For parents who have taken time off to raise their children, the idea of re-entering the workforce can be scary at best and completely overwhelming at worst. However, taking time off to attend to your son or daughter’s needs doesn’t have to mean that your career will never be the same. Here are some ways that moms and dads can market themselves when they’re looking to head back to the office:
Emphasize volunteer work
Many parents temporarily leave their job to care for their children, but may still be actively involved in their community through volunteering. If you spent time volunteering at your local animal shelter or an assisted living facility, make sure to emphasize this on your resume. It shows that you remained engaged, and you probably learned something new along the way.
Think about the skills you’ve learned as a parent
Moms and dads don’t get enough credit for everything they do. Who else can multi-task like a mom who’s on the phone while changing a diaper and searching for her keys? Dads learn negotiation skills as they haggle with kids over bedtime. While you may not have picked these skills up in a traditional office environment, you have them, so take pride in that. It doesn’t matter how or why you learned about negotiating, time management, or patience, it’s just important that you’ve mastered these skills.
Find an office that supports your lifestyle
There’s no shame in wanting a job where you can leave at 5 every day to be home with your little one. But it’s important to be honest about what you want, and to seek out an office that allows such a lifestyle. If you enter into a high-pressure firm where everyone stays until 8 each night, you may start to fall behind in work or feel out of place.
Before applying for jobs, think about your priorities and the kind of flexibility that you’ll need from your next office. Keep in mind that many companies are highly supportive of families. They may even offer day care so you can do your job well, while ensuring that your little ones are cared for properly.
With a little research and analysis of current skills, moms and dads can enjoy a rewarding career, while also being a supportive parent. How do you balance your life as both a parent and as a professional? Let us know in the comments!