It can be pretty scary trying to get back into the job market after staying home to raise your children. For so many years your most important job was the well-being of your children. And to many, this was and will always be your most rewarding job.
You might feel as though you can’t compete in a working environment with others who have been there longer than you.
However, keep in mind that life’s experiences can always be helpful and relatable to many job requirements.
One of the first things you need to do is write your resume. Thinking about what to put on that resume might seem like a daunting task.
If you compare your professional accomplishments with someone who has remained in the workforce, you could be concerned that you have no accomplishments to put on your resume.
There is no need to worry. First of all, there is a type of resume called a “functional” resume that focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history.
If you don’t know what a functional resume looks like, by using a resume template, you can see different samples of design and formatting styles.
All you have to do is pop your information into a pre-defined style and format, and you are well on your way to an amazing resume.
What are Your Skills?
You probably have many valuable skills you didn’t even think about that would translate well into a work environment. Raising a family requires one to be very organized.
Think about the activities you participated in while your children were growing up. Did you run a sports league or a scout troop?
If so, then you have leadership skills that will help you in a job. If you and your spouse had to skimp and save or look for creative ways to pay for college, this means you possess some financial wisdom.
Think about how these skills can translate into requirements of jobs that interest you. You can discuss them in a cover letter and go into further detail during an interview.
Take Some Courses
Chances are if you have been out of the workforce for many years, you are probably behind on the latest technological tools and platforms used in many jobs.
There are numerous online courses you can take to brush up on your skills or learn new ones. A great resource is Lynda.com where you can learn a new skill, at your own pace, on your own time.
This site offers several thousand courses in Business, Technology and Creative Skills that are taught by industry experts.
What Are Your Interests?
You first have to know the reason you want to get back into the workforce. If it is because you need the money, you might have to invest more time in learning new skills and you will need to look for higher paying jobs.
If you don’t need the money, but want to get back to doing something for yourself now that your children are grown, you will have more flexibility.
Not sure what you want to do? Talk to friends about their jobs. Ask them what they like and don’t like about the field they are in. What skill set is required for their jobs and do you have some of the same skills?
If you decide that you want to return to the profession you were in before you had children, you might want to do some volunteer work in that field to get yourself re-acquainted with the industry.
Include this volunteer work on your resume when you are ready to start applying for jobs. You will also want to do your research to learn what has changed in your previous industry so you can know what you might have to learn about or get re-trained.
Don’t Underestimate Your Qualifications
Just because you didn’t earn a salary from the work you did while you were raising your family doesn’t mean you didn’t acquire valuable skills.
Many have said being a parent is the hardest job in the world. If you are a parent, you know this to be true. Don’t underestimate your value and experience.
While you stayed home raising a family, you probably learned how to balance budgets, how to multi-task, how to manage yours and your children’s time, and how to handle disputes.
These skills translate very well into many positions including customer service, office management, and administrative jobs.
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