Success Strategies to Jump Back Into Work Outside the Home

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No matter how long you’ve been away from work outside the home, going back can be a huge transition not just for you but for your whole family. As I’ve started down the path into this next season of life, I’ve chatted with a variety of moms and gleaned some strategies for success from them to help make the transition easier. I’m sharing all of their wisdom below, along with the things I’ve learned, in hopes that these strategies will help you jump back into work outside the home.

What Kind of Job are You Looking For?

Be honest with yourself. What are the most important factors? Is it income, or are you willing to give up something there, in order to be able to, “leave work at work”? Michelle, whose daughter is two years old, realized that one factor for her was the desire to be able to provide for herself, and her child, if something happened to her husband. For some, it might feel like the right time to grow a business that’s just been a side hustle. Only you know the answer, but figuring out your parameters is the key to finding the right fit. While some job seekers turn to places like Linked In, others may find that working with a recruiter to get a foot into a new industry, or a site like The Mom Project, which pairs job seekers with family friendly businesses, can help overcome a variety of obstacles.

Consider New Resume Formats

When I started researching resume formats, I realized that there are options outside of the standard reverse chronological style. I opted to create what industry insiders call a “functional resume” that focuses more on skills, rather than blocks of time. This is the primary way to tell the story of my work life and skill sets. It’s recommended as a better approach for those who have gaps in their career timeline.

Make Connections

Whether you’ve been out two months, two years, or even longer, getting in touch with former colleagues, or reaching out to find out who in your circle of friends might have a connection to a new career path, can have huge benefits. Chatting with people in your field can inform you of key changes, encourage you in your trajectory, make you feel more in touch with the working world and even help you get a foot in the door for an interview.

Be Patient and Persistent

Michelle, a Talent Acquisition Manager for Robert Half and mother of one, says, “I have a masters degree and 20+ years of hands on executive management experience. I applied for EASILY 100 jobs last fall and got ZERO replies. Not even a ‘no thanks’.” Her encouragement to other job seekers? Good jobs always have been, and always will, take work to connect with. The turmoil of the last couple years hasn’t changed that. And she’s seeing more companies migrating back to in person status, so don’t count on positions to be remote in the same quantities they have been.

Find Ways to Get Help at Home

Short term or long term, some things will have to change. Acknowledging this and being proactive can help you make the transition with less stress. Initiate a discussion about division of labor with your spouse- and your kids if they are old enough. Try out a grocery delivery service. Whatever it is, not trying to do it all at the same level you did before is going to be a sanity saver.

Adjust Your Expectations

Despite asking your partner to pick up some of the slack and coaching your kids, some things are likely to feel disappointing during the transition. Dishes may stack up, sleep might overtake your plans to meal prep or binge watch that show. You won’t feel like a superstar at home and at work right away— and that’s okay. Megan, mother of two, says it has taken her nearly a year to feel settled into new routines and figure out the best ways to set aside thoughts of home and focus on work.

Keep You In the Picture

While it can feel like you’re already taking time away from family just to be at work, keeping your personal wellness picture in mind pays huge dividends. And that means taking time out for workouts, stress-busting conversations with friends, or whatever else makes you feel centered physically, mentally, and spiritually. Consider checking out these posts on how to take care of yourself

So if you’re ready to jump back into work outside the home follow these six steps for success and lean on all your support systems to jump back in! 

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