6 Tips For Re-Entering The Workforce After Extended Time Away

Several years ago, my husband and I sat down and made one of the biggest decisions that we have EVER made together in our lives. We jointly decided that I would hit pause on my professional career in order to take on a new role: being the primary caregiver in our family. With two young children {and an adorable miniature schnauzer!} to support, this wasn’t a decision that we made lightly. In fact, it actually felt incredibly scary at the time. Literally the second day in, I called my husband at work sobbing, wondering how I was going to make it through my new life of managing a toddler and a newborn on my own. Somehow though, by the grace of God, we did it. We fumbled through and made mistakes, but our children grew and thrived, and so did we. 

people handing off documentsFast forward half a decade later. I now find myself thinking fairly often about rejoining the workforce that exists outside of my home. But, job hunting after you have been out of the loop for several years is not easy– especially if you are seeking to switch to a different field like I am. I have already been humbled and discouraged in my new job-seeking journey, but I am both fortunate and blessed to have a spouse and family and friends that continue to encourage and lift me up as I navigate this uncertain and exhilarating path. Here are my tips for re-entering the workforce after taking some time away!

6 Tips For Re-Entering The Workforce After Extended Time Away

women shaking hands

 

  1. If you have the privilege of doing so, figure out what you really want to do. Do you want to work full-time? Part-time? Remotely? Do you want to work for yourself? Putting in the work upfront to figure out what values matter most to you will help you narrow down the type of job that you want to pursue next.
  2. Update everything. When I first set about looking for a new job, I was immediately overwhelmed by the task of updating all the things. My old resume definitely did not cut it anymore and my LinkedIn profile was a sad sight. Talk yourself up and add in anything and everything that shines a light on your strengths. After making your own tweaks, invite some trusted friends to give your resume a once-over to polish it up even more.
  3. Refresh and add to your skill set. There are so many resources available out there to help you enhance your skill set. One friend introduced me to OpenRICE and another friend told me about LinkedIn Learning. Another wonderful, free resource is your local library! I take a look at the calendar of events for my local branch every month to see if there are any trainings that pique my interest.
  4. Renew old connections and forge some new ones. I am an introvert at heart, so putting myself out there in a networking capacity can be challenging at times. However, making connections could prove crucial to job search success; share with everyone that you are looking because you never know who might have a lead on a new opportunity!
  5. Practice. Hardly anything in life comes easily the first time around, and acing an interview right off the bat isn’t any different. Practicing for a future interview with a trusted friend can help build confidence so that you are comfortable answering questions. Be open, honest and prepared to explain any gaps in your resume. 
  6. Don’t give up. I have applied to so many jobs and been shot down so many times. But all it takes is one yes! So keep on searching and submitting those applications! Bear in mind that the average job search can take several months or more. Believe in yourself and don’t give up!

Have you successfully landed a job after taking some time off to be a stay-at-home parent? We would love to hear more– leave a comment below!

Resources
two women having business meeting

  1. A Mother’s Guide For Getting Back Into The Workforce 
  2. 9 Tips For Stay-At-Home-Parents Re-Entering The Workforce
  3. Parents Pivot, Returning To Work After Career Pause

 

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Cindy was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised in Sugar Land, Texas. She has a BS from the University of Texas at Austin in elementary education and a M.Ed in curriculum and instruction from Houston Baptist University. Cindy married her high school sweetheart, Stuart, after 10 years of dating. Stuart and Cindy are the parents of two beautiful girls and an adorable miniature schnauzer. In her spare time, Cindy loves to bake and try new recipes. In fact, her greatest ambition in life is to be a contestant on the Great American Baking Show one day. Cindy is also a huge Backstreet Boys fan and has seen them live in concert 9 times! Cindy has enjoyed writing her entire life and loves being a contributor for HMB.

1 COMMENT

  1. Yes! I agree with all of these tips! I just went back to work after 5 years at home. Working remotely and part time. I am loving it! Us moms can chase our dreams and be great at home too!

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