Many of us have been fortunate enough to stay at home and raise our children. When I had my first child, I thought I had it all figured out. I’d stay at home for 6 weeks, then go back part time for a couple weeks, and transition back to full time. And I did…But what I didn’t factor in was how being a mother had changed me. I no longer wanted to be a workaholic, clocking in up to 80 hours a week. I had a baby and I wanted to spend time with him. So after almost a year of much stress, and angst, I left my job. It felt great! I had my second baby 21 months after the first, and became a full time mom!
While I loved being a stay at home mom, part of me longed to do something else, some kind of work that used my skills and that I was really passionate about. I got a copy of What Color is Your Parachute and started reading it. But not having anyone to share the exercises with or get feedback on wasn’t working…and then it dawned on me. Why not offer a class for people who, like me, would benefit from feedback and accountability? I called it Get the Job You Want, and I’ve been teaching it for over 25 years now!
Over the years, I added classes on Stress Management, How to Network (things I’d taught while I was working as a side gig), and I became a DiSC trainer and gave workshops on People Reading and Communication Skills. I also had always loved cooking and baking and had done some catering and baking for area restaurants in the past so I started doing that again too. I had made lots of contacts at my last job and through all the activities with my kids, I had built a network and found work I loved!
Of course, this is only part of my story. There were obstacles, fears, and choices to make and being a self-employed coach, helping others find their magic formula for success, continues to be a journey.
So are you ready to get back to work? A lot has changed and it’s harder to re-enter the workforce now especially if you’re looking for a 9-5 career with benefits like you had previously and you’ve been out for more than a year. Though it’s tough, it’s clear that women bring many vital skills to the challenge. All that juggling, coordinating schedules, meals and activities, advocating and allocating resources, essentially being CEO of your home is an advantage and has prepared you for your next job!
Returning to work requires that you now advocate for yourself! There’s lots to think about and do before you launch. For starters, you need to figure out what you want to do, whether you want part time or full time, and whether you’d like to start your own business or freelance etc. You may want to volunteer or check out paid internships or returnships. Path Forward and IRelaunch are two programs to research and you can’t apply unless you have a gap in your resume! But, before you leap, take the time to think about what you really want.