7 Tips For Returning To Work After Having Children

4:53 PM

If you have taken time out from work to have and raise your children, you are not alone – many mothers do exactly that, and it can be a wonderful thing for both them and their children if that is what they want and finances allow. 

There can sometimes be a problem when the time comes to go back to work. This might be when the children are at school and no longer need someone in the home to care for them all day every day, or perhaps when they have left for college. It makes no difference how long it has been between the last time you worked and wanting to get back into a career; it can still be difficult for a number of reasons such as feeling out of step with how the industry has moved on, and not having a lot of experience. 

If you want to get back into work, but you’re not sure you can, here are some useful tips for you. 

You Have Experience 
Raising children is not an easy task and requires a lot of skills that you may not realize you are utilizing. You need to be organized, punctual, respectful, clean, careful, caring, strict, and many more things besides. Not only that, but you will know how to look after children, how to keep a house clean, how to cook interesting meals and so on – the things you do on a daily basis, in other words, could stand you in good stead when it comes to getting back into work. 

Don’t assume that you have no skills or experience just because you haven’t been going out to work and chose instead to stay with your children. It may simply be that the skills you have picked up are so ingrained within you and have become such a part of your routine that you don’t recognize them for what they are. Take a good step back and really look closely at the things you do every day. Which of them could help you in a job? What can you add to your resume to show off what you know? 

What Do You Really Want? 
If you had a career before you had children, you might instinctively think that this is where you need to go back to. However, although that may be the ideal solution for some, particularly if you loved your work and were extremely good at it, or found it rewarding in your life, this might not be best for everyone. In fact, you might be about to make yourself miserable because of it. 

Now is the time to look at what you really want in your life and find a career that fits around your goals. If you only want to work during school hours, or you want to work from home, or you’re looking for a job that is flexible, then you can do that. If you’re looking for an entirely new career and see this as an opportunity to finally do your dream job, go in that direction. You have time to think carefully about this and get it right. 

Of course, depending on the career you choose, you may need to obtain some additional qualifications before you can apply. The same is true if you want to go back to an old career; however, so don’t let that put you off. Online courses in MSN leadership can help you to advance a nursing career and can be done in your own time at home, meaning you don’t have to take additional time away from your children or payout for childcare. 

Start Slowly
Again, this will depend somewhat on the career path you have chosen to go back to or start on, but you may want to consider starting slowly and building up to full-time work. It can be a wrench when you go from full-time mom to full-time worker, and the difference can be overwhelming. If you can start by working two or three days a week, for example, you can then build up slowly. 

This will help both you and your family get used to you not being in the house all the time. Remember, you won’t be the only one that working is going to change things for, and it could take a little time to get into a useful new routine

Just because you start slowly doesn’t mean that you have to continue that way; when you’re ready, you can increase your hours and go back to full-time work if this is something you are planning. Or you can stick with part-time hours if that is what you prefer. 

Start Your Own Business 
It might be that there is nothing you really want to do in terms of the careers that exist out there already. It might be that you don’t want to go back to what you were doing before, or you can’t find something that will work around your commitments and offer you the work-life balance that you are looking for. It might be that you want or need to make money, but you don’t want to leave your kids, or you can’t afford childcare if they are younger. 

If this is the case for you, you do have another option open to you. You could start your own business. Although this sounds like it would be expensive and difficult, it doesn’t have to be. You can start a business on a shoestring budget and gain a lot of inspiration and advice by joining online groups and forums, or by watching instructional videos. There are many different businesses you can start, from baking cakes to making clothes or offering advice on how to de-clutter a house before selling it. You can use all the skills you have gained before and since having children and put them to excellent use in your own business. 

The hardest part of taking this route will be marketing. This is where you should spend the money if you have it to spend, but if not, there are plenty of free or cost-effective ways to market your business, social media being one of them. After a while, if you are successful and do a good job, personal recommendations will easily cut down on your marketing budget. 

Try Volunteering 
If you like the idea of working, but you’re still lacking in confidence regarding applying for the various jobs that are available, volunteering can be a good stepping stone. You’ll be helping other people, and you’ll also gain more confidence as you’ll be able to see what you can do – you’ll probably unearth a number of skills you had no idea about. 

Volunteering will also look great on your resume. When you have taken time out to have children, there will clearly be a gap in your work history on your resume. Although you can explain this – after all, the entire reason you’re coming back to work is that you took time out in the first place – it’s also useful to have something there to fill the gap just a little. It shows you are willing to work, for example. Volunteering is the ideal resume gap filler. 

There will be many volunteering opportunities in your local area, so you won’t have to go far to find something that interests you. You could: 

·      Neighborhood cleanup
·      Help at a youth or church group
·      Volunteer at an after school club
·      Help the homeless by handing out shelter leaflets, giving warm coats, or assisting in a soup kitchen 
·      Read to a blind or elderly person
·      Do hospital visits for those who have no family
·      Work in a Goodwill store

Use Your Contacts 
If you’re not sure where to start looking for work because you either don’t know what you want or simply don’t know how to go about it because it’s been such a long time, then what about your contacts? 

Over the years you will have met many people, and all of them will have some kind of contact who works somewhere – it’s inevitable. This is where you can start. Ask around your friends and family to see if there are any jobs going. If you don’t want to be specific, don’t be; listen to all the ideas that come your way. 

You might be told about a job that no one else knows about yet, or that you had never considered before. You might find that your contact is able to put in a good word for you and get you an interview. It certainly can’t hurt to ask, and it might be the best thing you can do. 

If you want flexible working ,but you see a great job that you know you could do well that doesn’t offer it (or at least doesn’t mention it in the ad), apply anyway. If you get to the interview stage, you’ve already impressed the decision-makers, so you can use that to your advantage and negotiate the package you want. 

If they really want to hire you and can see your potential, they’ll be more flexible with the work they can offer. They won’t want to lose you to another company that will give you what you’re looking for. 

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