9.21.2010

Are You Ready to Go Back To Work?

Ready to return to work yet?
Okay, school's in full swing, open houses just about done, flu shots received, and first bouts of strep and pink eye dealt with.

Now what? Honestly, there's only so much Facebook stalking a mom can do in one day.

I'm all about the kids, and firmly believe a parent needs to be accessible 24/7. But as their needs change, so can your availability. And while more danger lurks for a bored 15-year-old left home alone than any stranger looking for a puppy in the park, there's still quite bit of down time from bus to bus.

Whaddya gonna do about it?

I've been staying at home, taking care of my kids, for several years. Several, as in haven't had a steady paycheck since George Clooney was the hunky doctor on ER, back when people said hunky and your kids wouldn't grimace in horror.

Three years ago, I hit the ground full steam ahead with plans to reenter the workforce, with grandiose plans to make $20k working part-time and being mother-of-the-year after school and weekends. I showed the world my antique portfolio of old, obsolete marketing materials, and somehow was made $5000 and cried, convinced I was a loser. The following year, I earned zilch. Zero. Nada. But learned reentering the workforce is not immediate. Took me a while to stop working (maternity leave, job share, flex schedule, work at home.... freelance); why should it be any quicker to jump back in? It's a process where patience and persistence will absolutely prevail.

5 Easy Things to Think About

  1. Talk. Tell everybody you're looking for a job. Or thinking about looking for a job. 
  2. Value yourself. Nobody hates touchy-feely, airy-fairy, socks and sandals self-help crappola more than me, but seriously, don't sell yourself short. You were a valuable commodity to your chosen profession, once upon a time. Don't give it away for free. You're not dumb or dead. You've just rusty.
  3. Visit, listen, and comment in on-line forums, groups, and blogs related to your field. If you're too chicken to comment, just listen in. You'll learn a ton in a short amount of time. Check out career discussions of, ie, BlogHer.
  4. Reconnect with old colleagues. Doesn't matter how long ago you worked, touch base. 
  5. LinkedIn -- Facebook for colleagues. It's a living, breathing resume. It's who you were in the working world, and can help launch you back in with a huge network of contacts. 

No, it is not this simple to go back to work.  But it is this simple to start looking.


With the oldest in college, and the youngest in 5th grade, I've only been focused on the back-to-work thing for a few years now. It's been a slow road, but I'm well on my way. There are jobs out there for moms like us, those who are ready to fill their days with income producing employment, but not willing to forfeit time with the greatest investment we've devoted most of our life to.

4 comments:

  1. Great Advice!! Anyone else having the same reults getting back into the workstream???

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  2. Fun read, Kate, and quite familiar over here too!

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  3. Sage advice... works for changing jobs and shifting careers too!

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  4. Thx, all. I swear it works. Just applied to a job at Y (-MCA) that I heard about at open house. More about open house tomorrow -- wow. What won't parents say?

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