If you're a stay-at-home parent who's recently made the decision to return to the workforce, the transition might be exciting and intimidating. Pulling out the old interview suit and pounding the pavement might seem daunting, but can also be full of possibilities.
You first task is to decide what type of job will work for you. Before the official beginning of your job hunt, there are a few questions to ask yourself:
What qualities am I looking for in a job?
Now that you're reinvigorating your career, you might as well maximize the opportunity by being very specific about what you're looking for. Make a list of the attributes of your dream job, taking into consideration everything from position title to desired style of management. Rank your list from the most important factors about a position to the least to help you identify what aspects of a job are essential to you. Keep this list handy when you begin applying to positions so you can analyze the job description to make sure it will be a good fit.
How much flexibility do I need?
This is an extremely important factor to consider. Having children means having to synchronize your schedule with theirs. A demanding job might not be forgiving about flexible schedules, so you may have to research companies that are less rigid, or enlist some help in accommodating the after-school needs of your children.
How much do I need to earn?
Former stay at home parents re-enter the workforce for many reasons. Some do it solely for a mental outlet, while others strive to increase their household income. If you're looking to pad your savings, do the math and determine the amount of compensation required to offset the cost of childcare.
Once you've determined your course of action, it's time to update your resume. A lot of stay-at-home parents are concerned about the gap in time since their last date of employment. The good news is that there are ways of proving marketability, even if you haven't been invited to a company picnic in five years:
Choose the best format for your resume.
Chronological resumes are the most traditional; however gaps in time are more evident using this format. Functional resumes are focused on skill sets rather than chronological positions. Hybrid chrono-functional resumes incorporate a chronological work history, along with an area that emphasizes skill sets.
Join pertinent industry associations, and list those affiliations on your resume.
Association membership indicates that you haven't lost touch with contacts in your field, and shows potential employers that your industry knowledge is current.
Practice with a friend.
If your interview skills are rusty, enlist a working friend to help finesse your interview style. Conduct mock interviews to increase your comfort level and ability to navigate the tough questions.
Don't forget to highlight skills required to be a successful stay-at-home parent!
You're well-organized, an excellent multi-tasker, budget-conscious, prompt, reliable, and accustomed to working tirelessly to achieve your task. Those are all valuable traits of a good employee.
If you are a current student or alumni of AIU Online and would like more information on how to transition from the military to civilian workforce, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-701-3800 ext 15060 or email@example.com. If you would like more information on becoming a student with AIU Online, please contact the Admissions department at 877-701-3800.