Bouncing Back After Time as a Stay-at-Home Mum or Dad
Leaving a life dominated by nappy changes and potty training for the world of work can be daunting. You may be dreading the challenges that await you as you embark on the job hunt after spending time at home with the little ones.
Worry not, because in recent years employers have altered their view of recruiting stay-at-home mums and dads. Our society has changed; the brazen ambition of former years has been replaced with job seekers looking for a more positive work/life balance.
Also, with more men staying at home these days (around 217,000 according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics), employers are taking a much more flexible approach when it comes to finding the right person for a role – male or female. Not only that, but if you live in Cambridgeshire, the county’s 2% unemployment rate means that employers are more likely to be open to ‘returnees’.
This is all positive news. But if you’re also wondering how you’re going to bounce back to the job market when sleepless nights and toddler tantrums have left you feeling a bit deflated, the below tips can help you rediscover your oomph!
Know your stuff
If you’ve been out of work for a while things might have changed in your industry. Brush up on your knowledge by doing some contract work, or why not volunteer before applying for paid work? A refresher course could also be helpful. Staying on top of industry news is vital; subscribe to magazines, e-newsletters and check out the best industry websites. Do anything you can to bring your skills and know-how up to date – it will set you in good stead.
Update your CV
Before you get back out there, it’s essential that your CV reflects your latest skills and experience. Include anything that could help your job hunt and prove to employers that you take your work seriously, such as any training or study.
Think about the amount of responsibility you want. Having a family might have changed your priorities when it comes to work; you might prefer a part-time role, which can be a great option if you want to ease yourself back into it or want time for family. This can be especially helpful if you are still struggling to get a full night’s sleep! Not working for a few years could hamper your career development, so you may need to be open-minded about going back in to a less senior role. But don’t fret – if you work hard, you can rise through the ranks quickly.
If at any point you’re asked about why you were a stay-at-home parent, be frank. You may have wanted to spend time with your children or perhaps financially it made more sense for your partner to be the bread winner. Both are very valid reasons.
Prepare for interviews
Think about how you would answer possible interview questions. A few examples are…
- How are you going to cope with the change of pace when you start work?
- What will you do if your child falls ill?
- Are you in a position to work late now and again if the job requires it?
We would wish you luck, but with the right preparation and planning we just know you’ll get the job you’re after!
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.