Remember that feeling we all had when we got our first job, it was excitement followed by lots of nerves not knowing what to expect. Then we work and work and work cementing our careers, get married and then… oh dear babies and then everything pauses… Mine was slightly out of that order but none the less…
Then we start all over again but this time with so much more to consider… There is childcare, creating/ updating your resume, choosing a new job, creating a work life balance but now you have more than just yourself to worry about. They key is to plan what you want so you can make a choice that suits you and your family.
Create a plan
If you have had quite a bit of time away from the workforce you should create an action plan ensuring you are clear on your priorities and what you are seeking from your role and/or career. Include things like: what type of job you are looking for, what flexibility you need, what locations you are prepared to travel to, the location and hours of the childcare etc.
Employers are more accommodating of an idea when you seem prepared and let them know what you can do rather than what you are unsure of or can’t do.
Update your resume
Take the time to put together your resume, update it with your previous role and skills and be sure to update the skills you have learnt as a parent, things like time management, project planning, financial management or working to budgets etc.
As a stay at home parent you may have gaps in your resume and that’s ok, but the skills you have learnt at home will be transferrable to your new role, so be sure to make sure you have them in your resume.
If you are asked about gaps in your resume in an interview, explain your career break briefly, remember to keep it all very positive and then move on.
Choose what you want to do
Thinks about what it is you want to do – Do you just want to get out of the house for a few days a week and work in a role that doesn’t give you too much stress and earn a little extra cash? Perhaps you want to return to the same kind of work you did before having kids or you may be ready for a complete career change that suits your new lifestyle.
Prepare for job-hunting
Now you know what you want to do, update your details on LinkedIn, register with employment agencies and websites such as www.seek.com.au as well as parent-friendly job advertisers such as www.careermums.com.au.
Read as much information as you can on interview techniques and what type of interview questions you may be asked
Network among family and friends by letting everyone know you are looking for work. Remember that it can take a while to find a new job, but with each interview you go to you will gain more confidence.