Being a mom is one of the most important roles that we have. However, for some of us having another full-time job outside the house is also important.
For me, it’s a way to pursue my own goals and have an identity aside from “Mommy.” To be able to set aside mom duties and be a working professional for a few hours a day keeps me grounded for when I pick my kids up in the afternoon and resume my second full time job until they go to sleep.
While not all, but some SAHMs (stay at home moms) eventually get the itch to get back into a work outside of home job. I know this “itch” intensifies during those tough days when the kids just… won’t… get… along.
I stayed home with my oldest for the first two years of her life, then I made the move to corporate-ish America. I will confess, I was never truly a SAHM… I was a work from home mom because I was still doing contract work and freelancing. So, my transition back to an out of home job was probably a little easier than most.
Having been on both sides, here is my essential guide to going back to work for SAHMs:
Keep Your Skills Relevant
While you’re at home, make sure to make time to keep your marketable work skills relevant. Whether that is by freelance work, part time work, or volunteering. Having something of substance to put on your resume is going to be very helpful in your job hunt.
Prepare Your Resume (and portfolio)
Tailor your resume to those job positions that you really, really want. Make sure your skills are relevant and speak to what they are looking for. If you’re in a creative field, get your portfolio together (and make sure you have an online version).
Set Your Mindset
Be prepared to take a job below your previous position(s), you gotta start somewhere! When I first went back to an office job, I took a position as a graphic designer, even though I had been functioning as an art director as a freelancer.
Apply, Apply and Apply Some More
Finding a new job is a full time gig in of itself! Sometimes you will find yourself applying to 30 to 40 positions before you hear back from any.
Use Your Network
In business, it’s all about who you know. Fellow parents at sports practices, PTA, church, what have you. These are all connections and relationships that you’ve built, reach out to these people and let them know your situation, they might have a lead for you… you never know!
Finding a new job always takes time. So be patient and don’t get frustrated if it takes a while to start getting responses from your application.
Find child care that gives you peace of mind
This was a big one for me, because my children were so small when they went to daycare, I carefully selected one that was close to work and with teachers that I knew would take the best care of my kids while I was at work.
Find a parent friendly workplace
So many workplaces claim to support work life balance, but that means so much more when you’re a parent (and a mom – let’s be honest). It was so important to me to find a workplace that understands when you have to stay home because your child is sick, have to leave early to pick the kids up, working remote, and on and on.
And remember Mama, you are badass. No matter where you work, how many jobs you work, or what type of work you do. We are all in this together!