3 ways to keep your work skills relevant as a stay at home parent

work skills

As a stay at home parent you are no stranger to multi-tasking. However, balancing a little one (or a few) along with a career can be difficult. Raising a family is hard, that’s no secret, and if you are transitioning back into a career at the same time it can only add onto your already full plate.

The problem is that your skills are not as sharp as they used to be, since making the commitment to stay home for your family. There is the hesitation that employers may see the long gap in your resume and disregard it. With these three tips, you have nothing to fear! Just remember that getting back into the workforce after years of raising your family will take some time, and there will always be some trial and error along the way.

Keep Your Resume Updated

It’s ok that you have not looked at your resume since before your first child was born. This can be intimidating at first, but take it one step at a time. Begin with the basics and open a new Google or Word Doc and start simple. Add your first and last name at the top, below add your phone number, email address and home address all in one line, center all of this information. It is essential that you add all of this information at the top of your resume as employers need to know how to reach you and if it’s feasible for you to travel every day to the job.

Go against your instincts and put your experience in chronological order on your resume. The large gap in your work history might seem strange, but sure to mention in your “Objective Statement” that you’re getting back into the workforce. Do not use a Functional Resume, this is a red flag to employers because it looks like you have something to hide by not listing your past experience in chronological order.

When listing post positions, try to keep summaries under each position brief, 7-10 bullet points should suffice. Remember that short phrases are better than long paragraphs, since many people apply through job boards, recruiters and employers only have so much time to spend on each resume.

While keeping it brief be sure to use action verbs like “analyzed”, “spearheaded” , “developed”, etc. Using these verbs imply your significance in each position, and have a more of an impact than “to be” verbs like “did”, “was”, “being”, etc. If it has been over 6-10 years since you have held a full-time position then be sure to add any charity and volunteer work. These can help to fill the gap in your resume. Even more so, if you held leadership roles in any boards or events. It is perfectly ok, if you are still having some trouble grasping these new rules, there is no harm in using a template to guide you.

Decide What You Want

It takes a great amount of courage to deciding to go back to work after dedicating yourself to your family at home. Moving forward with the decision can be daunting at first, but it’s fair to be hesitant. Be sure to make a plan for yourself, it’s essential that you evaluate your past experience along with your current and future goals accurately.

If you are looking to get something right away for financial support than part-time and hourly paid work is a great immediate option. Hospitality jobs (especially restaurant jobs), retail, and tutoring are all usually willing to train and grow their employees from within. These jobs also allow for flexible schedules if you are still balancing your family at the same time. While you could be doing lower-end for a few months, being promoted to a manager from these positions is certainly a goal you can achieve.

If you are seeking a full time job, there is a chance that you may have to take a slight pay cut to be trained in your new position. Starting from an entry-level position and then growing to associate, will eventually make you a better manager. Some options for this are Sales Associate, Office Assistant, Executive Assistant and various Coordinator roles. This road can take a little more time, but the skills you learn on the way up will be very useful if you continue to grow in the same company.

Actively Network in Your Friend Circles

The saying, “it’s all about who you know”, is true when getting back into the workforce, your network of friends can be assets in your job search. Ask your friends which companies they or their significant others have worked. School events are the perfect opportunity to discuss your career goals with like-minded individuals.

If you feel more comfortable in a controlled seeing, then host a small get together, like a dinner party or game night and discuss the topic there. Simply grabbing a coffee with a friend can lead to a productive conversation.

As strange as it may seem, practicing your interviewing skills with a friend can be very helpful. Be proactive in listening to his or her feedback, take notes and have a list of questions ready to ask on your interview – even if it’s a hypothetical one. When you’re ready apply to as many jobs that interest you, and prepare to go on lots of interviews. The more you go on, the better you will get.

*This is a guest post from the editorial team at harri.com, an online marketplace for hospitality jobs. 

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