Leaving full time employment to become a stay at home mum can be one of the most rewarding times of your life. But, it can also be one of the most challenging. Apart from being able to spend all your time with your precious bundles of joy, you life can feel somewhat lacking as you leave behind the part of your brain that used to be stretched in a work environment.
But being a mum, doesn’t mean that is all you will ever be from now on. Many mums successfully juggle a healthy work/life balance, meaning they are firing on all cylinders from Monday to Friday, and enjoying the extra income to spend quality time with their families on down days.
So, if you are a mum looking to get back into work, how and where should you start the transition back to the real world? The most common factors that mums worry about are how to explain their break from employment and how to remain competitive against younger, more technologically savvy college leaders and younger applicants.
In this blog, we address both of those matters to reassure you that you are still a valuable asset to any would be employer.
1. Update Your CV
Many mums panic about the fact that a career break can leave an empty space on their CV’s that employers won’t like the look of. The truth is that many employers have no problem at all with it.
Your CV is simply a marketing document for your experience and achievements. Qualifications, work history and employment breaks all need to be mentioned within it. That said, no employer wants to read through a novel, so keep it brief but to the point wherever possible.
Explaining the part where you have been a stay at home mum may seem strange, but in this scenario, honestly really is the best policy. Simply stating that you had a career break to look after your children is often good enough. Don’t however, over burden you CVs with long lists of the obvious. For example, an employer probably won’t need to know that you “manage household finances” etc, as everyone does whether they are working or not.
Outside interests however, like being a member of a PTA or involved in the administration of sporting groups or other clubs does show transferable skills that may be relevant.
2. Update Your Technological Know-How
Technology advances at break neck speed these days, so keeping up with all the latest software can be daunting. That said, we are now a nation that uses technology just as much at home as we do in the office, so none of us are really falling that far behind when it comes to out technological abilities.
The key issue with technology in the workplace however, is being able to demonstrate your proficiency on any package without being able to show a recent working history of the same. Just telling your employer that you can work Facebook like a boss, is probably not a good example of your IT skills, and not something they will really consider useful.
If you feel your skills are a little rusty, or just want to learn about the most recent software available, you could enrol on a course. You could also take advantage of the following:
– Employer Based Evaluations
Most employers and recruitment consultancies will be able to offer you simple, but effective testing that can show them how well you are able to use certain software packages. These could be undertaken at their own offices, during or prior to an interview.
Remember, these tests are designed to be helpful. Not just for the employer, but also so you can identify any areas that you could use some further training in.
– Dedicated IT Courses
A dedicated IT course to refresh your knowledge of bring you up to speed with the latest updates. A working knowledge of Word 97 for example, will not be much use if an employer is operating a much more recent update. Microsoft Office is forever evolving and you can easily undertake a course to train on Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint to keep up with the competition. Never assume that youngsters are better at technology than you are, they are simple more exposed to it. You can be just as proficient with the right training. Find out more about Microsoft Office Training from a Microsoft Certified Academy at http://www.microsoft-office- courses.co.uk/
Going back to work can seem daunting, but often employers look for more than just a great CV and top technical skills. Many employers see parent workers as being a reliable and dedicated addition to their workforce, as well as being able to bring with them maturity and transferable skills that can only be gained through life experience.
Don’t be shy about getting back out into the workforce. There is a suitable position for every mum looking to get back to work, and with a little extra training, you too can find the perfect job to suit you and your family.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post