its a key step in the job search process that people either forget or worry there are being to pushy. Do it anyway. Be patient and hone your skills. It’s an important part of the process.
As the saying goes, It’s better to be prepared and not have an opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
Have some tips for moms looking to re-enter the workforce? Be sure to share them below.