According to the Pew Research Center, around 29 percent of moms do not work outside of their home. If you were a stay-at-home mom for years and you're considering looking for a job, chances are you're concerned about being out of the workforce for so long and if your unique skillset will translate. Before you fill out a single resume or pull your power suit out of the back of your closet, here are a few tips to help you prepare to reenter the workplace:
Consider Adult Education
You've been so busy with diapers, dinners, and PTA meetings that chances are, you don't really know what employers are looking for in today's workplace. Luckily, there is a fun and exciting way to build your resume while meeting new people and learning a new skill: adult education.
Unlike traditional universities, community college, and other forms of education beyond high school, adult education is geared toward older individuals who don't want to learn in a structured environment. Instead, adult education allows you to branch out, study new and interesting topics, and network with like-minded adults who just might be struggling with the same problems you are.
The best part of adult education is that you are in charge of your destiny. You can choose courses based upon your needs and interests, and because these centers are geared towards busy adults, you will be allowed to motivate and inspire yourself.
Whether you're trying to obtain your GED, learn a new skill or simply network, adult education will provide you several different options that will definitely help prepare you to reenter the workforce.
Rework Your Resume
If your resume is sitting in a desk drawer collecting dust, it's time to rework it to account for your lack of experience in the workplace. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to learn a new skill, which is once again where adult education comes into play, and learn how to format a resume to highlight your skills and attributes.
The best format for older adults returning to the workplace is called a functional resume. A typical resume requires you to list your past work experience in chronological order. Unfortunately, because you have such a large gap in your work history, this type of resume can appear unattractive to potential employers.
Instead, a functional resume allows you to focus more on your strengths and attributes and less on your work history. For example, you can focus on the skills you learned about your previous job, such as customer service experience or experience working with quality assurance or project management. Of course, your potential employer doesn't need to know you learned these skills several years ago!
Finally, while writing your resume, make sure to write down your past work experience. However, make sure this is not the focus of the resume by keeping this section very short. Chances are, employers will be more focused on all your strengths and less worried about your time away from the workplace.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Finally, if you're really nervous or struggling with the idea of working after such a long absence, don't be afraid to ask your friends and family members for help. Go ahead and ask your best friend or a cousin to help you fill out a job application that modern employers will notice. You can also use friends and family connections to get your foot in the door, which could ultimately help you land a job in a new and exciting field.
Heading back to work after being a mom for so many years can be tough. However, with a little more education and a stellar resume, it won't be long before you feel right at home in the modern workplace.