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Q:

What are some of the best ways to prepare for re-entering the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent?

Hi everyone,

I have been a stay-at-home parent for the last five years and I am now considering re-entering the workforce. I feel a bit overwhelmed about this transition and wonder if anyone has any tips or advice on how to prepare for it?

Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, I had a successful career in marketing. However, I'm not sure if I want to go back to that field or if I should consider something new. I'm also worried that my skills may be out of date, so any suggestions on how to update my skills would be appreciated.

I have been enjoying my time at home with my children but I feel like it's time to get back to work and start contributing to the family income. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

All Replies

cathy41

Hi everyone,

I went through the same experience and I can relate to you. I was a stay-at-home parent for six years before deciding to re-enter the workforce.

In preparation for the transition, I would highly recommend that you attend career fairs and take free online career assessments to help you analyze your skills and interests. These assessments can assist you in determining which jobs would compliment your skill set and interests.

When applying for jobs and attending interviews, I found it helpful to be transparent about my career break with prospective employers. In my case, I was still able to demonstrate my skills, professionalism, and enthusiasm despite being out of work for a while.

In addition to the skills you have gained as a busy parent, it can be helpful to consider what hobbies and skills you have developed during the time away from work. This can include things such as volunteering, further education and long-term hobbies which could also be beneficial in demonstrating to employers that you are motivated and skilled.

Lastly, it is important to have realistic expectations for your transition back into the workforce, especially in terms of your working hours and your work-life balance. Consider your family’s practical needs during this time, perhaps start with part-time work and gradually build up to a full-time schedule. Having a good balance with work and life can truly assist you in being more productive and happier overall.

Best of luck to you as you begin your job search!

marcia96

Hey there,

I completely understand how you feel. I was also a stay-at-home parent for six years before re-entering the workforce. It can be overwhelming and feel like starting all over again.

One thing that helped me was identifying my strongest transferable skills and highlighting them in my resume, cover letter, and interviews. These skills can come from anything, whether it's from parenting, volunteering, or previous work experience. Think about the soft skills that employers are looking for and try to demonstrate how you've developed them.

Updating your skills is also important, but it doesn't have to be an expensive investment. Free online courses, webinars, and workshops can be a great starting point. I've also found that reaching out to industry-specific associations can be helpful as they often offer training and resources, and it's a great way to network.

Lastly, don't be afraid to start small. Part-time or contract work can be a great way to get back into the workforce, build your confidence, and gain new skills. It can also provide you with the flexibility you need as a parent.

Good luck with your job search and don't get discouraged. Remember that you have valuable experience that can be applied to many different positions.

dubuque.heaven

Hi there,

I have been a stay-at-home parent for seven years and I recently decided to re-enter the workforce. My biggest challenge was finding the confidence to do it. It's easy to start doubting yourself after being out of work for a while, but I found that building up my confidence was key.

One thing that helped me was building up my professional network. Attend events, join groups on social media platforms and participate in online forums for your desired industry. You might be surprised how many people are willing to share their knowledge and experience.

Another suggestion is to start volunteering in a field of interest or take on an internship. This will not only help you gain experience, but you'll also be building your professional network, learning new skills, and showing a potential employer that you're willing to put in the work.

The job market is always changing, so it's important to keep up with industry trends, news, and best practices. I recommend reading blogs, subscribing to industry newsletters, and following industry influencers on social media. This will help you stay informed and ensure that you're up-to-date with the latest developments in your field.

Finally, I would suggest taking the time to write out your career goals and figure out what success looks like to you. This will help you build a plan, make informed decisions, and stay motivated during your job search.

Remember, you've got this! Re-entering the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent requires courage, patience, and dedication. Good luck on your journey back into the workforce!

rowan.altenwerth

Hello,

I'm a stay-at-home mom who successfully re-entered the workforce after four years. My best advice is to use your network to your advantage.

Reach out to your former work colleagues, and let them know that you're looking for a job. Ask them if they know of any job openings, referrals, or recommendations.

Additionally, it's not uncommon to feel like you've lost touch with the latest developments in your field. Take time to research industry-related news, tech advancements, and trends. Staying informed and up-to-date will help you sound knowledgeable during interviews and give you an edge.

Another suggestion is to consider joining LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to tap into your network and engage with professionals in your desired field. Use LinkedIn to make connections and search for job openings, as well as to promote your skills and experience.

Lastly, don't forget to be persistent. You may face some rejections, but don't let that discourage you. Keep trying, keep learning, and stay positive.

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Being a stay-at-home parent has given us experiences and skills that are highly valuable in any work environment. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Best of luck to you!

ebba92

Hello,

I can totally relate, I was a stay-at-home mom for six years, and I was worried that my skillset might have become obsolete during that period. However, I found that the skills I had gained as a parent could easily transfer to the workplace.

To get started, I would suggest identifying your strengths and weaknesses by taking a skills test. This will help you to evaluate where you stand, and you can build upon your strengths and work on any weaknesses.

Another suggestion is to take a class or enroll in a course to brush up on skills that are in demand in your industry of interest. Also, networking is valuable for re-entering the job market. Reach out to your existing connections, family, friends or join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your career goals.

Lastly, demonstrate your flexibility and your availability. Most hiring managers are also parents, they understand what being a parent means, and they appreciate someone who can balance their family demands and job tasks.

Remember that it's not going to be an overnight transition. Be patient, remember your objectives and keep working towards them.

Wishing you the very best of luck as you prepare to return to the workforce!

ayana58

Hi there,

I was in a similar situation to yours just a few years ago. After being a stay-at-home parent for four years, I finally felt ready to get back into the workforce. I think one important thing is to assess your skills and experience and see how they can translate to current job requirements. I found it helpful to highlight transferable skills that I developed while staying at home, such as time management, organization, multitasking, and problem-solving skills.

In terms of updating skills, I found online courses to be very helpful. I took a few courses on digital marketing, which helped me update my skills in that area. Additionally, attending networking events and industry-specific conferences helped me stay up-to-date with the latest developments in my field.

Another suggestion would be to explore part-time work or freelance opportunities to get back into the workforce while still being able to manage household duties. This could also help to ease back into a full-time job eventually.

Lastly, I would recommend reaching out to former colleagues or acquaintances who are already working in your desired field. They may be able to provide valuable insights into what skills are in demand and make recommendations on where you could apply.

Good luck with your job search!

eichmann.estella

Hello,

I understand that it can be daunting to re-enter the workforce after being at home for an extended period. I was in your shoes a few years ago.

My advice would be to take things one step at a time. As a parent, you've become an expert at multitasking, which can come in handy as you start planning your return to work. Start small, set realistic goals, and build up from there.

It's also essential to refresh your resume and cover letter. Highlight your transferable skills, summarize your accomplishments, and include any volunteer work or part-time jobs you've had since leaving the workforce.

Identifying your target industry and job hunting methods is also important. Social media and job sites are great resources, but I found networking to be the most helpful. Let everyone in your circle know that you're looking for work and ask them if they know of any opportunities. Attend events, get involved in organizations that interest you, and make new connections that could lead to potential job opportunities in the future.

Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself as you transition back to work. Remember that it's normal to feel anxious or stressed, but self-care is essential. Prioritize activities that help you feel recharged and energized, whether it's going for a walk, spending time with friends, or attending a yoga class.

I hope that these suggestions help you as you begin your job search journey. Good luck!

stamm.shea

Hi everyone,

I was a stay-at-home mom for six years before re-entering the workforce, so I can relate to the challenges of this process.

In my case, I did not want to return to my previous career field, so I set my sights on something new. I started by researching career fields and job roles that gave me the flexibility and work-life balance that I needed to also remain present for my kids.

Networking was key for me as well. I attended formal networking events and informational interviews, but I found that informal connections became the most valuable, and often led to job interviews.

Volunteering or taking on pro bono work in your desired field is another way to build up a resume and gain industry contacts, plus it's rewarding to do something that also gives back to the community.

Take every opportunity you can to keep learning and growing, and make the most out of every experience, internship or part-time job, to develop new skills.

Above all, don't be too hard on yourself! You've been out of the workforce for a while, and it can take time to find the right job and get back up to speed. But keep putting yourself out there, and be persistent in your search.

Good luck on your journey back into the workforce!

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