Build Your Resume As A Stay At Home Parent
You're a stay-at-home parent and you're ready to enter the work force. Maybe it's the first time. Maybe it's the first time in a long time. No matter what phase of your career development you're in, coming out of a stint at home can be daunting. What have you contributed? What have you learned? What skills could possibly translate to the workforce? Fortunately, the answer to all of those questions is "A lot, actually!"
Let's get one thing straight first.
You are a viable candidate.
That's something you sincerely need to believe about yourself. As the great Queen Beyonce would tell you, "Some call it arrogant. I call it confident." You are a capable individual that can bring value to a company in the same way that you do for your family. So apply accordingly.
Seeking employment does not make you a bad parent.
Let's go ahead and get that out of the way too. Any guilt about leaving your kids in the care of highly qualified professionals doesn't belong in this blog post. There are 100 million peer-reviewed studies out there evangelizing the benefits of getting kids into outside-the-home childcare environments and they all trump your fears 100 to 1. So take that anxious energy and funnel it into building a bad ass resume.
Focus on what you're good at.
Have you become in expert in meal prep and the culinary arts? Consider working with a personal chef or a local meal prep company. Are you a master organizer in your fourth phase of KonMarie? There's a job for you in helping people achieve nirvana-level closet organization. Did you run a Fortune 500 company before launching out 500 kids? They'd more than likely be happy to have you back in some capacity. Explore your options in the work force by first exploring what you've become good at.
Get up to speed.
If it's been more than four years since you've worked, there's a really good chance that technology in your field has evolved a great deal. Reach out to some former colleagues to ask them what certifications and classes they've taken in the last couple of years to remain relevant in their positions. Then tap into your Google searching skills to discover which non-credit classes your local community college might offer to get you more in line with your current competitor applicants.
Use what you're momma gave ya.
You're the momma in this case. Have you been volunteering on every GD PTA board required of you by your son's school? That's a resume builder. Have you served on a committee at your local co-op benefiting the community in a tangible way? That's another bullet point. We all know that being a "stay-at-home parent" is anything but staying at home. So translate those real life actions onto paper in the form of viable, valuable work skills.
Here are a few examples of what that might look like:
Led the PTO's successful fundraiser, securing ample donations to enable XYZ Elementary School to purchase 4 new computers
Developed a budget and allocated resources that led to a total reduction of $13,000 in debt over a 13 month period
Managed a organization of 11 managers and 11 field team members securing a second place ranking in performance for the region (<<< that's actual a PeeWee baseball team)
Make a pit stop in the car pool.
The likelihood is HIGH that your current circle of mom+dad friends contains at least one individual with decision making power at their job. Test out those confidence skills by expressing your interest in seeking employment. While you're at it, spruce up your LinkedIn profile. No, a selfie with your kids is no appropriate. No, listing yourself as "my angel's number one fan" is also not appropriate. Yes, keeping it professional, clean, and focused is appropriate.
Keep calm and keep applying.
Go into this new chapter of your life knowing it may take a while to gain some traction. Even those with recent Master's degrees are having a hard time finding employment. Keep track of where you have applied with something similar to this handy Google Job Search Spreadsheet. Continue to reach out to your friends, family, and job boards with confidence and clear vision of what you are setting out to achieve.
Be poised with answers to those tough questions. Be clear (and realistic) on your salary requirements. And be ready to fight for yourself. It may come easy or it may not. But investing in yourself and your family is always worth it in the long run.