Finding any sort of job is a difficult task in the current climate. But for those who have taken years out of the workforce the toughest challenge may just be building their confidence to start looking. Returning back to work after a career break can seem almost untenable, yet many do just this either by choice or necessity.
To start building up your confidence, consider the training you already have, both inside and outside of work. Acknowledge the range of skills you have as a parent. Many of them are also useful in the workplace, including: time management, communication, budget management and teamwork. You can also take 2-3 weeks refreshing courses that will update your qualification and also build up your confidence. MOOC courses, that are free, are a great idea for the challenged budget. MOOC stands for “massive open online courses”, and these are training courses of all kinds, offered by universities. Search for MOOC on your favourite search engine to find the most popular consolidated websites. Once you have raised your confidence and took up the reins again, all practicalities of doing your chosen job will come back to you.
Develop a habit of reading from books and browse different research papers related to your field and interest in order to bring your existing skills up to date and hopefully improve them.
Now think about what kind of job you are seeking? What working hours will suit you? How flexible do you need to be to manage your existing and future family responsibilities? The more flexible you are with your hours and availability the greater you have a chance of finding a new job. Think carefully because your new job will not last long if you keep taking time off and if you are totally inflexible then all but the most menial job may be available to you. A few ideas for finding that flexible job are:
• Contact your friends, relatives and former colleagues about available jobs and how family friendly their employers are.
• Search the internet, particularly on family friendly sites such as MumsNet to discover a company’s family based policies. You can also search on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn where many jobs are advertised and comments made about companies.
• Talk with a company about taking you on for a few days trial to evaluate your capability. You might even consider an apprenticeship or intern position.
• Consult a recruiting agency that deals with temporary jobs to see if this is more appropriate to your needs. Sometimes working a few weeks or months at a time can provide you with job flexibility although not job security.
Going back to job after spending a long period of time at home also raise an issue of large gaps in your resume or CV. You can write a skill based resume, focusing on the experience and attributes that are appropriate to the job you’re applying for. If you cannot do this or are too shy to trumpet your abilities, a skilled resume writing company can assist you with this role.
While searching the perfect new job is not easy, the good news is that many companies recognise the value of a working parents contributions to their workforce. With confidence and a great resume, you can find a position worthy of your skills and experience, and enjoy recapitulating your career again on terms that suit both you and your family.