Going Back to Work After Being Home with Your Kids

Re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise and/or homeschool kids can be intimidating. It’s hard to take time off from anything and not feel inadequate, but after years at home, it can be extremely daunting trying to apply for a job. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you set out into the workforce again. 

How Does Going Back to Work Look for Your Family? 

This is the time to really be honest with yourself and make a list of what you want from this new job. What type of schedule would allow you to get the kids where they need to be? What do you want your commute to look like? Think about how many days you may need for vacation or sick days and decide on a backup for alternative care.  Figure out what dollar amount you need to bring home each month and if a smaller take-home pay with bonus potential will work for your budget. This is also the time to decide if you are willing or able to commit to a full-time job or see if part-time works best for this time in your life. 

Who Do You Know? 

Take some time to make connections before you start to apply for positions. Re-connect with former co-workers/employers to get a feel for who is hiring and what kind of skill set is valued. Use sites like LinkedIn and career specific groups on Facebook to connect with others in the field you are looking to get into.  

How Do Explain Your Resume Gaps? 

Don’t be ashamed about not working for a while. Be proud of your family as you explain that you left your last job to take care of them, but also talk about what you have been doing since you have been home. Volunteering at the school, keeping up with trends in your interested field and any part-time work from home, shows that you do still have interest in your field and have possibly gained new skills and qualifications. 

What New Skills Can You Learn? 

Depending on your desired position and number of years spent at home, it might be necessary to hone your skill set. Use the information you received with your connections and investigate how to make yourself as valuable as possible. Maybe it will be watching tutorials on how to use a particular kind of software that you are not familiar with. Maybe it will look like taking a course online to get a certification that could make you eligible for a larger salary. Using the time before you apply to fine-tune your skill set will build up your resume and help with securing an interview. 

Applying for jobs after being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t have to be scary. Do what you can to build up your resume and your confidence and you will be on your way to interviews in no time! 

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