Finding your soulmate, your best friend, and a good husband/wife is a full time job itself.
Now, there are lots of apps and websites that can help you during the process, but you still need a bit of luck and great timing to make things happen.
And when you finally find the right person, all the chips suddenly fall into place. First there’s dating, then the wedding, marriage, and then kids.
Within a short time span, your life has drastically changed!
Now that the kids are older, you realize that it’s time to go back to work and pursue your dreams. You want the career that you put on hold to raise your family.
But you’re unsure about how to get back in the game and get noticed by the employers you want to work with.
If you’re a mom or dad who put their career on pause to solidify your family’s foundation, then this article is for you.
Getting back into the workforce sounds like a rollercoaster ride, but it’s actually an easy process. Here are some practical tips:
1. Define your objectives:
Before you even submit your resume to companies, you need to define your non-negotiables. Starting from “ what you don’t want” can be easier than listing what you do want.
For instance “I don’t want to work at a startup, I don’t want a job than doesn’t offer childcare benefits”,” or “ I don’t want to drive more than 20 miles unless it’s on the opposite side of morning rush hour traffic”. etc..
Are you looking for a job that you can work remotely?
How much is work/life balance is important for you?
Would you prefer to work in an office or home office?
What type of stress level can you tolerate? (sales or admin assistant job)
Do you a prefer full-time or a part time job?
How many miles are you willing to drive to get to work?
Are you willing to relocate for the sake of a good company and/or a dream position?
2. Update Your Resume
If you are a parent who decided to take a break to raise your kid and completely remove yourself from the job market, it’s perfectly OK to mention this to recruiters when they ask about the gap on your resume. Be sure to mention, if it applies, than you attended networking events, and did some volunteer work with profit organizations that help people in need.
Having a child is a full time job itself but you can still devote at least one or two hours per month for these type of activities. This can help you close the gap a little and show than you’ve gained some valuable skills. Another thing you could do is start a meetup group based on your field, and arrange a gathering time with people who have the same interest. Even if you do this once every 3 months, it will help you to build your network and connections in the industry. Most people don’t have time to arrange these type of events, but you can be the first.
Both on your resume and during the job interview, you should mention your previous success and use numbers if you can. For example: “I worked with 5 different teams and managed a cross functional position, and handled more than 5 different projects which increased revenue by 55% in that same year”. Always try to create an equation that shows xy work and the success as xyz % or a number.
3. Use LinkedIn
Having a 24/7 online profile/presence will help you big time. While a resume is just a piece of paper that you need to manually submit to the job openings, LinkedIn can serve as a tool that helps recruiters find you based on certain search criteria. Make sure that your settings are open to the public so they can access your profile and “inmail” you directly.
You can also use LinkedIn to reach out to recruiters and the employers. Here is a great video full with great tips:
4. Leverage your network
Let your close circle know that you are looking for a job. They could have access to the HR of the company that you would like to work at. Make sure your friends, and friends of friends know that you are actively looking for a job too. When you approach people online, write the introduction as if you’re talking to them face to face. Don’t try to mass email recruiters with the same message. It can lead to mistakes (forgetting the change the name on the intro) and sound robotic. Here is a great tip on how to communicate better while reaching recruiters online:
5. Look For a Professional
Don’t underestimate the power of career coaches. Career mentorship can help you a lot especially when you’ve been out of the workforce for a long time. They can help you to find your dream job and even prepare you for a great interview. You can easily find career coaches on LinkedIn. It’s a new, free feature that’s fairly simple to activate.
You can access this tool from your personal LinkedIn profile. It works a little like the “matching” feature on Tinder. Once you “pass” or “accept” the matching, you need to message to the potential career mentor. If you don’t like the mentor matching, you can pass and it will try to match you again next week.
6. Research tools
Your job searches “best friend tool” should be LinkedIn, since it is one of the most trustworthy sources online when it comes to mixing business with social media. While companies post the job openings on LinkedIn, some of them use groups and their main company pages to announce the openings. You should definitely follow the companies and join the groups. It is all free to join and get involved.
You can also sign up for LinkedIn Learning Online Courses to learn what’s new. Here is a sample of an online course at LinkedIn. You can find more based on your job and field. This one is about project management:
In the end,
Don’t ever let that negative inner voice stop you. Transition is always difficult, but once you put forth the effort and decide on your non-negotiables, you will be ahead of the game. Recruiters and hiring managers will understand why you needed to take a break from work.
Raising a child is a full time job, and a difficult one at that. Your LinkedIn Learning Classes will be your best friend and LinkedIn overall can help you a lot during this journey.
Remember, you are not the only one who paused a career to raise a family. Start with killing the negative thinking and start taking action from your LinkedIn profile.
About the author:
Giselle Sevgi is a Social Media Marketing Executive in LinkedIn and a guest writer at NAPW. She holds her MBA degree in Marketing and is an instructor at Stanford University Continuing Studies, for “Social Media for Business” and “Personal Branding” courses. Currently, she is helping hundreds of companies and individuals with their branding strategies and marketing campaign executions at LinkedIn USA market.