Getting back into the workplace after having a career break can have a large impact on confidence. It is no mean feat finding the self-belief to convince yourself that you can do it, and it will be fine.
Being a Mum, in itself, carries an impressive list of skills that are sought after by employers, such as being organised – getting the whole family dressed, fed and in the right place at the right time – as well as being patient, diplomatic, having management skills and communication skills. However, when it comes to applying for jobs, or thinking of other career options, the vast majority of successful career-driven women say they “don’t have any relevant skills to offer a potential employer”. This is wrong as most Mum’s are likely to have acquired enough experience and skills over the years of employment and being a Mother, to find a fulfilling career that suits her and her family.
Here are five tips to help secure that dream job:
Work out what you are good at
Playing to your strengths is important. Work out the skills that come naturally to you, whether you acquired them sitting behind a desk or multi-tasking between cooking a meal and helping your child complete tasks. Think about what actions you carry out every day, and the skills you use to execute them – a work, at home, in the gym or even running errands. There are often a lot of skills you have, you just don’t realise, such as persuading reluctant parents to help out at school events.
Reflect, then research
Divide all of your skills into categories, such as communications, technical and personal development. Choose your top three to five skills used in different environments – for example, can your project management skills be used to set up a business managing accounts for companies? It is important to think about how these skills can be used in the workplace by researching job search websites to find out what skills you already have that are suitable for your dream role, and what skills employers are looking for.
One way you can extend your current skills, is through taking courses of any kind, to make yourself more appealing to a potential employer when they look at your CV. There are a wide variety of courses available, both online and in-house, to help you to fit learning around childcare and other daily routines. A popular choice is the Prince2 project management training course, whereby each student is given a Prince2 training accreditation that is widely renowned for being highly regarded in the workplace, and for all industries around the world.
Don’t sell yourself short
Transferrable skills should never be brushed aside, as they can be vital to showing more about your personality and character. These skills can be moved between industries and be applied to different scenarios. Just because you once worked in IT, it doesn’t mean that the creative thinking or planning skills acquired as a mum can’t be applied to any other profession – including the one you’ve got your heart set on. Think out of the box. What skills do you have, that can be easily applied to situations in your dream job?
Package your skills
When writing your new CV, it is valuable to use key words and phrases used in job advertisements to sell your own skills and impress potential employers, both on paper and in person during interviews. It is crucial to portray your skills in a positive way, and show prospective employers that you are confident and eager.
For example, instead of stating you are a ‘Stay-at-home Mum returning to work’, present yourself as an accomplished professional, stating how many years of experience you have under your belt, whilst highlighting your key skills – such as being organised, good at communication, a leader and having creative thinking skills. Use examples to demonstrate how you have used these skills and the successful outcomes you have achieved.
You can also start with part time jobs in your area. You can find part time jobs here.
Good luck and do let me know how you get on!