If you are a stay-at-home mom and you want to develop your career, you have two main options. The first involves pursuing self-employment and focus on earning money from home, while the second is based on reentering the traditional world of work. Here are ten tips that will help you to choose the right career path and enjoy success.
1. Think about why you want to work
You will get the most out of your career if you know why you are pursuing it. For example, your motives might include money, mental stimulation, a desire for self-development and an interest in adding more meaning to your life.
In addition, it is worth thinking about what you need from a job. Are flexible hours necessary? Do you only want a job that uses a particular skill set? How much traveling can you tolerate?
2. Visit a career counselor
If you have not worked in a long time, it is smart to talk to a professional career counselor about how you plan to develop your career. Just one appointment can help you clarify your goals, rule out avenues that are incompatible with your role as a mom, and explore new options you hadn’t previously considered.
Once you know what type of career you want, instigate contact with people who might be able to help you. Former colleagues, experienced friends, and acquaintances in your field are all good people to talk to, preferably face to face.
Although networking may be more important if you are pursuing a traditional career as opposed to self-employment, trying to network can also help self-employed moms find new clients and lucrative opportunities.
4. Polish your resume
Once again, you need a good resume no matter what type of career you want to cultivate. Potential employers will want to see proof that you have used your time off work to continue developing your skills.
Meanwhile, potential clients of self-employed people also want to check out experience levels, education and key achievements.
5. Update your skill set
Being a stay-at-home mom can be very hectic and demanding, so you may have fallen behind when it comes to using recent technologies and familiarizing yourself with new software that is relevant to your career.
Before you start applying for jobs or actively advertising your services, make sure you have taken some classes or at least read a few tutorials that help you become more tech-savvy.
6. Be confident about your choice
When pursuing jobs, embarking on a self-employed venture or redesigning your resume, do not forget that you have also learned plenty of things as a stay-at-home mom.
Find ways to capitalize on the organizational talents, interpersonal skills and multitasking abilities that come with being a parent. In addition, make it clear that you do not regret having been a stay-at-home mom.
7. Practice for job interviews
If you’re going back to a traditional line of work, your interview skills are probably a little bit rusty. Consequently, it is smart to get friends or family to conduct mock interviews using typical questions (concerning topics like your experience, why you applied for the job, how you deal with challenges, and what makes you a particularly good candidate for the position).
8. Consider volunteering
If you are lacking experience in the area that interests you, look for volunteer opportunities. Unpaid work gives you extra items for your resume, hones your skills and allows you to make good contacts in your field.
9. Contact an old employer
If you worked in one place for more than five years, your former employer may well remember you and be able to recall your value. There is no harm in reaching out to see if there is any chance of returning to your old workplace.
10. Stay positive
Finally, everyone encounters setbacks when attempting to pursue career development, but do not allow challenges to get you down. Instead, focus on learning something positive from each setback, using that knowledge to increase your chances of future success.
Career development can initially seem daunting to stay-at-home moms. However, following the above tips will help you boost your likelihood of finding employment that suits your life circumstances.